The Last Word
Jeremy Bentham writes:
It is with gratification that I believe I may call a close to this troubled chapter in the history of our great institution. And yet I note from the statements issued by Provost Roberts, that despite the unequivocal rebuff of which he has been in receipt, he is of the belief that the issue of merger may yet resurface under a future Provost. I would recall to my readers the cry of the abolitionist Mr. Wendell Phillips: 'Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom'.
For the present I gladly resign the tasks of policy, strategy and advocacy to those endowed with life: but I may assure you that should the call come again, I am ever ready to answer it, in the name of PROMOTING THE GREATEST GOOD FOR THE GREATEST NUMBER.
PS I append for your interest the comments of my secretary, which I commend, as recorded in a respectable journal:
Merger of colleges scuppered
Tuesday November 18, 2002
David Conway, a postgraduate student in the department of Hebrew and
Jewish studies, who ran a Save UCL website attacking the merger and harrying
the two vice-chancellors, expressed delight at the news. "There is no doubt
Sir Derek Roberts exceeded his remit in staking everything on this merger.
There was no plan B. In the end he has damaged the university. He launched
everybody down this one-way street with no preparation. He has paid the
penalty of hubris." But he did agree with Sir Derek on one thing - the
potential of his successor. "Given UCL's reputation for excellence and
breadth of coverage of science and humanities, it will be able to attract an
excellent candidate. A world beater in Sir Derek's favourite phrase."