Letter: A lesson in self-congratulation

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The Independent Online
BARONESS Perry's idea of a university seems to be a mixture of the philosophy of De Lorean and Ratner: find out what the customer wants, give it to them, but make them pay for it ('My Biggest Mistake', 20 September).

During the 1980s schools, hospitals, BBC, HMI, local education authorities, public transport and universities have been forced to pretend they are businesses. The problem (as the speculators have rumbled) is that the only part of British life not being run as a successful business is industry itself (especially manufacturing).

The Baroness did the easy thing: following the fashionable prejudices of the politically powerful. Let's hope that when the history of the 1980s comes to be written she gets a small footnote for her role in bringing about the intellectual, moral, economic and spiritual decline of Britain.

Anthony Hartnett

Senior Lecturer in Education

University of Liverpool

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