Graeme Obree defeated as Glasgow University students choose Edward Snowden as Rector

NSA whistleblower finishes ahead of Flying Scotsman

by John Stevenson   February 18, 2014  

Graeme Obree Beastie Channel 4 02


Students at Glasgow University have chosen NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden as their new Rector, ahead of former Hour Record holder Graeme Obree.

The election today saw a record turn out as students decided to use the vote to make a political statement and appoint Edward Snowden to the role. The Rector represents the students but is also, ex-officio, the Chairman of the University Court, the body which administers the resources of the University.

Previous incumbents include Winnie Mandela, who at the time was the wife of African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela and Mordechai Vanunu, who in 1986 revealed details of Israel’s nuclear weapons program to the British press and was subsequently abducted and imprisoned.

After the vote was announced at 5pm this evening, Graeme Obree said in a statement:

“I was happy to put myself forward as a candidate to become Rector of Glasgow University and it has been great fun to be involved in the campaigning. I would have been delighted to become a representative of the students and would have been energetic in the role, had I been elected.

“Also, I have no doubts that he other local candidates for Rector, Alan and Kelvin would have been outstanding Rectors, they are passionate and progressive people who would have been great in the role. 

“I have the utmost respect for Edward Snowden, he has made a huge personal sacrifice which must have been a massive choice for him and was the clear favourite as soon as his name was put forward for the role of Rector.”

Obree was briefly a student at the university, attending four months of an engineering design degree before dropping out. He was nominated to the three-year post by two student societies, the Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA) and the the Glasgow University Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Trans, Queer, Plus Society ( GU LGBTQ+). He stood on a platform of promoting sport and diversity, and giving students a vote.

Chris Cassells, Edward Snowden’s spokesman for the Rectorial election campaign, said: “We are delighted to see Edward Snowden elected as the new Rector of the University of Glasgow.

“We have a proud and virtuous tradition of making significant statements through our Rectors and today we have once more championed this idea by proving to the world that we are not apathetic to important issues such as democratic rights.”

David Newall, Secretary of Court at the University of Glasgow, said: “This has been a record turnout for a Rectorial Election and I warmly congratulate Edward Snowden on his success. I would also like to thank Charles Kennedy for the contribution he has made to the University over the last six years.”

Charles Kennedy, the outgoing Rector said, “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve the students of the University of Glasgow for the past six years. The post of Rector is an important one, and I would like to wish my successor all the very best for his term of office.”

9 user comments

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Presumably Mr Snowden was not available for comments. Big Grin

Done Nightrider 2013, 2014 and 2015 for Parkinson's UK. Next year Ride London

jova54's picture

posted by jova54 [663 posts]
18th February 2014 - 20:05


G O should just run for Prime Minister instead.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [891 posts]
18th February 2014 - 20:38


Next time they should settle it on the rollers.

Training is like fighting a gorilla. I've never got around to that either.

posted by SteppenHerring [300 posts]
19th February 2014 - 0:42


Snowden won because he promised to leak the answers to the exam papers.

stenmeister's picture

posted by stenmeister [195 posts]
19th February 2014 - 9:26


That is sad. It is a sad reflection on the modern mentality of jumping on every trendy bandwagon.


posted by Grizzerly [210 posts]
19th February 2014 - 9:29


Commendable stance, but does that really mean they have no rector, I wouldn't see Edward Snowden being all that involved in the day to day running.
The Winnie Mandela is probably downplayed a little these days.

posted by lolol [176 posts]
19th February 2014 - 11:24


So is Edward Snowden living in Scotland now ? I am sure he will do a good job where ever he lives.

I know it's a selfish comment but this is great news for the rest of us. If Graeme had got the post we all know he would have put a lot of energy into it.

Now that he knows he hasn't got the post he can apply his energy and enthusiasm to more cycling related things.

So it's a win for cycling Smile or maybe something else..... time will tell. One thing is for sure there's a lot of people that want to know what Graeme is going to do next Smile

Rupert's picture

posted by Rupert [171 posts]
19th February 2014 - 15:14


Graeme, seek Asylum in Buchanan Bus Station, next time, this seems to win you the vote.

The se appointments are often overly left wing things if you ask me, G O was a more obvious and enthusiastic candidate, it's the students loss.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [891 posts]
19th February 2014 - 20:03


Flying Scot wrote:
The se appointments are often overly left wing things if you ask me, G O was a more obvious and enthusiastic candidate, it's the students loss.

Snowden left wing? He's a libertarian who supports Ron Paul!

posted by lc1981 [56 posts]
20th February 2014 - 11:22