Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Parliamentary Pantomime

It's Prime Minister's Question Time again - the weekly ritual of smartarse point-scoring which unfailingly persuades citizens that their elected representatives are both dim and petty. David Cameron's by far the worst: instead of substantively discussing issues, he relies on an Eton/Oxford debating club wit which mostly consists of snide put-downs and deliberate misquotes.

One question caught my eye today.

Robert Halfon, a Conservative, asks if it was wrong for British universities to engage with Libya.
Cameron says universities should ask themselves some "searching questions" about what they did.

Now, I've slagged off the universities who've got into bed with dictatorships on this site, and I stick to that. Universities should be held to a higher standard, quite frankly, because we're more intelligent, although I'd make a distinction between the executives and academics on this point.

However, I won't be lectured on this subject by a Tory: they ruined the university sector last time they were in government and forced universities to beg borrow or steal funding from anywhere. The whole point of Thatcherite economics is that the pursuit of money is the highest venture, and that morality is a question to be discarded in favour of efficiency and free markets. The universities didn't wake up one day and give Gaddafi a call: they were forced to abandon morality amidst a greedy free-f0r-all established by the Conservatives. They created the market: they can't then preach to people forced to shop there.

Finally: it's a incredibly rich for him to claim that universities should be feeling bad while his government has consistently sold the Libyans massive amounts of weaponry. Sheer hypocrisy.

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