Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How Hanging Out With Two Pariah Regimes Cost Me My Top Position at the London School of Economics

By Howard Davies

March was a momentous month in the Davies household. An important chapter in my life came to a rather sad end. It was quite unexpected. Even at the end of February there seemed little sign of trouble ahead. We were purring along nicely.

Then, out of a blue sky, trouble struck. Initially it seemed little more than a cough and a splutter, so to speak, but things deteriorated rapidly, and in a rather public and embarrassing way. In just a few days, I realised that it was all over, and I needed to get used to the pain of separation.

I was very unhappy about it, I can tell you, and blamed myself. I had been in a state of denial. If I had realised at the right time that rust had taken hold in the chassis, my Stag would still be alive today. A trusty friend since 1998, she now stands mute and immobile in the garage, sans power, sans MoT, sans everything.

And that's not all. The nib on my antique Wyvern fountain pen has gone skewwhiff, and can't be twisted back into shape. The Davies family's anachronistic reliance on the proud traditions of British engineering has proved sadly misplaced.

I also lost my job. I haven't drafted a resignation letter before: up to now I have always been able to get out before my sins caught up with me. But this time I concluded that there was no alternative. The LSE was not, of course, the only British institution, or even the only university, to engage in activity in Libya after the country was brought into the international fold when Gaddafi renounced supporting terrorism and his nuclear programme. But the fact that Saif Gaddafi had two degrees from the School, and that his foundation supported a research programme on civil society in North Africa, put us in the eye of the storm when the civil war began.

The impact on the School's reputation was severe, for a while at least. Some of the criticisms that surfaced in the media were misplaced, or plain daft, but it was a mistake to take his money, and I supported it (among others, it is fair to say). Also, I yielded to the blandishments of the previous government to go to Tripoli as an economic envoy, and so became associated with two pariah regimes at the same time, Blair's and Gaddafi's, a fatal combination. So I asked for my P45.

Read the rest here.


  1. Sir Howard has gone up in my estimation with his resignation, in his case, honour will out.

    Will there be a mea culpa from the current BoE Governor for the boom and bust?

  2. Hilarious! That school sucks anyway. They graduate a**holes. Again, hilarious.

  3. No, they're too busy blaming the "auditors" and the "Big Four" for that. Look:


    Not a WORD about the government/BOE's involvement in it. Blame the auditors. They should rename it "House of Ageing Charlatans".