Friday, June 02, 2006

Battle for Oxford

Another bastion of British tradition seems about to fall. The Times reports that "Oxford University is to press ahead with proposals to end almost 900 years of self-government". But it's not yet a done deal: "a dozen “pro-democracy” academics circulated alternative plans yesterday urging Congregation to reject the reforms.".

Clinging to 'tradition' does Britain no favours especially as so many of them turn out to have been invented by Victorian or Edwardian romantics. The idea of amiably fusty old dons running our great seat of learning may appeal to a John Major vision of Britain as a country of warm beer and gentle cricket but it will do little to help it maintain its eminence into the twenty-first century.

The same appeal to sentimentally faux nostalgia can be seen in some of the arguments put forward, for example, by opponents of NHS reform or police-force mergers. But we've moved on from a world of 'carry on nurse' or 'Miss Marple' and our institutions need also to move on.

Sorry about all the clichés but at least now you know....

2 Comments:

At 10:39, Blogger PooterGeek said...

Does this mean that the Oxford University Press will also give up its anti-competitive charitable status?

 
At 23:04, Blogger Hughes Views said...

Hello PG - perhaps the OUP is waiting until our Great British 'public' schools show them the way.....

 

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