Sorry to be absent from blogging for so long.
Here are a few bits of what I was up to:
This is an excellent quality recording I have seen of one of my talks:
I was sharing a platform in Washington with Daniel Ellsberg. He is the godfather of whistle blowers, and for his revealing of truth about the Vietnam War he was at the time described, in all seriousness, by Henry Kissinger as “The Most Dangerous Man in America”. Ellsberg’s well-informed views on Afghanistan are particularly worth considering, in particular his knowledge that the proposed deployment of 45,000 more US troops is, in Pentagon minds, but the first stage in a ratchet to a colossal Vietnam style operation.
Dan also spoke to me chillingly about Pentagon plans of which he has certain knowledge to set up a network of informers and death squads, on models tried and tested in Vietnam and Central America.
I was also sharing a platform with Col. Larry Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, a staunch Republican who argues that “The most dangerous man in the World” was and is Dick Cheney. For a view right inside the Bush White House, this was fascinating:
An account of another speech I gave in the US is here:
I have also been very active on Uzbekistan, on which I shall be blogging separately. I attended a very good meeting of the Uzbek opposition in Brussels, but the only account I can find is hidden behind a subscription wall:
Finally, I have been in Dundee for University meetings, and with the other Scottish Rectors we launched a campaign to keep Scottish university education free in the coming troubled economic times:
I am also working with Dundee University Students Association against proposed restructuring – or course cuts – in the university. Law library opening hours have already been slashed, and the University Court moved to set up a “Redundancy Committee” to make compulsory redundancies, initially in the College of Art but I expect that is the thin end of the wedge.
They also, incidentally, voted to abolish the post of Rector’s Assessor, which would make it very difficult to do the job. The University plainly is looking to remove the capacity of Rectors to work on behalf of rhe students, preferring to link the University to contentless “Celebrity culture” by encouraging Rectors like my predecessor, Lorraine Kelly, who never once turned up to committee meetings.
It has been a fascinating period, but fortunately things should be a bit less busy now, so I hope to be blogging more regularly again.