One of the most engaging books of academic politics, is C. P. Snow’s `The Masters’. In it, a scene describing the debate between factions (Science and Arts) over who should be elected to a college fellowship. The master is in the Arts camp. One of the Science camp urges his candidate upon the college with these words (from memory, as my copy is beyond my reach): “He has written the absolute last word on the subject.” To which the master, responds: “Why can’t you chaps ever have the first word on the subject?” As the narrator, Eliot notes, it was an impolitic response, but recognizes that the master could not resist because it felt good on the tongue.
From Swansea comes another example of the inability to resist something that felt good on the tongue. A note from the head of Swansea University’s school of management to his colleagues (do they still have those at UK universities?):
Some wags call for the removal of some or all of the school’s top management team. Yes, well don’t hold your breath. Or actually, do.