As the most tedious OUSU election campaign in living memory draws to a close, the sole shining light amongst the Presidential candidates has spoken exclusively to OxStu.
Alex ‘The Master’ Shattock took time out of his busy campaigning schedule to lay down his mink access cloak and share his views on spider monkies, the subjugation of Brookes and Oxford’s impending pesto crisis.
While the other candidates have mainly stood on the familiar platforms of access, accommodation and community, the Master has blown the race open with his eye-catching manifesto, promising to: “BEAT [OUSU] into submission until it lies COWERING on the floor, TRANSPARENT and RESPONSIBLE.”
An almost monastic hush falls over the Turf as Shattock enters. The sheer weight of his gravitas, stifling the splinters of conversation around the room.
The independent presidential candidate for the looming OUSU election, was widely hailed as the maverick poised to transform the Student Union’s image forever, his manifesto promising to “beat [OUSU] into submission until it lies cowering on the floor”.
As we sit down to a pint he begins to talk about some of the impressive endorsements that have helped to make the self-titled ‘Master’ such an impressive candidate:
“Well, obviously, as I disclosed in my manifesto I have been endorsed by Jesus in his personal capacity, but I can now exclusively tell you that he told me recently that he can now officially endorse me in his divine capacity as well, which I think is a bit of a coup for the campaign.
“The J man and I get along pretty well, we’ve got a lot in common. Both pure sex appeal, both enjoy it when our girlfriends wash our feet, and we’re both widely known as lords of the dance.”
I pressed him to reveal whether any other prophets or deities were planning to jump on the ‘Shat-wagon’ before the closing of polls on Thursday:
“I have been in touch with another quasi-deity, but he was a little con- cerned that if he endorsed me publi- cally some of his followers might get a little bit offended and issue a religious edict for my execution, definitely got his vote though. “
Given his history of involvement in the Oxford media, as well as his noted fondness for young Mediter- ranean women, some have begun to draw comparisons between Shat- tock and infamous Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Considering the dangers of combining the executive and the media that Berlusconi demonstrates, I asked Shattock what changes would be made to The Oxford Student under the rule of ‘Shattism’:
“Obviously I would take away the OxStu’s editorial independence. Only by doing this will we be able to transform it into the mouthpiece of OUSU’s glorious leader that it was always intended to be.
“This reformation of the paper would also involve a rebranding as the Oxford Shattock, or OxShat. Secondly, every page will have a picture of me, so that it can truly be hot off the press.”
As he gently caresses his own nipples, Shattock turns the conversation forcefully to an issue close to his heart: zombies.
Given promises already made by ‘The Master’ that “at least 50% of our budget will go into sentry towers, machine gun turrets and laser defense research to equip Oxford for the impending zombie outbreak”, I asked him how students could be prepared in their day to day lives:
“When zombies attack, don’t panic, you just need to find three essentials. Food, a weapon and a friend, who isn’t quite as good at running as you, then make your way to a safe place.
“A safe place needs to be secure, have a few windows, and at least one alternative escape route. As for what students can do day to day, I personally always carry around a can of pepper spray, again not for the zombies themselves, but for one of my friends, so as to distract the zombies while I make my escape.”
Every part the Commander- in-Chief, Shattock brings his fist down upon the table with the sound of a thunderclap, cutting a Thor-like image of hardened, gritty masculinity, as he continues to outline his defence programme for OUSU:
“I’ve already promised that if elected I will personally ensure the surrender of Brookes and im- plement the terms of their sub- jugation. However this is not far enough! What next?
“Cambridge is the obvious target for the extension of our campaign, they will give in or they will be crushed. I will work with the biol- ogy division to splice moose DNA with the DNA of enslaved Brookes students to create an unstoppa- ble army of Moose-men, who will guarantee our victory.”
Almost a minute of silence goes by as Shattock’s bestial energy sends shivers of awe across the pub.
Trying to regain my compo- sure, I ask him a question that has been on many students’ minds since the release of the presidential manifestos; how does David Townsend manage to look quite so Australian?
He lets loose a roguish cackle: “I don’t think I could answer a question about David Townsend looking particularly Australian, he would definitely rip my head off and drink my blood.
“The other candidates are all great guys and some of them have genuinely hilarious policies; I just think it’s a shame that there are so many joke candidates running this year, and that it’s endemic of OUSU’s ‘crisis of irrelevance’.”
