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:
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…
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;
Keep up to date with Guido’s rolling SpAd list here…
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”.
They’ll be in our #EnviroTent proposing that the UK’s current net zero target of 2050 needs to be revised to 2020/2025
— Big Tent Ideas Festival (@BigTentIdeas) August 12, 2019
But just last month the think tank Policy Exchange published a paper on the group by Counter Terrorism experts which outlined that Extinction Rebellion:
There is no doubt that Extinction Rebellion is an extremist organisation. What is Government Minister George Freeman playing at..?
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…
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:
As for Policy Exchange and their now two reports on @APPGBritMuslims report #IslamophobiaDefined
They have zero credibility on any initiative designed to protect British Muslims.
Much on this incl this from the University of Bath https://t.co/VvXoQ8XpWm
— Sayeeda Warsi (@SayeedaWarsi) May 15, 2019
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’…
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…