On Being Hurt 117


I am aware that this post will cause some to laugh at me. I am aware that it may make me look pompous and self-seeking, and that my small hurts are nothing compared to what is happening to people in Libya. I am also aware it is impolitic to expose vulnerability when you are involved in internet debate.

What prompts me to write about a longstanding disappointment is this phrase from Chris Floyd yesterday:

Thus Craig Murray was not jumped in an alleyway, or killed in an obscure and ambiguous “accident” of some sort, as might have happened in imperiums of old. He was simply shunted to the sidelines and rendered “unserious” by official disapproval.

Which played on feelings that had been re-awakened by a post on Subrosa a couple of weeks ago, on whether Scotland should have its own honours system.

I could never be accused of craving honours. I have turned down three, the highest of which was Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. When I refused that one, I was given instead by the queen a letter rack hand made by Viscount Linley – and made extremely well. I donated it last month to the auction to meet Julian Assange’s legal fees, and it raised £500 (there is supposed to be a second part to this auction where the items now go on ebay to see if there are higher online bidders. That hasn’t happened yet because of Paypal’s blocking of Wikileaks).

I turned down British honours because it would be hypocritical to accept them for two reasons: I believe in Scottish independence, and I don’t believe in the monarchy. I was actually asked my reason by the queen in Warsaw, and I admit I stressed the Scottish nationalist bit more than the republican bit. She was not in the least put out by it.

With this background, you may be surprised to hear that what has hurt me so much is becoming perhaps the only Rector of a Scottish university in hundreds of years not to be awarded an honorary degree. (At Dundee I am not sure about Tony Slattery, whose rectorship never really started because of health issues).

The university senate debated a year ago whether I should be awarded an honorary degree and decided, with the strongest of steers from the university administration, that I was neither “respectable” nor “distinguished” enough. The matter was brought back again to the university senate by Dundee University Students Association, and again rejected. At university court, the current Rector, Brian Cox, formally minuted his dissent.

As to being distinguished, apart from being a British Ambassador and bestselling author, I have a first class MA (Hons) from Dundee University, was twice elected President of Dundee University Students Association and became Rector of Dundee University. If that is undistinguished, then Dundee University has a remarkably low opinion of itself.

I also find it rather curious that I am “undistinguished” but my two immediate predecessors as Rector, Lorraine Kelly and Fred Macaulay, were evidently “distinguished” enough. I should love to know the criteria.

It is not to do with the job done as Rector, because I attended many more committee meetings than my recent predecessors. This of course is exactly what the university administration did not want me to do. I argued strongly against cuts in university departments and student provision, against tuition fees, against allowing the special branch on campus, and tried to revive the notion of a democratically run academic community. I also attended regular meetings of other rectors, and with the Scottish parliament.

An academic from another university saw me in Edinburgh last week and out of the blue congratulated me on my rectorial installation address. I put a lot of effort into that speech, and it is surprising how often people do read and refer to it – I have been congratulated on it by Charlie Kennedy and Elaine C Smith, for example. But plainly a Rector able to make an interesting contribution on the philosophy of higher education is not what the university administration – which is just itching to bring in high tuition fees for all students – wants.

In a life which has spurned honours, I am hurt because I really care about Dundee University. I spent seven years of my life there plus three as an active Rector. If you sliced me, Dundee University runs through me like a stick of rock. That is why, on being spurned for an honorary degree, I feel emotionally like I have indeed been sliced. This really has hurt me.

