Bristol UK

“We’re at breaking point”: strikes escalate as English lecturer raises voice slightly

‘I knew he meant business as soon as he arrived wearing that pair of battered Doc Martins’

Day 7 of the Strike, and nerves are a-jangling. Dr. James Stump, lecturer in English, has thrown a spanner into the proverbial works. His radical and direct action has put the UCU and the University on a sure path to conflict. Tensions are high. 

The Whip spoke to an anonymous faculty member about Tuesday morning’s events.“The situation has escalated extraordinarily quickly. Previously we’d only been whispering ‘scab’ at those who crossed the picket line… but James; James really fucking went for it today. I knew he meant business as soon as he arrived wearing that pair of battered Doc Martins. They’d seen some action back in the 90s.”

The Whip managed to secure an exclusive interview with Dr Stump only a few hours after he had made the headlines.

Dr Stump explained his rationale. “At some point I felt that our signs, clever as they are, might not be going far enough. We needed a bit more ooh-rah, a bit more spunk! Come on, I’m still allowed to say that, fuck off.” Dr. Stump laughed loudly.

“For instance, my sign ‘Universities UK, I thought we were FWWDB (friends with well-defined benefits)’ might have been a bit on the nose. It definitely made a lot of people laugh, but did it change minds in the same way that it changed hearts? Maybe, but maybe not. But – still – maybe. It was quite a good sign after all.

“That’s why I decided to break rank: to speak clearly and at a normal level. Soon, everyone was at it, every Tom, Dick and Sally, amazing! Excited talk rippling through the air! Babylon wrought anew! I had a fag for the first time in twenty years. I feel superb. I hope no one gets hurt, though. Don’t want that on the old conscience.”

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