No Bite in the Bark

Sir Howard Davies was given an easy time this morning by rottweiler Humph.
Sir Howard’s resignation may have been a noble selfless thing for the sake of that fandabbydozy institution the LSE, but I felt we never got to the nitty gritty.
What about the influence this dosh from despots might have on the teaching? Humph did ask, but he let Sir Howard get away with a distinctly cavalier denial. Where was Humph’s terrier-like dog-with-a-bone tenacity that we have grown to love and hate?

It may well be a good thing that Gaddafi’s elite are well trained and taught how to do things properly, and it may well be desirable for reputable universities to become global villages at the heart of London even if it means they risk sacrificing their independence, and it may well be necessary to engage with bad people. But must this fearsome, penetrating interviewer accept it all with little more than a murmur ?
Would everyone who might utter: “I’ve made two ‘errors of judgement’ but they weren’t my fault” or: “the government made me make some bad decisions” be let off as lightly?
What made the old dog lie down and let these important questions go, not with a bang but a whimper?

Stephen Pollard, in the Telegraph, wonders about the university funding question too. He is worried about the money that has gone to Islamic study centres.

“A study of five years of politics lectures at the Middle Eastern Centre at St Antony’s College, Oxford, found that 70 per cent were “implacably hostile” to the West and Israel. A friend of mine, a former Oxford academic, felt that his time was largely spent battling a cadre of academics overwhelmingly hostile to the West, in an ambience in which students – from both Britain and abroad – were presented a world-view that was almost exclusively anti-Western. “

Apart from the Oxbridge universities he mentions – for another example I give you Exeter University, the one that has recently announced its decision to charge the maximum tuition fee. It’s the home of a major Saudi-funded Islamic study centre, and it boasts revisionist historian Ilan Pappé and the fragrant Palestinian activist Ghada Karmi as members of its teaching staff. I find this alarming.

These are the things that I want John Humphrys to consider, and I’d like him to savage all intractable interviewees, whatever their politics, in the same ferocious manner presently reserved uniquely for those he disagrees with.

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19 Responses to No Bite in the Bark

  1. George R says:

    Yes, INBBC has ideological trouble really criticising the like-minded political elite of the LSE. The INBBC’s particular chum, LSE council member, SHAMI CHAKRABARTI seems to go unmentioned by INBBC.

    Such is that like-mindedness that INBBC (like LSE) is confident that Islamic sharia/jihad tenets can soon be reformed away, after 1,400 years, by Western liberal indulgence.

    And INBBC goes for Davies- LSE utopian narrative about ‘global village’, which to them means the relegation of British national sovereignty, and the promotion of mass immigration to Britain from Islamic countries.  (And it also means that the LSE has 66.8% foreign students!)

    The government should stop;

    1.) the donation of money from dictatorial Islamic (and other) regimes to UK universities;

    2.) the setting up in UK universities of ‘Islamic’ and ‘Middle East’ departments and courses of Islamic propaganda;

    3.) universities like LSE from taking only predominantly unqualified foreign students to the detriment of British students. British students should be the vast majority of students at British universities.

    These are, apparently, non-issues to INBBC.


    • Craig says:

      It comes to something George when the online version of the Hindustan Times gives you more information about a scandal in your own country than the BBC:

      Two of Britain’s best-known people of Indian origin – a Labour academic and a feisty human rights activist – have found themselves named in a scandal over links between the Libyan elite and the prestigious London School of Economics (LSE), whose director has resigned in disgrace. Both Lord Meghnad Desai, a former LSE professor, and Shami Chakrabarti, director of the British civil rights group Liberty, have figured prominently in the British media in the run-up to LSE director Howard Davies’ resignation on Thursday over the school’s acceptance of a £1.5 million Libyan donation.

      Compare that to the BBC website’s take. No mention of the sainted Sharmishta and Labour’s Lord Desai is merely relagated to the penultimate pararaph of a single, long article.


      • Craig says:

        Shami Chakrabarti is back on the Beeb. The home page of the BBC News website this morning features a new 5-minute interview with her:

        “Short and Mouthy”

        I think it’s fair to say that it is a very soft interview. Nothing about Libya or the LSE of course.


    • Dez says:

      George R,

      “and the promotion of mass immigration to Britain from Islamic countries.  (And it also means that the LSE has 66.8% foreign students!)”

