In the 1970’s, the University of Glasgow elected as its rector the Communist Party member and Labour candidate for Parliament Jimmy Reid. At the time, he had triumphantly spearheaded the unions’ efforts to keep the shipyards alive by refusing not to work.
Jimmy Reid died on Tuesday, and in this morning’s Independent ran the text of his Rectorial Address, which (according to the Guardian) the New York Times compared positively to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. look it over in the Independent, or download a PDF of the University’s original printing of the speech. I am saddened that such a voice be silenced at a time we need it so badly as an audible conscience to the University and to the economy.
Now I’m pondering the fact that the only two Rectorial Addresses I can recollect are Jimmy Reid’s and Martin Heidegger’s.