Discussion of article from the Mail's columnists and RightMinds contributors
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By Andy McDandy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#539712
And he rather neatly divides universities into "jumped up polys" and Oxbridge. Where he went, obviously. His real anger is that staff at Oxbridge are just as motivated as those at Scumbag college. His real fear is that the establishment isn't aligned with him, or that those who ought to be part of it aren't playing properly.
 
By cycloon
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#539722
Help me think a thing through, fellow Mailwatchers.

It's a commonplace at the moment (but it has a long history too) that universities are seen as dens of conspiracy and madness by the various strands of the right, be it bizarre fears of the impossible 'postmodern socialists' or more traditional 'PC gorn' mad' stuff.

I am trying to grasp what it is about universities that they hate, and the obvious, self-aggrandising bit is that at heart universities are (should) be about unpicking stuff. A lot of people don't like things being unpicked, either on an ideological level (leave my pet project alone) or on a more emotional/intuitive level (stop talking nonsense, it's confusing/uncomfortable/pointless). The response is often to politicise things - a function of stupidity as it defends itself from being shown to be stupid, in effect (everyone is guilty of this, not just the right, and it misses the point of academic enquiry completely). This can even be cloaked in the language of inquiry: e.g. against Rhodes Must Fall, 'stop destroying history', which necessarily implies that what RMF want to show is 'non-history', not 'alternative history/histories' (whatever you think of RMF et al).

But it's more complicated than that, and here's where I struggle. There are right-wing academics, and rightly so - the university is not the cultural monolith its critics think it is; indeed, the most radical voices are very much a minority, in my experience (and this is not new, at all). This for me is distinct from the Mailites screaming about 'lefties in the unis', because their innate reaction to the act of unpicking is defensive, is to ascribe it to their enemies, ignoring the actual range of views in the university.

That said, it is also clear there is a preponderance of, if not 'left' (I don't know many socialists in my university, personally), then of liberal, remain people. Is that a function of 'unpicking' and being closer to foreigners and fluid careers? But I have encountered neoliberals, staunch conservatives, and some very odd extras...

My point has tapered out. What I am trying to say is - Glover's an idiot. But what is going on with universities and society, do we think?
By Andy McDandy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#539737
Not much, I think. What has happened is a shift in perception of university from a pillar of the establishment to ivory tower, disconnected from the perceived real world. All part of the general attack on institutions.

Glover's just the same as Hopkins railing against black actors and modern dress in Shakespeare. They have an idea of what a thing should be, have zero awareness of what that thing is, but just know that it doesn't sit right with them. What they want is chocolate box tradition.
 
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
#539740
Frustration at complexity when you see the world in a simplistic way and can't understand why the world can't be bent to your realities. A lefty going to university is more likely to come out a liberal but there is no distinction for the university of life pub bores who don't like how they feel about the world being bamboozled by facts and figures.
Last edited by youngian on Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
By Cyclist
Membership Days Posts
#539753
youngian wrote:Frustration at complexity when you see the world in a simplistic way and can't understand why the world can't be bent to your realities.
I didn't know Glover was a Corbynite!
 
By Watchman
Membership Days Posts
#539755
Messianic Trees wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:04 am
The well-meant expansion of universities has created a Left-wing fifth column that hates the values of those who pay their wages

And there for me is proof that Glover will not present a rational piece of work........"that hates the values of those who pay their wages". By those "who pay their wages", I assume he means you and I dear Mail readers, you stout English yeoman, having done a hard day's honest work you see you taxes going to fund hate (by which Glover means a different view to that he believes all Mail readers have). Well my taxes go towards education, and he doesn't speak for my values.
Just because your salary is based on being told what to think and write by your editor, doesn't mean everyone else's should
 
By Bones McCoy
Membership Days Posts
#539800
The right are never keen on "Over thinking" things.
And for many of them any thinking is over thinking.

Leave the EU? Just get on with it.
Sort out Syria? Don't discuss it just bomb them.

Their thought processes have hardly changed since the Crusaders slaughtered the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
God will take care of his own, and we'll take care of the loot.
By Andy McDandy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#539804
Matthew Parris, in the Times on Saturday, said that a hallmark of conservatism was a "suspicion of ideas", by which he explained he meant mistrust of ideology and a preference for practicality. But when it comes to Glover...
 
