Talk:Cambridge University Conservative Association

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Comments[edit]

The wikipedia article quoted an article by Johann Hari in the New Statesman. "One former member estimates that leadership of the association sets candidates back roughly £200-£300 in 'favours'"

I have removed it, because it is not or is no longer true. It is in print, and admittedly I don't have a counter-article. Nonetheless, I know from personal experience that it is false. Vote-buying or membership-buying is non-existant. (Chairmanship may well set the Chairman back a bit to help fund the operations of the association.) (This is strictly irrelevant, but Hari has a notorious chip on his shoulder about Cambridge.) 91.84.223.128 (talk) 20:10, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Davidm538: I have removed the whole Johann Hari extract following the exposure of this journalist as a fraud. Any facts quoted by him cannot be trusted.

Citation #6 leads to a blank page. As such some of the passages really need a source. Particularly the claim that "CUCA is the largest of the three main Cambridge University party political associations." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.153.149.6 (talk) 17:53, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Old Stuff[edit]

An anonymous (presumably CUCA-sympathetic) user keeps deleting the entire 'CUCA controversies' section. As the section is carefully referenced using articles in both local and national newspapers, there appears to be no reason for this other than censorship.

I would also appreciate it if the person in question would not describe the paragraph as 'libellous'. Not only is it patently not libellous to repeat accepted stories already in print, but see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:No_personal_attacks and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:No_legal_threats for what Wikipedia's has to say about threats of legal action - I would politely ask you not to bandy about such terms so lightly.

- In response, some of the comments in this section are untrue, for example the assertion that Rice cited the photoshopped image of him as an example of "lack of comedic taste / competence." The Tab article shows that he embraced the photo in good spirit, deeming it "hilarious". It's the name-calling that was criticised. Furthermore, no "exchange of views" ever occurred. Moreover, I tidied this section up to exclude clumsy and irrelevant information and better reflect the facts, but the old sprawling, inaccurate version returned immediately. Another frustrating thing is that even the Tab article (the most primary source other than the email itself and the CULC press release, and Rice's own email response) is to some degree inaccurate. Would a submission of of said primary documents assist in clearing up the misleading email controversy section? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.196.182.134 (talk) 23:35, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

I have also added a table of CUCA Chairmen since 1950 as a separate article, since if it were added here it would more than double the size of the article. Neocon12 20:17, 22 May 2006 (UTC)


Incidentally, as I've added the Former chairmen of Cambridge University Conservative Association article, perhaps we should delete the 'recent CUCA Chairmen' section here? Former CUCA chairmen of the last 50 years are of interest, as they include MPs, cabinet ministers and QCs. None of the recent Chairmen have (yet) done anything particularly noteworthy, so perhaps we should delete this section, and just leave them mentioned in the former CUCA chairmen article? Neocon12 20:27, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree - the previous 12 Chairmen aren't exactly "recent" anyway. Perhaps just keep the last 3 or 4, and a link to the full list? JT, CUCA

I too am getting annoyed about edits to recent Chairmen and former Chairmen. It is not acceptable to use the list of former Chairman as a campaign platform in an upcoming Society election as has been done. And it certainly is not the place to boost one's ego. Therefore, I think that there should be some standard for both. Perhaps membership of both lists should entail having actually succesfully completed a term in office and, whilst former chairmen should be as complete as possible, perhaps recent chairmen should have a time restriction. How about last five chairmen? That would make the office holders personally memorable to about half the resident membership. Rols foxy 10:21, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Laws of Libel[edit]

I would respectfully suggest that if you actually read the articles you are referring to THOROUGHLY rather than skimming them as you have done, you will find that the interpretation you have given is libellous and has defamed the characters of several individuals. The sources you have listed in this paragraph do not substantiate the claims you make. You should also be aware that repetition of a libel is in itself a libel (regardless of whether that was raised at the time because the data storage capacity of the internet allows for repeated libel through the years and is therefore open to challenge at any point that the information is in the public domain).

We do not wish to take further action over this but will have no option to do so if you persist with your editing of a topic of which you personally have no knowledge of and are merely basing on what is apparently in the public domain. Again, be careful with your assumption that if it is in the public domain, it is automatically 100% quotable and true, let alone whether you have drawn the correct inference from it.

