Oxford Statue Campaign Erhodes

On Wednesday night Guido reported that 150 Oxford dons were planning a boycott of Oriel college, over their refusal to topple Rhodes’s statue. Guido now questions how effective their boycott will be…

In the subsequent Telegraph article, one of the main professors interviewed was Professor Danny Dorling of St. Peter’s College – a lecturer of geography. Also participating in the boycott is Dr Sneha Krishnan, an associate professor in human geography. Guido has since been informed that Oriel has not taught undergraduates geography for around two decades. That may undermine the effectiveness of their protests somewhat…

Furthermore, Dorling has been the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography since 2013. Not only was Mackinder an imperialist adventurer, he coined the patriarchal term “manpower”. Guido must ask when Professor Mackinder plans on boycotting himself…

mdi-timer 11 June 2021 @ 16:40 11 Jun 2021 @ 16:40 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Minister Says Lecturers Should “Get On With Their Actual Job” Over Oxford Statue Row

As Guido first reported last night that 150 Oxford dons are threatening strike action over Oriel College’s refusal to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes, trade minister Greg Hands made the media round this morning to condemn the boycott and advise the woke academics to just get on with their teaching. Speaking to LBC’s Nick Ferrari, Hands said:

“I would just hope that universities get on with their actual job, which is teaching students and making sure that students get the best possible degrees […] it’s a very very difficult time for students, and a lot of them are paying a lot of money for the tuition fees […] so I would just hope that universities focus on their core mission.”

As Guido said yesterday, this woke posturing will ultimately only damage students. 

UPDATE: Universities minister Michelle Donelan has also chimed in, tweeting: 

We fully believe in protecting academic freedom, but this apparent boycott is a ridiculous threat, given universities have a duty to prioritise access to good quality tuition – especially due to the pandemic.”

mdi-timer 10 June 2021 @ 08:54 10 Jun 2021 @ 08:54 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Now Woke Oxford Dons Threaten “Work To Rule” Over Rhodes Statue

The long-running drama over the statue of Cecil Rhodes, the benefactor of Oxford University’s Oriel College, takes a new turn. After the college authorities stood their ground against the student led Rhodes Must Fall protest things have moved on to the academics taking protest action. Now 150 Oxford academics have signed up to a genteel “work to rule” industrial action over the college’s refusal to topple Rhodes:

A Statement of a Boycott of Oriel College

The Collegiate University can only effectively and credibly work to eradicate racism and address the ongoing effects of colonialism today if all the Colleges do so. Oriel College’s decision not to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes undermines us all.

Despite votes in favour from its student common rooms and despite an earlier vote of the Governing Body expressing their wish to remove it, Oriel has now decided not to. There have been many letters sent and protests made, most recently in the Rhodes Must Fall movement but, as noted in a letter signed by over 300 Oxford academics, these began in 1899. In 2016, Oriel reneged on a listening exercise and now it has ignored the recommendation of a Commission of Enquiry that included academics, journalists, Oxford city councillors, university administrators, and the College’s own alumni.

Faced with Oriel’s stubborn attachment to a statue that glorifies colonialism and the wealth it produced for the College, we feel we have no choice but to withdraw all discretionary work and goodwill collaborations. With regret, then, we, the undersigned, agree that until Oriel makes a credible public commitment to remove the statue, we shall:

  • refuse requests from Oriel to give tutorials to
  • refuse requests from Oriel to give tutorials to Oriel undergraduates;
  • refuse to assist Oriel in its outreach and access work, including undergraduate admissions interviewing;
  • refuse to participate in recruitment and assessment processes for Fellowships at Oriel and other Oriel College appointments;
  • refuse to attend or speak at talks, seminars, and conferences sponsored by Oriel.

Our action does not involve the following work for Oriel which is not discretionary:

    • graduate supervision of Oriel students, whether at Masters or DPhil level;
    • examination of candidates who are Oriel students for University degrees;
    • delivering University lectures at which Oriel students may be present;
    • any duties specified in your contract with your employer.

