The Daily Bork

February 08, 2005

Would you like fries with that doctorate Mr Prime Minister?

Does it get more corrupt than this? (Göteborgs Posten)

The higher education committee didn't think that the college in Örebro had adequate qualifications to become a university. But prime minister Göran Persson went against the committee. Örebro got its university. On Saturday Persson was rewarded with an honorary doctorate from the university. That it is a reward is distinctly clear as Persson is nominated for "bravery and foresight". Örebro's university council has a massive social democratic majority and rector Janerik Gidlund was previously the leading social democratic regional politician in Umeå. That a sitting prime minister is awarded an honorary doctorate is probably unique - and has lead to a number of protests from professors at the university - but this is due as much to appearances as dealing out of favours with the social democratic brotherhood. The original idea appears to have been to award Persson an honorary doctorate in Rhetoric. But since the professors involved said no and other faculties also refused, Persson will receive an honorary doctorate in "medicine, technology and science". This could appear remarkable when it is considered that Örebro lacks a medical faculty. But the prime minister himself seems pleased. He has previously tried to brighten his weak academic record by a method that, under examination, was shown to be incorrect. Now he has finally got a "doctor's hat".

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