Today is a bit of a wander into unknown territory as I have been asked to attend a meeting within the college, supposedly concerning cuts in education funding, with Ken Livingstone attending. Well, sorry but I can smell politics in this from a long way away. I will admit, I’m not one who agrees with his politics, but I have no idea what he’s like as a person, as TV doesn’t really give a flattering view of anyone. However, I think I can make a fair guess about the line he will take, attacking the cuts and other reductions in funding across the board, firing broadsides at the Government, David Cameron, Nick Clegg, assuming he makes some opening comments, and I can’t see that he won’t.
It’s not really my kind of event but I suppose it comes with the territory of being the unofficial class representative, although there will be others from our course coming with me. If it happens in the future, I could well have to do this again, assuming when the formal election comes round that the rest of the members of our course want me to continue. Who knows, I might even consider standing for the SU, should I attend next year, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Well, that was pretty much as expected, but if truth be told, it was almost worse. Although the main text was to enable Ken to gather views and opinions from the assembled students on the proposed cuts in spending, it rapidly turned into a political meeting, with there being no doubt it was held as an early campaign meeting towards Ken’s hopeful re-election as London’s mayor. Of the students attending, from all courses and backgrounds, I would doubt there wasn’t more than a handful who weren’t at least favourable to the man, as he said the things he felt they wanted to hear. This meant that, in my opinion, Ken knew he wasn’t going to be given a hard time as he took every opportunity to belittle and lambast the Coalition Government, while not saying much at all about his colleagues in Opposition’s actions in the last parliament.
At the start I was under the impression that there was a list of people attending, but such were the numbers by the end, it gave the impression that some teachers had just taken their whole classes along. Was this deliberate? I don’t know, it could be construed as such, by some of a more suspicious nature.
Give Ken his due, he’s consistent with his message and I was finding I could almost predict the answer before any question was completed, in terms of his main thrust of argument. However, as one of the few Conservatives in the room – which might not have been the case, it just felt that way – I didn’t feel I could have made a fair question without wanting to make a sly political remark, either against Ken or against the chair of the meeting, Virendra Sharma MP, for whom this was the first time I had seen the man in my time living in his constituency. It wasn’t the place or time for that.
Thankfully, the college confirmed that an invitation would be made to the current mayor, Boris Johnson, on a similar platform, to retain a political balance. I am in no doubt that that meeting would be more politically charged as the assembled would only be too happy to string up Boris for a metaphorical flagpole. I would be very interested in attending that meeting and I hope I get invited to it. He will no doubt get blamed for everything, even though he has no real authority outside of London.
Isn’t life (and politics) fun?