Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Muka tebal
Ruth Padel, the first woman to become Oxford Professor of Poetry, resigned after it emerged that she may have played a role in the smear campaign that forced her rival, Derek Walcott, to withdraw from contention for the post. Walcott, who had been the odds-on favourite to win, pulled out after over 100 anonymous letters were sent to other Oxford academics describing allegations of sexual harassment made against him in 1982.

In refuting claims that she had taken part in any negative campaigning, Padel said, '
I genuinely believe that I did nothing intentional that led to Derek Walcott's withdrawal from the election. I wish he had not pulled out. I did not engage in a smear campaign against him, but, as a result of student concern, I naively—and with hindsight unwisely—passed on to two journalists, whom I believed to be covering the whole election responsibly, information that was already in the public domain.' Wow. If handing over unsavoury information about an opponent's past to the press is not an attempt at a smear, I do not know what is. Now, if only Malaysian politicians would learn to lie with such aplomb (not to mention use parenthetical statements meant to obfuscate)...

posted by Hong at 4:54 pm | Permalink |