Today is the day of The Strike. The day when all our lecturers take a day off to do their essay-marking. The day when the government “insults” striking Border Agency staff by trying to find people to cover their jobs temporarily, rather than just leaving our country’s borders open as usual.
And the day when the Students’ Union advised its members, “When strikes occur on campus it is common for students to show their support by refraining from coming on to campus that day unless it is to join the picket lines.” No word of what happens to those who live on campus. I guess we’re all just blacklegs!
Anyway, I’m pleased to announce that Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan have come back from the dead to produce a little ditty entitled I am the Very Model of a Public-Sector Worker. It’s produced by the d’Oily Cart Opera Company and the recording can be found below while the lyrics are here!
Workers of the world, unite
The Union has actually been very busy indeed; an emergency meeting was called on Friday to discussed a resolution demanding the “immediate release” of a 2nd-year student who’d been unfairly imprisoned for throwing placards at the police during the fee-protests last year. This being a clear and egregious abuse of his right to free protest, the motion was passed and the Lord Chancellor will no doubt read it and then issue a pardon almost immediately!
Just as somebody was proposing a second resolution to support the strike – one of my friends commented, even before this person started speaking, “He looks like a Communist!” – the fire-alarms went off and we all had to evacuate. The proposer and seconder actually claimed that “the Tories” were responsible for triggering the smoke detector. They get full Marx for logical thinking.
Because emergency meetings require a minimum of 450 attendees, the Union opened a stall outside giving away miscellaneous free stuff to anybody who agreed to go in. One of the items was (randomly enough) an Israeli flag, which I thought I’d better take in case someone else took it to burn!
Saved by the Campbell
Sir George Campbell M.P. (right) – see an excerpt from his 1876 book in the last blog-post – has cropped up yet again in my studies, speaking in a Parliamentary debate on Britain’s attitude to her Empire. The government had just announced that Queen Victoria was to take the title ‘Empress of India’ and one Member had just opposed this plan. Then Sir George began his deeply, absurdly, excessively patriotic speech…
What is WRONG with the world? (Part I)
Now that The Badger is established as a respectable rag, I can reveal that I’ve been doing some research for an article about the government e-petition system which was introduced in September – if anypetition gets 100,000 signatures it’s sent to Parliament for a debate. Then that evening, The Now Show stole my idea and featured some stupid petitions. I’ve found a few more, so can now present the list of genuine registered e-petitions; remember, we are sharing a society with these people.
- Replace public sector with smartphone app.
- The English should extend to the people of Ireland as a whole an apology; this should be an apology of a general nature.
- Ban the sparsely used search engine Google.
- (my favourite) Protect airline passengers against hijack by nerve gassing entire cabin.
- Theresa May to be fired as Home Secretary (petition rejected by Home Office)
- Theresa may MUST GO (petition rejected by Home Office)
- Sack Theresa May (petition rejected by Home Office)
- Theresa May must resign or be sacked (petition rejected by Home Office)
- Theresa May is not fit for purpose (petition rejected by Home Office)
The ones which actually reached the signature threshold were the predictable, ‘leave the EU’, ‘ban immigration’, ‘ban foreigners’, ‘bring back hanging’ etc.
What a great government initiative!
Hacking scandal latest: has it reached Sussex?
Sussex newspaper The Badger has “utterly refuted” the allegation that it hacked the voicemail of Drama Studies student Hugh Grant-Committee. The claim was made as evidence to the independent inquiry into ’phone-hacking conducted by Lord Leveson.
In 2009, The Badger published an article which read, “On Monday 14th September, 2:04pm, Hugh received a telephone message…” and Mr Grant-Committee has stated, “The only explanation I can think of is that they accessed my telephone messages.”
Badger editor-in-chief Paul Daycare has flatly denied the allegation, so that’s really all there is to it.
What is WRONG with the world? (Part II)
This week’s In Which Civilisation Officially Bottoms Out Award goes to The Telegraph which published a news story about the following so-called event:
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks wins the De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum Attacking the Dead Prize for blaming all society’s ills on well-known heretic Steve Jobs:
Calling All Workers
On Thursday, The Guardian had a feature on a typical day of a university Porter. Given its headline of “A Working Life” I knew straight away it couldn’t possibly be about my Porter here in Sussex, who on that very day added the following to his collection of signs:
A Christmas Competition (by Charles Dickens?)
This week it was revealed that David Cameron will be sending official Christmas cards to the Prime Minister of Malawi but not to South Africa; to the Presidents of Israel and Palestine but not to Iceland; as well as cards to the Pope and every Prince in the United Arab Emirates – all of whom are devout Baptists, I believe.
This week’s write-in (or ‘comment’) question is, Which nation would you snub, and why?
“Sakoku was the foreign relations policy of Japan under which no foreigner could enter nor could any Japanese leave the country on penalty of death.” [Foreign relations might be a bit of an overstatement?]
“He was put in prison for throwing a placard stick at the police. But he did not throw a placard stick. He threw two halves of a placard stick!” [presumably this speaker at the Union meeting is doing a degree in Advanced Mathematics?]
The teaser-trailer: next time on the blog
How to survive East Sussex for over four days without heating and hot water? Why would a 19th-century MP announce plans to vandalise telephone wires? And just how far could Roger Bannister have run in the amount of time I’ve spent in lectures and seminars this term? Find out all this and more, this time, next week!