Just back from the Freshers Fair over here at Kingston University. I know how Cherie Blair felt that time she was accused of being light-fingered after walking off with a bunch of mugs from the exhibitor stalls at the Labour Party conference. Have ended up with 3 carrier bags full of stuff including a sachet of gunk to put on my hair and a wooden spatula – both courtsey of commercial traders.

More interesting but with less free-stuff were the student societies. I spotted two Islamic Societies (one Sunni and one Shia apparently), two hard-left types, Lib Dems and Conservatives but no Labour Students. The Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames is a comparative Labour desert electorally so maybe that explains that but still was a bit surprised. Lib Dems were giving away cakes and offering tea at the House of Commons with local MP Ed Davey. The culinary stuff was so omnipresent on their stall that I saw someone mistaking them for a cooking society. Both the lefty groups were both a bit cagey about how many members they had signed up claiming that they had “only just set-up”.  The SWP one was not even a KU student – he’d travelled hopefuly from UCL for the occasion. The Tories meanwhile were also hopeful. Their Kingston General Election candidate Helen Whatley was in the room, dressed casually mingling with students. Dunno anything about her except that she’s 31. She is the first to have been chosen by open primary but then that system is open to abuse so who knows. Didn’t get to speak to her but the bloke on the stall conceded it was a “big majority” they’d have to contend with.  I started listing Tory woes to him, “Thatcher cosying up to Brown” among them and he nodded in agreement. It was only stating the bleeding obvious anyway. Cameron’s only memorable soundbite was “you were the future once”, to Blair. It oddly seems to now refer only to himself…

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