Here comes the ridicule…


117 thoughts on “On Being Hurt

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  • mary

    How about these evil words, scripted in Tel Aviv, Washington and London I should think? Our descent into Hell is going faster and faster.
    .
    Arab spring has created ‘intelligence disaster’, warns former CIA boss
    Michael Scheuer says rendition should be brought back as lack of intelligence has left UK and US unable to monitor militants
    .
    Charlotte Higgins guardian.co.uk, Sunday 28 August 2011 12.26 BST
    .
    Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA unit in charge of pursuing Osama bin Laden, said the Arab spring had ‘delighted al-Qaida’. Photograph: Murdo Macleod
    .
    The Arab spring has “delighted al-Qaida” and caused “an intelligence disaster” for the US and Britain, the former head of the CIA unit in charge of pursuing Osama bin Laden has warned.
    .
    Speaking at the Edinburgh international book festival, Michael Scheuer said: “The help we were getting from the Egyptian intelligence service, less so from the Tunisians but certainly from the Libyans and Lebanese, has dried up – either because of resentment at our governments stabbing their political leaders in the back, or because those who worked for the services have taken off in fear of being incarcerated or worse.
    .
    “The amount of work that has devolved on US and British services is enormous, and the result is blindness in our ability to watch what’s going on among militants.”
    .
    The Arab spring, he said, was “an intelligence disaster for the US and for Britain, and other European services”.
    .
    Scheuer headed the Bin Laden unit at the CIA from 1996 to 1999, and worked as special adviser to its chief from 2001 to 2004. The author of a biography of Bin Laden, he now teaches on the peace and security affairs programme at the University of Georgetown.
    .
    He said: “The rendition programme must come back – the people we have in custody now are pretty long in the tooth, in terms of the information they can provide in interrogations.
    .
    “The Arab spring has been a disaster for us in terms of intelligence gathering, and we now are blind both because of the Arab spring and because there is nothing with which to replace the rendition programme.”
    .
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/28/arab-spring-intelligence-disaster-scheuer?intcmp=239

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Ha, ha, ha. Good one, Mary, thanks for the info. He’s just trying to sow alarm. Fuck Scheuer and all aboard his shite ship. Perhaps if he hadn’t tortured people across the globe, he’d have had more pals. Roll on, the Arab Spring! Throw out the dictators, throw out out the CIA! And while you’re at it, screw Al Qaeda.

  • Clark

    Mary, a search on “Palestine” works on Google Maps for me; the graphic places Jerusalem slightly south of the centre of the map. I haven’t found Palestine marked as a name of a country, but Google Maps seems inconsistent about that; it seems to depend upon the scale.

  • Clark

    So Scheuer wants to restart rendition. There simply do not exist words to describe such evil. And it was apparently totally ineffective in helping Scheuer’s unit locate Osama bin Laden, so this man presumably wishes to cause pain for the sake of it.

  • Sunflower

    “Throw out the dictators, throw out the CIA! And while you’re at it, screw Al Qaeda.”

    Expose the zionists and the tasks above are accomplished in one hit.

  • mary

    Clark I am on my home default page, normal scale, searching for Palestine and am given these choices:
    Palestine TX United States
    Palestine Grove Merton
    Palestine IL United States
    Palestine Andover
    Palestine St Belfast
    !!!
    .
    Palestine as such does not exist in the Zionist set up or mindset. Google was set up by two people. One of them is Sergey Brin who is a fervent supporter of the little democratic state that has no borders. He even went over in 2008 to celebrate Israel’s 60th birthday.
    .
    Other maps refer to Palestine as the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

  • Clark

    Mary, I see what you mean; the suggestions as you type into the search box. If you type as far as “palestini”, it will offer you “Palestinian Territories”. Searching on the whole word “palestine” does seem to lead to the right piece of map.
    .
    I don’t know whether Google deserve blame for this. Currently, Palestine is not recognised as a state by UN General Assembly.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Imagine being from ‘Palestine, Texas’. When people in Texas ask where you are from and you say, ‘Palestine’… I wonder if one day soon, they’ll twin with Nablus (!)
    .
    Ha ha ha!
    .
    I’m in a slapstick mood this evening. Pie-in-the-face and so on.

  • Clark

    I watched this video of Sergey Brin interviewed by an Israeli interviewer:
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIx5F0vbjB4
    .
    The interviewer is quite hard on Brin about Google search results on the word “jew”, pointing out that jewwatch.com was at the top of the list. Brin responded as I would expect any techie geek – he said that Google’s algorithm determines the results, and he would not like that to be tainted with ad-hoc adjustments. As a wanabe programmer, I approve of that as a matter of pride in ones work. Brin also dismissed the interviewer’s complaint that Google Earth displays details of Israeli military installations.
    .
    Brin did start to sound defensive and evasive when the interviewer raised the issue of how much data Google holds upon users, and particularly about whether those users can be identified as individuals.
    .
    Palestine, Texas: out of about 18,000 residents, nearly 4000 work for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice… Probably not my sort of place.

  • Sunflower

    Re. Google:
    .

