The Merry Knives of Windsor: A Seasonal Tale for Xmas

‘Twas a cold Winter’s day in November, in a House in Olde Kingstone Towne. Ye old King Steven (for it was he) lounged on his shiny new office sofa and surveyed what was left of his rapidly diminishing Kingdom. He rang for his loyal servant, Sir Greysuit Loanalot, who came running quickly up the newly varnished stairwell. ‘Sir Greysuit’, cried the old King, ‘I have devised a cunning plan. Forsooth, let us have our traditional SLT Away-Day in somewhere more grand and majestic, this time fit for Royalty.’ ‘You mean stay in the Borough?’ ‘Nay, nay, you silver-haired fool! Let us hire a Lodge in Great Windsor Park! We can escape the masses and all our messes and make merry. We can invite all our Knights of the £600,000 Table, and all our token lasses, and all our tribe of anonymous Guv’ners, including their Chair’.

Sir Greysuit frowned worriedly. ‘But that would cost yet more golden dosh, my Sire’. ‘Yes, yes’, cried the old King, ‘much more dosh, but more suitably posh. And who will know?’ ‘But what about the River?’ ‘Never mind the Thames’. ‘No, no, Sire. I mean the River newspaper?’ Sir Steven grew visibly angry. ‘Have you forgotten our secret SLT motto? Confirm nothing, deny everything’.

The very next morning, as the heavy fog slowly lifted and ye old clouds cleared, Sir Greysuit waved his magic money-tree wand, and a booking suddenly appeared. And then, verily, the big day came. A grand and merry time was had by all, in a Royal Lodge in the Great Park, ‘with a strong reputation for its fine dining’ and ‘luxury en-suite overnight accommodation’ (according to ye advertising scroll). While the big booze flowed, and King Steven glowed, knives were sharpened for yet more ‘efficiency savings’ for his old Kingdom and its Estates. But after the deeds were done, it was time for some fun. Sir Colin and Dame Angela sang some old ditties, while some of the Guv’ners ate more cream cakes, direct from their plates. Former Court Jester Stone was wheeled in for ye olde fireside tales, claiming he had ‘once single-handedly privatized the whole British rail network’. Next on the list, as the guests became p—-d, was failed FASS Dean, Sir Simon Shagalot, who told the good and attentive Knights about his sincere concern for women’s rights, especially lasses in tights. But what was this?? An olde ghost at the feast? A former Knight named McQuilly tried to ambush the throng, but King Steven blocked him off, with a dismissive ‘Be gone!’, supremely confident that a super-deluxe ‘non-disclosure agreement’ (inked by hand on old goat’s parchment) had dealt with the irritating Scottish foe.

The only Knight to quiver with real fear was Sir Simon, who was once McQuilly’s close peer (the former pair’s dubious past could now ruin his career). King Steven smiled knowingly to himself: ‘Thank God I kept a nice little dossier on both, as one is a fraud and the other’s an oaf’. And off the SLT all went, treading clumsily into the Windsor Park Park’s snowy breeze, safe in the knowledge that their pay packets will never, ever freeze. Merry Xmas, peasants!


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3 Responses to The Merry Knives of Windsor: A Seasonal Tale for Xmas

  1. Muckraker says:

    I doubt Kingston is in any imminent danger of going bust, but it is clearly on the danger list and there is every reason to have deep cause for concern. As staff saw at his recent round of meet-the-staff talks (note the video of it conveniently did not include the Q and As bit), ‘King’ Spier likes to pretend everything’s fine and dandy by bland carpet-bombing of the audience with selective stats and loads of smooth-talking spin. But Kingston’s massive budgetary deficit means the SLT have more major cuts in the pipeline, with more closure of subjects and a further cull of experienced admin/support staff. The Board of Governors appear content to wave all this through and rarely challenge such decisions. The various ‘review’ committees that have been set up, including the ones chaired by Simon Moron-Shagalot, have been tasked with identifying yet more cost savings and economies. Moron is happy to do this, as he owes Spier for ‘saving’ him’ from the McQuillan financial scandal and also his more recent ‘sex’ exploits on campus. Meantime, Spier and his merry elitist gang are happy to splash out cash on their own comfort and special needs. And they wonder why many staff so loathe them?

  2. Stonking University says:

    2019 Prediction

    Hello Dissenter,

    At this festive time of the year, and as Kingston continues to regress from its autumn to its winter, would it be pertinent to enquire of your predictions for the futute of the teaching institution? For instance, do you still predict its continued fall to the finale: its closure – the 2019 closure forecast several years ago?

    It is running a massive budgetary deficit (in excess of £14,000,000.00), is run by utterly incompetent, corrupt, dishonest and immoral buffoons, continues to receive bad publicity from the numerous and ongoing scandals, is poorly rated for its teaching quality and research outputs, shows ever dwindling student recruitment, has sacked many of its staff, (cademic, administrative and others) and continues to bully the remaining staff it employs – in lieu of management skills: leadership, vision and human decency.

    Yours views on this would be gratefully appreciated by many, I am sure.

    • Dissenter says:

      I think your guess is as good as mine. Many of us have been asking the question for the last few years. In part it depends on the Government. It has said it will allow some HE institutions to go to the wall rather than support them financially. If that happens, Kingston could be one that goes down. We can only hope for some enlightenment from the managers and more applications from students. Everyone will have their own view on the likelihood of either.

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