The Curmudgeon


Thursday, December 01, 2011

Rerum Cognoscere Causas

Lord Woolf's inquiry into links between Libya and the London School of Economics has found a "disconcerting number of failures in communication and governance" over the question of whether the late lamented Colonel Gaddafi's son Saif was a statesman in waiting or the deadly foaming spawn of an irredeemably mad dog. A salesbeing from the peacekeeping company BAE gave Saif some help with his application to study at the LSE, and a helpful functionary at the Foreign Office pulled a string or two on the old-boy network at Oxford, but withdrew the request when it was pointed out that Saif had no training or qualifications to undertake the course. The LSE, which accepted Saif in 2002, thanks to one of those benign New Labour coincidences received a gift of one and a half million pounds from a charity run by Saif. At the time Colonel Gaddafi was considered a repentant lamb on his way back into the international fold, although it has since become deplorably evident that Colonel Gaddafi had been talking to the Reverend Blair.

Lord Woolf wags his finger at the LSE for accepting a bribe from so volatile a source, and worries about the three private companies which apparently put up the money to begin with. One of these companies specialises in "seeking commercial opportunity in Libya, especially in the military sphere", and is therefore Scottish rather than British. For its own part, BAE had no intention of selling arms to Libya, but was preparing to help it meet "civil requirements" of the kind which were being sorcerously transformed into weapons of mass nonexistence in Iraq at about the same time. The BAE salesbeing was formally seconded to Saif's charity, while still drawing a BAE salary, a couple of years later. Woolf concludes that "Saif's background meant he could procure a level of assistance which would not be open to the ordinary PhD student" and that "proper structures of governance are needed to protect academic integrity against influence from the interests of private donors", which will doubtless be good for a snigger or two in Lord Ashcroft's Whitehall.


  • At 11:06 am , Blogger phil said...

    So in other words, chaps were dealing with people who were not chaps.

    Bound to end in tears.


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