I’m Sussex, I Haven’t a Clue

sussex-professor-michael-davies-disciplinary-hearingsSussex defintely doesn’t have a clue but it’s definitely the antidote to [disciplinary] panel games!

Yes; it’s not even Lent but Sussex University has begun self-flagelating, by yet again contriving to be publicly humiliated in all the major news outlets (eg. Times Higher Ed., Guardian).

A model of propriety: DVC Michael Davies smiling impartially
‘Biased as hell’: DVC Michael Davies even shares a name with Farthing

Last Friday’s disciplinary hearings, in which four students faced expulsion for publicly disagreeing with the University’s outsourcing project, collapsed entirely after human rights barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC – representing the students free of charge – forced the panel to disband after pointing out that the chair, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof. Michael Davies, was blatantly biased.

Davies, who works on the team that proposed outsourcing on the first place, was specially chosen to chair the panel by Vice-Chancellor Prof. Michael Farthing – part of the same team – and during last year’s occupation, gave a radio interview to BBC Sussex in which he criticised the protestors in no uncertain terms. This obviously made him an ideal candidate to chair an impartial investigation into the conduct of those protests.

In a press statement released on Friday evening (I really do feel sorry for the poor press officers who get lumbered having to defend all this crap) the University decided to dig its hole slightly deeper by vowing to continue the disciplinary proceedings with a new chair.

Why didn’t they just say ‘we’re considering our position’ and leave the door open to a quiet climbdown?

The students had previously been indefinitely suspended pending “disciplinary proceedings that may be brought”. (You mean Lord Rennard, shurely? -Ed.)

Competition time: who should Michael Farthing appoint to be the next chair of the disciplinary panels? Suggestions received so far include: himself; the Managing Director of our new outsourced catering provider Chartwells; Pol Pot; and Mary Morstan (died October 1972).

Cruising for a bruising

Ryanair-to-cut-jobs-in-Ma-001[1]Ryanair passengers “behaved like animals” this week when their journey from Morocco to France was delayed by over 20 hours. “Barbaric” customers raided the drinks trolley and stole duty free cigarettes, according to The Independent. Well, that’s one form of passenger feedback.

That ‘Aviation Enthusiasts’ Radio Times’ in full:

  • This Is Your Liferaft
  • Altitude, Altitude, Altitude
  • A Day in the Life of an Air Crew [pilot episode]
  • Hobson’s Vegetarian Choice
  • An easyJet special of You Aren’t Being Served
  • The OneWorld Partner is Not Enough
  • The Last Stansted
  • Never Mind the Bus Chocks
  • The Case of Sherlock Holmes
  • In an episode where the captain helps his first officer to navigate a tricky headland, it’s Call My Bluff
  • Lord of the Fly
  • And if you look outside the aeroplane, you’ll see Sky Plus

(That’s enough aviation programmes. -Ryan)

In defence of David Cameron


In the past, this blog may have given the impression that David Cameron is an upper-class bigot, a self-serving excuse for a politician and a scumbag interested only in lining his own pockets.

Cameron receiving orders from above to bring about a plague of hail
Cameron receiving orders from above to bring about a plague of hail

However, following accusations from a UKIP councillor that “it is the Prime Minister’s fault that large swathes of the nation have been afflicted by storms”, I must now apologise and admit that Cameron is a masterful leader, an inspiration to us all and had a father who loved Britain – although not the British tax system.

The bizarre accusation has been made by David Sylvester, a UKIP councillor in Henley-on-Thames, who told his local paper, “I wrote to David Cameron in April 2012 to warn him that disasters would accompany the passage of his same-sex marriage Bill, but he went ahead”.

“The scriptures make it abundantly clear”, wrote Sylvester, “that a Christian nation that abandons its faith will be beset by natural disasters”.

It was shortly after his letter in April 2012 that UKIP enjoyed record local election results, the greatest natural disaster of them all; so perhaps there’s something in it after all.


Anti-Semitism in football

From the river to FC, the ref and players must be free.
From the river to FC, the ref and players must be free.

No, it’s not Anelka this time, but the Chilean team Palestino FC. Originally founded by a group of Palestinian immigrants, they’ve been causing controversy this week after their new kits displayed the numeral ‘1’ in an unusual font (see picture).

Chile, which is home to the largest Palestinian community in a non-Arab country (who knew?) has been rocked with controversy as Jewish leaders condemned the kit.

One dubbed it “a lousy form of political violence,” and diplomats from the Chilean Embassy in Israel have been summoned to speak to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Storms and teacups much?

Police pleb scandal II: latest

katy bourne plebs

Five of the best

Your panellists were…
As the Vice-Chancellor of time evicts the occupation of destiny, and the tuition fees of fate are put towards the legal costs of eternity, I notice it’s the end of the blog post; so from Samantha, myself and the fine folk of Falmer it’s goodbye.
In tonight’s episode, Professor Farthing, David Sylvester, Nigel Farage and David Cameron were being given silly things to do by your chairman, Michael Davies, with Colin Sell-off setting some of them to music. The programme consultant was Humphrey Lyttleton and this was an Gabrielquotes production!


  1. Point of information: Prof..Michael Davies only joined Sussex in January 2013, long after the outsourcing project was initiated, which was in May 2012.

    1. Indeed; I only said that he was a part of the *team* (the Vice Chancellor’s Executive Group) that proposed outsourcing. Since Davies came to Sussex, he has been an active proponent of outsourcing.

      For example, the minutes of VCEG from 25 March 2013 – anyone remember that day at all? – record that some unspecified outsourcing-related “proposals were discussed and given general agreement”. Davies would have been included in that.

      1. You wrote that Prof. Davies “worked on the team that proposed outsourcing on the first place”…which is inaccurate.

        1. Thank you for pointing out my mis-typed tense, which I have now amended to the present tense.

          Cf. “David Cameron leads the party that signed the European Convention on Human Rights in the 1950s”.

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