Playing at Politics – The Documentary

The Oxford Union Synopsis Glamour – ambition – fame – despair. You meet them all at the Oxford Union, the most prestigious student debating society in the world. The Oxford Union has been the training ground for a parade of the greatest names in British politics, and guest speakers have ranged from Michael Jackson to Bill Clinton and from Malcolm X to the Queen. The Oxford Union is proud of its traditions as a hothouse training ground of British and global political talent.Yet behind the black-tie debates and the white-tie dinners lurks a world of political intrigue ? backstabbing, strategising, and betrayal. This film throws open the hallowed portals of the Oxford Union and takes the audience right into the heart of the campaigning, as we follow one student in his quest to become President of the society. The rewards are great – those who become President of the will be the most sought-after graduates of their generation. But the risks are great too – for running a full-blown election campaign means sacrificing work and even social life. As we join our candidate through the highs and lows of his campaign, we gain an insight into the Union itself, an institution hailed as the place where much of the British establishment first learned the tricks of the trade. We hear from MPs and other guest speakers who visit the Union. Along the way, we examine the nature of British political ideology itself. What kind of person succeeds in British politics? What do they need to do to win elections? What goes on behind the scenes?

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