    Dr. Katherine Albrecht, another person i have a lot of respect for, is the spokesperson for a service called Startpage.com That service allows you to search Google through an anonymous proxy over SSL. That means you can use Google without Google storing your personal information.
    .
    Try Google on Dr. Katherine Albrecht and RFID

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Texas Rangers! I once got shown around the elegant pink granite State Capitol in Austin afterhours by a tall Texas Ranger. I got to sit in the Governor’s seat (Ann Richards was Governor then). Of course, as the world knows to its cost, George W. Bush unseated the relatively decent (and now late) one-time teacher, Ann Richards to launch his disgusting political career as Governor of Texas. So George W. Bush got to sit in the seat in which I sat. Ha! That is an honour for George W. Bush. If I’d known the mass-murdering Bush was going to sit there, I’d have invited Sweeney Todd.
    .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Richards

  • mary

    Clark – I type the whole word Palestine and get those choices I listed. Ignoring those and clicking on Palestine, I get a map of Israel. A few indeterminate white dotted lines indicate the Gaza Strip and the West Bank but do NOT indicate the wall or the settlements or the appropropriation of East Jerusalem by Israel.
    .
    This is another map which shows Palestine as several islands. Bantustans like S Africa.
    .
    http://bigthink.com/ideas/21423

  • mary

    You probably know the website Uruknet which over many years has put up mainly factual reports and stories about the horror of what has gone on in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine amongst other places. Google have censored them on several occasions and have done the same to other similar sites. Wonder why.
    .
    http://www.uruknet.de/?p=m43505
    URUKNET CUT OFF FROM GOOGLE NEWS AGAIN!
    Uruknet
    .
    April 28, 2008
    .
    Google is at it again! On April 24, 2008 Google has stopped indexing Uruknet.info as a news source.
    .
    (The latest Uruknet article included in the Google News index is THE US POWER STRUCTURE Who Really Runs the World (April 24, 2008)
    .
    We wrote to Google News but we didn’t get any reply.
    .
    We therefore kindly request our readers to write to Google asking Uruknet.info to be reinstated as a news source.
    .
    Please, send your complaints to google.news! Click here to fill a speedy form.
    .
    This is the fourth time that Google discontinues indexing Uruknet, only to reinstate it following many complaints sent in by our readers.
    .
    You can read the previous episodes below.

    /….

  • mary

    Finally, I have tried typing the word ‘jew’ on Google and I was being sent to Jews Sans Frontieres. Rejecting that, I finally got this long hectoring page at the top of the search page. Why are they intervening? Type in christian or muslim and you get dating site ads both at the top of the pages. Enough said. The revenue matters to Google.
    .
    http://www.google.com/explanation.html
    .
    Bing and Yahoo give Wikipedia results, miscellaneous and images etc. No lectures.

  • Clark

    Mary, the results you are getting from Google are different from mine. This is presumably due to differences in settings between our two systems, our previous search histories, and how reliably the Google system can identify us, etc. My top results for “jew” are “Jews – Wikipedia”, “Judaism – Wikipedia”, jewwatch.com. The Google “Explanation” page that you linked is the 6th major heading.
    .
    “Jew” differs in linguistic usage from both “Muslim” and “Christian”. For instance, someone might describe people or countries as “Muslim” or “Christian” but never as “Jew”; that would be “Jewish”. So I think that the explanation page and Sergey Brin’s answer in the interview make sense; “jew” is likely to be part of a search term by those critical of Jews, and Google returns results suitable for them.
    .
    It certainly seems that Uruknet is excluded from Google News. Uruknet is not excluded from Google Web search; for instance, try this search term:
    .
    palestine site:uruknet.de
    .
    Regarding maps, I have never found a key to Google Maps. Some borders are shown as dotted; I think that some of these may be contested borders; look at, say, Kashmir for a comparison. The map placement for a search on “palestine” does show Israel, but it has to if it is to include Gaza. Google Maps generally doesn’t seem to concentrate upon depicting political situations.
    .
    I tried other search engines for a while, but I kept going back to Google which found what I was looking for when others didn’t. But Google is more than just web searching; they gather data on us at almost every site we visit. We can minimise this with the Google Sharing and NoScript add-ons for Firefox.

  • mark_golding

    Two statements haunted Robin Cook before his untimely death. One of them was:

    7th July 1999 – the Libyan Government, “had accepted general responsibility for Yvonne Fletcher’s death, expressed its deep regrets to her mother, and paid compensation.”

