Several times this term I’ve staggered out onto Oxford station, cramped and queasy from Cattle Class, and seen packs of sleek suits ooze out of First Class, briefcases in their hands and predatory gleams in their eyes. ‘Let’s go hunting’, one floppy-haired account manager said to his confederates. They climbed into cabs, which they saw as safari Land Rovers heading to the bush, and went off to a panelled room in some college.
To that room, lured by canapés and Mammon, lots of undergraduates will have come. Fizz (far more expensive than the students would ever buy themselves, but not of a standard that would be tolerated in the hunters’ own Esher homes) will have been waiting on silver trays. Vol au vents will have been smilingly circulated by bought-in labour (or possibly by the hunters’ own menials, in their best suits, slightly creased from travelling with me in Cattle).
There will have been some smooth smooching by the top brass, and some gushing by last year’s intake from Oxford, and then perhaps a nice little PowerPoint (conjured up by those clever people in HR) to go with the smoked trout, with headings like ‘Prospects’, ‘Clients’ and ‘Fringe Benefits’. Then more fizz, more delicious lines like ‘You sound just right for us’ (how sweet that ‘us’!), and the confidential handing over of the business cards.
Next year, some of those students, in new suits, will be making the journey up from London, to the same panelled rooms. Then they’ll be doing the gushing thing. Quite a few of them will be philosophy graduates.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.