Clearing Interview at the University of Weeengland

‘Good morning. Is that Aileen. Yes, so good to talk to you. I’m calling from the University of Weeengland. We missed each other yesterday. I know you phoned eight times. So sorry…but my colleagues insist on taking a summer holiday. Most inconvenient for you. Of course I will offer you a place Aileen…of course.. but we do insist on a formal interview. We have limited places available on this prestigious degree course, and this must be the right decision for both of us. What was that Aileen…why are we in clearing if this is a prestigious course…and you don’t give a toss about me…Well that’s because of government policy Alex…sorry Aileen. Nothing to do with us. We have six places left, only six…no I am not lying. You could be one of those six. We can enhance you Aileen, if you are willing to seize the day. So, are you ready for the interview? What? It’s a bit early, you need some breakfast. Right, Aileen. You realise that you will lose this unique…no no of course I don’t want to reject you Aileen. Yes, yes I once worked at McDonalds too … the customer is always right, much as I hate to say it Aileen, the customer is always right. What? You don’t have the time to bother with an interview. Three A – levels, D, D, C. Well that is above our specially enhanced reduced point score clearing offer. Your coffee is getting cold?? Well Aileen, that was an excellent interview. You have obviously mastered interview techniques. You have a keen sense of opportunity, a crucial skill in this market. Aileen, I am pleased to offer you a place at the University of Weeengland. You are an ideal candidate for our seminar based degree programmes, talkative and engaging…excuse me…you don’t want to do seminars? You prefer to listen in lectures, not to speak in seminars. You prefer passive learning, especially as this is something you are purchasing. I understand Aileen…and as little writing as possible….you will go elsewhere… Well Aileen. Thank you for your time. I am here if you need me. My email address…sorry I forgot your cold coffee. Ok then. You are an ideal candidate Aileen. We are very sorry to lose you. Goodbye.’

15 August 2014

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University of Weeengland Reorganisation

Message from the Vice-Chancellor

Professor DW Woodley has resigned as Vice Chancellor of the University of Weeengland. He abused his position and will be prosecuted for financial, sexual and administrative improprieties. Many suffered at his hands. Others enjoyed his largesse, his desk, and his favours. However, I come to bury Woodley not to praise him. The University of Weeengland will survive. It is incumbent upon us to service all our clients, to deliver relevant courses, to invest in the future. As Vice Chancellor I will take difficult decisions – about staffing, about building developments, about the shape and size of our student body, about our work with the business community. This year we will penetrate new markets. We will achieve every target we set. In short I will put Weeengland back on the global map. To this end I have made four decisions:

1. Every one of you is a human resource. The University of Weeengland will maximise your potential. Equalities legislation requires that staff on the same grade perform comparable jobs. Our partners Capital Academicians have developed role profiles for every grade. Each role profile standardises contact hours, research outcomes and administrative contribution. You have not realised your potential. Our theme for this academic year – ‘Realising Our Potential: Transforming the University of Weeengland’ – will enhance every employee with a personalised regime for self-development. Your Head of School will be in contact.

2. The five-year plan approved by the Board of Governors sets out this ambition. The University will engage all major corporate stakeholders in this city. To do this we must break the stranglehold of academics over teaching and course delivery. Real world experience is what makes education tick. Many of you clutch on to an ideal of academic integrity better suited to the medieval cloister. Academics should be pioneers of future enterprise. Students learn so that they can work. We work so that they can learn…but we have forgotten about the real world of work, the world where knowledge is applied, where impact happens. Our partners Capital Academicians will invest in your courses, so that your courses can invest in our students. In the academic world to come students are our stock market. We must invest in this future, and maximise the potential of our capital;

3. In every sphere of University life we must  evaluate costs and then cut them so as to maximise profit. Sussex University is  an inspiration in this respect. I object to the squalid detail of student rooms being rented out for sex. However we must not miss the lesson of this strange story: even the student bed can yield profit. In the academic year 2014-15 all costs will be reforged as positive values. Ask yourself some questions: how much profit can we extract from our estate? How much profit can we extract from our specialist facilities? How much do you cost the University? You will become a positive asset. HR will apply a fool-proof mathematical formula to help you enter the positive values column. You will bring in research income. You will consult for companies, the public and the media. You will recruit more students. Your time is our money and we will update your value on a monthly basis;

