Identikit MarxoCatholic man

Anthony Grayling explains some things about the New College of the Humanities.

The cast of professors is stunning but will they actually spend much time on the new campus? “They won’t give tutorials, but they will be partners, bringing advice and expertise. I want to recreate the experience I had at Oxford. I was very intensively tutored in my college but could also go and hear some amazing and extraordinary lectures.”

That’s what I thought it was about. I thought that because it was one of the many things we talked about over tea a few weeks ago. We talked about the one-on-one tutorial – I from the point of view of one who had never experienced such a thing but only envied it, he from the point of view of one who had. I thought of that as soon as I read about the NCH on Sunday…unlike Terry Eagleton.

The master of the college will be public sage and identikit Islington Man, AC Grayling. …Anyway, why should anyone be surprised at the prospect of academics signing on for a cushy job at 25% more than the average university salary, with shares in the enterprise to boot?

What would prevent most of us from doing so is the nausea which wells to the throat at the thought of this disgustingly elitist outfit. British universities, plundered of resources by the bankers and financiers they educated, are not best served by a bunch of prima donnas jumping ship and creaming off the bright and loaded. It is as though a group of medics in a hard-pressed public hospital were to down scalpels and slink off to start a lucrative private clinic. Grayling and his friends are taking advantage of a crumbling university system to rake off money from the rich. As such, they are betraying all those academics who have been fighting the cuts for the sake of their students.

Oh are they; are they really. Simon Jenkins raises an eyebrow.

[Eagleton] omits to mention his own Grayling-ite credentials, as “excellence in English distinguished visitor” to America’s private Notre Dame Catholic university. There he gives three weeks’ teaching per semester for an undisclosed sum.

Downing scalpels and going off to a private (and Catholic, at that) university (that charges £27,000 a year) instead of staying home to fight the cuts. What a steaming self-righteous hypocrite Terry Eagleton is, and a bullying toady of the church into the bargain. He sneers at NCH for being unlikely to have a theology department. Yes really!

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