Cuttings from the Daily Telegraph.
About the time a cat was nominated for President of the Union
A cat among the candidates in student poll
By TONY CONYERS
THE result of Surrey Uni- versity Students' Union presidential election, to be announced tonight, may well be greeted with a contented purr. The purr would come, natur- ally, from Orlando the cat, one of the three candidates.
Orlando, a giniger Tom, is described by his owner, Mrs Janet Clark, wife of a warden and lecturer at the university, as a " typical Lambeth stray." He has been nominated by Mr Mel Ingham, 33, a language's student, of Keighiley, Yorks. Mr Ingham said last night that his move was not an attack on the other two candidates, Mr Steve Peach and Mr Tom Poole, nor upon the- students' union or its constitution.
He explained: " A number of us would like to see more stu- dents taking an active part in day-to-day union affairs; We think that if Orlando was elec- ted President, it would make students realise that they must play a more significan role.
" I appreciate that what I have done is outrageous but I am making no apology. " The point is that a cat can- not make decisions even if he is a president, that is the res- ponsibility of members."
Mr Ingham said that, with the connivance of his professor, he had enrolled Orlando in the linguistics department of the university. , Orlando had a B.Sc. In humanities, and was intending to do a paper for his M.Phil. entitled " On the Social and Cultural Effects of War and Church on Baroque Meeowsic after the Thirty Cats' War."
The present President, Mr Andy Kypri, 25, a humanities I student, said: "Orlando has a good chance of winning. If he does, we will call an extraordinary meeting to discuss the situation."
A CAT reportedly has a chance of being elected president of Surrey University Students Union. If he wins, we would welcome this evidence that Britain's students may be shifting towards the sane, moderate centre.
What, however, of the " briefing document" issued by the National Union of Students on how to set to work, not on anything so socially useless as SPINOZA or JANE AUSTIN, but on that staple of. modern higher education: forcible occupation of university premises? A first reaction may be that the document is the creation of our distinguished colleague, PETER SIMPLE, or that the N U S is now run by clandestine Right-wing Tories out to make it look dafter than ever.
The document's pomposity was part of the evidence, however, that it was genuine. No damage should be done to property " if at all possible," would-be, occupying forces were advised. If staff impede the success of the occupation, students should " stand in their way." Moreover, it was a " good idea " to open confidential files because they often contained interesting " dirt." ;
Does any of it matter? Should anyone get upset about it, especially since the whole point of the exercise is to outrage the grown-ups? Obliging though it may be to the document's authors, outrage is justified. Staff would be manhandled, and no one should regard as trivial the disseminating of " dirt" from private files.
So is it not time that the sane majority of British students turfed out these loonies from control of the N U S? Admittedly, this means that normal students will have to take time off from normal university life from study, sport, boy friends, girl friends to enter the Leftist madhouse of N U S politics. But, by weight of numbers, they could soon restore reason. The majority should realise that the activists who produce things like this "briefing" are often careerists who are counting on their inaction and who hope in later life to profit from their fame as big shots in student politics.
The preposterous Mr JACK STRAW is the founder and head of the profession. Let him be the last Straw.
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