The LSE – Held to Account, part 2

The LSE – Held to Account, part 2

Shami Chakrabarti, the Director of Liberty, which supposedly supports freedom of speech, has maintained a studied silence in the case of embattled LSE lecturer and alleged racist Satoshi Kanazawa.

But Dr Kanazawa is not the only person to have been accused of damaging the reputation of the LSE. The record shows that the Director of Liberty was present at a Council meeting of the School on 20th October 2009 when the propriety of taking money from Libya was considered. (The gift had been officially accepted by the Council on 23 June 2009, at a meeting Chakrabarti did not attend.) See

In the meantime, the LSE’s governing body had received a dissenting note from Professor Fred Halliday, an expert on the Middle East, which advised against acceptance of the donation. But David Held informed the Council that “having trawled traditional media and the blogosphere, no evidence had been found that LSE’s links with Libya had attracted criticism…” He also pointed out that with the exception of Professor Halliday, no member of the School community had questioned the decision to take money from Libya. The Council then resolved that the gift to the Centre of Global Governance, co-directed by David Held, should stand.

In other words, Ms Chakrabarti had an opportunity to demand the return of the gift from the Foundation chaired by Dr Saif al-Islam Gaddafi but she failed to take it.

Evidently, some are held to account for their action or inaction, some are not. And bizarrely, Shami Chakrabarti, in her capacity as a governor of the LSE, may eventually sit in judgement over Dr Kanazawa. Leslie Jones, 11 June 2011





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