If the dons follow through on their “work to rule” plan they will basically only damage students by denying them tutorials. To coin a phrase “Tutorials Must Fall”…

mdi-timer 9 June 2021 @ 20:32 9 Jun 2021 @ 20:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
MPs Compete to Show Most Loyalty to the Queen

Since Guido’s exclusive, monarchists have been tripping over themselves to defend Her Majesty. As Robert Jenrick declared on the BBC this morning, he proudly hangs a picture of the Queen in his office. Jenrick isn’t the only patriotic parliamentarian to show their love for Liz today, though. Other members of Her Majesty’s government have also taken to Twitter to declare their loyalty to the crown… 

Andrea Jenkyns told her followers that she is “sick of this woke nonsense”, and posted a photo of her home shrine to Queen Elizabeth with the hashtag “GodSaveTheQueen”.

Not to be outdone, Joy Morrissey told her followers that she’s “ordered another portrait of the Queen” for her office, and that she plans to send one to Oxford’s Magdalen College. Guido’s sure they’ll be delighted. 

Andrea Leadsome, who told Politics Live that the students who voted to take the portrait down were “utterly pathetic”, also showed off her photo:

Andrew Rosindell has a picture of Her Majesty in his office. Rumour has it that for the 2012 Jubilee he bought thousands of portraits of the Queen and sent them to friends and colleagues all over the world. You can never have too much of a good thing… 

mdi-timer 9 June 2021 @ 16:58 9 Jun 2021 @ 16:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Jenrick: Oxford Students who Removed Queen’s Portrait are Disrespecting Her “Out of Ignorance”

Guido’s exclusive yesterday afternoon – that Oxford students at Magdalen College have voted to remove a portrait of the Queen over her “colonial” links – is leading a number of front pages this morning, following Gavin Williamson’s statement last night. The Mail and the Express are especially keen…

This morning Robert Jenrick told BBC Breakfast viewers that the decision was disrespecting the Queen “out of ignorance”, and that he’s proud to have a portrait of the Queen on his wall in his departmental office.

“We’re very fortunate to have the Queen and I wouldn’t want anyone to disrespect her out ignorance in this way”

Thankfully it wasn’t Naga Munchetty conducting the interview…

mdi-timer 9 June 2021 @ 08:40 9 Jun 2021 @ 08:40 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Woke Oxford Students Vote to Take Down “Colonial” Queen’s Portrait

If co-conspirators thought King’s College apologising for mourning the death of Prince Philip was wrong, look away now: Guido can reveal an Oxford college has agreed to remove a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II because she “represents recent colonial history”. Down with the Queen! Up with middle-class university intellectuals…

A committee of students from Magdalen’s Middle Common Room agreed by a substantial majority to take the portrait of Queen Elizabeth down from their wall, and to explore replacing the portrait with “art by or of other influential and inspirational people”. Any future depictions of the Queen or Royal Family will now be subject to a committee vote. Stalin would be proud…

The committee meeting minutes, passed to Guido, reveal the statements made by students were anonymized, although the motion was moved by Matthew Katzman. One student claimed that “patriotism and colonialism are not really separable”. Another claimed the move was not about “cancelling” the Queen, saying the committee was not capable of doing so: “This is about our communal space and making people feel welcome.”

Royalist opponents of the take-down warned:

“… it is worth considering the reputational damage that this motion would have if passed, not only for our common room and College, but for Oxford students more generally. In an era where debates on no-platforming and cancel culture rage strong, effectively ‘cancelling’ the Queen and brandishing her a symbol of colonialism – so often used as a synonym for racism – sends a dire message that is sure to enrage. Moreover, it is culturally insensitive for a common room so heavily comprised of international students to seek to remove a national symbol from a British institution. The cultural heritage of all nations has the right to be respected, and a common room that does not do so cannot claim to be inclusive.”

Ultimately it was agreed that “for some students depictions of the monarch and the British monarchy represent recent colonial history” and that the portrait should come down. The student group will now explore whether the painting can be auctioned. Presumably Queen’s College’s days are numbered…

UPDATE: Gavin Williamson responds:

“Oxford University students removing a picture of the Queen is simply absurd. She is the Head of State and a symbol of what is best about the United Kingdom. During her long reign she has worked tirelessly to promote British values of tolerance, inclusivity and respect around the world.”

mdi-timer 8 June 2021 @ 15:10 8 Jun 2021 @ 15:10 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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