A libertarian inclined blog for teachers and learners of all ages. Comments, emails and links to other educational stuff welcome.

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Next entry: The pressure to announce initiatives
Previous entry: Bacteria in the middle of snowflakes
Saturday March 08 2008

Nick M did not like student politics when he got a close look at it, and found himself venting earlier today, in comment number four here.  Quote:

When I was a postgrad at Leeds my office was just past the science library (and the math smoking spot - which is where the real work occurred) so every morning I walked down red-route (as it was named) and past the ads for assorted types running for student positions.

Now, Leeds and Manchester are quite similar in many ways and I know them both well. Leeds has a problem and it’s a Fozzy Bear of a one. 30000+ students and abysmal rental housing stock. I tried once to get a gaff with an Italian Mech Eng PhD. It was embarrassing. We saw one gaff and a bedroom had been sub-divided with a curtain. Mic said this was something up with which the Milanese would not put. Ironically, at the time, Leeds was flush with having a Harvey Nicks open up and was billing itself as “The Milan of the North”. I was living in a back-to-back opposite a drug dealer (which was handy if the people on the other side were having a “domestic") and they usually were. They regularly got through more plates than a Greek state-wedding. “Milan of the North” - I’ll take that seriously when a certain Italian city bills itself as “The Leeds of the South”.

Yet, what did I see on the ads for the various candidates? Did I see anything about student housing? Did I see anything about crime? Did I hell. I saw a lot of promises to tackle racism and homophobia on campus. Seriously. Now my understanding is that on a university campus you can be queer as Christmas and nobody gives a toss. Can you imagine my outrage as I saw all these posters walking in from a gaff that would have disgraced the 1930s? In one of the most multi-ethnic cities in the country with a hang-over from having spent the previous night in Queen’s Court which had just been voted Britain’s top gay bar? It was a going away do for a gentleman who preferred the company of gentleman. I knew the lad quite well and had frequently seen him walking hand in hand with his beau on Leeds campus. In three years he never got even insulted.

There are parts of England where they will kill you for holding the hand of another man. This was not a problem on Leeds campus though I wouldn’t rate your chances in South Shields on a Saturday night. How demented are these people to try and solve non-problems when the were very real ones to deal with right in front of them?

“These people” being the people who now rule Britain.  There’s more in the original, about the man who taught Nick M’s wife Russian grammar.