Monday, 1 April 2013
EXCLUSIVE: Chowdhury Slams KCL Tories' Bloodbath and Denies Accusations he's a 'Posh Toff'.
Yazdan Chowdhury has been the subject of fierce chatter and speculation over the past week among London Conservatives. After being attacked and then lambasted by his opponents as "pompous" and "horrible" at election hustings that he then went on to lose at the Kings College London (KCL) Conservatives Presidential election.
tbg caught up with Yazdan Chowdhury whilst on a trip to the Middle East and he gives an exclusive interview revealing his side of this past weeks sensational events at the KCL Tories election hustings.
What was for breakfast, Yazdan?
"Well I am on holiday in the Middle East at the moment, so I had some Gawa (Arabic coffee), a few dates and some honey yoghurt."
How do you interpret the events at KCL Tories election hustings last week as reported on tbg?
"Well the first thing to say is that KCL Conservatives is a university society, not a CF branch. Whilst I accept there are several individuals like myself who are members of both, there is some degree of separation between the two. It has been an unfortunate period in KCL Conservative’s history.
"Up until a few weeks ago, we were a small cohesive friendly society putting on events which attracted people from beyond the society and university. Unfortunately recent events have succumbed to the stereotype of student politics which does no one any favours and turns many students off politics all together. Nonetheless, I (and I assume others) have put the last few weeks behind us."
Do you think it was a fair contest?
"The voting itself was fair and clean - people voted the way they did and that I accept. My thanks to James Davenport & Robert Findon, (ex-President, ex-Treasurer and Returning Officers) for having do deal with an unexpectedly difficult election campaign.
"In the run up to the AGM there was intensive campaigning on all sides and in politics where it is the competition of policies, ideas and people, I expected the occasional smear and tough competition from very strong candidates. But it need not have been as personal, nor factually inaccurate (hence why the smear story was responsibly taken down by TBG). It reflected badly on the whole society in the end.
"I would not be surprised if there were more attacks on me for being paralytically inebriated after post-AGM/election drinks (which on this occasion I was) but there we are. From an outsider’s perspectives it would be hard to believe we were of the same politics and party. I think all concerned are willing to put this unfortunate episode behind us."
What’s your favourite fizzy pop beverage?
"Fanta fruit twist if available, otherwise any lemonade, 7up/Sprite etc."
What do you make of the accusations that you are an elitist toff?
"Well I assume this is in relation to me and the East India Club. Firstly, I don’t think I sound posh, look posh (particularly being an ethnic minority which is rare in the Tory party), or act posh. I am what I am, genuine with all I meet - there is no trying to read between the lines with me per se. As a result people are free to think what they want to.
"As for the East India, I use it frequently as the drinks are cheap, food is alright and it is next to the Chatham House library (which I am a member of) which houses all the foreign policy books and journals I need to do my essays for my degree.
"I joined the EIC as it was the cheapest and easiest to join at £60 per year till my 25th birthday. I use the downstairs room to do my essays with free tea, coffee n hot chocolate and it’s a good place to dump my bag, and relax out of the rain/cold before an political event in the evening.
"I was born, raised and still live in Croydon (bar a short stint in Saudi Arabia in my early teens). I am in regular contact with my local association and go campaigning in the microcosm of the UK that is Croydon (which covers 3 parliamentary seats - 1 safe Labour, 1 Tory marginal and 1 safe Tory) so I am acutely aware of doorstep issues.
The only thing that could label me as posh is that I went to a few private schools. And if that is what makes me akin to being ‘posh’ or a ‘toff’ then so be it."
What’s your opinion of the new KCL Tory President Ben Judge?
"Ben Judge is a great guy, he has an impressive record of becoming KCL Student Council chair in his first year. I look forward to the political and social events he and the committee have lined up for the next academic year."
Do you have further ambitions within the Tory Party?
"If by ambition you mean positions, roles or titles then no. But I always have been and always will be a small-c conservative and will for the foreseeable future be a big-C Conservative, having joined the party aged 15.
I will keep attending events with interesting speakers across the centre-right movement and stay in touch with friends I have made along the way."
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