From the archives: 'Playboys and girls'



This ‘From the Archives’ is from way back, more specifically Epigram’s 6th ever issue. Epigram founder James Landale (now Diplomatic Correspondent at BBC News) was editor and Epigram consisted of 7 sections and 20 pages.

It focuses on the eventful and controversial Union Annual General Meeting of the 30th November 1989 and the disruption between the Conservative Association (BUCA), the Women’s Group and the Socialist Workers Society (SWSS).

The article introduces Nick Allsop, the President of the Conservative Association, who tried to raise money by selling Playboy magazine as people walked into the meeting, angering the feminists in attendance. The article also detailed how Allsop formerly tried to join the Pro-Choice group with the alias ‘A Foetus’, promting the NUS National Secretary to identify him as a potential ‘troublemaker’.

BUCA also proposed a motion at the meeting proposing to disaffiliate Gaysoc from the union, which was quickly thrown out without much discussion.

The Women’s Group then proposed an anti-pornography motion, which BUCA proposed an ammendemnt to calling pornography a ‘harmless outlet for the sexual frustrations of unattractive men and women’. Allsop then commented: ‘women who oppose pornography are always ugly’.

The topic of debate moved onto vegetarian food, with one student being asked to leave as he remarked ‘most vegetarians are homosexuals.’

The meeting was then called off as everyone was ‘too drunk’ and the hall fell below 100 people needed.

As everyone was leaving, Judith Carlson, a previous Women’s Officer, threw orange juice over Allsop as she wanted to destroy the ‘offensive literature he was attempting to pedal’, while she also wanted to force him to ‘launder the South African rugby shirt he insists on wearing at every AGM.’ Allsop then threw a pint of beer over her in retaliation and a ‘general melee’ ensued.

The events of 1989 sure do make our SU meetings look thoroughly boring.


First published in *Epigram* (8th December 1989).

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Alex Boulton

Editor in Chief 2017-18, Online Style Editor 2016-17. History student.