Potential students of the London School of Economics ought perhaps to rethink their choice of university, particularly if they plan to study international relations. After all, Muammar Qaddafi had to kill thousands of his own people before the LSE’s distinguished academics realized he might be something of a dictator.
However, if your plan is to study how to be a hypocritical, corrupt bastard, then the LSE is for you. There’s money in it, you see.
The LSE, which claims to educate many of tomorrow’s leaders, agreed to take $2.4 million from Qaddafi’s son, Seif el-Islam. For its Global Governance program, of all things. By the time the current murderous civil war engulfed Libya, the LSE had received 300,000 pounds. It now says it’ll divert that donation, presumably to a charity.
Meanwhile, Seif el-Islam Qaddafi received a PhD from the LSE. An inquest may be undertaken, it seems, into accusations of plagiarism by “Dr. Qaddafi.”
I’d have little to say about all this if the LSE had come out and said, “Look, we’ve had government cutbacks. We needed the money. We decided, let’s sell a doctorate to the son of the Libyan flake and use the cash for educating others who’ll go on to great careers like other LSE alumni such as Mick Jagger and Sir Veeraswamy Ringadoo, the first president of Mauritius.”
Like Tennesse Williams, I try to look mildly on the peccadilloes of human beings. And like Ernest Hemingway I believe one should take the money and run.
Hypocrisy and self-righteousness, however, disturb my calm, to put it mildly. Particularly when it’s the hypocrisy and self-righteousness of well-heeled academics who think they can get away with allowing someone else to get away with murder so long as nobody notices.
The university’s head, Sir Howard Davies, told the BBC that “we took a risk and I think it’s right to say that that risk has backfired on us.”
Read the rest of this post on my blog The Man of Twists and Turns.