Letter: No votes cast for iron

December 1, 2000

The Political Studies Association has decided to celebrate its 50 years by awarding Margaret Thatcher with the prize for "breaking the mould" (People, THES, November 24).

This category presumably refers to "breaking the mould of the social democratic consensus" or something similar. It is difficult not to think that the category was chosen with Baroness Thatcher in mind, to create the image of "political balance" in the awards. But then why not an award for "the most successful attack on working-class living standards", which would have been equally appropriate?

What do PSA members feel about the award, given the strong opposition among academics to awarding the great lady any prizes? We do not know because such "voice" is not allowed - members were not asked to vote. For an association whose members have for 50 years been teaching students about democratic procedures, it is startling to think that the executive could consider handing out such prizes without consulting members.

Mark Neocleous
Department of government Brunel University

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