Stop all the clocks. Cut off the telephone. Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone. For the UK’s University lecturers are going on strike. On Wednesday. Put it in your diary. It’s a catastrophe.
If anybody notices, of course.
“We’ve got the support of the students,” said one earnest lecturer, on the radio this morning. From what I remember of my own ear-ringed, combat-trousered, drunken oblivion, in academia, I used to just love lecturers going on strike. It was simply great for extending hangover recovery times. And with Wednesday being a traditional sports day, within British Universities, the lecturers, I presume, will only be sacrificing about three hours pay, from their 10am coffee break, which starts the morning, to the 1pm finish time, which ends their arduous half-working day.
So brave of them. Don’t ya think? Now if I was a betting man, and had to guess the contingent of British society which still possessed the highest percentage of Marxoid buffoons, after the disastrous collapse of Marxism in Eastern Europe, I’m sure you wouldn’t give me tremendous odds against it being University lecturers.
But what’s really amusing is that they still think anyone at all, outside the ivory tower, cares enough about them to quake in their boots, at their threat of a three hour strike. Well, I’ve got some news for you dear Marxoid professors. The nation ain’t going to be paralysed. Indeed, it’s barely going to register at 0.001 on the Richter Scale. Worse than that, it’s barely going to register at 0.001 on the Newcastle Brown Ale Scale, on your own campuses. Mine’s a large one, and a deep-fried Pizza, please, stout yeoman of the bar.
Oh dear, you say, but we work so hard doing the Guardian Quick Crossword every morning, and with double the number of students not handing in their essays, and not turning up at lectures, while they’re sleeping off hangovers, the stress levels have become simply unbearable, almost enough to raise a pulse. We’re not here to work for a living, you know! And if you take into account increasing pay levels in the private sector, and inflation, and the price of fish, we’ve taken a ninety per cent pay cut, in the last ten minutes.
Tell you what, then. Go to the politics department, if you can find anyone there this early in the week. Ask them whether we live, yet, in a Marxist police state, where it is compulsory for you to do the job assigned to you by the current Fat Controller, a land most of you Marxoids would like us to live in, or whether you’re free to permanently withdraw your labour from your current employer to seek alternative employment elsewhere?
You don’t like your job? Good. Leave it. Go and get a job somewhere else. Try to get the same money and the same conditions in the private sector, if you think you can. If you can’t, then enjoy the long holidays, the funded trips to the conferences on astronomy, in places like Hawaii, be grateful that you’re allowed to do something you love, rather than doing something you don’t like to pay the taxes necessary to fund academic ingrates, and get on with your job.
Oh no, you might say, I really want to be an academic in the UK, and I can’t think of anything else I could do, never mind would like to do. But there’s only employer, the government, and only one rate of pay, nationwide. We’re simply forced to go on strike.
No. You’re not. You, the Marxoids, are the ones who wanted higher education nationalised. You’re the ones who wanted national pay rates, and you’re the ones who wanted to be treated collectively, rather than get paid according to your individual merits. And if you can’t do anything else, that’s your problem, not mine.
Alternatively, campaign for Universities to be privatised. Campaign for University lecturers to be paid according to their worth, as determined by student numbers wishing to attend lectures, rather than incremental Buggin’s Turn payscales, and campaign for the complete separation of state and education.
Then, and only then, ask me to put back in my earring, pull back on my combat trousers, and re-lace my Dr Marten boots. For then I will be all too glad to share a barricade with you. Until that glorious futuristic day, don’t phone me up. I’m washing my hair.
And if you must keep taking my coerced tax shilling, in the meantime, please take it with a bit more humility. Otherwise, one day I and all the other taxpayers are going to wake up and rumble your game.
No, actually. Can I reverse my appeal? Please go on strike indefinitely. If and when the rest of us notice, we’ll be able to abstract you much more easily from the state-free education system of the future. Yes, go on strike. Permanently. I’m sure there’s an outdoor gardening centre somewhere near you, today, with a gainful employment task you’re capable of carrying out, without subsidy, even if you’re a Marxoid sociology lecturer. Think of it as a test that the true free market can make use of anybody, no matter how intrinsically useless they were in their previous state-subsidised position.