“WEEK OF THE LONG KNIVES”: WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
by Ravi Ghosh | July 13, 2016
After the political shitstorm labelled by The Sunday Times as the “Week of the Long Knives”, Oxford colleges and societies alike sought to publicly support and endorse the manoeuvres of their treasured alumni this week. Of outgoing PM David Cameron, who allegedly had a zealous fondness of fellow alumnus William Golding’s Lord of the Flies whilst an undergraduate, (reportedly committing extended passages to memory), Brasenose College had this to say: “We’re so proud of David; the way that he manufactured a situation in which he could make his position appear untenable after the result – utterly inspirational”. Cameron will be returning to the college to deliver a six week lecture series this Michaelmas term on political escapology entitled “For heaven’s sake man, go!” for an undisclosed fee, before being immortalised in stone on the Old Quad.
LMH, teaching unions’ favourite Michael Gove’s college, requires every fresher since Gove’s graduation to read his dissertation in first week regardless of their degree choice, a paper which is actually an extended ode on The Prince, and although he spent much of his student life at Worcester College studying Rupert Murdoch’s PPE essays from the archives, the college still feels a strong connection to the Conservative MP: “Michael epitomises LMH values; he saw a void in the political landscape, and had the strength of character to realise that he was the only conceivable person who could fill that void – what a visionary.” The college feels such gratitude to the former Times columnist that they plan to alter their admissions process to incorporate his legacy: “The college is now giving prospective students the opportunity to inform on each other during the interview process; we feel that this shows our commitment to Michael and his values”, a spokesperson said.
St John’s college declined to comment on PPE alumnus Angela Eagle, who incidentally was the college daughter of Tony Blair. Balliol College similarly refused to offer a statement on Classics alumnus Boris Johnson, but the Oxford Union had the following to say: “To see that two former presidents, Michael and Boris, have held onto the principles that the Union holds so dear is truly heartwarming. We hope their actions over the past week will inspire many future presidents and committee members to act in the same noble fashion”. It has also emerged that while studying Geography at St Hugh’s College, Theresa May spearheaded a motion through the JCR to ban milk, in homage to her spiritual leader Mrs Thatcher who passed a similar bill for junior schools while Education Secretary. Mrs May then suspiciously ascended to the role of JCR President without an election, an event of which the college seems to have no formal record. Colleges with less prolific alumni have been rendered humbled by last week’s events, scrambling to find their own equivalents, as Oxford’s entire academic community feels a collective pride that such a prestigious university nurtured such ethically fluid and pragmatic individuals.