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Defending the LSE 5, March 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in North Africa.
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There is nothing more nauseating than self-righteous and overly earnest students. Even when I was an undergraduate the angst and self-importance that so many students imbued into their rants deeply annoyed me.

I got more than a whiff of this ‘holier than thou’ attitude in a commentary in  – quelle surprise – the Guardian lamenting how the grand traditions of the London School of Economics (LSE) are being trampled in some sorded quest for money.

Always and forever my main point of grist with these absurd commentaries is their utter lack of appreciation of, well, anything remotely concerned with reality. These people seem to live is some fairy-like world where the exigencies of finding funding to pay to run a University just magically come from some unspecified location.

The quasi-journalist in this little Guardianista rant lambasts the LSE for seeking money from Gaddafi. The way he writes the article implies that the LSE could have run perfectly happily forevermore but the evil, morally bankrupt and corrupt powers that be that have taken over this grand institution, have some kind of insatibale thirst for cash which they can only sate by consorting with idiots like Gaddafi.

Their implicit ‘money just grows on trees’ attitude annoys me terribly.

Had the LSE a choice then I am sure that they would probably not have dealt with Gaddafi. But they don’t. Moreover, let’s not forget that it is all too easy to take advantage of hindsight here. Yes, cleary Gaddafi has been a basket-case for decades. Of this there is no doubt. But can someone explain to me how interacting with him, educating him, his grotty children, other ministers and an assortment of leading Libyans about civil society or democracy can possibly be portreyed as a bad thing? Because this is surely how it is coming across; as if the LSE were selling him weapons or some other morally corrupt product.

I am just so bewildered by it all.

Of course, it it now clear that the basket-case has not lost his brutal touch and that many people misread his recent overtures to the West. C’est la vie. This in no way, shape or form, however, invalidates the LSE’s attempts to educate him otherwise. It is more than a noble cause to attempt. There is no shame in failure.



1. K. - 8, March 2011

The Guardian is not immune from the Saif Gaddafi error of judgement – see this article from last June by a journalist who is now on TV everywhere saying how evil the regime is…


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