And so, we join the rest of you in winding down and shutting up shop for the term. Given how busy we’ve been over the last 9 weeks, we are almost afraid to avert our gaze, so rapid is the rate at which Things have been happening this term. Last year, subtext was struck by a theme of ‘secrecy’ – the bulk of our reportage was on the lack of transparency from top table, and how little we were able to report. Thus far this year, the intensely guarded plans that we revealed have started to come into effect, and we have been struck by a common theme at the heart of all of them – austerity. The party political point du jour has long been the idea of those at the bottom bearing the brunt of the cuts in the name of tightening the belt, while those at the top get fat and wealthy enough to buy a bigger one. We’ve been seeing fairly blatant austere hypocrisy this year. Money has been taken from: non-academic departments (subtext 165), disabled students, the students’ union’s block grant, and on-campus students (subtext 169). We at subtext would be willing to at least entertain the idea that this has been necessary, if we weren’t looking at cuts out of one eye and an utterly insane Manchester commercial venture, a vast architectural refurbishment, a seemingly superfluous new management appointment, and the potential for countless professorial salaries for external HoD appointments (see subtext 168) out of the other. None of these ventures are for the benefit of staff or students, making the funding cuts harder to stomach. We’ve said, time and time again, that the university seems not to realise / care where the bulk of their funding comes from, or upon whose success its success depends – if management wants to avoid a powder keg, then it’s high time they started to.
But, until next time, the subtext collective would like to wish you all a participative Christmas, and a skills-based new year.