Major Report Reveals Academic Freedom is in Danger at UK Universities

A new report by Policy Exchange has found those at Britain’s universities with right-leaning, Leave-supporting or gender-critical views are genuine victims of cancel culture, having to censor what they teach, research and discuss with their academic colleagues. Confirming what we already knew…

In one of the largest polls of university academics carried out in recent years:

  • 32% of ‘fairly right’ or ‘right’-leaning academics say they have shied away from openly airing their views in teaching and research, versus only 15% of their centre and left colleagues
  • 40% of Leave-voting social science and humanities academics have refrained from publishing or airing views in research and teaching from ‘fear of consequences to your career’, versus only 16% of those who identify as ‘fairly left’
  • Conservative academics are 2.5x more discriminated against when applying for grants, promotion and publishing manuscripts
  • A known Leave supporter faces an 80% chance of discrimination against getting a job when faced by a four-person panel, versus only 17% for centrists
  • Only 54% of remainers would be comfortable lunching with someone who supported Leave, falling to just 37% with someone who opposes admitting transwomen to women’s refuge centres

Policy Exchange finds that so-called ‘gender critical’ scholars face even more discrimination than conservatives and Leavers. The left-wing University and College Union responded to the findings by claiming: “The idea that academic freedom is under threat is a myth”. As per usual, ignoring the evidence…

mdi-timer 3 August 2020 @ 10:29 3 Aug 2020 @ 10:29 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
SpAd Moves & Wonk Watch: Policy Exchange Reshuffle Edition

Policy Exchange seem to be getting on the front foot when it comes to think tanks’ influence over the Government, becoming further entwined with the Boris administration since No. 10 hired from their fold in February. Guido now learns PX has taken on Nusrat Ghani MP as a Senior Fellow researching Maritime Business and focusing on launching a new era for British shipping; leaping on Boris’s February Greenwich trade speech that promised “an explosion of global trade propelled by new maritime technology”. Ghani takes the role having been freed from ministerial duties in the reshuffle…

PX also takes on Chris Brannigan as a ‘national resilience’ fellow, having served as a SpAd to the PM working on defence and space policy.

In return Policy Exchange are donating Dr. David Shiels, who only recently joined PX when Open Europe was absorbed by them, and who is leaving to become a Northern Ireland SpAd to Brandon Lewis.

Since last week, Guido hears;

  • Leonara Campbell is on the No. 10 briefing team
  • Alex Hitchcock has moved to BEIS, after previously having worked with Alok Sharma at Work and Pensions
  • Ben Jafari has become the third MoJ SpAd, with Rajiv Shah going joint with No. 10’s policy unit on a non-specific legal oversight brief

Keep up to date with Guido’s rolling SpAd list here

mdi-timer 14 April 2020 @ 16:15 14 Apr 2020 @ 16:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
George Freeman’s Tent Festival Partners With Environmental Extremists

George Freeman’s lefty remain tent has become so broad it now apparently covers environmental extremists. His ‘Big Tent Ideas Festival’ has announced it is “unbelievably excited” to be partnering with Extinction Rebellion”.

But just last month the think tank Policy Exchange published a paper on the group by Counter Terrorism experts which outlined that Extinction Rebellion:

  • rejects both our representative democracy and the liberal free market economy and explicitly seeks to overturn both.
  • originates in the anti-globalisation Occupy Movement, and promotes ‘post-capitalism’ ‘de-growth’.
  • espouses a ‘civil resistance’ strategy of mass protests involving large numbers of the public who are encouraged to break the law, cause serious social and economic disruption and place a burden on police resources.
  • emphasises the importance of achieving economic damage to a city.
  • believes that the economic costs of protest increase exponentially day by day.
  • has groups behind the campaign with social media accounts that reveal notable examples of extremist content including conspiracy theories, including “concerning instances of anti-Semitism”
  • has a leader who has spoken about people dying for its cause, having said “we are not just sending out e-mails and asking for donations. We are going to force the governments to act. And if they don’t, we will bring them down and create a democracy fit for purpose… and yes, some may die in the process”.

