richard stanleybaker

(1943 / Khartoum)

Fondly of Rupert Brooke

The Soldier,1914

if there be a piece of England yet
free from the yoke of tyranny
if there be society named university
free from the yoke of corporate governance
bean counters were only Nazi scouts
the new monsters know no name
and university now has no name no core
the “Idea” long parodied and betrayed
as these one-man top downers
shave the wheat of freedom
off all of the fields
leave barren pasture everywhere
and only fleeing frightened hares
and contrive to bend our language
terming it governance, management,
and other sinful lies

where is this ever England now
where are you now
sweet sceptered isle?

O Rupert,
better in some foreign field
to peter out and pant away a life
far from ever England
that is not now poisoned
by these toads
treasure those few specks of dust
whom ever-England
bore and shaped

treasure them
and sing a grand freedom
a grand mind
not poisoned by the toadies of today
not poisoned by Lord Sutherland
and all his ghastly crew

far far away though it may be
yet shall there be
songs and sallies witty and fine
will there to be a tax on genius
and repartee
an end to cakes and ale

how yellow-stockinged
go you yet
fat stinking toads

there may wit flourish
un-smothered by mean
dictator toads
and the squalor of their
miserable toadies
named ‘leaders’ of the flock

what leaders
have you now?
what vision
what grand views?

just march the men forth
up the hill and down again
you unelected, misranked
Dukes of Plaza-Toro!

look down upon
your zombied members
of the flock now
disinherited of the right to

richard stanley-baker

* The Lord Sutherland Report on University Governance, promulgated and followed in large part by all the universities of Hong Kong in (2002-) 2003, recommended top down management, reduction of Senate membership, and appointed as opposed to elected Deans of Faculties. Implementation led to tyranny from the centre, and marginalizing or quashing of contribution to debate by individual faculty members in the name of ‘fit for purpose’ governance. The resulting disassociation of Deans from their constituencies, being no longer elected, was the reduction of open debate on significant issues, then termed wasteful.

Submitted: Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Edited: Wednesday, September 21, 2011

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