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Thursday, 14 April 2011

Tainted money (again)

The story that prompted this previous post has rumbled on with an exchange between Michael Pinto Duschinsky and Richard Evans in the letters page of the Higher (7 April and 14 April).  It seems to me that Pinto-Duschinsky is responding in the way that I feared he would, which highlights the weakness of the argument Evans chose to justify the committee's decision.   Consequently the argument seems (to me) to have veered off down a predictable but unprofitable avenue.  I am nevertheless amused by the irony of the fact that Pinto-Duschinsky's preferred outlet for venting his spleen on Oxford is Standpoint magazine, a right-wing rag established inter alia by the odious Michael Gove and which currently seems to be becoming a favoured place to publish amongst the late antique/medievalists of the Oxford University faculty of history (very disappointing but not, alas, very surprising).

The real issue (to my mind) about this is that if there is to be, as Pinto-Duschinsky says he wants, a 'truth and reconciliation' committee about these gifts, there should be one to examine the ethical 'cleanliness' of all money donated to universities.  And that, I suspect, would leave us all very hard up...

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