21 February 2012

Fat cats and starved cats

text of a letter to an academic

Everything goes from bad to worse, as it is intended to do.

Professor David Eastwood, the vice-chancellor of Birmingham University, has been getting £419,000 a year, and others in comparable positions something similar.

If my education had not been so deliberately ruined, or if recognition had been given to my ability to do things whether or not I had been allowed to get paper qualifications in them, I could easily have got into one of those positions. What a difference! Between several hundred thousand a year on the one hand; and no salary at all, not even eligibility for so-called ‘social security’, on the other.

That is the difference between someone who has risen to the top of the educational system which favours mediocrity, and someone who has failed to make their way successfully through the educational obstacle course.

I thought the powers that be were not supposed to like ‘inequality’. When I was at the Society for Psychical Research it was still supposed that the Oppressive State was aiming at ‘equality of income’. I remember Salter at the SPR, a person of independent means, asking me if I did not agree that equality of income was a grim and unpleasant idea. In those days there was still at least a minority of people who did not think that aiming at equalising incomes was automatically virtuous and desirable. Terms such as ‘fair’ and ‘fairness’ had not yet become buzzwords.

Let me know of any vice-chancellorships or similar that you see falling vacant, so that I can apply for them.

Yours, etc.

The departments of my unfunded independent university are effectively censored and suppressed. I hereby apply for financial support on a scale at least adequate for one active and fully financed university research department, to all universities, and to corporations or individuals who consider themselves to be in a position to give support to socially recognised academic establishments.