4. We live in a fast changing world. Capitalism ‘strips of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage labourers.” So said Karl Marx. He was wrong about the University. Here we reinvent tradition. Here we preserve ancient rites and ancient rights as if they were sacred. The University is the last outpost of recidivist values. The time has come to take a scythe to tradition. The free market revolution has reached the hallowed halls of academia. Embrace this world of opportunity! You are competing with every other University in Britain, every University in the world. We are also competing with each other. The success of one department is the failure of another. As your Vice-Chancellor I do not care what courses you deliver. I do not care if students leave as doctors, as devout Christians or as Trotskyite lunatics. What is important is that they pay, that they choose Weeengland, that they respond to our message. You are the new evangelists of higher education. We can do this, together.

This is an important moment in our institutional history and for higher education more generally. We stand before difficult future challenges but our evolving core values are part of a distinctive institutional mission. We believe in socially purposeful education. We want to enrich this mission with enlightenment. Our recent achievements will nourish the soil of future fertility in these challenging times. Our roots are deep and although this will not be easy I feel confident that my enhanced personal and institutional development plan will ensure we prosper. I am the woman for this daunting job.

Professor Roberta Rainsford

Vice-Chancellor, The University of Weeengland






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In Memory of Ernesto Laclau


In Memory of Ernesto Laclau

I first met Ernesto Laclau in 1992, in Johannesburg. I was an MA student, studying politics intent on changing the world not merely interpreting it. I struggled though, with party lines, with party discipline, with Marxist theory, and with party hacks who refused even to ask, never mind address, the difficult questions. In the context of apartheid Marxism was the only political discourse which provided both a revolutionary rejection of, and a serious conceptualisation of, the apartheid regime. Knowledge and power fused all too easily in the language of student activists. Those who asked awkward questions were re-educated against residual bourgeois prejudices. In 1989 I read Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. It made sense of my groping attempts to fuse a commitment to the left, with a language and a politics bereft of the politics of certainty, a certainty which rendered so much of the Marxism…

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Advice to Michael Farthing, VC of Sussex, from VC of Weeengland

Dear  Michael,

Your University is an advert for the worst excesses of UK higher education.  You dare to permit radical, smelly, drug imbibing, hippy insurgents to seize control of Bramber House, and hold your campus hostage to their anarchist demands. They now control the news agenda, and are undermining the revolutionary changes to Higher Education which I introduced at Weeengland. Their actions are grist to the mill of agitators everywhere.

I write neither to praise, nor to bury you, Michael, but this evil, unless exorcised, will live on, long after you. The good – your revolutionary plans to privatise all services – will be interred with your bones. You and I are honourable men. Some say we are ambitious, seeking fortune by ransoming out laundry provision, security services, estates, waste disposal, catering and risk assessment. If this is ambition then it is a mantle we should wear like the laurel wreaths of old. Michael, these brutish beasts deserve no better than the pentobarbitol administered to my dog. I trust that this advice will not be unwelcome. Sometimes friends need to gently coax each other back on to right path. Malcolm (at London Met), David (at Birmingham), you (at Sussex) and I (at Weeengland) are  four musketeers transforming HE in England. Unsheath your sword Michael, harden your resolve. Act now! Let us answer Lenin’s question: what is to be done?

1. Your University is a private legal entity. As such you have full property rights over the land, the property, and over rights of passage and entry to all buildings. You have obviously failed in your obligation to operationalise these rights. These protestors have rendered your campus a flea pit, unfit for human habitation. They should be served notice of your intention to exclude them from the University. Once you have exercised your executive powers you can treat them as common criminals, trespassers, and subject them to the sacred violence which is the law.

2. It is unfortunate that you have not yet privatised your security forces. Privatise your security operations immediately (our trusted partner is Armscorp). This does take some time but there is a fall back position. Police are the trusted allies of property rights.  Call your local commander, take him to dinner, and after sherry agree on a strategy for the removal of these fleas. I particularly enjoy watching these removals from my vantage point high up in the VC’s tower, as I pace to and fro planning the smooth implementation of our new business model.

