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Dr Alistair Brown | Associate lecturer in English Literature; researching video games and literature

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Through exploring the psychopathology of Capgras syndrome, in which a patient mistakes a loved one for an imposter, The Echo Maker offers a sustained meditation on the ways in which we project our own problems onto other people. As a reflection on the mysteries of consciousness, the novel offers some interesting if not especially new insights into the fuzzy boundaries between scientific and literary interpretations of the mind. Read more

Hypocrisy Over London Met

Monday, September 03, 2012

The way in which the government has treated London Metropolitan University after breaches of visa rules were found highlights the hypocrisy of a government that is wedded to free market ideology, whilst being unable to stomach many of its natural consequences, including immigration.

The UK, we are told, must become a leader in the world's knowledge economy. Except when that knowledge happens to be couched in the minds of anyone not from Europe.
The UK, we are told, must boost its exports and reduce the trade deficit. Only when this particular export industry involves a degree of temporary immigration, we will erect trade barriers that stop the money flowing in because it also brings with it foreign bodies for a couple of years.
Government, we are told, must stop prying, petty meddling, and bureaucracy. Except it is perfectly fine to ask teachers to snitch on their students to the state, should they dare not turn up to lectures, in case Mr Khan is working in the kebab shop rather than the library.
UK universities, we are told, are now competing in a free market for students and against each other. Except they can only take on a limited number of the most lucrative - that is, foreign - ones.
The UK, we are told, must promote democratic values throughout the world. Except we'll force the potential citizens and revolutionaries of tomorrow through a tortuous visa process that implies our own state is anything but free, fair and welcoming.

Of course, I'm being sarcastic and simplistic in all the above, whilst immigration is in fact a subtle and sensitive issue. Yet I'm being nothing so simplistic as the government. For having erected the gravestone to free education for domestic students, the message it is sending out to the rest of the world consists of just three, devastating words: "closed for business."

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Posted by Alistair at 7:10 pm


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