Swannsong

LONDON: The new chairman of the BBC’s board of governors is on record as being anti-permissive and anti-gay.

Sir Michael Swann has told the press that he intends to be neither “too permissive nor too authoritarian” in his new position of power of what is broadcast by the Beeb.

But in his past as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh University, Sir Michael has shown what he means by not being “too permissive”.

In April 1972 he wrote to the chairman of the board of directors of Scottish International – a monthly arts and political commentary magazine supported by the Scottish Arts Council — to complain that the magazine had run a story about the warden of a students hostel who’d been sacked for being gay.

More recently, since being knighted in the Birthday Honours List, Sir Michael has been none too helpful to the Scottish Minorities’ Groups’ planned teach-in, to be held in March in Edinburgh.

He became incensed and wrote letters complaining about the “abusive letters” he’d received after the Glasgow Herald reported that the teach-in on homosexuality was to take place.

He was quick to point out that the teach-in, which is being organised by a university professor and students from the university was not an official university function. And to reinforce this he has taken steps to make sure that no university funds are spent on the teach-in by telling university committees that they may not regard the teach-in as official.

Therefore it does not exist as far as Sir Michael is concerned.

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