      Last year the LSE had 6,885 foreign students. Of those 144 came from Islamic States (124 were from Pakistan). 

      That’s 1.4% of all students.

      There weren’t any students from Libya.


      • George R says:

        It looks as though opposition to LSE’s services to Libya’s Gaddafi regime broke just in time.

        The only ‘students’ then whom the LSE were going to get apparently from Libya were to be management trainees from the Gaddafi regime. From ‘The Times’ (3 March): “The London School of Economics faces fresh scrutiny today over its links with Libya as it emerged that the universty secured a £1 million deal to train hundreds of members of the dictatorship’s future elite… “The LSE agreed to bring to Britain 400 ‘future leaders’ of the dictatorship for training in leadership and management, with an additional 250 of the elite due to be trained in Libya.”

        On ex-LSE director Davies’s use of the phrase ‘global village’ to justify the very high percentage of foreign students at the LSE (66.8%), this is a likely practical consequence of  ‘multiculturalism’ whereby foreigners (including immigrants) get preferential treatment over putative British LSE students. Even Margaret Hodge (Labour) comments on LSE thus:

        “A staggering 66.8 per cent of its students now come from overseas, both as graduates and undergraduates. Some courses are completely populated by overseas students. From speaking to academics I know there are questions about the academic capabilities of some, as they are often hampered by poor language skills.” (‘The Times’ 3 March.)

        It loks as though British governments have encouraged British universities (including LSE) to give priority to the aim of foreign money-raising role of universities, not to provision of places for British students.

        “And despite the humiliation of the LSE, the practice of accepting money from abroad could spread because of Government pressure on universities to find sources of funds other than the British taxpayer.”


  2. David Preiser (USA) says:

    There was someone on the News Channel a little while ago mewling about a couple universities taking Ghadaffi’s “blood money”.  I kept waiting for the Beeboid to mention Saudi funding, or at least wonder if there was any connection between any Mohammedan “blood money” and the Oxford attempt to boycott Israel.

    A couple years ago, the Oxford Union held a debate about whether or not Israel had a right to exist.  Guess who took up the argument against.


  3. Cassandra King says:

    Money is never free, there is always a high cost and only the most foolish and short sighted fail to appreciate that someone somewhere always ends up paying the price. Higher education in the UK sucked up to the USSR went to endless peace conferences where they all too eager to sell out their own people and praise the Soviets. It was they who initiated the phrase useful idiots, they didnt disappear with the fall of the USSR they simply found newer sponsors with deeper pockets and an infinitely deeper resovoir of evil intent and hatred.In fact it becomes clear to me that the leftist establishment are simply attracted to any evil like a magnet it draws them and stronger the evil the more powerful the attraction to it becomes and their entire ideology becomes nothing more than an attempt to translate that dark attraction into a theological dogma. What it does mean is that if Satan were real and came up from his pit he would find ready and eager followers in those who eagerly followed the USSR and now the islamist filth. Its not the ideology that matters it is the depth of its inherrent evil, that is the attractor mechanism. The ideology is simply a product and language of that evil.

    Here we have the makings of a scandal but this scandal affected certain ‘protected people’ it risks exposing the dark underbelly of the leftist political establishment elites and what happens behind closed doors. The lid of the moral sewer was briefly lifted and we saw the vermin in their dark corners.

    Did the funding stream make this pond scum into hate filled anti West anti semite Jew baiters? No of course not, they would have held their poisonous prejudice long before any money came from the cradle of evil. Political islamists came and saw and had deep pockets and knew where to spread their wealth and who to spread it to. Our insititutions were always infected with this cancer the only difference between then and now is money, lots of money and with the money comes the requests simple at first but increasingly demanding as the money supply increased and those at the receiving end of the money were all too ready to take the money and feed their hate and prejudice and feed it they did getting more and more money as a result.

    The islamists came and they saw they they knew exactly who to buy off and it was so easy, from their point of view riciulously easy, the money did not corrupt the souls of the hate filled Jew hating useful idiots because it has always been there, the islamist money men just recognised a shared inner filth.

    The lid to the sewer will be quickly closed, the vermin will quickly return to their dark corners undermining the West and spreading their poison on to the generations to come. Corruption is like water, it quickly finds the easiet way down to the sewer.


    • Craig says:

      “Corruption is like water, it quickly finds the easiest way down to the sewer.”

