Hmm, maybe the resignation is a good idea

A spokesperson for Blavatnik said his gift was for the committee that has been responsible for organising US presidential inaugurations since 1901 and that he had never donated to Trump. But Rothstein, a specialist on corruption, called the donation “incomprehensible and irresponsible” in his resignation letter.

The academic subsequently told the Guardian he had received hundreds of messages of support about his decision, adding: “I’m not going to be the Blavatnik chair of government and public policy because I’m not going to give legitimacy and credibility to this person. $1m is a sizeable amount of money. In my book by donating to the inauguration of Donald Trump you are supporting Donald Trump.”

Shouldn’t a professor pf public policy be able to distinguish between the two? Paying for campaign funds, and for the inauguration?

35 thoughts on “Hmm, maybe the resignation is a good idea”

  1. Left-wing hysteria over the resounding victory of President Trump has reached such proportions that expecting any logic from those borne along by it is unlikely, to say the least.

  2. “Untested academia” getting tested. What else in his course was wrong for all these years? What else was checked against reality?

  3. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Isn’t this just extremely petty and childish?

    Yes but this is how the left works, chipping away at our beliefs or exasperating reasonable folk who then walk away shaking their heads, leaving the politically committed to fill the void.

    A good example of this kind of pettiness happened in Austria. Graz named its football stadium after Arnold Schwrzeneggar. After they came to power in 2004, the Socialist/Green coalition town council complained about the name due to some policy Arnie had advocated in California and wanted it removed. They were just virtual signalling of course, but to everyone’s horror and despite the pleas of the Styrian governor, the Gubernator wrote to them and demanded that his name be taken off. The coalition was routed in the 2008 elections. Twats.

  4. BnLiA,

    “Yes but this is how the left works, chipping away at our beliefs or exasperating reasonable folk who then walk away shaking their heads, leaving the politically committed to fill the void.”

    But that reflects that academia is, in some subjects, a worthless void. If it was something that reasonable folk cared about, they’d be fighting for it.

    What’s the output of a political science course? Is it going to get your car fixed or serve you a burger or design a cure for cancer? No, it’s just a bunch of people looking into how government functions and what it does. I’m not even sure it has much influence on the people who end up in government.

  5. Bloke on M4 the problem is we are funding our enemies. This is why slowly gradually I am coming around to Ecks great purge.

    At the end of the day Pres Trump was good enough for the US electorate then supporting him can not be illegitimate.

    The idea that supporting him is a great evil is ridiculous and show how irrelevant this knob is.

    It is Professor Rothstein that needs legitimacy and credibility not the duly elected President of the United States.

    The other thing that concerns me is the election of Trump has proven how batshit insane a lot of people particularly on the left are.

    President Trump may or may not be completely evil, but he certainly hasn’t done anything yet.

    Seriously what has he done?

  6. Whatever it is, the Blavatnik School is not really part of Oxford and has little if anything to do with scholarship. Simon Wren-Lewis, for example, has a chair there, despite not noticeably being endowed with either grey cells or ability or meaningful experience.

    The Blavatnik School of Government admitted its first students in 2012. The School offers a Master of Public Policy (MPP), an intensive one-year graduate degree which seeks to prepare students for a career in public service. The School also offers a DPhil in Public Policy (a three-year full-time research degree). Applications are made through University of Oxford’s central Graduate Admissions and Funding Office.

  7. benaud,

    “Bloke on M4 the problem is we are funding our enemies.”

    I’d still rather not fund them, but their effect is mostly irrelevant.

    “Seriously what has he done?”

    Mostly, unpicking things that the upper classes like.

    I was reading about this DACA thing. I really don’t get why people support a scheme that incentivises illegal immigration. You produce a scheme that flips the children of illegal immigrants to quasi-legals, you will get more illegal immigrants moving in to give little Jose a better life.

  8. If you go to the Oxford Uni website, and click through to Divisions and Departments, you’ll find it listed as part of the university, thus:

    Social Sciences Division (

    Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, School of
    Archaeology, School of
    Business School, Saïd
    Economics, Department of
    Education, Department of
    Geography and the Environment, School of
    Government, Blavatnik School of
    Interdisciplinary Area Studies, School of
    International Development, Department of
    Internet Institute, Oxford
    Law, Faculty of
    Oxford Martin School
    Politics and International Relations, Department of
    Social Policy and Intervention, Department of
    Sociology, Department of

  9. When the donation to Oxford was from just another corrupt Russian oligarch under the control of a murderous former KGB agent, Rothstein’s response was “Meh”.

