UQ Union Council Report – March 2020

Given the amount of time they devote to their craft, why are student politics hacks so bad at what they do? This is a perennial question as old as time itself, but one I have found myself increasingly pondering in recent times. I believe this quandary can be explained by the fact that most are psychopathic vampires.[1] But the fact that most student politics hacks are also extremely boring, unimaginative people plays at least a large contributory role. To arrive at a seemingly controversial and divisive position like ‘’gutting the student union is bad,’’ these people require exploratory committees, focus groups, weeks of planning, vetting, binding caucuses, etc. to ensure that they are being as boring and slow as possible. I actually don’t think it needs to be this complicated mate. Just as a good rule of thumb in student representation, all you need to do is the exact opposite of what the student politics establishment as represented by Ethan Van Roo Douglas and Tom Landy want. This principle consistently leads to the best outcomes for students – simple as.

In the March UQ Union Council meeting, Ethan and Tom wanted to pass their budget for the UQ Union. Given it was Ethan and Tom’s budget, and given that they are pro-establishment Young LNP types ideologically opposed to student unionism and therefore the existence of the UQ Union, it’s bad. Given they did not allow us to properly analyze and discuss the budget, keeping it secret to the last moment, it’s bad and probably a bit crooked mate. I’m surprised the Young Labor UQ Union Councilors had to spend hours caucusing on this issue. Ethan and Tom = Bad. Not allowing scrutiny of their budget = Bad. This is about the sum total of thought that needs to be put into the matter. Since these hacks are steeped in Party Machine Thought, I find it necessary to emphasize that we don’t have to pay a political consulting firm a million-dollar commission to hold focus groups in the Labor heartlands of Western Sydney to get to the bottom of this mate – just look into Ethan’s eyes and gaze upon his stupid (yet frustratingly handsome) rosy cheeks and vote his measures down. We aren’t there for fun funs and playing kicksies with Tom Landy under the table – UQ Union Council Meetings must resemble Maoist struggle sessions as much as possible (within the confines of the law and the UQ Student Charter).[2]

Given the pressing threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the March UQ Union Council meeting was held under social distancing measures and as per government and health authority recommendations, the meeting was scheduled to end after two hours. So the strategy was simple – just run down the clock with time wasting to stop Ethan and Landy’s crooked budget. My chief-political advisor and strategist Dylan Lyons advised following a simple strategy he had unearthed during the course of historical investigations into the politics of East Germany. He had found a textbook which contained scraps from an old CIA manual distributed to East German dissidents outlining the best ways in which to grind the internal processes of the country to a hault. These tactics, compiled under the headline “General Devices For Lowering Morale And Creating Confusion,” consisted of the following:

a) Give lengthy and incomprehensible explanations when questioned.

b) Act stupid.

c) Be as irritable and quarrelsome as possible without getting yourself into trouble.

d) Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.

e) Make “speeches.” Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your “points” by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences.

f) Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.

d) Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.

Following these tactics, we got to work making the two-hour meeting as arduous for the Young LNP executive as possible. I began with a lengthy, at times incomprehensible motion attempting to obtain funding for the renaming of the Liu Xiaobo Conference Centre, an important achievement we had passed at the February UQU Council Meeting. This had a dual function – I was able to argue for something I genuinely passionately believed in while also bogging down the meeting perhaps irreversibly. I proposed raising $2000 for the Liu Xiaobo Centre sign (I came to this dollar figure in a dream) by repossessing and selling the racing chair Ethan had swiped from the eSports room for his own luxurious presidential office. Ethan became visibly annoyed at this point. Perspiration dotted his increasingly red forehead, which to me indicated he was feeling the heat. Struggling to keep his temper, he maintained there was no money in the Union budget for a sign and that no eSports room gaming chair existed.

One of Ethan’s slaves on council – possibly Bradley Plant, although it could have been any of them as they are all equally as unmemorable as each other – questioned the $2000 figure, alleging I had simply pulled a number out of thin air. In response, I made clear that yes, that was exactly the point – the figure had occurred to me in a dream, which is where all my best ideas originate. Furthermore, I clarified that of course the sign would be expensive, because it would have to be a good and powerful sign, lit up a bright neon purple that would be visible across the campus at night. I explained that I had a good instinct for these things as my Dad runs a pretty tight operation at his fruit shop, meaning his business acumen was passed down to me in his seed – the accurate $2000 costing that came to me in my dreams would be about right for a bright neon sign. At this point, Ethan become visibly more frustrated, and a number of Young LNP Councilors began yelling for the motion to be put to stop my time wasting. I can’t remember which Young Liberal Councilors called for this, as they all blend into each other (see above).[3] Ethan continued to falsely claim there was no money in the budget for the Liu Xiaobo sign, to which I responded by encouraging Ethan to go to the UQ Central Library to check out the work of the economist Stephanie Kelton, a proponent of Modern Monetary Theory (we should create an internal currency for UQ students to use at UQ Union outlets and print as much of this currency as possible – I will expand on this idea, which also came to me in a dream, in future blog posts).

At this point, some of the Young Labor councilors began defending Ethan (cringe moment – someone should do a PhD thesis in sociology or political science applying the cartel party theory to UQ student politics). Some noted that they had never seen a gaming chair in Ethan’s presidential office-cum-sex dungeon. Facing mounting opposition from the cartel party, I amended the motion to reflect that we would thus repossess and sell Ethan’s mahogany desk to fund the sign instead. Ethan at this point said that he wished he could be anywhere else, which to my mind indicated we were successfully transforming Council into a Maoist struggle session. The motion was put, and it was resoundingly voted down after reactionary and revisionist Young Labor and SAlt traitors failed to uphold the correct line against the imperialist LNP running dogs of the union executive. I stood to make clear to Council that I would have this motion passed eventually, which had the dual function of demonstrating my enduring revolutionary resolve as well as further wasting time.

