After a tiring trip from Accra to Izmir via Frankfurt and Munich (in which I discovered Lufthansa incredibly do not offer a wireless connection in their business class lounges) I arrived in my hotel last night and put on BBC World to catch up on events before getting my kip. Imagine my horror on hearing “Now for a half hour report on the highlights of this week’s preparations for the royal wedding.”
This morning it happened again. The BBC ran a report on Nazarbayev’s “re-election” in Kazakhstan with 95.5% of the vote. Without a hint of conscious irony, they then morphed into a straight 15 minutes of absolute propaganda, in which among other lies we were told that New York is agog with “Royal wedding fever” and that Kate Middleton is “an ordinary girl about to become a Princess”.
It is 33 years since I published in Annasach, the Dundee University student newspaper, that to enter St Andrews University you did not need good A Levels or Highers – they were more interested in whether your daddy owned a Range Rover. That has become ever more true, as useless and thick but rich English people are dispatched to a dismal, distant, misty neuk where they can be embarassingly dim, invisibly.
St Andrews is in Scotland but is no longer of Scotland. It actively discriminates against Scots. Less than 20% of the students are Scots. Let me say that again. Less than 20% of the students are Scots.
I have no objection to the existence of a finishing school where the Anglo-American super-rich can send their offspring to pretend to study a non-subject like “Fine Arts”, while hoping to contract an advantageous marriage alliance. But I have profound objection to it being financed by the Scottish taxpayer.
St Andrews University should be privatised immediately. By privatised, I mean cut off without another penny of taxpayers’ cash. The money saved should be distributed among Scotland’s real universities.