By Messianic Trees
Membership Days Posts
#539840
Interestingly, Glover's wasn't the only attack on higher education yesterday, though this one doesn't seem to be on MailOnline:

How CAN Cambridge let this hate-filled don pour out her racist bile?
Barely a day goes by without some fresh outbreak of hysteria in Britain’s universities. But for left- wing nastiness, few disputes can rival the one that enveloped an eminent Oxford don, Nigel Biggar.

Before Christmas, The reverend Canon Biggar, regius professor of moral and pastoral theology at Christ Church, Oxford, wrote an article for The Times arguing that, while British colonialism spawned several atrocities, its consequences were not exclusively bad.

His point was that our empire’s legacy was ‘morally mixed’. While imperialistic wars were waged and the occasional massacre was undoubtedly carried out, our forefathers also ended the Transatlantic slave trade and successfully exported democracy to distant corners of the globe.

As a result, Biggar argued, we must ‘not feel guilty about our colonial history’ and should view it in a ‘more balanced’ context.

His central thesis seems incontestable. The British empire was undoubtedly involved in bad things but also spawned much ‘good’.

As to the wider conclusions Biggar drew, readers are free to make up their own minds. Provocative opinions that challenge orthodoxy have been an essential part of informed academic debate for as long as great universities have existed. Or so one might think. But in modern academia, there is a price to pay for upsetting the forces of political correctness — particularly for people who, like Biggar, hail from that world’s dwindling band of political conservatives.

Within days of Professor Biggar’s article being published, 58 Oxford academics, almost all left-wing activists, signed an open letter declaring a ‘firm rejection’ of his remarks, which they dubbed ‘breathtakingly politically naive’.

A further letter, signed by 170 international scholars, accused him of being ‘an apologist for colonialism’. There were calls for a boycott of a five-year research project that Professor Biggar runs, ‘ethics and empire’.

He also attracted bile on social media, where keyboard warriors dubbed him ‘odious’ and ‘racist’, and compared his views to those of Hitler.

To their credit, the powers-that-be at Oxford stood by their man. In a statement, the university resisted calls for his research project to be cancelled, stressing that ‘we absolutely support academic freedom of speech’.

And there things might have ended, were it not for Biggar’s decision this week to write a second article about the affair.

This one lifted the lid on some of the ‘spitting hatred’ directed at him by fellow academics during December’s controversy. In particular, he revealed that ‘a senior academic at one of Britain’s most prestigious universities’ had used social media to publicly dub him a ‘racist’ and a ‘bigot’ and to call his scholarship ‘supremacist sh***’.

He duly complained about this ‘incontinent abuse’ to the heads of its author’s college and faculty. But they refused to act, despite agreeing the posts were ‘not always as temperate as one might hope for’. as a result, Biggar concluded that ‘vile abuse is now tolerated in our universities’.

While he declined to name the ‘senior academic’ in his article, an extended look at this sorry saga reveals her to be a prolific internet troll who uses social media to bombard peers and public figures with vitriolic (and, on some occasions, racist) abuse.

Moreover, I can reveal that her use of both Twitter and Facebook has, in recent months, repeatedly broken her university’s own formal written guidelines, at one point helping to reduce a high-profile colleague, TV historian Mary Beard, to tears. yet her superiors refuse to act.

The ‘senior academic’ in question turns out to be Dr Priyamvada Gopal, a 49-year- old reader (a prestigious post that ranks just below professor) in literature at Churchill College, Cambridge.

Famed in academic circles for her strident left-wing views, she is a vehement supporter of Jeremy Corbyn who has published several opinion pieces in The Guardian and is a prolific user of Twitter, having posted more than 17,000 tweets in the past seven years.

Only last month, during the scandal surrounding sexual abuse by Oxfam employees working in disaster zones, Gopal made headlines by using the site to accuse Beard of ‘patrician casual racism’.

The reason? Beard had said of the alleged abuse of Haitian women by aid workers: ‘I do wonder how hard it must be to sustain “civilised” values in a disaster zone.’