    Now that the same corrupt Russian oligarch has (indirectly) thrown a bit of cash at Donald Trump, he’s running around like the world is coming to an end.

    Uh huh.

    *Yawn* Same old shit, different day.

  10. The School offers a Master of Public Policy (MPP), an intensive one-year graduate degree which seeks to prepare students for a career in public service

    Techniques in obfuscation, ignoring democratic votes, deferring to foreign interests over those of your own country, slavishly adhering to internationalism?

  11. “Inauguration ceremony costs should be met by the state.”

    The inauguration ceremony is a 40 second swearing in.

    It was the inauguration celebration that was funded, and it is private, I think.

  12. Now that this guy mentions it, it appears that inauguration donations are part of the political process. Here is some information about donations to Obama’s 2009 inauguration so all you conservatives can have a go at Soros and co:

    Don’t get too excited though, Bush II’s inauguration isn’t markedly different. Paying for a shindig is a good way to curry favor with the new president. I fully understand someone not wanting to work for someone that wants favors from the marketer-in-chief.

    More importantly, is five weeks up yet? Bloomberg is running a series of pieces bashing demonitization from an author that I do not find credible. When you openly admit you used a book title like, “Restart: The Last Chance for the Indian Economy.” when we all know that the last chance only comes right before everyone dies is not a good look. I’d like to see a reply from Timmy but, unfortunately the pansies at Forbes silenced the forum I expect the response to appear in. I am particularly curious why it is the government’s responsibility to clear up bad debt?

  13. Emil – look if it’s not the state’s responsibility to pay for it the state shouldn’t perform it. Effectively you allow that you get people doing the state a favour… and that’s quite quite bad.

    private parties are another thing. Can’t see how you can stop people from throwing parties for mates whose just achieved a lifetime ambition. On the otherhand 1m bucks is an awfully obvious attempt at engratiation with a powerful figure. So i think there is a bit of a question cloud there. I don’t know but I guess all we do know is that the good professor , specialising in corruption thought it was less than squeaky.

  14. Hallowed Be:

    the flaw with your argumentation is that the state does not make a lot of own money, it (almost) only has money of the citizens.

  15. Flaw? I see no flaw that you have pointed to. The state takes cash off the citizens for enabling the lawful and proper actions of the state. If it’s a thing the state should be/needs to do then its perfectly ok to fund it through tax. It’s better than asking for a whip round because when you do that no-ones quite sure what the rate of return is for the donors money.

  16. @Dearieme, as the link you quote suggests, the Blavatnik school is separate from the normal departments of social sciences within the university. The courses it offers are unique to it and cannot be studied at any college within the university. It is one of those joint ventures where a university opens a department of old rope in order to gain “prestige” and financial support. It used to enough to name a professorship – nowadays, the corrupt want buildings named after them

  17. @benaud

    “Seriously, what has he done?”

    Nothing less than the slaughter of the Anointed One. That is more than enough for their purposes.

  18. SWL’s latest post on the Brexit vote leading to reduced real wages is almost worthy of Snippa. I hope the Blavatnik school is proud. But who would want a Blavatnik degree?

  19. I imagine the predictions of the Blavatnik School of Government are about as reliable as those of the Mme. Blavatsky School.

  20. “Dearieme is Land Economy at Cambridge really equivalent to Natural Sciences?”

    Equivalent in what sense? I’ve taught, examined, and admitted in one and not the other, but I don’t insist that my activities define civilised life, aka the University of Cambridge.

    If you click to see the undergraduate course available you’ll find Land Economy on the same list as Vet Medicine, Natural Sciences, and Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic, …..

  21. “Dearieme, as the link you quote suggests, the Blavatnik school is separate from the normal departments of social sciences”: I don’t see that the list suggests any such thing. Why do you think it does?

    “The courses it offers … cannot be studied at any college within the university.” Do you mean “any” or “every”? There are entirely pukka courses at Cambridge that can’t be studied at every college. Ubiquity doesn’t define the nature of a course.

  22. I meant “any”. The courses at Blavatnik and the degrees granted by Blavatnik are only available to students at Blavatnik. At Oxford, you can read for a DPhil at, say, St Catherine’s while your Supervisor is at Christ Church. Not at Blavatnik. A PPE student at St Catherine’s can receive tuition at any other college. A BA, BPhil, MPhil, MLitt, DPhil etc can be studied for at any college. An MPP can only be studied for at Blavatnik. I would have thought the existence of schools or departments of Economics, Geography, International Development, Politics, and Social Policy, all all of whom offer degrees such as BA, MPhil etc, suggests that Blavatnik is an outlier. Obviously you will disagree.

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