Cambridge University* has banned all uniforms or national costume (including kilts) from its graduation ceremonies. According to a ranting politician this is of course “elitist“. Actually it’s the opposite: everyone is expected to dress in exactly the same way, regardless of accidents of birth. Besides, Cambridge is an elite university. Get over it. At least these days it makes some effort to discriminate on the basis of achievement rather than (as it did for far too long in the past) pedigree.

Sadly, religious dress escapes this regulation. The history of the institution and the nature of its establishment (not to mention that of this country) give the university authorities no real choice in the matter. It’s a shame, though, that Europe’s finest centre of scientific learning should have to defer to witch doctors. No doubt ranting politicians would call that “racist” or “Islamophobic”. I’m with Paul.

[*Declaration of disinterest: I might have taught in the university, but I have never taught for the university or on any of its official degree programmes. As my personal pages have emphasised for some time, I am not employed by Cambridge but by the Medical Research Council—for the time being—and I’m not speaking on behalf of the MRC either.]