Saturday, March 8, 2008

Brits Send Us Their Best

From Reuters via Talking Points Memo:

BOSTON (Reuters) - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will teach at Yale University in the next academic year starting in September, leading a course on "faith and globalization," the Ivy League school said Friday.

Yale, the alma mater of President Bush, said Blair had been appointed Howland Distinguished Fellow, a post that dates to 1915 and which has been occupied by such notable individuals as former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and journalist Sir Alistair Cooke.

How kind of the British to send him over and for Yale to receive him. Why not a class taught jointly with Archbishop Rowan Williams? Now that would be sheer perfection.


  1. Susan, the two Christian gentlemen, Blair and Bush, did a job of it in Iraq, and both will leave others to clean up the mess after them. I see great irony in the title of the course. You know, without Blair in the "coalition", Bush may have hesitated to invade Iraq.

  2. As an American citizen, Cooke was Mr. Cooke, not "Sir Alistair", but you know how establishment Yale-ies love to kiss titled a-s.

    Incidentally, Cooke took out US citizenship in 1941, an act which just happened to free him from the British draft - not like the Brits needed soldiers at that point, after all, Somehow Cooke escaped the resentment that Brits frequently attached to folks who took this course of action.

  3. Paul, I'm sure it is!

    Lapin, as I'm sure you know, Cooke was much admired over here, lending apparent upper-class British caché to Masterpiece Theatre for many years. I guess he offered that same gift to Yale.

  4. Oh well. As they say in Brooklyn, "not for nuthin'," but none of us are going to Yale anyway.

    Which I suppose is the whole point.

  5. I hope that Yale is properly embarrassed by a certain alumnus. So far as I am concerned, their reputation will be forever besmirched.

  6. He was much admired in the UK as well, Mimi, principally for a weekly "Letter from America" radio broadcast every Saturday morning - the principal UK source of understanding the US in my childhood & youth. He continued the "Letter" - with help, one may be sure - until the month of his death, aged 95.

    I want to say that "a certain alumnus" got into Yale as a "reliquary", but that's not the work I'm looking for, is it?

  7. "a certain alumnus" got into Yale as a "reliquary",

    Lapin, a "legacy" is the term for the likes of Bush. What a legacy! If the Ivy League universities were smarter, they'd cease and desist immediately from that custom and give the place to worthier students who are strapped for funds. But many of the parents of the "legacies" are very likely large donors, so they won't.

  8. Perhaps Oxford will want Bush? Nahhh!

  9. Jim, that's a brilliant idea. Do you have any influence there? Somebody, please take him off our hands. I'm reduced to begging.

  10. I love your sense of Irony. Anyway your loss is our gain.

  11. The way I see it, the pressure is off Yale. Now that they've given the world George W Bush they can't do anything worse than that. Who is going to complain about the comparatively sane Tony Blair?

  12. Word is that he is also to lead a graduate seminar titled, "Jesus wants us to kill the dirty little buggers" (Religious studies 615)

    Next year he will have a class for undergrads (Prayer and Party Fundraising, Ethics 215) and a working laboratory seminar for students interested in international development (The Viscous Properties of Blood Versus Oil, SCI 423)

    Finally, he will be available to read Exxon/Mobil and WorldBank press releases from the pulpit at chapel services for students.

    Harvard must be so jealous.

  13. Mimi, I don't think anything would have stopped Bush!

  14. DP, we'll be forever grateful.

    Lindy, that's true. They can hardly graduate a worse specimen.

    Dennis, whoa! Your fertile imagination soars. Send those ideas in to the Yale administration.

    Susan, OCYCBR. But Blair gave him cover for an illusion of an international effort.


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