1. Edward Snowden, former CIA employee and whistleblower, is in the running to be Rector of the University of Glasgow.
A group of students calling themselves Edward Snowden for Rector claim they contacted Snowden through his lawyer and he accepted the nomination.
The position, officially entitled “Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow”, is elected by all students at the Scottish university. The Rector is expected to represent the interests of students to the university management, chair the university’s court and attend key functions throughout the university year.
The current Rector is Charles Kennedy, former leader of the Liberal Democrats, who has taken an active interest in the role.
But previous holders include anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie Mandela and Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, who were never expected to take up their posts. Since Snowden risks deportation to the US if he steps foot in Scotland, his candidacy falls into the latter category.
Win or lose, don’t expect to see him in Kelvingrove Park anytime soon.
2. Which is a shame, since Snowden would get to wear these official Rector’s robes.
3. “Edward Snowden for Rector” issued the following statement this afternoon:
Edward Snowden’s candidacy is a unique opportunity to show our gratitude to a brave whistleblower, and thus to all other whistleblowers who take risks to reveal the criminality and corruption of powerful groups in the intelligence services and other arms of government, media, police, parliament, and military.
A vote for Edward Snowden will express disgust and horror at the open discussion in US intelligence circles of assassinating someone who acted out of duty, devoid of mercenary motive with the sole aim of informing his fellow citizens of state criminality. Edward Snowden has shown a spirit of daring and self-sacrifice that is virtually absent in our public life.
We call on Glasgow University students as individuals, and all student bodies committed to ending state intrusion into our private lives, to declare their support for Edward Snowden’s candidacy.