The apparent death of Principal Humbert of Fluxter College of Further Education at the bottom of the lift-shaft provides the Vice-Principal with the opportunity to exercise his core belief that success should be its own reward. At his first, and only, prize-giving, therefore, the prizes will go, not to those who have succeeded, but to those who have tried, and failed. Obviously it would be patronising to have prizes for failure presented by a success. The newly-appointed Chaplain to the college, Archpatriarch Chistoff of the Bessarabian Unorthodox Church, is applied to for advice. He finds the perfect candidate in his landlady, a Mrs Parterre: 'a drab and a drunkard, dirty, slothful, deceiving, rapacious and mendacious' - his words. Failure could hardly be writ larger. She's in. Pevsner has noted Fluxter's siting at the conjunction of 'several interesting canals.' It is a feature that has not passed unnoticed elsewhere. For several years past intelligent caring Irishmen have been observing England's decline with dismay. And why should they not? After all, generations of Irishmen helped to dig it. England must be saved! Hence, one way or another, Operation Drogheda and the Principal at the bottom of the lift-shaft.
Published: 1 November 2011
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