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I decided to introduce a touch of frivolity into my otherwise drab life last Wednesday so left Brighton frightfully early to go and spend a day watching the Leveson Inquiry. Such fun!
All stand. Short Jewish Lord enters the room from behind the desk, sits down on throne-like chair. Everyone choruses, “Good morning Lord Sugar/Leveson.” Him and his assistants Nick and Carine help to make mincemeat of the poor souls in front of them. And so on and so on.
One of the witnesses was Lord Reid of Cardowan. As the humble Rt. Hon. Dr John Reid MP, he was Home Secretary when the first hacking revelations came out in 2006. But he didn’t know about them because, on the day when the first arrests were made, he had a doctor’s appointment. Yes, that is actually what he said. Though he didn’t have a note from his mum so I don’t believe a word of it.
Even though I wasn’t there, the following two days were especially dramatic. It was revealed that one of Murdoch’s henchmen, a Frenchman henchman called Fred Michel, had exchanged thousands of irritatingly jocular text messages (“Merci papa!”) with Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt and Hunt’s advisor Adam Smith – who has now resigned even though it wasn’t really his fault.
However, I thought that there must be something serious going on, what with the amount of communication between Hunt and Michel. And how right I was. To express his feelings, Michel has kindly written a song for us, and has permitted me to publish it provided that it’s not sung in an unrealistic French accent. So I don’t even have that to excuse my excruciating high notes, but nevertheless:
Finally, the biography of one member of the Inquiry Team reads, “She has held various management roles including the Masters’ Support Unit.” A traitor to the human race! So, Earthlings: basically, er… end of the world! Here come the drums!
Schoolchildren taking their GCSE Religious Studies paper last week would have been slightly flummoxed by the question:
On the Times Educational Supplement online forum, one bamboozled RE teacher asked for sample answers. One reply suggested that pupils should go for “the money-lending angle.” #communitycohesion
On a more positive note, would you like to watch the Department for Education’s official Exam Invigilator Training Video on what to do when a mobile ’phone goes off in an exam? Thought so.
I was also surprised to find that a past exam paper for one of my courses seems to be bizarrely profligate with exclamation marks, eg., ‘Mildly controversial statement.’ Discuss! (30 marks)
Almost without President
On their American extravaganza, m’parents splashed out $2 on an early edition of a law lecturer’s memoirs. It was terribly out of date though:
Education, education, education?
The Sussex Students’ Union has been nominated for the prestigious (?) NUS Students’ Union of the Year Award. Apparently we’re “a leading organisation in the fields of student participation, representation and engagement.” Presumably nobody told the NUS about our annual general meeting being 400 students short of its quorum of 450…
There was another anti-outsourcing-anti-capitalism-anti-everything protest last Thursday, which the Porter attended after putting up a sign in his office reading ‘Porter away doing maintenence’ (!) and to be fair, though the chant of, “Cuts, job losses, money for the bosses,” wasn’t terribly musical, it actually made this reasonable point to which a placard drew my attention:
“The protest banner on top of Sussex House is still there! They need Health and Safety [one of the units threatened with outsourcing] to clear them to take it down, and that could take up to two weeks…” [Strange, that!]
“We need to get photos of the University management. We need to be clear that these are actual people with horrible biographies.”
“It’s very difficult when you have three trade unions because we all have different views. Unison and Unite have agreed to respect each others’ roles.” [Hence the words ‘Unison’ and ‘Unite’ then?]
“Make a spectacle at the Graduation Ceremony!”
“Crash the bloody meeting and take the p*ss out of Farthing from here til Sunday.” [Since Security is another unit on the death-list they presumably won’t be interfering?]
Watch this space
We’re just days away from Her Maj’s 60th Diamond Jubilee (Are you sure about this? -Ed.) so keep an eye out for the much heralded Gabrielquotes Diamond Jubilee Special!