- Learning how to use a blog
- Blackmailing a sitting Chief Rabbi into attending Limmud for the first time ever
- Preventing the King of Jordan from speaking at a Board of Deputies event
- Plagiarising the phrase “The United Kingdom” and (nearly) getting away with it
- Becoming the 6,521,801st-most visited website on the entire internet
- Causing the collapse of Sussex’s multi-million pound Jubilee Building with the force of my anger at it being allocated to the Business department rather than Politics
- Securing the defeat of Ken Livingstone (I think you will find that was me. -GC)
- Having dance instructor and part-time Police Commissioner Katy Bourne questioned by MPs about a document I leaked to them
- Liberalising the Code of Practice on Noise from Ice-Cream Van Chimes Etc.
- Embarassing the University of Sussex into rescinding the suspension of five students
- Ensuring that the clock at Brighton station was fitted with some, erm, hands
- Bringing interfaith relations to Sussex by merging Ramadan with Shabbat
- Introducing Eastbourne’s Cllr Tom Liddiard to the concept of watching the road while driving
- Exposing what really goes on in Sussex University Senate meetings
- Discovering that Sir Lawrence Freedman moonlights as an actor on Seinfeld
Sussex’s latest hard-to-resist offering
Sussex University, in its wisdom, has established a Centre of Resistance Studies within the History department.
The Centre will offer modules including The Use of Injunctions to Quell Protests, 2012-14 and The Suspension of Gandhi From India Under Regulation 7. Students will take occasional field trips to venues such as Library Square, Bramber House and Arts C.
Vice-Chancellor Field Marshal Michael Farthing said, “We’re very pleased with our new Centre for Resistance Studies. Hopefully it will give us an opportunity, as with all academic disciplines, not only to research resistance in the past but also – and this is what excites me most – to define the shape of resistance in the future, both nationally and locally.”
Then he did a sinister cackle.
The Prime Minister had a very important transatlantic teleconference last week, about the crisis in the Ukraine, and he kindly patched me in (see picture). It wasn’t actually that interesting, they were mainly talking about world-changing events in international relations and stuff.
But what most people don’t know is that the first time Barak tried calling, he went through to voicemail. Here’s what he said in his Obamaphone message.
- “Margaret Thatcher would have pressed the nuclear button. Mahatma Gandhi wouldn’t.”
- “Chinese Communism was radically different from Russian Communism because the Chinese don’t need to eat meat, they can just eat cabbage. The Chinese have 29 different ways of preserving cabbage. Start eating cabbage: it’s the beginning of the whole story.”
- “It’s obvious: the 1970s were after the 1960s.”
- “The fall of the Berlin Wall, 9th November 2009.”
- “Hobbes wasn’t writing about our modern, contemporary world. Because he couldn’t.”
- “Sartori wrote Parties & Party Systems Volume 1 in 1978. He also wrote Volume 2 but he left it in a taxi.”
- “In International Relations, you need to think about past, present and future. Next week we’re going to be looking at the future: the rise of fascism in the 1930s […] Why are you laughing, Gabriel?”
Professionalism and subject knowledge
- “China, Japan, North Korea and South Korea. These are the three countries I’m going to focus on.”
- “They’re European or German or French or something like that.”
- “What is International Relations? I was once asked that question in a job interview. Mind you, I didn’t get the job.”
- “This is a map of East Asia. But what countries can’t we see? We certainly can’t see Mexico.”
- “I think the Six Day War happened in the 1960s or something.”
- Lecturer: “There’s that… thing… in town… What do you call that big thing in town?” / Student: “The Pavilion?” / Lecturer: “Yes, that’s it.”
- “Does anyone want to say anything about the Vietnam War or share their plans for the holidays or anything?”
- “In last week’s fast feedback exercise, a lot of you wanted the lectures to be ‘more dynamic’, and I kind of know what you mean.” [Wears loud shirt, starts clicking and bouncing.]
I’m sorry, I’ll read that again
- “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!”
- “This module is primarily built around the threat or use of violence.”
- “Your essays need to be as straightforward as British fish. You know what I mean?”
- “There is no such thing as silly questions but there is a lot of problems that can come out of those questions if they are not left unanswered.”
- “I apologise for having to cancel my office hour last week. I strongly advise you to stay away from the seafood salad sandwiches.” (Should have gone to Chartwells! -Ed.)
- “The French were trying to squeeze the German lemon.”
- “This is debateable, for want of a better word. Well not for want of a better word, but for lack of a will to use a better word.”
- [IT engineer fixes computer at the start of a British Political History lecture; then the lecturer says…] “No, do stay: you may learn something!” [dirty look from IT engineer]
- “We’re not just trying to bring these two spheres together and bridge them. We’re trying to create a new species.”
- [Tutor presses lightswitch. Nothing happens.] “Are you f***ing sh**ting me? Excuse my French: sometimes you just have to use barbarisms.”
- “I expected Germany to talk about Europe a lot more than could have been expected.”
- “I hope you find this to be satisfactory and that the matter is not fully dealt with.”
- “The event will be from 7-9pm at a venture in Baker Street.”
- “The affair with Edwina Currie was portrayed by most newspapers as a major story.”
- “No-one should talk in absolutes.”
- Tutor: “I saw a peacock on campus this morning!” / Me: “I saw a badger the other night.” / Tutor: “A badger? Have you ever seen anything more exotic? Like a porcupine?” / Me: “What?”
- “We’re all so over-determined to be alive. If we don’t eat, we’re going to die. If we didn’t have chairs in here, we’re probably going to lie down.”
Five of the best
- The Independent: Penguins in jumpers – quite adorable and thus worth a quick procrastinate.
- Union of Jewish Students: Jewniversity Challenge continues – how Brighton & Sussex JSoc came to national attention!
- BBC News: North Korean elections celebrated in rhyme – why didn’t Sussex think of that??
- Buzzfeed: 41 things that will fill every control freak with uncontrollable rage – notwithstanding the irony in the title, it’s quite right!
- The Telegraph: US teenager sues parents for ‘refusing to pay’ for her university education – talk about privatising the loan book…