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The Manning Files – Week 1, Semester 1, 2014

A plague on both your houses In the diary of every campus hack the day of the annual Liberal vs. Labor debate is circled harder than any other. The topic for this year’s debate was “that the Abbott Government has it right on ‘stopping the boats’”. Seconds into Kanika Batra’s opening comments, from the Liberal…

manning-files

manning-files

A plague on both your houses

In the diary of every campus hack the day of the annual Liberal vs. Labor debate is circled harder than any other. The topic for this year’s debate was “that the Abbott Government has it right on ‘stopping the boats’”.

Seconds into Kanika Batra’s opening comments, from the Liberal side, a number of attendees walked to the front of the stage with banners in tow, all but drowning out her voice with chanting. The objections to Labor’s speakers were slightly muted in comparison but very much still present.

“It was imperative that we disrupted the debate and demonstrated to new students that our university is a place where one can transcend the dogma and resist its adherents,” said Ed McMahon, one of the protestors.

“I strongly disagree with their intimidating shaming/silencing tactics,” said Batra. “I support their right to have an opinion and express it – but to actively drown out any opposition is absolutely ridiculous.”

A number of onlookers ironically joined the demonstration, including a Vodafone promoter who was dressed as a Mexican wrestler for some stupid reason. Campus security dispersed the protestors by the time Labor’s second speaker Nikhil Mishra took to the stage.

These aren’t the Mon Droits you’re looking for

O-week also saw the launch of the new campus publication Mon Droit, a monthly newspaper edited by Sydney University Liberal Club Vice President William Dawes and written up by a who’s who of USyd Liberals.

“We ultimately aim to be the most circulated publication on campus,” said Dawes. “The Left on campus have traditionally used Honi Soit to disseminate their views to the detriment of all others. Mon Droit is a mechanism with which to swing the pendulum back to the sensible centre.”

Highlights from this issue include Jennifer Zin’s account of democracy in Asia (“It was about three weeks ago that I found myself enjoying Capitalism in the centre of Bangkok’s busiest shopping districts”) and Dawes’ supersized three-page profile of John Howard.

However, Honi received one insult in Mon Droit’s pages that must be addressed; in his page two article Ignatius P. Wentworth claims that Mon Droit is the only clean-shaven, soap-promoting publication on campus. Let us assure you, dear readers, that the editors of Honi Soit fully support the use of soap and admire its cleansing and aromatic properties. We just haven’t had the chance to spruik it until now.