Thursday, 29 November 2012
Chris Patten, Self-Satisfied Spaniel And Insatiable Collector Of Sinecures

From The Spectator:

Nov. 12, 2012


Oxford students: Chris Patten needs to devote time to being our Chancellor

Oxford students call on Lord Patten to devote sufficient time to being Chancellor of Oxford University during the BBC crisis. Image: Getty.

Oxford students call on Lord Patten to devote sufficient time to being Chancellor of Oxford University during the BBC crisis. Image: Getty.

As students at Oxford University, we are told repeatedly by tutors, proctors, and the Chancellor himself that we’re not allowed to do much outside our degree. We cannot do more than eight hours of paid work a week, and extracurricular activities are monitored carefully by colleges, who can revoke your right to do them at any time. Any major positions at the student union or Oxford Union require you to take a year out. And, as we can vouch for, taking on an editorship of a student newspaper isn’t exactly welcomed by teaching staff.

We’ve handed (nearly) all our essays in on time; but Lord Patten has arguably spread himself a bit too thin, taking on another significant appointment at the BBC commanding a salary of £110,000 a year, in addition to holding other remunerated positions listed in the House of Lords’ register of interests.

Despite the fact that Patten’s post at Oxford is largely ceremonial; a catastrophe elsewhere can result in neglect. Given that the BBC is currently facing its biggest crisis in living memory, the call for Patten’s attention and time has suddenly increased. And therefore one can only assume that his level of activity in the administration of the university has flatlined from little to nothing. Oxford deserves a head, even if only a figurehead, who will work for its benefit at all times.

Recent events at the BBC show that those at the top of even seemingly rock-solid establishments can never let their attention slip: the accountability for disturbances under their watch still rests with them. The point isn’t that Patten has taken multiple jobs or that these may present a conflict of interest; it’s the fact that, like the Queen, the Oxford Chancellor doesn’t need to do that much – he just needs to be there.

Grace Goddard and Barbara Speed are Editors of Cherwell, a student newspaper at Oxford University.

    One thing your otherwise excellent education seems to have left you deficient in mesdames is a crap detector.

    Patten is a turd. Of the purest variety. His previous career - fake Tory, anti-Thatcher plotter, John Major sidekick, Hong Kong handover, destroyer of the RUC, EU kommissar, BBC chair, has been marked by his smears of failure as he has crawled along. Ask yourselves what the creep has done to get all the well-paid sinecures that seem to fall so easily into his fat belly. I'm a Cambridge person myself, but even I don't know what Oxford has done to deserve this appalling s**t. Not sure how you get rid of a Chancellor in Oxford, but public evisceration at the Martyr's memorial would be one way. I suggest that Cherwell starts a campaign.

    • EJ Vulture 15 days ago

      Vulture sums it up perfectly. Fatty Pang is a self-obsessed guzzling turd of the highest order. He's gotten away with it for years and now he's been found out he will cling on for dear life. Just like the rest of these contemptuous, trough-snuffling parasites - whether it's those who lord it over us from Brussels or those who plant their well-fed but useless arses on the benchefs at Westminster.

    • Colonel Mustard Vulture 15 days ago

      One of several cuckoos in the Tory nest. He said the BBC fiasco was the saddest moment in his life so the tears he shed as he watched the communists march into our jewel in the East must have been crocodile.

      • Fat Pong, as the Sun so wittily describes him has TEN part-time jobs raking him in hundreds of thousands in addition to his BBC role. If you really think this does not stink, your moral compass ( as well as your brain cells) has gone AWOL. IT is indefensible corruption and POng must remove his stain from our life.

        • Amergin Selby Vulture 15 days ago

          If you think 'Fat Pong' is witty then you are a worthy Sun reader. I agree ten jobs is really OTT. BTW

          telemachus Vulture 15 days ago

          Patten was never meant to have any Beeb exec role
          He is a figure head for their regulator
          It is fortunate we are to have such a man who is willing to take on a role over and above to save the Beeb from Redwood and co
          Listen to Harmans wise words

      • "He cross fertilises his media and academic roles excellently." Typo? I think you meant just "fertilises".

