Friday, 14 November 2008

Not all who go to Jesus are brilliant

I wrote a couple of days ago about the table tennis champion who went on to a distinguished career as an administrator after gaining degrees at universities in China and England and then studying for a PhD at Jesus College, Cambridge.

A grumpy old friend of mine sent me a comment to the effect that although Deng Yaping is clearly a very bright lady indeed and he would not wish to detract in any way from her achievements, getting in to Jesus, Cambridge is not necessarily evidence of academic distinction, because among its alumni is the appalling right-wing hack Quentin Letts, who currently has a Christmas book out called, charmingly, 50 people who buggered up Britain. Extracts from this toxic drivel are currently being serialised in (of course) the Daily Mail.

I take my friend's point and would be the last person to look for any redeeming characteristics of this columnist, whose output makes Jeremy Clarkson's mouthings sound like profound wisdom, diffidently expressed. But it must be said that no-one who despises Tony Blair as much as Letts does can be all bad.

[By the way, the review of Letts' book to which I gave a link above is from an admirable website called Septicisle. Earlier this month it carried this salutary comment on Poppy Fascism.]

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