Gopal’s response contributed to an avalanche of criticism which left Beard feeling so upset and ‘assaulted’ that she posted a photo of herself in tears online.

Which brings us back to Biggar, who was on the receiving end of similar treatment. Indeed, in the days surrounding the controversy, Gopal posted several dozen tweets and Facebook comments about his Times article, making often highly personal remarks.

The posts are laced with bile. In one she dubbed him ‘ rev Bigot’. another claimed what came out of his mouth was ‘vomit’.

Further tweets called him ‘horrible’ and she shared a post on Facebook saying that he was a a ‘ repulsive, sexist, misogynist racist’. separately, she also accused him of being a ‘white supremacist’ whose writings are ‘outright racist imperial apologetics’.

Still more of her posts alleged that he was ‘dishonest’ and a ‘crybaby bully as bullies usually are’. Bizarrely, one even described Biggar, who has published eight books over five decades in academia, as ‘ intellectually challenged’. another claimed he believes foreigners to be ‘Pakis and nig nogs’ (terms he has not, and would never, use).

She also described Professor John Darwin, one of Biggar’s colleagues, as ‘ so thick I am not sure I can bear to read him’.

Like many an internet troll, Dr Gopal also chose to go after anyone who sought to defend Biggar.
she used social media to describe letters to the Times agreeing with his original article as: ‘ More racist sh*** including a***-licking internalised racism from the colonised.’

Then, when the black race relations campaigner Trevor Phillips spoke out in support of Biggar, she announced that he was ‘a toady who flourishes by shafting other people of colour’.

These remarks were, remember, being made in public, by a Cambridge University scholar.

‘I understand that there are people who disagree fiercely with my views. That’s fine. But if you want to disagree, then state reasons I am wrong. Don’t just stamp your feet and shout abuse,’ Biggar told me this week.

‘She's a relatively senior academic at one of our star universities. If she’s that aggressive on Twitter, then what is she like in person? What would happen to a student who dared to state an opinion she didn’t agree with?’

Biggar formally complained to Dame athene Donald, the Dean of Gopal’s college, and Peter de Bolla, the head of Cambridge’s english faculty. But both failed to act.

I can reveal that they refused to discipline Gopal even though her social media activity clearly breached the University of Cambridge’s own social media guidelines, which are outlined in an 11-page document.

It states that ‘digital communications by staff should be professional and respectful at all times’ and prohibits ‘ unacceptable conduct’ including sharing ‘ discriminatory, offensive or harassing content’.

Dr Gopal has, of course, shared just such content on several occasions, directing it not only at Biggar but at other public figures.

Not long ago, she said of an asian commentator whose views on empire she disagreed with, ‘brown is brown. No one kisses imperial ass better’, and advanced an ugly racial stereotype by stating ‘money is a drug for asians, but they also love racial hierarchies so long as they aren’t at the very bottom’.

Both tweets are, of course, offensive and discriminatory. arguably, they constitute harassment.
she has also attacked everyone from Nigel Farage (‘a racist xenophobic, selfish, Trump a***-kissing intellectually challenged divisive loser’) to newspaper columnist simon Jenkins (a ‘knighted posh boy with a Guardian sinecure’) and the entire Conservative Government (‘the most nasty, selfish, self-isolating, individualist, anti-social bunch of self-serving . . . s***s in government ever’).

As for the royal Family, she has called them ‘racist . . . white and white supremacist’ and said of Meghan Markle that she is ‘as good as the rest of them at doing the “saving africa” routine’.

Cambridge University’s social media guidelines require academics to ‘use a disclaimer when expressing personal views’ (Gopal doesn’t), to ‘use an appropriate and professional tone’, to ‘be respectful’ and to ‘express opinions but do so in a balanced and measured manner’.

The guidelines also require staff to ensure their social media profiles state that they are ‘not communicating on behalf of the University’. again, Gopal does not.

Yesterday I contacted Dame athene Donald and Peter de Bolla, and Gopal, asking what they and the university thought of her social media activity.

Only Dame athene responded, stating that the university’s social media guidelines ‘are recommended guidelines and not rules’ and claiming nothing ought to be done to enforce them.