There is no doubt that Extinction Rebellion is an extremist organisation. What is Government Minister George Freeman playing at..?

mdi-timer 13 August 2019 @ 10:25 13 Aug 2019 @ 10:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Brady Resurfaces With Fresh Call to Bin the Backstop

Guido can shed some new light on the curious case of the disappearing 1922 Committee Chairman – Graham Brady has finally resurfaced several weeks after disappearing without trace following his bizarre decision to ‘recuse’ himself from the Committee to launch his own abortive leadership bid. Not a single MP came forward in his support, Guido can’t even remember him making the case for himself…

Now Brady has popped up in the foreword to the latest Policy Exchange paper by Lord Bew on the Irish backstop, calling for the next Tory leader to drop the backstop. As Brady points out, the only Brexit option to ever command a majority in the House of Commons was the deal with his amendment calling for alternative arrangements replacing the backstop. The EU are the ones chasing unicorns if they think a deal with the backstop is ever getting through…

mdi-timer 17 June 2019 @ 10:20 17 Jun 2019 @ 10:20 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Warsi Cites Conspiracy Theorist Suspended from Labour Party

Sayeeda Warsi is unhappy about The Times splash this morning, claiming “this article makes disturbing & disingenuous claims about British Muslims APPG report Islamophobia Defined. This is the latest in a line of attacks from the same sources which until now I have ignored as usual silly boy games but this is dangerous and needs challenging”.

She then goes on to have a go at the Policy Exchange think-tank:

The report Baroness Warsi cites here is The Cold War on British Muslims: An Examination of Policy Exchange and the Centre for Social Cohesion written by David Miller – then of Bath University (now Bristol). The report was written “with the aid of a grant of £5,000 from The Cordoba Foundation”. The Cordoba Foundation was identified by former PM David Cameron as a “front for the Muslim Brotherhood”. The Government’s 2014-5 Review of the Muslim Brotherhood similarly described the Cordoba Foundation as being “associated with the Brotherhood”. Miller’s report is quite simply not a credible academic source.

Miller is a conspiracy theorist who is on record as having promoted the idea that chemical attacks in Syria were a false flag – perhaps involving British intelligence in some capacity – designed to force Western intervention in the country’s civil war. Miller has also defended the comments which led to Ken Livingstone quitting the Labour Party (about Hitler supporting a Jewish homeland) – he was suspended from the Labour Party over these comments before being subsequently reinstated. He has called the concept of Israel a “racist endeavour”. He even accused the Government of “state propaganda” over its reaction to the Skripals’ poisoning in Salisbury.

Miller’s suspiciously worried about the influence of “ultra-zionists” and the Israeli government:This should come as no surprise. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report on Islamophobia, which produced the highly problematic definition that Baroness Warsi is so desperate to promote, itself took evidence from and cited the work of Professor David Miller. No wonder the government is looking to formulate a better working definition of ‘Islamophobia’…

mdi-timer 15 May 2019 @ 12:59 15 May 2019 @ 12:59 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Irish Government Accused of ‘Weaponising’ Good Friday Agreement

Remain voting crossbench peer Lord Bew, whose contributions to the Good Friday Agreement were acknowledged in his appointment to the Lords, has accused the Irish Government of ‘weaponising‘ the Northern Irish peace process.

“UK Government has allowed the Irish Government to weaponise the 1998 Good Friday Agreement in a way that prevents compromise on the Backstop”

Lord Bew, who voted Remain, has written a briefing note for Policy Exchange in which he argues that the Northern Irish backstop endangers the peace process and has been predicated on a “partial reading of the Good Friday Agreement” which does not take into account the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

He argues that in order for the Good Friday Agreement to be respected, and peace preserved, it is crucial that “the Backstop is made temporary – in explicit and legally binding terms.” Something for MPs on all sides of the house to think about…

mdi-timer 28 January 2019 @ 10:23 28 Jan 2019 @ 10:23 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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