Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Candidate Mocks Glasgow Universities

The Principal of Glasgow Caledonian University has branded the SNP candidate for the Glasgow North East by election a 'dangerous elitist' for his comments in 2007 that the university did "not have a reputation to tarnish" at this alma mater St Andrews.

Now I have a lot to thank St. Andrews for, not least of which is that two Graduates of that institution have provided me two gorgeous nephews. But I ended up at a Polytechnic originally before coming away with a University degree when Kingston moved from one status to the other. I agree with Dr Ian Johnston's comments that the majority of the mainly vocational courses are externally professionally accredited, and so offer a good route to employment. As Willie Rennie MP for Dunfermline and West Fife also says:

'The institutions have a good reputation for their partnerships with industry and for improving the life opportunities of thousands of people of all ages and from a wide diversity of backgrounds.

'In fact I would argue that Paisley and Glasgow Colleges gave a bigger lift or added value to their students than those institutions that Mr Kerr thinks are only worthy of any consideration.'

Indeed I do recall that at the end of my first term of University comparing notes with some of my school friends who were also studying Economics elsewhere, including St. Andrews. As we were only studying one course and not the other lines of study that the University's insisted on we'd actually covered more in that first three months than they would encounter in their first year.

As Willie says thankfully not all people associated with the ancient Universities think that way. But there are a number of people that they churn out that think deriding the newer Universities is a matter of jest, that they can be make 'light-hearted' comments about. The people who attend such places often don't have the privileges that many of the ancient Graduates have had. It's hardly surprising that even during my brother's time at St. Andrews there was a degree of social climbing that some people tried to do in that fine Fife institution. Aiming for acceptance by the 'Yahs' the group of those with received pronunciation, often Oxbridge rejects, was a goal for some.

The SNP are trying to wipe away this sort of comment as a one off joke, yet a BBC source said Kerr was always seen as "a bit arrogant" by colleagues. "He thinks other people aren't as intelligent as he is."

Is that sort of person really going to be best placed to serve the people of NE Glasgow?


  1. "Is that sort of person really going to be best placed to serve the people of NE Glasgow?"

    Oh dear Stephen.

    I lecture at a University that was a 'ploytechnic', I also engage on research projects with Caledonian University.

    You painting of David Kerr's jokes, made publicly at a speech is very unfortunate and more than a little skewed.

    Continuing the Labour line, Kerr now seems to be a person that "readily dismisses sectarianism", is a member of a "da vinci cult" and is an interminable "snob, with dangerous views".

    I mean really.

    Is this how politics should happen in Scotland?

    A biased media fed smear story's by a party that's been in Government too long, cheered along by the Tories and Liberals who refused to stand against Michael martin out of some archaic tradition?

    I'd have thought that the Liberals wanted to talk about policy, instead and dare I say it out of political expediency your dealing in personal jibes.

    Can you tell us anything about the Liberal Candidate?

    Oh that's right, there isn't one!

    So please do get off your high horse and have a long hard think about your rather snide remarks.

    I hear that bathstore.com are doing a sale on full length mirrors.

  2. Actally Wardog I left the sectarianism context in which the comments were made out of the post. Because I don't think that religion should ever be an issue in who should represent anyone. So if my ignoring the full context I have skewed his opinions then I apologise and if you wish I will put them in the full context. I don't you want that any more than I do now, do you?

    However, as the comments were directly derogatory against many of the residents of the location he wishes to represent, show a gross lack of understanding of the educational make up of 'all' our Universities, ranks up there with stupid comments made by any number of candidates (including some Lib Dems) that seriously brings into contention their ability to represent the people. Just because education is devolved doesn't mean than a Westminster candidate shouldn't have respect and concern for all types of educational establishment.

    As for the Lib Dem candidate I can tell you that those interested will have placed their applications in by 6pm yesterday. My name has not been put forward. And rather than rushing into an election that Labour were not in the mood to rush, we are taking time to select the right candidate.