Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The last days of the Raj?

As a fellow University College London alumnus I naturally wish Raj Persaud well in his efforts to save his career amid accusations of plagiarising other peoples' work. Whatever else you say about him, he has certainly put psychiatry on the media map.

That said, I can't say I am hugely surprised that Persaud has found himself in a situation where his skill for self-publicism appears to have backfired on him.

In my first year, he was chair of the UCL Labour Club, in which capacity he demonstrated an easy charm and ability to bullshit which was almost pre-Blairite in its magnitude. I thought then that he could have gone a long way in national politics had he chosen to.

Later, he signed my nomination papers for an elected student union post only to tell me afterwards that he had voted for someone else. This too, I later came to learn, was a fairly commonplace practice among political types.

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