    Who says the SAS are looking for PC Fletcher’s killer – Oh yes, ‘The London Evening Standard…’ Last I heard the SAS had left Bani Walid and were complaining about ‘f*cking sand in everything.

  • mark_golding

    [email protected]

    NATO members that have been participating in air strikes in Libya include France, Britain, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, and Italy.
    .
    I would like to make formal charges against the NATO alliance for war crimes committed in Libya.
    .
    France, Britain, United States, Canada, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands and Italy are joint members of the NATO alliance, and have all broken their UN mandate, and committed a catalogue of war crimes in Libya.
    .
    Because of their influence over the main stream press in my country (UK), I cannot even give a full and complete list of their crimes.
    But the following crimes are documented, and I demand that the ICC take appropriate action, and have the leaders of the NATO alliance charged with these heinous crimes.
    .
    13 May 2011: The murder of 11 Muslim Imams in Brega.
    .
    30 April 2011: The bombing of the Downs Syndrome School in Tripoli
    .
    30 April 2011: The bombing of a Gaddafi residence, murdering Saif Gaddafi, his friend and 3 Gaddafi children.
    .
    12 June 2011: The bombing of the University of Tripoli. Death toll not yet established.
    .
    22 July 2011: The bombing of the Great Man made Waterway irrigation system, which supplies most Libyans with their drinking water.
    .
    23 July 2011: The bombing of the factory which makes the pipes for the water system, and the murder of 6 of its employees.
    .
    8th August 2011: The bombing of the Hospital at Zliten. Resulting in the murder of a minimum, of 50 human beings, many of them children. The bombing of hospitals is against all international laws, and a most grievous crime.
    .
    9 August 2011: The bombing of the village of Majer, resulting in the murder of 85 civilians. 33 Children, 32 women and 20 men.
    .
    The persistent on going bombing of the civilian population in Zliten and Tripoli, death toll not yet established. NATO are committing genocide and I DEMAND that the ICC address this matter with urgency.
    .
    David Cameron has admitted that UK special services have assisted the terrorists on the ground, this is against the UN mandate which allowed NATO to intervene in Libya, and is a war crime.
    .
    Many of the rebels have been identified as Al Qeada members, NATO working with known terrorists is a war crime, and against all international laws.
    .
    It is also my belief that NATO lied about their reasons for invading Libya, I demand that the ICC investigate these lies, and hold the NATO alliance responsible.
    .
    I also charge the ICC with working with NATO to spread propaganda and fear among the Libyan people, namely by announcing that the NTC had in their custody Saif al Islam Gaddafi and Muhammad Gaddafi, the night the terrorists (NTC) entered Tripoli. This was lies, and clearly shows collusion between the TNC terrorists and the ICC.
    Libya is not Afghanistan or Iraq, and NATO will be held accountable for their crimes in Libya.
    .
    As this is a matter of great urgency, I demand that the ICC address these charges immediately, as the genocide is on going.
    .
    I am not a lawyer, and I have no legal training, but as a citizen of the UK & EU I demand justice. NATO are acting illegally, UK tax money is financing this travesty, and under EU and international law the ICC must deal with the charges I have documented, with the utmost seriousness.
    .
    Yours Sincerely Sandra Barr
    .
    http://www.facebook.com/notes/sandra-barr/charging-nato-with-war-crimes/10150299952068781

