The outgoing Pembroke JCR President, David White, has been installed as its permanent “Glorious Leader” following a constitutional amendment.
Following the vote last Sunday, White now has absolute authority to overrule any decision made by the Committee or the JCR as a whole.
The motion, proposed by Lawrie Elsdon-Dew, noted: “David White, with his calm exterior, mesmerising voice, flawless reason and fly attire, has been the archetype of a model leader.”
Although the basic function of the JCR Committee will be unchanged, the motion stresses that the JCR finds democracy to be “overrated” and that members should, “accept that an omnipotent D-White could only be a good thing and that his permanent presence would be a guiding light for the JCR.”
White was, however, keen to demonstrate his commitment to democratic principles, stating: “I value democracy incredibly highly and that’s why I foresee Pembroke JCR benefiting so greatly through the establishment of a benevolent dictatorship. It’s well-known to be the backbone to strong democracy.”
President-elect Becky Howe seemed equally supportive of the JCR’s new constitutional direction, commenting: “Personally, I’m glad this has happened. I’m glad people will be introduced to dictatorial rules in such a way. This way, Pembroke JCR will be more prepared for my reign of terror.”
The motion further resolved to give White a budget of £200 every year to use on a single purchase of his choice. He will also be able to declare Thursday of 6th Week of Trinity a ‘Day of White’, an annual college holiday where all members will “be expected to show suitable reverence to their Glorious Leader”.
The power granted to him does not, however, come without limits. In order to exercise his right to overrule any JCR decision he will be obliged to wear “a replica Napoleon from Animal Farm costume”.
The motion states that the JCR will pay for the leader’s costume but remains insistent that the outfit must be worn for the entire day of any given dictatorial intervention.
When asked to comment on fears over the integrity of her office and her own safety, Howe seemed unfazed:“There were some concerns that my feelings had been hurt [but…] Personally, I’m very excited. If David goes to the effort of getting and wearing such a costume, then I tip my metaphorical hat to him and will bow to his overlordship.”
She went on to say: “The JCR knows and trusts that David will be a kind dictator”. This is in agreement with the overall sentiment of Sunday’s motion, which was that “Everyone in Pembroke JCR is equal but Mr White is more equal than others.”
Daniel Pennington, JCR member and Guildmaster of Pembroke’s Guild of Assassins, stated that in honour of the occasion, “the recently officially JCR incorporated Pembroke Guild of Assassins shall be changing their official motto to ‘Fight for White’”.
Pennington added that he would also be encouraging other JCR members “to bestow gifts upon our magnificent leader.”
When asked what his attitude would be to any member who did not recognise his authority, White seemed perplexed: “Although the concept of a ‘non-Whitist’ is completely alien to me, if one were to exist I of course wouldn’t demand any reverence too magnificent of them during the ‘Day of White’. A kiss to the hand would suffice.”