Why we were always going to vote for piracy, silliness and fancy dress.
I want to come clean. It’s all my fault and I’m sorry. I voted for Tom Scott, our pirate YUSU President.
At the age of 20, I have to learn to take full responsibility for my actions. To my friends, I’ve let you all down – I was never going to vote for the real candidates. You’ve now realised I am, at heart, a sociopath.
To Brian Cantor, my deepest apologies – the YUSU meetings are going to really test your patience and reserve. There’s no place for this sort of thing in YUSU, and you, our Vice-Chancellor, will be the first to suffer.
To the rest of the University, and the other presidential candidates, I can only say this: I have undermined the political system, which is there for my benefit. This fills me with remorse.
But, in my defence, it wasn’t just me. Scott was always going to win. Here are a few obvious reasons why:
1. York students like dressing up. Whether or not we care to admit it, all of us dress up (as chavs, tarts or golfers) around 20 times while we’re at York, possibly more. Scott did it convincingly well, too.
2. York students are sometimes a little bit silly. People don’t take YUSU seriously, and we like throwing the odd spanner into the works, if only to see what happens when it gets stuck. York students are often a little bit geeky – he appealed to a lot of us. I won’t try and define “geek”, but they’re everywhere. Didn’t you see Scott’s merry band of supporters? Wasn’t one of them in your seminar?
Here are four slightly less obvious reasons why Cap’n Scott won:
1. Scott’s campaign spread virally around the University campus, including on Facebook. By the time it came to voting, everyone had heard of the pirate. It was, unwittingly, a brilliant PR master-class.
2. Anne-Marie Canning’s campaign to get more people to vote. This was our downfall – we should have kept it small, quiet and sensible.
3. Third years voted him in because they are leaving and don’t care about YUSU. It was like a goodbye present. ‘Thanks, York, for all you’ve given me. And enjoy…click….this!’
4. Freshers voted him in because they were drunk (and don’t care about YUSU). Freshers, we all know, are here to enjoy their first year. They don’t know any better, and perhaps shouldn’t get to vote till second year.
So, for those reasons and a few others, I voted for Scott – I like to back winners, and he was always going to win.
The pirate presidency should be interesting. It might be funny or even surprise us all and be successful. It will certainly be talked about for years to come, and possibly emulated by future York students.
But no. We probably shouldn’t have voted for piracy (even if we did have a £10 bet with a Payne supporter). We will probably come to loathe the “mad Cap’n” as quickly as we came to love him, and next year, all things considered, may be more about damage control than anything else. Scott is, after all, just a post-grad who dressed up as a pirate. For a joke.