At about this time, one and a half hours had elapsed without the Union Council having considered Ethan’s crooked budget, and the clock was ticking on Ethan and Landy to get it passed. As such, I duly introduced a new and perhaps more important motion, condemning President Van Roo’s use of paid office hours to play Napoleon: Total War on his desktop computer, and noting that given his hundreds of hours invested in the game, he should be a lot better at it. Multiple witnesses on Council, some in Ethan’s own party, came forward at this point to attest to the fact that they had also seen him use paid office hours to play the game, and that he was not very good at it, still struggling to finish the Grand Campaign on Easy mode (something I myself completed in like Grade Eight). Multiple people noted that he still could not obtain victory playing historical battles Napoleon won in real life, such as the Battle of Austerlitz. Ethan tried to hide the fact that he is a lizard person by laughing along with everyone and defending his Napoleon: Total War skills, but you could kind of see something shift in him because he stopped blinking and he stared out at the room with blank, dead eyes. It was clear that I had touched on a sore point for him and that he would from that moment on do everything in his power to destroy me and everyone I love. The motion was defeated narrowly.

At this point, I thought I could most productively use the remaining fifteen minutes of the Council meeting by getting up and showing everyone the famous 2000s ‘Anti-Piracy’ video on my iPad. In case you don’t remember, this advertisement blared hardcore music against slides with such titles as “YOU WOULDN’T STEAL A CAR,’’ before finally concluding with the final, resounding statement: “PIRACY – IT’S A CRIME.’’ The video kept sputtering and pausing because of UQ’s poor internet connection, so I made sure to bang my iPad a couple times and yell expletives about the Wi-Fi so as to speed up the internet connection. I think Ethan gave up at this point because his eyes began tearing up behind his horn-framed glasses, and he placed his head in his hands and begun muttering about how much he hated his life. Landy, his trusted lieutenant, tried to restart things by urging his LNP Councilors to remove me from the stage, but Barclay McGain ignored him and kept yelling ‘’LEAN IN!’’ while laughing, indicating that Ethan’s hold over his faction was splintering.  With five minutes to go, I decided against further explaining myself or the significance of the video to the UQ Union Council Meeting, though I continue to maintain that it did actually relate to the meeting in a richly symbolic way.[4] With barely any time left, and knowing that Young Labor and Socialist Alternative councilors had been planning to vote against the budget even without my time wasting, I returned to my seat confident it was dead in the water. Students would be saved from a horrible budget that would gut funding to collectives and important social justice initiatives in favor of toga parties and marketing costs.

Ethan and Landy realized the clock was ticking. The UQ Union executive was constitutionally required to pass the budget by the end of the meeting, which would have to break up in a matter of minutes due to government social distancing requirements. Ethan and Landy conferred with each other as their minions frantically distributed copies of the budget to councilors, something they apparently could not do in the days preceding the meeting. They had always intended to pass it with no discussion or scrutiny – I believed running down the clock on the meeting had been the best way to prevent that. When the budget was finally on everyone’s desks, Landy made clear that the figures contained in it would change substantially due to the coronavirus pandemic, effectively rendering it moot. I prepared for the Council to resoundingly reject it or let the meeting conclude without passing it.

Then, unfortunately, the Labor councilors lost their nerve. Ethan fronted the meeting and claimed that due to constitutional technicalities, failure to pass the budget would freeze the Union’s finances, leading to immediate job losses for minimum wage staff across the entire Union. It was a blatant lie, but it served Ethan’s purposes well – all Labor councilors then immediately broke on block to vote for the budget’s passage with a minute to go, giving Ethan a super majority for a budget his own Treasurer just moments before had explained bore no relation to the actual reality of Union spending and finances, being little more than arbitrary numbers on a spreadsheet. This was the state of the main political opposition to the LNP Union executive on campus.

Ultimately, the meeting concluded with a victory for our resident cartel party – the incestuous student politics bubble winning once again over the ordinary students and workers who will be hurt by a Jupiterian Union executive ideologically opposed to the very foundational principles of student unionism. As just one vote on the Union Council, I couldn’t vote down the LNP’s measures by myself – the only option to me at that March meeting was the filibuster. But it ultimately proved futile without Labor’s support. With the Labor Party in one of its periodically gutless moods and utterly missing in action, the LNP-led UQ Union executive faces no real opposition on campus –  It will be a long wait until elections to turf this whole rotten lot out.


Footnotes

[1] There is an extensive literature on this subject in psychology. Many studies show that psychopaths are drawn to hierarchical power structures and as such are over-represented at the highest levels of business and political leadership – see Bennett’s ”Power And Influence As Distinct Personality Traits: Development And Validation Of A Psychometric Measure,’’ or Babiak, Neumann and Hare in ‘’Corporate Psychopathy: Talking The Walk,’’ or just read American Psycho, a very life like rendering of life in the Young LNP.

[2] For UQ’s legal team: this is mostly a joke (I think). I respect the UQ Student Charter immensely and would never advocate for any student to breach it. Please do not add it to Page 187 of my expulsion papers.

[3] A quick note on this blending effect. Our experiences of the external world are fed to our brains by our sensory functions and our brains then produce a 3D internal model of reality we perceive as the external world (I read about this in relation to Max Tegmark’s discussion on consciousness and its relation between external and internal reality – see ‘’Our Mathematical Universe,’’ Pages 234-242). The point being that when my brain produces a 3D internal model of reality it cannot distinguish Young LNP members from each other, instead presenting them as one single, shrill, indistinguishable mass of annoying cunts in RMs, chinos and polo shirts.

[4] I will not expand on this.

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