Sunday, April 14, 2013

Heads must roll at the LSE now.

If the LSE had the slightest notion of their role in society, they'd be offering John Sweeney an Honorary Doctorate. It is surely insane to argue that Sweeney and the BBC should not have gone to N Korea because the North Koreans ban journalists from entering the country?

Instead, they whine about how his decision to quietly join one of their tours in order to report from North Korea could have imperilled 'innocent' students and future trips to this sinister and murderous Kleptocracy.

There's an obvious one word answer to the LSE's charges; Diddums.

Or a longer one where you have to point out - to idiots - that their options to expose their students to disgusting propaganda may have been reduced because of a naughty old journalist.

Do the LSE imagine that it is their role to relieve any of their students of their rights to full enquiry, freedom of expression or assembly? That they should ask them to waive their rights or their desire to do these things when they sign up to a trip - and that they collude with the worst form of totalitarianism?

Do they imagine that the North Koreans will now revise their previously open and even-handed approach to how their hellhole is reported?

Surely, it should be a key part of the preparation they give to their students prior to such a trip? To disabuse them of the view that it's acceptable to collude with fascist propaganda. To understand that pleading innocence of this obligation is the essence of the Quisling. To stress that any and all opportunities must be taken to combat censorship of the most brazen kind.

This is a matter that is so simple and clear-cut. For all of the bleating from the LSE about how their students were being endangered (and I doubt they were in any serious way), there's not one word of admiration for the bravery of John Sweeney and the film crew that accompanied him. Had they been exposed on this trip, I suspect they would have found themselves treated very badly indeed.

I hope there are resignations at the LSE following this. And I hope that the entire British media unites behind Sweeney


Anonymous said...

Whilst the endangerment of the students can be questioned, Sweeney has seriously damaged the opportunity for LSE staff and student to make positive contributions to understanding North Korea in the future. By using the cover of an LSE PHD student he as implicated the LSE and therefore virtually negated the opportunities of those who reside under the institutions name. LSE is composed of passionate staff and students who care about understanding and solving the problems of North Korea and its Stalinist regime, Sweeney's short sighted decision to use the LSE as cover for a topical documentary has made it even harder for these people to make constructive progress in the future.

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