Liberty? Shami on you!
Campaign groups are furious with what they call "fairweather" human rights campaigner Shami Chakrabarti for her role in the London School of Economics taking money from the Gaddafi regime.
By this time we're sure most readers will be aware of the London School of Economics' recent disgrace in taking money from the brutal Gaddafi regime. Their defenders will tell you it was fine, because it was in-line with UK government policy. These of course are the same defenders who will detail to you what a murderous, blood-thirsty, oil-guzzling tyrant you are for supporting the action in Iraq and in most recent weeks, Libya... in line with UK government policy.
In amongst these confused individuals is someone who you would have thought might be an advocate for democracy and human rights, someone who would stand up against the "tyranny" of the LSE Council, which in all its wisdom decided to ignore the protests of Prof. Fred Halliday and press on with deepening the ties between that august institution and Colonel Gaddafi and his henchmen. That person is Shami Chakrabarti - director at a 'human rights' organisation which curiously calls itself "Liberty"'.
Now, we appreciate that the British government was grossly at fault for re-engaging with Colonel Gaddafi; a stain on Peter Mandelson's conscience we're sure. Nonetheless the question must be asked: If the UK government decided to "normalise" ties with North Korea, would Shami have given the go-ahead to Liberty to associate itself with charitable foundations in Kim Jong-Il's name?" We suspect not - alas the young lady has not yet seen fit to step down from her lucrative position on the LSE Council.
Chakrabarti is one of those characters who doesn't seem to get off our television screens, often ranting in her trademark fashion. However, quite off-piste for her, she's nowhere to be seen since the LSE scandal broke. There was initially a whimper of feigned regret, followed by a truncated statement about how she wasn't at the LSE meeting that agreed to take the Gaddafi money. That's okay though, she 'raised concerns' afterwards. Phew!
While Prof. Halliday is cited as a voice of moral reason when it comes to this issue, in reality it seems he was more concerned for the LSE's reputation. It appears Chakrabarti feels no remorse about her failure to act more vocally and decisively when she found out her beloved benefactor was climbing into the sack with one of the worlds most egregious dictators. Maybe next time, eh Shami?
NB: Ms. Chakrabarti has the right to reply if she so wishes. We eagerly await her response.
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