The University of Bristol Union has told reporters it is feeling “a new lease of life” after stepping up its interference in students’ lives at the 2013 Annual Members’ Meeting.
Recent moves include those towards Meat-Free Mondays, selling discounted broadsheets and covering the Precinct in traffic control measures.
The Union, 105, said, “I just love my new powers. I mean, deliberately limiting access to an entire food group! Did Stalin or Hitler do that? I don’t think so!
Obviously I’m not going to miss out on the totalitarian basics: I’m getting involved in the media, guiding the students towards what they should be reading.
Accused by dissidents of unlawful dealings with the National Union of Students, UBU blushed with pride.
“Thanks for the compliment. To be honest, I’d be ashamed of myself if I kept everything legit. What kind of autocrat would I be if I felt democracy was important? Luckily, most of you don’t care. I suppose the challenge of achieving quorums could be fun for a while, but I can’t really be bothered.”
And the Union says it’s not finished yet – plenty of potential power is still out of its grasp.
“There’s always room for improvement. As you saw at the AMM, the Junior Common Rooms managed to retain their independence, which was disappointing. I was looking forward to sticking my nose into their business. They didn’t fall for my offer of ‘training’, so it could be a while before they do things my way.
“Also, I could work on my debate limitation. Something like the NUS No Platform policy would be a dream come true.
“At the AMM, though, I got the job done with those Sabbatical Officers’ reports. You waste a load of time at the start, then cut short debates due to ‘time constraints’. It also means I can put off those tricky questions about Trustee ‘accountability’ and student ‘representation’ till later. Winner!”
Finally, we were given an idea of the tough decisions your average autocratic Union is faced with.
“That one about the Arms Companies’ right to advertise was quite a dilemma. Part of me wants to get more involved in employment – telling people what jobs they should have, that sort of thing. I had the idea of framing it in terms of human rights. I’ve heard that goes down well with the masses.
“But in the end, I went with the textbook – keeping the tank-makers onside. I’ve always been told ‘Look after the guns, and the guns will look after you.’ At the end of the day, the people want jobs, not human rights. I’m just doing what’s best for them.”
Who needs liberty? UBU knows best.