  • mark_golding

    [email protected]
    .
    NATO members that have been participating in air strikes in Libya include France, Britain, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, and Italy.
    .
    I would like to make formal charges against the NATO alliance for war crimes committed in Libya.
    .
    France, Britain, United States, Canada, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands and Italy are joint members of the NATO alliance, and have all broken their UN mandate, and committed a catalogue of war crimes in Libya.
    .
    Because of their influence over the main stream press in my country (UK), I cannot even give a full and complete list of their crimes.
    But the following crimes are documented, and I demand that the ICC take appropriate action, and have the leaders of the NATO alliance charged with these heinous crimes.
    .
    13 May 2011: The murder of 11 Muslim Imams in Brega.
    .
    30 April 2011: The bombing of the Downs Syndrome School in Tripoli
    .
    30 April 2011: The bombing of a Gaddafi residence, murdering Saif Gaddafi, his friend and 3 Gaddafi children.
    .
    12 June 2011: The bombing of the University of Tripoli. Death toll not yet established.
    .
    22 July 2011: The bombing of the Great Man made Waterway irrigation system, which supplies most Libyans with their drinking water.
    .
    23 July 2011: The bombing of the factory which makes the pipes for the water system, and the murder of 6 of its employees.
    .
    8th August 2011: The bombing of the Hospital at Zliten. Resulting in the murder of a minimum, of 50 human beings, many of them children. The bombing of hospitals is against all international laws, and a most grievous crime.
    .
    9 August 2011: The bombing of the village of Majer, resulting in the murder of 85 civilians. 33 Children, 32 women and 20 men.
    .
    The persistent on going bombing of the civilian population in Zliten and Tripoli, death toll not yet established. NATO are committing genocide and I DEMAND that the ICC address this matter with urgency.
    .
    David Cameron has admitted that UK special services have assisted the terrorists on the ground, this is against the UN mandate which allowed NATO to intervene in Libya, and is a war crime.
    .
    Many of the rebels have been identified as Al Qeada members, NATO working with known terrorists is a war crime, and against all international laws.
    .
    It is also my belief that NATO lied about their reasons for invading Libya, I demand that the ICC investigate these lies, and hold the NATO alliance responsible.
    .
    I also charge the ICC with working with NATO to spread propaganda and fear among the Libyan people, namely by announcing that the NTC had in their custody Saif al Islam Gaddafi and Muhammad Gaddafi, the night the terrorists (NTC) entered Tripoli. This was lies, and clearly shows collusion between the TNC terrorists and the ICC.
    Libya is not Afghanistan or Iraq, and NATO will be held accountable for their crimes in Libya.
    .
    As this is a matter of great urgency, I demand that the ICC address these charges immediately, as the genocide is on going.
    .
    I am not a lawyer, and I have no legal training, but as a citizen of the UK & EU I demand justice. NATO are acting illegally, UK tax money is financing this travesty, and under EU and international law the ICC must deal with the charges I have documented, with the utmost seriousness.
    .
    Yours Sincerely Sandra Barr
    .
    facebook.com/notes/sandra-barr/charging-nato-with-war-crimes/10150299952068781

  • mary

    Thank you Mark for letting us know about that lady who is standing up for the truth, and for justice, although the latter is very hard to obtain in this country unless you are rich and powerful.

  • mary

    Vanessa Redgrave is another woman whom I greatly admire. She has humanity within her. She was able to deal very well with the local BBC and ITV news presenters who were trying to talk her down last night and not allowing her to make her points.
    .
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/31/dale-farm-travellers-planning
    .
    Dale Farm Travellers seek more time for planning applicationsHigh court decides whether to issue 28-day injunction against eviction notice issued by Basildon council
    .
    Patrick Barkham guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 31 August 2011 11.48 BST
    .Dale Farm campaigner Grattan Puxton (left) and actor Vanessa Redgrave (right) meet members of the McCarthy family at the site in Basildon, Essex. Photograph: Ian Nicholson/PA
    .
    Almost half the residents of Dale Farm could find legal homes nearby if Basildon council would consider two planning applications, Traveller supporters said before asking a high court judge to suspend evictions at the Essex site.
    .
    An emergency injunction is being sought against the eviction notice to more than 80 families living on the outskirts of Basildon to allow applications to be considered for smaller sites on brownfield land owned by the government, one of which is within sight of Dale Farm.
    .
    The high court will decide on Wednesday whether to issue a 28-day injunction against the eviction notice issued by Basildon borough council.

    ~~~

    Remember the Third Reich and the Roma?

  • mary

    Remember how rendition flights were allowed to use Scottish airports and also Shannon? Also for delivering prisoners to Guantanamo?
    .
    Reprieve, a group that fights for prisoners denied justice in the name of the “war on terror”, will tell Mr MacAskill that 24 CIA jets stopped to refuel on Scottish soil at least 107 times between 2001 and 2005.’ {http://news.scotsman.com/ciatortureflights/CIA-torturers-passed-through-Scotland.3319950.jp}
    .
    How US firms profited from torture flights
    Court documents illustrate how US contracted out secret rendition transportation to a network of private companies
    .
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/31/us-firms-torture-flights-rendition
    .
    As memories of this grotesque horror dim, we read that Israel is awarding Blair a medal for his efforts in the peace process. Orwell lives.

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