      • Noa telemachus 15 days ago

        "I think most of us were very happy to see this giant at the helm when the second Newsnight slip occurred..."
        Comrade, your gift for self parody is one of your most unintentionally hilarious traits.

        • telemachus Noa 15 days ago

          As your UKIP/apologist colleague is fond of saying truth is truth
          (With the vicar's permission)

          • Noa telemachus 14 days ago

            A shame then that you are such a stranger to truth.
            Have you the courage to say who you consider my "UKIP/porn colleague" is or are you frightened of a defamation action, you vile coward?
            You owe us both a full retraction and an unequivocal apology for this slur.

  • Telemachus, I'm intrigued. I agree about Patten's lifetime of public service....or should I say public self-service. He has more sinecures than Sir Chris Hoy has Olympic golds. But as for his apparent excellence as Oxford Chancellor, it is a largely honorific role in which he has been mainly invisible ....although no doubt more than willing to park his well-upholstered frame at High Table.

    • telemachus commentator 15 days ago

      The point is he is a charismatic leader both in Oxford and at the BBC
      He spoke at my daughter's graduation in Newcastle and it was the most motivating speech I have heard

      • TomTom telemachus 15 days ago

        Glad to hear your daughter is now motivated......

      • EJ telemachus 15 days ago

        So he can string two words together - big bloody deal. See post above.

          • Mike telemachus 14 days ago

            Patten has the ability to understand what the government of of the days requires: he is an excellent courtier . His report on the RUC was just what Blair wanted in order to obtain the supportof the IRA and his back benchers of irish descent.
            Patten would have made an excellent cardinal of the late Middle Ages to mid 18 century in Spain, France and Italy: other parts of Europe would have been too poor for his refined tastes. .

          • Noa telemachus 14 days ago

            The very fact that the voice of neo-stalinism speaks in favour of this bloated sponger condemns Cameron's crass judgment both in appointing him and allowing him to remain.

  • When Fat Pang stood for election to the post of Chancellor, I made sure that I voted for someone else (the late Lord Bingham). The current fiasco does not surprise me: for years Patten has been a professional collector of sinecures, not least during the Blair years when he willingly functioned as Tony's Tethered Tory. His judgment is woeful, his workrate sedate but his appetite for public sector pay and perks is seemingly insatiable.

  • don logan 15 days ago

    Chris Patten needs to devote more time to sorting out the various P45s he so richly deserves to recieve.

    TomTom 15 days ago

    The election of Chancellor of Oxford University is fraudulent with only those physically present in Oxford can vote rather than London University which has postal ballots. The London sponsors who bussed Patten supporters into Oxford to vote to get him into place whilst he was also Chancellor at Newcastle University revealed the triumph of political chicanery over principle. Patten has no academic pretensions unlike Harold Macmillan or Roy Jenkins - he was simply a time-serving politician collecting his rewards as a Placeman-Courtier. Oxford University lacks self-respect and has failed miserably to honour those that deserve respect but has fawned over those that are politically connected or moneyed, and this Alumnus is disgusted.

  • 2trueblue 15 days ag

    Your last sentence shows how little you know about the Queens duties. It is much more than 'being there'. She has also never let us down. Look at her schedule this year. She turned up and did her job despite her husband being unwell on several occasions.

    Patten is obviously past his sell by date, and certainly not capable of his role at the BBC.

  • Archimedes 15 days ago

    Awww - how touching! God-Speed!

  • David 14 days ago

    "Extracurricular activities are monitored carefully by colleges, who can revoke your right to do them at any time." Where do you go? Merton? This is certainly not the case at my college...

  • Peter Martin 15 days ago

    :) However, given the good Lord's awesome record when on the case, maybe they have been spared by his inattention?

Posted on 11/29/2012 3:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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