3. Starve them. You have no obligation whatsoever to provide water or food to those who could eat if they went home. It is very important that you use Health and Safety legislation appropriately in these circumstances. A university building is not a residence. You would be in breach of safety regulations if you allowed food or liquids to be eaten, prepared or distributed in an inappropriate fashion. This is an excellent holding strategy while you butter up the constabulary. As a doctor, an expert in gastrenterology, you are  all too aware of the risks associated with the distribution of food in these circumstances. If these vermin choose not to eat it is of their own volition. Do not taint yourself with the charge of violating agreed Health and Safety standards. Our risk assessment expert can, for a price, provide a report proving that the provision of food and water is in breach of EU regulations.

4. Occupiers should not have access to toilet or washroom facilities. Such access prolongs the occupation. It is a cost which Universities can ill afford. This may sound like an extreme proposal, but reminding the privileged, bourgeois revolutionary prats that access to the simple bare necessities is easily withdrawn quickly breaks the will of the group. Revolutionaries cannot endure constipation, diarrhea is their modus operandi.

5. Under no circumstances must you allow these prolix children of the internet age access to digital technologies. Desperation for the toilet will drive a few of them out, but their desperation to communicate verges on diarrhea. Cutting all access to the internet and to electrical power – in effect constipating their most profound urges – will incite passions which necessitate that they leave of their own volition. They all suffer from communicative diarrhea. Your duty is to ensure that there is only one anal fissure through which they can find relief.

6. If all else fails deploy the nuclear option. This strategy is a little like introducing a virus to the gastric system, and it can take one of two forms. The first strategy spreads ill founded rumours that there is a spy in the group. Normally the spy is male, aged 24 or so, has had sex with one or more of the occupiers, and is secretly feeding you with information about the group. Such rumours spread like wildfire especially if they originate from within the Student’s Union.

My preferred option is to present the occupiers as a terrorist threat to the University, to the whole of Sussex, and indeed to the moral fibre of the nation. You will destroy the life of at least one protestor if you carry this through. Identify the Islamist radical, release titbits of information to the press, contact Scotland yard. You might note that you cannot be certain about what has happened to certain chemical substances, now missing from the the chemistry lab. This strategy has many virtues. You will look like a moral crusader (make certain to differentiate good from bad muslims in all public speeches, and rescind the exclusion of one or two of the banned students, explaining that they are no longer misled.) You may even persuade John Kerry to join you in your fight against the terrorists destroying western civilisation. He needs a soap box, and you have an international reputation to defend. I can visualise the two of you waving at the adoring crowds, having saved the civilised people of Sussex from these nasty fanatics.

Michael, the time has come to act decisively. You are a gastroenterologist, a man who knows all about the hidden passages, the blockages, the comings and goings of bile. Put your gastric juices to work Michael, eliminate these vile protuberances from university life, once and for all.

Yours sincerely,

Professor, Dr, Sir DW Woodley,

Vice Chancellor of Weeengland

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Dear Colleagues and Students,

Some time ago I emailed a version of this call to resistance. We at WEEENGLAND have experienced the cutting edge of the outsourcing revolution, so we understand what Farthing’s robber barons are up to. Philosophers have a duty to leave these penny farthing ideas where they belong, on the dust bin of history. This is what you can do!

If you think that Philosophy is about preparation for work then go and study PPE at Oxford. This ‘illustrious’ degree prepares you for power. Former graduates include David Cameron, Anne Widdecombe, Danny Alexander, Chris Huhne, the Millibands, David Willetts, Ed Balls, Elizabeth Truss…you get the idea. They graduated with a sense of entitlement, silver spoons protruding from their asses. However, they know nothing about philosophy. The graduates of PPE at Oxford and their haughty predecessors, privatised Britain. Their acolytes have continued this process at Weeengland, and they are entering the corridors of your institution today. Dear undergraduate student I do not wish to give you nightmares but to study philosophy is to enter a war zone. As a Professor of Moral Philosophy it is my duty to warn you: philosophy is war by other means. If you know the stakes then you can take sides. If you do not, well you know what they say about crossfire. In fact, why not  ask our Vice Chancellor. He goes to bed with Armscorp rifles up his arse.

