Laurie Taylor Column

June 15, 2001

Enrolment of staff on courses - THES , June 8

Today's seminar is about globalisation. Let's start with a definition. The mature student at the back with the white hair and brown corduroy jacket. Name?


Well, Gordon, how would you define globalisation?

It might help to start with a number of empirical generalisations based on historical precedents before proceeding to a theoretical overview...

Sorry, but this a non-smoking seminar. I'd be obliged if you'd extinguish your pipe. Thank you. Now, you were discussing empirical generalisations?

Indeed. The first generalisation refers to the observable consequences of the free flow of capital across national boundaries...

Absolute tosh.

Ah, a welcome disagreement from another of our mature students. Yes, in the front row with the bushy eyebrows and magnifying glass. What name is it?

Derek Quintock .

You say Gordon's ideas are tosh?

Absolutely. They are informed by the type of economic determinism normally associated with vulgar Marxism.

Up yours.

Shut your mouth, Gordon, or you'll get what's coming to you.

DEREK! GORDON! Stop this immediately. I will not have brawling here. Does anyone have a more constructive approach? Yes, the woman in the second row with the harassed expression. Name?

Maureen .

How can you help us Maureen?

I think the discussion might be improved if I were to take Derek and Gordon outside and bang their heads together.

Why do you think that will work?

Let's call it an empirical generalisation based on historical precedents. Gordon. Derek. HEEL!

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