‘Be grateful for whatever free cheese you can get’
Inspired by the Tories’ proposed scrapping of the Human Rights Act, Pembroke’s much-praised catering department have ridden roughshod over some of their customers’ most basic liberties.
In an act of breathtaking imperiousness, the caterers swept away a whole host of “privileges”, with the unique conditions of exam term apparently justifying tyrannical reforms to the food pricing system.
While catering manager, David Harwood, was supposedly responding to the demands of the student body, he was immediately called out on his proposal to increase food prices “only according to food inflation over the next three years”.
One student pointed to inflation figures released only the other day showing a three per cent fall in food prices.
But the most harrowing of Harwood’s reforms was his abrogation of that most fundamental freedom, the right to add cheese free of charge to pasta (or similar).
The scandal, which quickly became known as “cheesegate” or, more worryingly still, “cheesegrate”, has shaken the college.
Calls for a boycott were quickly begun by a fresher’s grandmother. Yes, tensions were running that high.
The grandmother in question offered “a cheese grater” – by any standard, a great revolutionary symbol. In her eyes, Pembroke students should rise up and – more radical still – bring their “own cheese to trough.”
Another student brought home the gravity of the situation, helpfully reminding people how “some of us need cheese to survive.”
The JPC officer in charge struck a note of despondency: “In reality cheese isn’t cheap.
“We just need to be grateful for whatever free cheese we can get.”
But others were not giving up.
By far the most practical solution to emerge was “investing in a college cow. And accompanying dairy production plant”.
Another student offered to dress as the Cheese Monster and walk around trough grating Asda cheddar on people’s meals whether they want it or not.
But, whatever the apparent jest, the college’s cheese policy has had serious consequences.
Most worryingly, diners at Pembroke now face dirty cutlery. As one student remarked, food poisoning is just around the corner.
He said: “The dish washers are probably clogged up with all of the premium cheese that’s been going around.”
For Pembroke students, the future is uncertain.
Is this Dickensian course of events a worrying sign of Pembroke’s reactionary ruling body? Or is it a final flourish from current master and former intelligence chief, Sir Richard Dearlove, before his retirement at the end of the year?