Thursday, August 31, 2006

New think tank with an interesting back story

Readers who work in the UK education system may have heard the recent news that Ph.D. students at the University of Sussex have formed a "break away" research centre of their own, named the Sussex Centre for the Individual and Society.

When I first heard of this, I was immediately reminded of Margaret Thatcher's famous saying that "There's no such thing as society, there are individual men and women, and there are families". Sure enough, one of the founders of the Centre, Erich Kofmel, is a self-confessed right wing activist. Of course, they're entitled to their views, and I would never dream of using this blog to espouse a purely political agenda.

However, things get a little more interesting when one performs a Google search for "Erich Kofmel". He appears to have been accused by the Evening Standard (and, later, the Observer) of being a rogue landlord who took advantage of vulnerable overseas students.

I happen to agree with him that UK education is woefully underfunded, but I do think that it's rather rich to complain about it whilst (allegedly) ripping off fellow students.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

thank you for this Martyn - the hype attached to this 'research'organisation is quite fascinating.

TED said...

When I first heard of this, I was immediately reminded of Margaret Thatcher's famous saying that "There's no such thing as society, there are individual men and women, and there are families".
- SO BE REMINDED OF THIS FINE - I DONT THINK THE INDIVIDUAL OR SOCIETY ARE PRIRORITISED IN THE TITLE OF THERE CENTRE ARE THEY?



Sure enough, one of the founders of the Centre, Erich Kofmel, is a self-confessed right wing activist.
- WHERE IS IT SAID THAT HE IS A SELF-CONFESSED RIGHT WING ACTIVIST - I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THIS.


Of course, they're entitled to their views,
- YOU TALK OF ONE PERSON HAVING RIGHT WING VIEWS AND THEN YOU SAY THEY ARE ENTITLED TO THEIR VIEWS. ARENT YOU A BIT MIXED UP HERE.

However, things get a little more interesting when one performs a Google search for "Erich Kofmel". He appears to have been accused by the Evening Standard (and, later, the Observer) of being a rogue landlord who took advantage of vulnerable overseas students.

I happen to agree with him that UK education is woefully underfunded,
- MAYBE YOU SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT IS WHAT HE IS SAYING

but I do think that it's rather rich to complain about it whilst (allegedly) ripping off fellow students.
- SO ONCE SOMETHING HAS BEEN ALLEGED YOU CANT DO CERTAIN THINGS - I DONT FOLLOW...welcome to reply to tedhiggins@hotmail.com - i wont be returning to this blog.

Martyn Amos said...

Are you the same Ted Higgins who has recently served as a Conservative councillor in Glastonbury?

To take your points in order:

1. I was simply saying that the title of the Centre reminded me of a famous Thatcher quotation.

2. From the article cited: "Mr Kofmel, who describes himself as right wing..."

3. Not sure what you mean by "mixed up". Everyone's entitled to their opinion, I just don't happen to hold right-wing views.

4. Ok, fair point. To quote Alex Higgins, "I have been working on a research project that is not likely to get funding from one of the research councils. That is not to say it is not interesting and exciting and challenging. The problem is that it is too interesting, exciting and challenging." Of course, Alex, you're clearly a misunderstood genius.

5. I think the allegations have been pretty much proven.

I'm copying this to your email address, since you seem to have simply come in to shout in capitals without doing us the courtesy of hanging around for a discussion.

Anonymous said...

It is I Yan!

What Mr Amos says may be very right but critising man based on search engine results not shows very good research skills. How many more people out there "Erich Kofmel".

Are you not scientists, the arguments does not sit well

Martyn Amos said...

There are enough similarities between the Erich Kofmels in both articles to support the assertion that they are the same person. Read the sources.

Anonymous said...

The articles referred to in the original blog are the same Erich Kofmel. Also, it is interesting to note that Alex Higgins has recently resigned from his position.

Anonymous said...

There are the same Erich Kofmel, as I am confident is this Erich Kofmel:
http://www.fraudwatchers.org/forums/showthread.php?t=14795

Anonymous said...

This link may be of use too:

ekofmelinvestigation.googlepages.com/home2

Anonymous said...

Erich Kofmel was arrested, on suspicion of Fraud, by the Economic Crime Unit (Fraud) of Sussex Police at approximately 17:00hrs 7th May 2008. Kofmel was due to give a lecture at 17:30 entitled "Comparative Political Theology "at the London School of Economics. Kofmel was arrested on his way to the lecture which was subsequently cancelled. Potential victims of these frauds are advised to contact the Economic Crime Unit (Fraud) of Sussex Police via their main switchboard. [Source: Sussex Police Spokesperson].

More Info? - http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?p=513505

Anonymous said...

What's the bet that "Ted" is Erich?

More detailed info here: http;//erichkofmelinfo.googlepages.com

Anonymous said...

I'm with Yan. Who knows whether this "Alex Higgins" is the real Alex Higgins? Why deride this man just because the research so-called "councils" cannot recognise that, just because he is a genius of the green beize, it does not mean that he cannot also bestride the world of political science like a huge, drunken Irish colossus? Why shouldn't the self-styled "Hurricane" of World Snooker be the man to address the issues of "ideological collectivisms, modes of social and political organisation, mechanisms of power and coercion, and psychological and evolutionary studies into the perceived "herd" mentality of human beings"?

"Praxis" my arse.