The all singing, all dancing blog of Alex Guite

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Elections, hiking and so on

With the exception of staining the blogsphere with a possibly immature post about the number 69, and a description of what happened when I, yes I, shared a pavement with the former leader of her majesty's Opposition, I haven't blogged much recently. Fear not, for I am back and I am sure you will be happy to know that I have "learnt some valuable lessons" in the last two weeks or so.

Chief amongst them is that some of the symptoms of hypothermia (erratic behavior, offensive language and uncontrollable shivering) are the very same symptoms as those of running a sabbatical campaign.

I know this because for the last three weeks I was Chief of Staff to Ben Harris in his bid to become Deputy President for Education & Welfare at Imperial. I also know about hypothermia because I read a helpful pamphlet before setting out on the RCC Night Hike last Saturday evening. I'm not sure that hiking across the North Downs for five and a half hours at night was the best way to rest after a busy campaign but it was a good laugh. I teamed up with Ben and Mariko to enter the 'novice' category (despite competently walking to the base hut). Our clever Dylan Thomas referencing team name ("Do not go gentle into that good night") was appropriately abbreviated to go "Don't go gently" by the organizers as we romped home a full 14 minutes ahead of our nearest novice competitors. So if you're looking for someone with a track record in walking at a novice level, I'm your man. (Other lessons learnt on the hike: do trust the earth's natural magnetic field, it is generally correct).

In addition to helping Ben's campaign, I also advised John Collins in his bid for the Imperial College Union Presidency. But it didn't just stop there, I even dressed up as a monkey to campaign for the guy. I'm not sure where this leaves my claim to have some dignity. Anyway, the valuable lesson I learnt whilst dressed up as one of our cheeky animal cousins is that girls can't get enough of a human sized monkey carrying a partisan placard. Is it actually possible that in just two hours inside the monkey suit I got more attention from Imperial girls than in four years of going about my normal business dressed as myself? I'd rather not answer, but I keep on telling myself that it was what was on the inside that attracted them...

Last Thursday all this monkeying about came to an end with the election count. Before I get to the results (I once attended a lesson where I was taught about 'suspense', can you tell?) I want to thank Ben for buying me some Innocent smoothies as a thank you present/the result of a bet we had. If a Socialist Worker candidate mentioned Iraq in hustings, Ben owed me a smoothie. If they didn't mention Iraq, then I owed Ben a smoothie. Unsurprisingly I made a smoothie profit.

Anyway, despite my predictions that it would so close between John and Joe Eldridge that you wouldn't be able to see the light between them, I was blinded by the 600 vote margin by which John won. It was one of those moments to be very happy that I was wrong.

Meanwhile, Ben won very convincingly in the first round of STV, and now the Welsh guy I met three years ago when I was organising the first PSU Freshers Ball is going to be Deputy President Education & Welfare. I'm pretty chuffed and still have a grin on my face 5 days later.

Well done guys, but don't forget that I've got my eye on you...


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