I welcome this enterprising pinko academy

AC Grayling is founding New College of the Humanities in Bloomsbury to rival Oxbridge. But at £18,000 a year, is it only for the bright and loaded?

So AC Grayling the pinko philosopher and atheist with the impressive mane of clever hair is starting a new university. "Almost everyone associated with this [project] is a pinko academic," he says. It's true enough of most of the band of "star' academics behind his New College of the Humanities, a for-profit rival to Oxford and Cambridge in London's Bloomsbury. They include famous lefties such as Professor Linda Colley and Sir David Cannadine: the only prominent non-pinko exception is historian Niall Ferguson.

I think it's a splendid scheme. So does Boris Johnson, who says he is continually having to listen to people wailing about the unfairness of university admissions procedures and wondering if there is "some kind of secret Pol Pot-style persecution of the children of the bourgeoisie" going on. Johnson even contemplated starting a "Rejects' College" himself. "Three cheers for Grayling," he says: his project will gladden the heart "of many a grieving parent and frustrated academic".

The snag with New College is the fees: £18,000 a year, double what traditional universities will be charging, and that's before accommodation costs. But while some of the applicants will indeed be rich, there is a charitable element to Grayling's scheme: eventually, 30% of undergraduates will receive help with fees not a bad proportion. And there is an acute shortage of places at top universities, though this doesn't seem to have occurred to the protesters who let off a smoke bomb while Grayling was speaking at Foyles on Tuesday night.

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But then this is Britain: we can't expect an enterprising scheme like this to be welcomed with open arms. One academic blogger labelled it a place for "Tim Nice But Dims whose parents are prepared to spend a fortune having them fall asleep listening to lectures by AC Grayling". That old Marxist warhorse, Terry Eagleton (latest book: Why Marx Was Right), was steaming in The Guardian. The idea that the New College will offer students one-on-one tuition didn't mollify him. "For that kind of money, I would demand a team of live-in, round-the-clock tutors, ready to fill me in about Renaissance art or logical positivism at the snap of a finger. I would also expect them to iron my socks and polish my boots." British universities, "plundered of resources by the bankers and financiers they educated", fumes Eagleton, "are not best served by a bunch of prima donnas jumping ship and creaming off the bright and loaded".

New College will be quite small: it only aims to have 1,000 students, so large-scale "creaming off" is unlikely. Besides, as Clarissa Farr, High Mistress of St Pauls Girls' School, pointed out in The Times, the £18,000 a year fee is "well below the cost of many independent schools and less than half the cost of a US university place". She's right and I also think it's heartening to see a bunch of academics behaving in this enterprising manner. (Sensibly, they will all have shares in the project.) Perhaps I should start a rival.

Tabloid money "Have you been killed recently? Or burgled?"

"Everybody loves Adele until she starts talking about tax," says Tony Parsons in the Daily Mirror. She is talented, and "not starved to look like a Twiglet and painted to look like a Barbie". Then she starts moaning about her tax bill. "I was ready to go and buy a gun and randomly open fire," she says. "Trains are always late, most state schools are **** and I've got to give you [the state] £4m." Critics of Adele say her tax grievances won't resonate with her fans "to get a tax bill of £4m, she must have had a pay packet of £8m. And this is now a country where most people are happy to be in work."

"Have you been killed recently? Or burgled?" asks Jeremy Clarkson in The Sun. "Well, you needn't expect the culprit to be caught anytime soon, as the Metropolitan Police revealed this week that it has a staggering 45 officers working full-time on the phone-hacking inquiry. That's more than they have in any of the 24 teams dedicated to investigating murders. It means that if your child is abducted you will be held in a queue and your call will not be answered until officers have decided who John Prescott was meeting for dinner eight years ago, and whether anyone knew about it."

I am not a big fan of Cadbury, says Kelvin MacKenzie in The Sun. When the American company Kraft bought it, the firm promised not to shut the factory in Bristol and promptly did. When the CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, was asked the other day to talk about the decision in Parliament she said it wasn't the best use of her time. So they don't like our democracy. "Perhaps we shouldn't like their chocolate."