Friday, 27 March 2009

Professor of Anthropology organising G20 Protest hopes "Bankers Will Be Hanging From Lamp Posts"

Dig those crazy robes, man (!)
by johnofgwent

Insomnia strikes yet again and so I find as 01:00 fast approaches my fingers fly over the keyboard in search of headlines. And then I hit gold.

There's a G20 summit coming up soon. April Fools' Day, I think. No doubt there will be tanks outside our major airports "just in case" another bunch of plane crazy people decide to go "have a larf". And riot police patrolling the streets. Oh well, maybe time for a spot of walking in the beacons or a quiet beer by the river next week I guess.

But I hear the stirrings of unrest are already afoot.

Over on the bbc news website I see a "Professor" (of Anthropology, the study of humans and humanity no less) at the wonderfully named "University of East London" (formerly "East London Poly" has been suspended from his job.

Why ? Well it seems he's organising the protests against the G20 Summit next week and while I suppose it could be possible to stretch the imagination a little and assume this was some wierd research experiment he's got involved with that will bring him more fame and fortune in the academic literature, I think he probably went a bot too far when he went on air for BBC Radio 4 and expressed his hopes that "bankers will be hanging from lamp-posts" - and others too if they don't come out and surrender.

According to the BBC News Page:-

Chris Knight, of the University of East London, told BBC Radio 4 things "could get nasty" after ex-bank boss Sir Fred Goodwin's Edinburgh home was attacked. The university confirmed in a statement the professor of anthropology had been suspended from duties on Thursday. An investigation was being launched into his comments, it said

Mr Knight, who was organising protests next week, said: "We are going to be hanging a lot of people like Fred the Shred [Sir Fred Goodwin] from lampposts on April Fool's Day and I can only say let's hope they are just effigies."To be honest, if he winds us up any more I'm afraid there will be real bankers hanging from lampposts and let's hope that that doesn't actually have to happen.

"They [bankers] should realise the amount of fury and hatred there is for them and act quickly, because quite honestly if it isn't humour it is going to be anger.

"I am trying to keep it humorous and let the anger come up in a creative and hopefully productive and peaceful way. If the other people don't join in the fun - I'm talking about the bankers and those rather pompous ministers - and come over and surrender their power obviously it's going to get us even more wound up and things could get nasty. Let's hope it doesn't."

In my day it was the student union hacks who did the protesting while we did ..... well let's just say Ian Dury almost had my student days right in his song, but the people I knew only managed two out of the three he sang about, plus a lot of drinking. As John Gay has it in The Beggars Opera, "Fill Ev'ry Glass, For Wine Inspires Us ..." !!

But these days it's the Professors who are out there leading the riots. Good God what is the world coming to. But then again when *I* graduated "Baccalaureus Im Scientia Magna Cum Laude" in the final year of the decade that fashion forgot my graduation robes were a dignified black, with mortar board tasselled with "Universitas Cambrensis" deep red, deep blue and pale yellow. A wholly dignified formal academic garment that bestowed gravitas on the man or woman wearing it as befitting to the serious nature of the subject they had studied.

Thank God I never had to put on the jesters outfit as modelled by Imran Khan, Lawyer to the family of Saint Stephen of Lawrence depicted above. who feature among the list of UEL's great and good here.

I think if I had to appear in public like that maybe I'd be wanting to hang soemone from a lamp-post. Starting with The College Proncipal and the entire colour-blind committee that thought up such a travesty.