I never had the benefit of Sunday school or a remotely adequate religious education, so my understanding of Christian doctrine is somewhat confused. I had particular difficulty grasping the idea of prophets. How did people know whether they were spreading the Word or just having a manna high?

 Obviously, it’s easy to tell, should your visionary have the courtesy of dropping by in a chariot of fire. But I hear mistakes were made and the son of someone influential got nailed to a cross. Not so cool. Anyway, here we are, one curious resurrection later and we’re still as stumped as before.

 It’s the problem we have with the Student Union election. All these promises of what we’ll get in return for our vote, for our confidence. Three of the candidates appear competent. One rules himself out by having a Super Dean outfit. Or does he? Perhaps this little pastiche parable will elucidate:

 ***

 “Yea!” proclaimed the Returning Officer, “for there shall be a great election to decide kingship of this land during the next year of academe, for which nominations are to be brought forth.” And so four persons brought forth their candidacy, and all beheld them, and all saw that they’re not the prettiest bunch, but you probably still would.

 The first candidate was Olivia, daughter of Bailey, saviour of the Buttery, derived from the great line of Hilde. She pledged great gifts of welfare reform for the Oxonites. The naive younger generation were enticed by her words, but those familiar with the campaigns of Martin of Cluskey and Alan of Strickland were wary of unfulfilled covenants. For the Devil and his Labour Club are powerful, but a flick over past manifestos casts light upon their empty rhetoric.

 “We wish not for mere changes of staffing!” protested the Oxonites. “Our capital is in great need of profound structural amelioration.”

 Lewis of Iwu saw the faces of the Oxonites, eager to improve their capital. He brought them promises not only of profound structural amelioration, but of a conglomeration of phat sound systems and celestial drinking fountains. And it was dubbed the Central Oxonite Venue. All were enticed by the charm of the man and the coruscation of the Venue.

 And at that moment, the austere sage Thomas, much-known for his treatises published in popular Oxonite pamphlets, made his presence known. All knew that he would recommend paying off the Eternal Debt incurred in the construction and maintenance of the capital, and all raised a hearty yawn that could be heard seventy leagues away in Cantabrigia.

 “Hark, Oxonites!” spoke the sage, “Do not let the Central Oxonite Venue beguile you, for expenditure is worthless if it is not endeavouring to repay our Eternal (two hundred grand) Debt to the Universal Hood.”

 The Oxonites were fatigued by the Eternal Debt, and thus they clamoured:

 “Verily, we are burdened by the Eternal Debt, but the Domain of Tryl is inadequate for interaction between the Oxonite tribes, and the Venue would bring indubitable profit to the capital. Be gone, boring fart.”

 The otherwise calm sage blew his lid. “Fools! Halfwit ignorami! You will worship at the Venue, but will find it lacking within two moons.”

 The tribe of Gay objected to this, for they find nothing lacking within two moons. But their concerns were set aside at the arrival of Dean, son of Rob, adorned in the bright raiment of a madman.

 “Why have a King decide all this when we might work on improving our own tribes? For then tribe can render visit unto tribe, without paying respect unto an arbitrarily-appointed figurehead.”

 “And how then might we unite against the Universal?” asked Olivia, Thomas and Lewis, each equally discombobulated by the proposal.

 “On a basis that might be known as ad-hoc,” pronounced Dean.

 “That would not be effective.”

 “Because having a different King every year is…?”