Continuing with the subject of the election, I questioned Shattock on why I had seen so few of his posters around the University:
“As a presidential candidate I receive a budget of £140, which I haven’t quite spent yet, however, I suffer from a number of disadvantages compared to the other candidates when it comes to flyer- ing, such as poor funding, limited manpower and actually having a life, which is why you won’t see many of my posters about.”
As he adjusts the self styled ‘mink access cloak’ that rests gracefully upon his broad shoulders I inquire what the Shattock campaign can promise to do to Cherwell in return for the OxStu vote.
“I don’t want to be too harsh on Cherwell, as I don’t want to lose any supporters among them but if you vote for me then I personally guarantee that you shall bathe in their blood while it’s still warm. All will perish.”
Both shocked and slightly aroused by the brutality of Shattock’s iron fist, I begin to discuss with him his flagship proposal: spider monkey hockey cuppers.
“It’s quite simple, you put miniature hockey kit on spider monkeys, give them hockey sticks, then put them into the playing field or ‘arena’; they might play hockey.
“If they don’t play hockey and start attacking each other instead it will arguably be even better. You’ve got your Venn Diagram, number of people that like hockey, against the number of people who like spider monkeys.
“Now I certainly fall into that overlapping middle category, and I’d imagine that most Oxford students do as well. I think it’s lucrative and we could quite comfortably fill the Sheldonian on a regular basis.”
Propelled ceaselessly onwards by his veracious energy, Shattock plunges headlong into Oxford’s pesto crisis, another keystone of his manifesto.
“Pesto stocks in Oxford are at a 250 year low, we’re on the brink of a meltdown, a pesto disaster, a pesto crisis if you will, and it’s sickening because not one other candidate is mentioning this. The pesto crisis is, quite literally, the delicious middle class elephant in the room.”
A recurring theme of the Shattock campaign so far has been the recently released fantasy video game Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, as his official campaign twitter feed reveals. One post made on 11 November reads:
“Elf or Human? Warrior or Mage? It’s difficult choices like these, the exercising of judgment, that separates the leaders form the lemmings.”
Followed by a second post: “OH JESUS it’s a motherfucking DRAGON all up in my shit!” and finally; ‘EAT MY FIREBALL YOU LIZARDY BASTARD”
Given Shattock’s passion for the game, I asked if the game would also be a theme of his prospective administration:
“I think to make Oxford life like Skyrim would be difficult, we’d all have to live in castles, wear ridiculous robes to dinner and talk in obnoxious English accents.
“Instead of going to Camera every week, we’d have to spend hours in some dark and claustrophobic dungeon drinking strange concoctions to increase our stamina points, while smiting our way through hordes of mindless undead.”
On top of the 50 percent of the OUSU budget Shattock has pledged to pour into defense spending, and the other 50 percent he intends to pump into his spider monkey hockey cuppers project, he has promised to spend a little under 10 percent of the budget buying Greece.
“I personally think the Acropolis would look quite nice atop New College’s mound; there’s nothing up there at the moment, and hopefully, in return for the favour, they’ll give me a fellowship.”
Rumour has it that ‘The Master’ is a fan of heavy metal; given that, ac- cording to popular predujice, that would implicate him as a weird loner with no friends, I asked him about the unlikely scenario that he doesn’t win this election. How likely would an ensuing killing spree be?
“I’ll play my favorite song; ‘New Millennium Cyanide Christ’, followed by ‘Sodomise the Lego Millennium Falcon’ by Death Rage Lock, and just slay everyone in New College. The mound will be awash with blood.”
Moving hurriedly onwards as a strangely glazed expression begins to creep across Shattock’s face, I ask what he thinks the reaction of the other candidates would be if he won.
“I think Townsend would get out his trusty machete and slay me then and there.”
As I move to reply he clamps his hand to my mouth: “Shhh! We shouldn’t talk about this, Townsend has spies everywhere! Even the trees are on his side!”
As the dusk begins to roll in and one of Shattock’s numerous heavily armed guards leans in to whis- per in his ear, it becomes clear that the interview is over.
As he stands up to go I fire one final question at him: “Mr Shattock, what does it say about OUSU that your campaign is the most exiting thing to happen there in a decade?”
A rare smile breaks across his gaunt, weathered features: “It says too fucking much.”