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Trinity Term 1993

This stirring organ comes to you from the moles in the Oxford University Fabian Society, Balliol Left Caucus and the nascent University Left Forum. It aims to fill a gap that many left-wingers here have felt keenly. We hope to become a regular magazine for undergraduates to discuss left-wing issues in an intelligent but informal way, well away from the crude nonsense of the electioneering political clubs.

The biggest problem has been the title. Chris Brooke liked "Schopenhauer and Suicide or Socialism and Struggle", but it was a bit long; "Fifth Column" was not what we wanted. I was just desperate to avoid calling it "Oxford Left Fabian Review", and think that "The Voice of the Turtle" works. It's a quote from the Song of Solomon, and we hope you find the name frivolous and not simply pretentious. If you can think of a better one please suggest it - but puns on 'Left', 'Sinister' and 'Revolution' will be vetoed by the democratically centralised editorial board.

In many ways the contents reflect the sad state of Oxford's undergraduate politics - dominated by PPEists and middle-class middle-aged males. Only four Colleges, Worcester, Merton, Balliol and New College are represented. There are few jokes, and they aren't funny.

But if you don't like what's in it, please try to write something better for the next issue rather than rejecting the whole thing as a waste of time. I am already collecting pieces for a second issue towards the end of term. Do please send letters, replies and more articles to me at Balliol.

Ben Fender.


Lies and Self-Delusion (Hugh Wilkinson)

Crisis: Invastion of the Little Green Men (Ben Fender)

A Reply: Mutually Assured Destruction (Raj Patel)

The Amnesty Lectures (Chris Brooke)

On Anaemic Activists (Ben Dalby)

Maastricht, Still (George Speight)

A Sphinx Without a Riddle: Ben Pimlott on Harold Wilson (Ben Fender)

The Future Begins Now! (Chris Brooke)

Communitarianism: Does it End at Rorty? (James Thompson)







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