We were thrilled to hear Johnny Lawrence was running for SU President again, and we had a lot of questions to ask him about this year’s campaign, as well as what he’s been up to since we last spoke. Johnny, now studying for a Masters in Brain Imaging, turned up to our interview (fashionably late, in true Johnny style) accompanied by friends and campaign team members Frankie and Mia. Here, we find out a bit more about those unusual policies, as well as some of the more ‘traditional’ policies that have found their way on to this year’s manifesto…
Hi Johnny! Great to see you again. What have you been up to since the last election?
Well, I was in Nottingham over summer. I did a show at the Edinburgh Fringe, and Mia and I did a show at the New Theatre. Then we made this campaign video. That should probably bring everything up to about now. I saw you in Ocean one time as well. But I haven’t been this term at all.
Frankie: You just sort of popped up and said hello to me again, and I didn’t know what you wanted. Then…“do you want to help with the campaign?”
Call it cashing in on the skills that were required. Oh, we made another video actually, to enter in to a student video competition. For which we were disqualified for frequent drug references and mild violence. The university just said, “we can’t enter that”.
So that’s been about it. Not very interesting. I feel I should have made up a car chase or something…
So what made you decide to run again?
I just sort of thought, why not? I had a brief outline for a campaign video.
I’ve noticed you’ve done away with the hopping hopper buses, which I’m disappointed about considering we spoke about this in depth. What happened?
I guess new year, new policies. I like to keep it fresh. The manifesto this year is a tiny bit of a mess. But, we’ll go with it!
Well, I was going to say that your policies look a bit more, shall we say…achievable…this year. What’s with the change of direction in your style?
This almost sounds like a really serious interview now – might not have quite the same character as the last…
Well lots of people have said to me, “why don’t you run seriously?” and “you should do this or that”, and some of those points I’ve included this year. When I uploaded the manifesto I was really pressed for time, typing up the serious policies people had suggested, and I thought “Oh, I need some jokes!”
I was a bit unhappy with it to be honest, but when I looked at the other manifestos, I just thought “I have 8 succinct bullet points”, not a lengthy PowerPoint. And when I read through the other candidates’ manifestos I mentally cross out anything that’s on mine, because I think “that took me 5 minutes to come up with, it doesn’t count”.
Mental health services have always been something you’ve cared about. Are the goals you’re proposing this year the same as they were in previous years, or have they changed somewhat?
I know that mental health services here are just rammed with people trying to get an appointment, on 2 month waiting lists. And that’s problematic. There needs to be a stronger system involved with that.
Just like with any problem, normally the solution is there in front of you but it’s way too cost ineffective to implement. Or it’s there already but you need to get people to use it. Like telephone helplines.
You have an interesting policy about public speaking workshops for lecturers. Tell us more!
Well, we’ve all had shit lecturers. I think it’s quite a good point. And it would be cheap to implement too. In fact, I could give the workshops!
That would be very cheap!
Yeah. Well, free.
How do you plan to utilise your body to defend the university? You’re not really big enough.
I’ll inflate myself. It’ll be like in Stingray. Is that a reference that no one will get?
Yeah…well I was picturing like in the Simpsons’ Movie, with the dome?
Yeah. Massive inflatable Jon. Massive inflatable Jonnys!
Frankie: We do have a Johnny Lawrence brand condom.
Do we? With me on them?
Frankie: You signed the forms.
Does my face glow in the dark?
And will you be playing the role of Parry Hotter or will you be auditioning for this?
Well Frankie keeps telling me I look and sound like Daniel Radcliffe.
Frankie: You do look and sound like Daniel Radcliffe. I think you’ll be playing all the major parts, except for Hagrid. Who I will be playing. Shagrid.
Or we could cast. I was thinking we could reset it in Nottingham . So Harry is a boy living in Radford.
…Here, you do look like him a bit (produces Google images of Daniel Radcliffe).
Commence long digression of comparison of the two, involving extensive face-pulling.
I was also once told I look like Charles Manson.
…commence Google Image search of Charles Manson.
So, back to the interview. Who do you consider your biggest rival this year?
Can you go through them again?
Well, there’s a few. YOLO?
Yeah, well I was disappointed with his video with NSTV. He should have just said YOLO for a full minute. YOLOYOLOYOLOYOLOYOLOYOLO. Or just bellowed YOLO as loudly as he could.
This’ll probably be very slow fire…
Marmite, love it or hate it? I use it in small amounts. Too much and it’s gross and dominating. My Granny always used to give it to me when I was ill, a tiny bit on toast with butter.
My mum used to do that! And she’d cut it in to tiny squares. Yes, exactly! Maybe we have the same Grandma!
Well, your Grandma would be my Mum. So…you’re my Mum?
Exactly. If you were a meat, what would you be? A sausage. Everyone loves a sausage. However, I want my head to still be on the end.
Favourite night out? I like a good house party. To be honest, the pre-drinks are the best part of the night out. I hate going out! It’s shit music, shit people, the drinks are expensive! I want to get hammered in front of the TV. PRE-DRINKS.
That’s the most aggressive answer I’ve ever had to that question. Moving swiftly on…Snog, Marry, Avoid of the current SU officers? How many women are there?
Two. Kiri and Chloe. Let’s get that photo of you standing in front of them. Bad Ass.
Here. So take your pick. Hmm. I should base it off people I know, right? Mike, Adam, Chloe and Joe were in the year below me at Raleigh Park and I was their Freshers’ Rep. I should probably marry Adam, as I know him the best. I guess I’d snog Chloe. And avoid, I don’t know, just the rest of them. I copped out, sorry.
One thing you cannot buy own-brand? Johnny Lawrence condoms. And Ketchup. Heinz.
Stuffed crust or not? Up to a couple of weeks ago, I would have said yes. But I had one recently and it was kind of ropey.
Biggest fear? I’ve never been on a proper roller-coaster. Or, I’ve only been on one. And that now has become a fear. It’s probably not my biggest. But it’s one. Also big bugs. Like a big beetle with a shiny shell.
Anything you’d like to add?
Like the video!