However, if you do wish to revert the article once more to its previous state, I would respectfully request that you also reveal your identity so that the appropriate measures can be taken in response. After all, if you are so certain that the 'sources' validate your defamatory claims, you should have no problem allowing this to happen as presumably you will be quite happy to stand by your interpretation in a court of law.

Sort this out[edit]

This whole thing has got silly, the committee of CUCA does not know who is involved but is not happy with a wiki war occurring over its history. We would be grateful if people would reveal who they are instead of hiding behind the anonymity of wiki. Could all parties please email me on vc@cuca.org.uk so we can settle this off line amicably. Thanks VC, CUCA


In response I have quoted the relevant sections of the articles in full, so as to avoid the possibility of quoting out of context or misunderstanding, and making it clearer that the events are alleged by Varsity. Regardless of whether or not the report is as you say untrue, reporting that a Varsity report on the subject appeared is not a libel, neither is describing the nature of that report, especially if it is made clear that it resulted in compliants.
Having said that, as the names of the people involved are not notable for anything else, I have agreed to remove these from the quotations, - the article is noteworthy because it involves the running of CUCA, not because anyone famous was involved. Certainly the names do not add anything to the article.
It is very difficult to see what is libellous - the story amounts to 'a motion of no confidence was raised, and was defeated on a technical point.' Such occurences are scarcely unusual among student political societies - just take a look at the OUCA page for comparison.
It is also ironic that the people demanding my identity so as to threaten me with legal action have not seen fit to sign in a single time. Wikipedia deals with thousands of contested facts every day without resorting to threats of legal action.
Nor do I intend to run first drafts by CUCA for approval, VC. Much as I can understand CUCA's desire to turn their encyclopaedia entry into a recuitment piece, Wikipedia is not the propaganda arm of CUCA. If there are disputes about the accuracy or neutrality of the piece, please amend them in the usual way, with a full explanation, or go through the established Wikipedia procedure for mediation.
As I do not know whether any of the other contributers were themselves involved in this, I have refrained from adding a line or two heavily refuting that these events ever happened, but if you have any such personal knowledge, feel free to add such a disclaimer, complete with {{Fact}} tag (unless, of course, you also have a source for this). However, I'd have thought that repeating the report that CUCA complained to the Press Complaints Commission makes that fairly clear in the first place. Neocon12 17:54, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

CUCA has no problem with what you have written now, we mearly thought that as people were not signing, and perhaps don't have accounts, then it would be easier to settle offline without this constant changing and changing back of the article. VC

Glad to hear it - though as you say, there's a problem on both sides with people anonymously editing the article. Neocon12 22:36, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Controversy Section[edit]

Given the debate over the 'CUCA controversies' section, I thought it worth saying that I have deleted the section on CUCA going to the PPC. As the Article in Varsity 523 points out, "neither CUCA as a corporate entity, not any of the individuals mentioned in the paragraph complained to the PPC... Andrew Hammond did compalin to the PPC in a personal capacity. The complaint was not adjudicated upon by the PPC."

Selwyn Lloyd was a Liberal at Cambridge, and indeed a Liberal candidate at the 1929 election. Can he really have been a CUCA alumnus as listed here?

I have removed the Pro-Appeasement controversy as views expressed at CUCA speaker meetings have never been deemed normative of the Association simply by virtue of their being said by a guest. CUCA has recently hosted Nigel Farage and Peter Hitchens both of whom urge their audiences not to vote Conservative, and CUCA can hardly be held accountable for their views. Moreover, being pro-appeasement in the 30s was normal, as was discussion of whether or not war was the best foreign policy option. This cannot be considered a "Controversy", since it would not have been controversial at the time. This looks like an attempt to use an historical event out of context to smear CUCA by giving it the taint of appeasement. It is not the same as hosting Powell, which was in itself controversial —Preceding unsigned comment added by TopCatTopToff (talkcontribs) 00:43, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

Controversy section MkII[edit]

This is incredibly badly written and just looks silly. Obviously its one of those things that have been constantly had additions, without trying to make the whole thing look relevant. I'm going to give it a tidy up sometime soon. I'll leave the gist of what's there, but I'm going to cut down the size of the article and remove some of the irrelevant stuff. As Wiki is supposed to be encyclopedic in its nature, I don't think this section as it stands is worthy of that.