In other words, Cambridge University is — for the time being — quite happy for one of its senior academics to use Twitter and Facebook to spread obscene bile about professional colleagues with whom she happens to disagree.

Regrettably, it would therefore seem that Nigel Biggar is right.

In the internet age, vile abuse really is being tolerated by our greatest universities.
 
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
#539856
Bones McCoy wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:26 pm
The right are never keen on "Over thinking" things.
And for many of them any thinking is over thinking.

Leave the EU? Just get on with it.
Sort out Syria? Don't discuss it just bomb them.
And you don't have to overthink about who is to blame when it all goes tits up: Someone else apart from them.
 
By cycloon
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#539861
The Biggar story has created ripples, indeed. There was some to and fro in some literature here, if I recall correctly.

I don't know much about Gopal, but one thing this does show is debate. If the university isn't a Marxist training camp, then it's doing what it is supposed to do, Gopal's indiscretions aside. Which one is it, Dacre?
 
By Messianic Trees
Membership Days Posts
#540629
The broken blue line: STEPHEN GLOVER on how the once proud police force is being led by a 'politically correct sect' who are turning a blind eye to 'low level' crime including drugs and burglaries

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... crime.html
Like almost everyone, I was brought up to respect the police. They were basically honest and generally competent — and instinctively on the side of ordinary people.

If a police officer is murdered in the line of duty, it is always a particular shock. Such sacrifices remain especially upsetting. They remind us of the bravery of police officers, and of how they constitute our final defence against anarchy.

But, do I, as a reasonably law-abiding person, automatically assume the police are on my side? I don’t think they are. Do I believe they can be relied on to protect me, and millions like me, as we go about our daily business? I am afraid I no longer do.

In the past few weeks there has been yet more evidence that our modern police force is wretchedly flawed; that it isn’t only sometimes silly but also achingly political correct, less competent than we have a right to expect and, at least in its upper echelons, disgracefully out of touch with public opinion.

I fear the police increasingly resemble a sect whose beliefs, practices and values are divergent from those of the society they are meant to serve. I don’t say this with any satisfaction. I would love to be wrong. I just don’t believe I am.

There are, of course, thousands of ordinary officers diligently going about their daily business, solving crimes, trying to keep us safe, and often bravely taking risks on our behalf.

It is their politically correct, hidebound, box-ticking and sometimes slightly weird leaders who worry me. They seem to operate in a world of their own, detached from the fears and concerns of ordinary people, and fundamentally more interested in managing crime than in bringing dangerous criminals to justice.

The reaction of police to the burglary in Hither Green, London — when 78-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks killed an intruder who was armed with a screwdriver — is the latest example of the boys in blue being appallingly ham-fisted.

That he should have been arrested by officers as though he was the felon, and held for two nights, was bad enough.
What followed was perhaps even worse. Vincent’s friends and family created a shrine of flowers and tributes near Mr Osborn-Brooks’s home, which seemed a calculated act of intimidation. Every time outraged local residents tore down the shrine, it was re-instated by Vincent’s supporters.

And the response of the police (present in large numbers in a street where they had previously not been much in evidence)? They rashly elected to take sides.

Having treated Mr Osborn-Brooks as a potential criminal, they now identified with the dead burglar’s provocative cheerleaders. Indeed, Craig Mackey, deputy commissioner in the Metropolitan Police, warned residents that if they caused disorder or were guilty of a breach of the peace, they would be arrested. Chief Superintendent Simon Dobinson urged the public to ‘respect the wishes of those who chose to place flowers and other tributes in the area’.
Unfortunately, common sense is in short supply in the upper reaches of the police, as well as in the Home Office, which, as we learned this week, treated British citizens who have lived here for 40 or 50 years as though they were illegal immigrants who had just sneaked in on the back of a lorry.

That the police sometimes display a basic lack of competence and decency can scarcely be doubted. Scotland Yard is having to review hundreds of rape, child and sexual assault cases after it emerged that police and the Crown Prosecution Service failed to disclose evidence in a drive to increase the number of convictions.

The sad truth is our police are no longer fit for purpose. But with a dysfunctional Home Office, and over-cautious politicians with their eyes elsewhere, I don’t expect anyone is going to do anything about it. And we are less safe as a result.
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