Rarely since the death of Josef Stalin has an intellectual fawned over a tyrant with the unctuousness Alia Brahimi displayed when she welcomed Muammar Gaddafi via video link to the LSE. Flicking her hair coquettishly, she addressed him as “brother leader” – choosing as a free woman in a free country to honour the title Gaddafi compels his subject people to use on pain of punishment. She did not mock the quasi-Maoist and wholly deranged ramblings of his Green Book – “according to gynaecologists, women, unlike men, menstruate each month”, is a typical example of Gaddafian prose. She quoted Gaddafi’s words respectfully, instead, as if she agreed with the slogans he had forced generations of Libyans to parrot.
Watching in the audience was Anthony Giddens, whose “third way” philosophy baffled many until he met Gaddafi and explained that “the brother leader” may be putting theory into practice by making Libya “the Norway of north Africa: prosperous, egalitarian and forward-looking”. More depressing than the compromised academics were the LSE’s dumb and conformist students. Not one had the independence of spirit to defy their lecturers and heckle a dictator who had crushed the hopes and deformed the lives of his people for 42 years.
Carry on reading