      Wow, that’s a wonderful way of putting it Cassandra!


  4. cjhartnett says:

    Yes it would be nice if our chippy grammar school warriors like Humphrys went for the throat of the patrician smoothie chops likes of Howard Davies.

    Unfortunately for us, they tend to go for their slippers before lying snoring at their feet instead!

    You see Sir Howard is just the collector of job titles that is versatile for speed dial. He has never achieved much in any of them but that was never tho point.

    Like Patten he is a consummate grandee who collects seats on boards in unrelated public sector quangos where only the great and good get the call. No open recruitment here-no target setting or affirmative action talk for them and their likes. Not a bit of it!
    They are born to slide between beanos,medias saying nothing,fuffling no-one and getting well paid for it-and so it goes on!
    Sir Howard goes from LSE to Bank of England(got to be a link!)..Patten from H.K to E.U to BBC via Oxbridge Colleges…these are the new smoothie chops aristocats-fat,sleek bland sandbags for those that keep their pensions gold plated. Their kids will do alright of course-probably at the BBC/E.U under a different name as we speak!
    There…hope that helps.

    Tell you what though-why did the Beeb read out the election result for Barnsley on their  news bulletins this morning-why was Eric Ilsley not described as a Labour MP? Do not recall the BBC reading out the results gleefully and for as long as it took  this morning on all its peak time bulletins when LABOUR were getting a pasting. Funny that!

    Bernie Ecclestone wants artificial rain for his Grand Prix in Bahrain then, to make the racing more interesting!
    Wonder if the Great God Sport will triumph over the Polar Bears Tearfund Tendency at the Beeb…will Clarkson or Monbiot hold sway? Ooh the tension crackles on the Toady desk I`m sure!


  5. sue says:

    “Want a sneak preview of what’s coming next? I’ll say it in a whisper. Did you know that Saudi Arabia funds university faculties throughout the Western world? And did you know they chop people’s heads off every Friday afternoon? Hold the front page…”
    Robin Shepherd in the JC.

    And regarding obsessions with Israel, Nick Cohen, (and loosely related, another article I might have linked to earlier, Charles Moore)


    • Craig says:

      Had to smile at Robin Shepherd (echoing the point made by commenters here at B-BBC that the BBC website’s daily bombardment of Israel has ground – once or twice – to a halt recently), writing, “I swear it. It’s Wednesday March 2. It’s midday. And I’m looking at the BBC website. Where’s my fix?”

      He didn’t have long to wait: At 18.05 that very day along came Israeli settlements: 14 East Jerusalem homes approved – just the sort of article he had in mind, with its named Jerusalem suburbs (and, of course, the obligatory use of the phrase “They are held to be illegal under international law”.)

      And the figures he quotes about the search tallies at the Guardian‘s CIF for Sudan and Congo combined (at least 5 million or so dead between them in the last couple of decades) being far fewer that for Israel (the tiniest fraction of those fatalities!) can be matched by a similar search of the BBC website:

      Sudan – 3876 results
      Congo – 6211 (and that will include the other Congo, the Republic of Congo, too)
      Israel – 13679

      Indeed, add up all the news search results on the BBC website for the following revolting Arab nations…
      Libya – 2510
      Tunisia – 799
      Egypt – 4910
      Yemen – 1431
      Bahrain – 645
      Morocco – 1364
      Oman – 351
      Djibouti – 300
      Total = 12310
      …and you get a lower total that the total for Israel alone (13679).
      That strongly suggests an obsession with one tiny democracy at the expense of several Arab dictatorships.


      • Craig says:

        Add in Algeria (1656 results) and you get 13966 in total, set against  that figure of 13679.

        Incidentally, there are (if you add up the estimated present populations on Wikipedia) some 192 million people in all those Arab countries compared to just 7.5 million or so in Israel.


  6. George R says:

    No doubt BBC-NUJ will try to catch up on this:

    “Despots and academia: more scandals ‘likely'”


  7. Dez says:


    “A study of five years of politics lectures at the Middle Eastern Centre at St Antony’s College, Oxford, found that 70 per cent were “implacably hostile” to the West and Israel.”

    What Stephen Pollard doesn’t tell you is that that particular “study” (by Anthony Glees for the right-wing group, “Centre for Social Cohesion”) has never been published.

    Or in other words; it is completely worthless.