What is at stake? It is simple: the University, once a public good, has been redesigned as an asset, with cash value; the student once a learner is now a consumer, a worker and a debtor; knowledge, once a virtue in itself, is now a commodity controlled through intellectual property rights. In this world you have choices and you can act, but none of your acts will be ethical. Those who claim to act ethically are corrupt liars whom you must never trust. Consider the options and consider their shortcomings:

  • You can sell out. Alex Witherspoon, Head of Philosophy at Weeengland, has sold his life, sold his ideals, sold his friends and sold his colleagues. Remind him of this when he introduces you to Business Ethics. The sell out lives a life of custom, a life attuned to the dominant ethos. He will tell you that if the majority are Nazis then it is immoral to oppose them. The sell out lives the life of a pig in shit, eats the shit and then spews it out as if it were gospel truth. Pigs know better.
  • You can compromise and agree to exploit yourself because you need to live. Self exploitation, voluntarily entered into, is your second choice. The self exploiter is like the masochist. Unfortunately there is no sexual pleasure to be had from this exploitation. At least the masochist enjoys her pain – you will not. The self exploiter make pain into an end in itself, becomes bitter and twisted, blames everyone but themselves for the mess they are in.
  • You could become an exploiter. The exploiter is more honest than the sell out.The exploiter does not hide behind PPE type moral arguments approved by Oxford dons plc. The exploiter admits what he does, takes pleasure in what he does, might invoke Bentham’s pleasure calculus, Marx’s defence of the revolutionary bourgeois or Kant’s demand to obey…but in the end the exploiter simply says ‘that’s just how it is.’ Suck it or …
  • You could retreat into the pleasure of sex, alcohol and drugs. This might seem like revolution, but it is a disguised form of onanism. You might fuck wildly like the Vice-Chancellor of this institution; you might dance for days on end or fuel your fantasies with illegal and legal drugs. Your hedonism will feed the market, feed the system of debt, feed the alcohol industry. You will find yourself stranded on the isle of Aeaea, enchanted, bemused, an animal.
  • The sell out, the self exploiter, the exploiter and the pleasure seeker are our enemies. I am at war with them. If you recognise yourself in one of these caricatures then stop reading now, load up your guns. I will meet you on the battlefield. You could resist. But to resist is to make a choice which will alienate you from everyone you know, everyone you hold dear. Tread carefully down this bramble strewn path.
  • Resistance begins simply. Your first step is to learn, to read. Learning has as its counterpoint the destruction of power point. Power point is an enemy of learning, it is the bite sized unit of knowledge easy to sell, easy to consume. If a lecturer uses power point she is the enemy. Toward the user of power point you have no moral obligations but you do have a duty: corrupt their computer with a virus. Power point man is everywhere. Beware.
  • After learning you have two alternative forms of resistance: retreat or resist. Retreat is my favoured option and the resister hates me more than anyone else. The resister insists that I get out there and set fire to the barricades. I am pessimistic. I have seen too many barricades, been on too many marches, thrown too many missiles at Nazis in uniform. Resistance has to make sense in this world, and in this world keeping thought alive, avoiding inclusion, guarding against corruption….this is a virtue in itself, a compromised virtue, one which will leave you smelling of shit. At least you will not, like our dear Head of Department Alex Witherspoon, be eating the shit.
  • You  should resist. Occupy the lecture theatres, now; burn down the VCs office; challenge the ivory tower intellectuals like me; set up alternative communes where in self-help groups you can work through your psychological oppression, overcome your hetero-normativity, explore the parts of your self destroyed through repressive desublimation…but if you do remember that you are walking down a road which many followed in the 60s, the 70s, the 80s, the 90s….and they now shop at the Body shop and give blow jobs to Richard Branson. Your resistance must last. It cannot be a badge of honour you wear for these few year at University…
  • You could just withdraw from University and close down this bastion of oppressive compliance: withdraw from the system of debt, withdraw from lectures on the ethics of business, refuse to take those loans from the bank, make choices now before the fangs of the system engorge themselves on your flesh. That is what I would do. The choice is yours dear student. I may be fired for sending you this email, but what joys await me if I manage to escape this slumber party of idiots with whom I work on a daily basis.

