February 2015

JacobsSo for those students who aren’t familiar with your background, you were dean of the University of Manchester Medicine Faculty as well as Vice President of the University and you also led a research team investigating early diagnoses of ovarian cancer and chaired the Uganda Women’s Health Initiative which you also established. It’s a big change to Vice-Chancellor here.

A little bit, but I like to think that all the things I’ve done in my career are focused on helping people perform at their optimum and achieve the best they can, so as to make a difference to other peoples’ lives. Really, everything I’ve done has led to this role. I started off training as a doctor because I thought personally I could make a difference to people’s lives and from there started leading clinical teams, from there big research teams, then Dean of a faculty of medicine, to the Vice President of Manchester University. So it’s not a massive change in focus, but the scale of the responsibility here is larger.

Detaining refugees on Nauru makes no sense when you first look at it, writes Brendan Byron, but when you search deeper, you find that yeah no to be honest it still makes no sense at all.

Nauru is a famous place these days, through ten years of offshore detention that, at its peak, involved twice as many detainees being held there than actual local residents.

But fewer people know that in the 1970s, the island of Nauru – far from being a holding cell for desperate people – had one of the highest living standards of anywhere in the world, thanks to its seemingly inexhaustible supplies of phosphates – specifically, guano.

Which is apparently not a popular move? Who could have guessed.


Oliver Moore, International Correspondent

In a lesson for all far-right political leaders seeking to gain mainstream credibility, Lutz Bachmann, the founder of the growing German anti-immigration movement ‘Pegida’, has demonstrated that it is almost always a bad idea to post a photo of yourself on Facebook posing as Hitler. Even the most committed xenophobes amongst his former acolytes are now distancing themselves from Lutz Bachmann, with his spectacular act of self-sabotage ranking as one of the finest acts of political seppuku this reporter has ever seen.