I tried to tidy this up, exclude irrelevant information and balance it out, including for instance that the hoax / joke email was a parodic response to previous CULC criticisms of CUCA's elitism. All this was properly referenced. However, it seems to have changed back to the old, clumsy and one-sided version. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 131.111.248.54 (talk) 12:05, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree that some of the controversies are getting a little untidy, especially the "email hoax warning" section, which is becoming a rather convoluted. The facts speak for themselves, reproducing large chunks of various comments on the matter isn't helpful and makes it harder to read.Severe Punishment (talk) 21:04, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

The Email Prank and Warning section is incredibly long and convoluted, not to mention biased on the CULC side, failing to mention the context of the email joke, and including far too much clunky and irrelevant information and quotation. Whenever this is slimmed down, it's repeatedly changed back (presumably by a CULC vigilante) to this amateurish version. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.206.30.43 (talk) 12:11, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes it is rather thick, but it seems to have been cleared out now as "not notable outside CU". Certainly I think the "general press comments" section is worthwhile but I'm not entirely sure that occasional musings in the opinion columns of The Times and of The Guardian' are similar in value to actual news reporting (though Hugh Muir is meticulous in his recording of menus at CUCA dinners). Certainly a number of people have an opinion on CUCA, but unless the person expressing that opinion and/or the person responsible is noteworthy, are these opinions worthy of inclsion? Certainly if Ken Clarke (say) had sent an email mocking CULC it would be worthy of inclusion. Severe Punishment (talk) 08:43, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Similarly, are the comments of a former Chairman anything to do with CUCA? Should they be included? Severe Punishment (talk) 07:35, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Davidm538: I have removed the Homophobia controversy which is pathetically small beer and not suitable for an encyclopaedia. The offending comments were by a former chairman and cannot be taken as representing the views of the Association.

Edit war: Burning money in front of the homeless[edit]

Several contributors have repeatedly re-included personal information in this section which is not only unnecessary, but probably inappropriate in view of present circumstances. Can we please discuss this on the talk page, rather than "edit war", as seems to be happening at the moment. Hayek79 (talk) 01:48, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

@Drchriswilliams: Please stop reverting the changes. Hayek79 (talk) 01:49, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
I became involved on 11 February when I noticed an IP had removed a couple of reliable sources yet had left a press release, so I partially reverted this, leaving out a tabloid link. I then saw further changes made by IP editors which were removing references and made using inaccurate edit summaries or without explanation, so again it seemed appropriate to revert these. The name of the individual involved was widely reported, indeed he was the focus of the petition that followed this incident, for example [1]. I saw another editor had used Huggle the day before to revert unexplained removal of content. I hadn't noticed that this had been preceded by Hayek79 and some IPs making changes over the inclusion or exclusion of a name- again this wasn't clear from the edit summaries and hadn't been raised on the talk page. Drchriswilliams (talk) 21:22, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
  • @Drchriswilliams: The name can be re-included, but I feel it would be a relevant addition for perhaps a few weeks at most. You are right in saying that IPs had been blanking the section or re-writing it in a misleading way - I believe I reverted one such edit, which is why I requested page protection. Hayek79 (talk) 01:37, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
@Hayek79: I'm not particularly arguing for inclusion of the name of the student involved, nor details of the petition (looking closer it only actually links to tabloid coverage and clearly the university is already aware of the incident). The Guardian, for instance, covered the story without naming the individual involved [2]. Drchriswilliams (talk) 08:47, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
@Drchriswilliams: Are we content with how the section reads now, in that case? Hayek79 (talk) 15:06, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
@Hayek79: Yes, I'm content with this. It looks like the description of the petition that had previously been added was also inaccurate. Drchriswilliams (talk) 15:25, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
@Drchriswilliams: Excellent. Hayek79 (talk) 04:27, 15 February 2017 (UTC)