OXFORD'S COMPASS POINTS LEFT

I want to make sure that for each of you, Compass Youth can be exciting and rewarding. I want you to be able to have your say and do something about it with others where you are. That's why I'm really excited about another local group launching this Friday. After Norwich, I would like to welcome the launch of our new local group in Oxford.

Over to the local coordinator, Jeremy Cliffe:

"The Spanish writer Javier Marías once described Oxford as “a static city preserved in syrup”. He had a point. Attributes of change, progress and radicalism, easily applied to red brick university cities, do not sit so comfortably alongside the images of ancient quads and arcane ritual that grace tourist brochure after film set after souvenir tea towel. Politically, Oxford is wedged between Witney, the true-blue constituency of David Cameron, and Henley, BoJo's former parliamentary fiefdom. It is the Bullingdonian cradle of the dominant duo of today’s Conservative Party.

Yet Oxford also has a
distinctly left-of-centre political profile. Labour is the largest party on the City Council, followed by the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and the Independent Working Class Association. It is an important seat of progressive thought, home to two world-class universities and a number of prominent NGOs. Oxford University has a vibrant Labour Club, as well as prominent Liberal Democrat and Green movements and numerous other student and academic groups devoted to environmentalism, social justice and equality.

From Friday 16th October, there is a new ingredient in the mixture. Compass Oxford seeks to draw on the city's unique political and cultural profile to contribute to the renewal of the democratic left. It will hold a series of events in and around the city, harnessing the varied backgrounds and viewpoints of progressives in Oxford by bringing together figures from the left-of-centre political parties with academics, journalists, NGOs and non-affiliated students and local residents. The aim of the exercise is to create a lean, mean campaigning machine for left-wing issues in and around Oxford - and a uniquely open and bipartisan forum for debate.


For the coming months Compass Oxford has planned speakers, discussions, panel debates, political visits and social events, involving a number of high-profile political and cultural figures active on the local, national and international stages. Events will feature discussions on what ‘the left’ means today, on the viability of a more plural progressive movement, on campaign strategies for the upcoming general election and on thematic issues such as the environment, gender and social justice.


After all, beyond its picture postcard façade, Oxford really is more than just a tourist destination. It is a living city fizzling with energy and new ideas, a left-liberal oasis in an otherwise conservative part of the country. Progressives - be they students, academics or local residents - have good reason to be proud of this environment. It is with this conviction that Compass Oxford will be launched, at 7:30pm on Friday 16th October in the Rainolds Room in Corpus Christi College. All are welcome."


Jeremy Cliffe, Oxford Compass Youth Coordinator

For more details click here.

If you're interested in setting up a local group or would like Compass Youth to come and speak where you are, contact me now at youthchair@compassonline.org.uk.

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