Self-described as ‘Your source for Scottish political analysis‘: Sitechecker reports:
In the above piece correctly laying the blame at the door of the ‘university businesses‘, McAlpine cannot resist his need to have a go at the SNP Government whenever possible and to try to share the blame with them.
Interestingly, he opens with this:
FOR 12 YEARS of my life I was the spokesperson for Scotland’s universities and their chief political strategist. The current debacle over the students locked in halls of residence is easy to understand if you saw what I saw. When I started in 1999 (the post was created because of the imminent arrival of the Scottish Parliament), the finance directors of universities were mostly university administrators who had risen through their institutions or been recruited from others. Broadly, they saw their role as facilitating education efficiently.
Leaving aside the worrying narcissism, he was Deputy Director at the principals’ therapy group Universities Scotland which they sometimes let represent them, he should know just how autonomous they are.
Again to repeat myself:
The Scottish Government could not have shut them down and would have been condemned had they tried.
As the First Minister made clear yesterday, the Universities are responsible for their customers’ well-being. They wanted the huge income they get from 1st Year rents in the halls they own. They wanted the huge fees they charge non-Scots to study here.
They could have cancelled ‘freshers’ events had they cared a jot for them. We’re in a pandemic. Why not?