Yours, Professor of Moral Philosophy, Josie Wiles

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University of Weeengland Anarchist Collective celebrates Sussex Occupation


Today we break the embargo on news from the University of Weeengland. For three months the University Security Services (outsourced to Capital A by the Director of Business services) have tracked every tweet, blog and movement of UWAC, Today, the University of Weeengland Anarchist Collective, inspired by the occupiers at Sussex University, fight back. We do so in memory of Martial Bourdin, the great anarchist revolutionary. One hundred and and nineteen years ago today,  in a fit  of revolutionary ardor, Bourdin attacked time itself. On February the 15th  1894 he exploded on the Greenwich Mean Time line. He left fragments of his hand embedded in Greenwich Observatory, a reminder to all of the horrors which control over time does to every life.

In solidarity with our comrades whose occupation of Bramber House suspends times, we encourage all staff and students at the University of Weeengland to attack time: STEAL OR BREAK EVERY CLOCK YOU SEE TOMORROW. We reissue our manifesto of resistance and call to arms: 

  • destroy all clocks NOW;
  •  infect your  university registry system  with the Martial Bourdin virus, (freely downloadable at
  • superglue the keyboards of all University computers;
  • engage in random acts of joy, including transferring the credit balances of senior staff to poorly paid staff, smiling at passer’s by and participating in free acts of love whenever and where ever they occur;
  • unleash the pleasure of red paint onto works of art in the University art gallery ;
  •  enact the equality the system denies deny.

UWAC is back! We must fight the buccaneers, privateers, pirates and property developers who now own the University of Weeengland. Resistance is never futile.


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VC of WEEENGLAND Celebrates as Russell Group members lose £80 million due to student shortfall

VC of WEEENGLAND Celebrates as Russell Group members  lose £80 million due to student shortfall

The Vice-Chancellor of Weeengland took time out from the Sir James McMurty institutional review into corruption  to celebrate disastrous recruitment at the Russell Group Universities. Wendy Piatt, Director-General of the Russell group, announced today that the Russell Group institutions had lost upwards of 80 million pounds. She went on to blame the Condemn Alliance for experimenting with the UCAS system. This strategy allowed unlimited recruitment of undergraduates with A-level grades of AAB or above. However, too few students attained these grades.

VC Woodley issued a brief statement:

‘The Russell group Universities have demonstrated their arrogant incompetence. They were incapable of responding deftly to new circumstances, new market demands. The old universities – Cambridge, Oxford, Durham…one or two others – are clothed in the robes of tradition. I went to Cambridge, I have sipped sherry from its dank cellars. It is an old country  house barely able to sustain its rotting beams, a rotting reputation  it has rented out to Merchant Capital through bond issues. The others, Southampton for example, are  parvenu royalty.  Imitation is the modus operandi of the parvenu. Students have seen through the imitation. They know that the suit worn by the parvenu is a shell suit, that it has neither the experience of tradition, nor the vitality of the new. Its glossy sheen hides a dirty truth. Weeengland,  is an exemplar of the new. Yes, we did suffer recruitment problems, but we have responded rapidly to new market conditions. We outsourced all services, we cut back redundant courses and redundant lecturing staff. We work closely with the private sector, notably Capital A and ARMSCORP, and we give students job training as integral to their degree. We are the University of the future.”

Woodley went on to say: “Vince Cable, the business secretary described  his AAB strategy as an “experimental”  attempt to free up  “Stalinist” controls on undergraduate numbers. I applaud Vince Cable’s commitment to the free market, his willingness to introduce completely mad policies in pursuit of debt reduction. Let’s ignore the fact that his reforms will cost more in the long-term. Let’s ignore the fact that he has doubled the day-to-day bureaucracy academics have to deal with. Let’s ignore the fact that fewer so-called  disadvantaged students have accessed HE.  Let us ignore these truths, let us respect his intentions, let us celebrate the stupidity bred by Cambridge economists. You know Vince graduated from Cambridge, in economics. He was President of the Cambridge Union in 1965, the same year I was a fresher. Vince and his cabinet mates sat in class together, were taught by the same Profs, shagged the same people. Many of them were recruited by the Stalinists as spies…but let’s forget that. Vince is a good man, an honest man, a trustworthy man,  and his incompetence is no reason to condemn him.”

Woodley refused to comment on allegations about his private life, other than to say: “Like Vince I am an honest man, a Cambridge graduate, a man in the full flowering of life ready to take whatever opportunities the market presents.” Cable was heard to utter expletives when confronted with Woodley’s words.

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