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White hell

Britain ground to a halt last week as the country was gripped by white hell. Well, what they really meant was that there was some snow in London. The London transport system promptly ground to a halt, schools closed, factories shut and newspapers suffered superlative fatigue. There were the heart-warming stories about meals on wheels … Continue reading

Sexual Offensive Bill

The First Minister, Alex Salmond, continued his daring manifesto striptease last week. First it was student debts, first time buyer grants and new police that dropped to the floor. Now the bigger items of clothing are being removed, like Local Income Tax. But fear not, because the SNP’s moral guardian, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, has … Continue reading

The banality of bankers

Hannah Arendt used to talk about the “banality of evil”; last week we saw the banality of bankers. There they sat, the Sir this and Lord thats, uttering po-faced clichés and over-rehearsed apologies to ratty MPs in Westminster. The Sun called them “scumbag millionaires” but they were really a bit of an anticlimax, and far … Continue reading

Rector Reflections

The most difficult thing was explaining why I wanted to do it. As the 50th Rector of Edinburgh University, following my election last week by students and staff, I will now be chairing the University Court, the governing body of one of Scotland’s great cultural institutions. It’s clearly an immense honour and a privilege, and … Continue reading

Vote Now!

Cast your vote NOW on MyEd and find out why you should vote for Iain by looking at policy for staff and students.

Rector Debate on BBC TV

Check out the debate between the rector candidates on BBC TV today.

Hate speak – look who’s talking.

Yesterday, I committed an act of hate speak. Upon reflection I have decided to apologise unreservedly for remarks I made about Gordon Brown in the Sunday Herald. In the heat of the moment I wrote that: “To describe Gordon as an unmade bed is an insult to teenage bedrooms”. This was derogatory and I offer … Continue reading

British jobs for British workers

You can tell a lot about a country by what bring its citizens out on the streets. In France, millions demonstrated last week against banking bailouts and public money being used to prop up a failed financial system built on greed. Here in Britain we go on strike against foreign workers. I say ‘we’ when … Continue reading

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