The most important point about David Miller is that he had no business ever being employed as an academic. His output was crude antisemitic propaganda with no professional merit. It shames Bristol University that it ever gave him a berth, let alone as a professor, just as it does his other former employees. Miller has found his level as a hireling of the Iranian regime, spouting his hatred on Press TV.
It was, of course inevitable that his allies — of whom there are a frighteningly large number in academia — would take this week’s employment tribunal ruling as some sort of vindication. It is nothing of the sort. Miller won on procedural grounds. Bristol’s handling of Miller has been inept — to put it mildly — from the start. When Jewish students raised legitimate and serious complaints about him, the university fobbed them off with contempt, for years. It was only when outside pressure became too great to ignore, and when it was obvious to everyone except Miller’s ideological allies that he needed to be removed, that Bristol acted — and then did so as if it had never considered the requirements of employment law.
As an academic, Miller attempted to come across as some sort of seeker after truth. Some were hoodwinked. Since being sacked, however, he has given up pretending and now spends his time pushing unambiguously crude antisemitism. So there is a deeper issue here, beyond Miller himself. Now that his true colours are so obvious, what does it say about those who continue to support him? The answer to that question, of course, is a lot. And it is thoroughly unpleasant.