Good piece by Paul Haydon on an at times extraordinary documentary on student politics in the Conservative Party. If you haven’t watched it yet I suggest you do. Paul’s criticisms are quite valid, there is little in the way of analysis as to why people, especially those from less affluent backgrounds, join the Conservative Party at that age, but nevertheless it still makes for compulsive viewing.
As the article suggests the story of Joe Cooke at Oxford is the most interesting of the two threads. The moment just over half way through the documentary where Joe discusses his background and how he daren’t tell his colleagues about being the son of a single mother and a convict father is almost unbearably sad. It does of course beg the question as to why Joe joined the Conservative Party in the first place, but that is never really answered. Maybe it was a perverse act of rebellion.
A fascinating but not terribly edifying piece of TV. Student politics is an obnoxious bearpit and it would be foolish to think that the behaviour on show was confined to the Conservatives.

Paul Haydon

Young, Bright and on the Right,’ the story of two aspiring young Tories at Oxford and Cambridge, definitely made for some entertaining television. Joe and Chris inspire a mixture of loathing, pity and bewilderment as they struggle to navigate the elitist world of Oxbridge Conservative politics, which is characterised by ridiculous outfits, port, cheese and the odd bout of extreme racism.

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