    • sue says:

      Are you one of those sock puppets that make such ridiculous arguments that they reinforce the opposite point of view?
      People will be thinking I’ve planted you myself if you’re not careful.


  8. George R says:

    Professor Glees’ insightful warnings about the spread of propagandist ‘Islamic’/’Middle East’ studies in British universities, financed by Islamic regimes, have been publicised elsewhere, e.g. (three years ago), although some people seem to regret such publicity for that material:

    “‘Extremism’ fear over Islam studies donations”


  9. sue says:

    I heard the following interview in the middle of the night. I felt it should be transposed.

    It’s quite long. so it might spread out over many miles.
     BBC world service. Politics UK. 13:50

    The presenter is Dennis Sewell. His words in regular type. (Robert Halfon and others are in italics.)

    “Some LSE dons actively supported an academic boycott of Israel, while others had written articles while in todays context had seemed a little too generous towards the Libyan dictator, and at the end of the week the Times was reporting that the LSE had actually signed a million pound deal to educate the successor generation of Libya’s ruling elite.

    Meanwhile, a two-year old video surfaced featuring Gaddafi’s son Saif addressing a seminar at the LSE, of which he is an alumnas. Here’s a brief taste : “In theory…. Libya is the most democratic state in the world…..(applause)… because… in theory…in theory.”
    “Oh dear. You can see why they laughed, but should they really have clapped? The back bencher MP  Robert Halpern raised the matter with the prime Minister.”
    (from the Commons)

    ‘My granfatherer was one of thousands of Jews who was chucked out..had to leave Libya because of Gaddafi appropriating Jewish businesses and homes. He came to this country because of its democracy. He would have been shocked to have seen not just the close relations of the last government and Gadaffi, but also that our distiguished univerities, particularly the LSE, were accepting millions of pounds from Gaddafi. Could my honourable friend ensure that this scandal never happens again?’

    David Cameron “My right hon friend speaks with great power about this, what I’ve said about relations with Libya, I do think it was right to try and bring that country in from the cold, of course it was, but the question is whether perameters should have been put on that relationship and I think it is for everyone to ask what arrangements were come to and I heard the head of the LSE trying to justify that on the radio this morning. Let’s hope, at least, that the money they have can now be put to a good use.”

    “I invited Robert Halfon into the BBC’s Westminster studio to *exposiate on the outrage he so clearly felt.”

    “Well I feel it is wrong for universities like the LSE which is a very distinguished institution is in essence accepting blood money from dictatorships like Libya that are repressing their own citizens and were responsible for the Lockerbie bombing”


  10. sue says:

    “Part of this, some people would say is drawing Libya back into the fold of civilised nations, it’s been an outcast country beyond the pale for many years, it’s been involved in terrorism, and while it was trying to procure weapons of mass destruction, and this move, and iniversity moves and funding arrangements are part of bringing it back into the *commity of Nations.”

    You can establish relations with the reformist eleements in Libya but there is no need to take money from the dictators themselves.

    “Do you think there’s any connection between taking money from (?)… in the middle east, and what we’ve seen in the Times this week, that a number of senior academics in this department at the LSE are also in support of an academic boycott of Israel?”

    I do, and if toy look at the time line of the scandal, it started off with various acedemics writing articles praising Gadaffi, praising Gadaffi in public and then getting the money, and at the same certain acedemics in the same universities were organising, or trying to organise academic boycotts of Israel. These acedemics seem to be prostituting themselves to Libya and other despotic regimes in the middle east inorder to get funding for their universities.

    “You say Universities plural, it’s not confined to the LSE?”

    In the Times (..)  John Moores in Liverpool has also accepted millions from Gaddafi. Ive checked in the house of Commons Libray and millions of pounds have also gone to universities around the country from the Saudis, and I also see the Saudies as a very repressive regime, particularly towards women and promoting a brand of islamism which is quite extreme. Universities should not be accepting money from Middle eastern despots.

    “Universities might say over the years they’ve been encouraged to act pretty much like businesses in some way, to bring in students from all over the world, to charge fee, and this sort of engagement is part of business.”

    iPlayer crashed my computer so many times I gave up at this point, but because of this interview I feel that John Humphrys should have addressed this aspect of the matter with the rigorous questioning Howard Davies deserved.
    Apols for some gaps and at least two strange words.