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Conservative MP requests list of professors lecturing on Brexit from university.

Discussion in 'Education news' started by MacGuyver, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. MacGuyver

    MacGuyver Occasional commenter

    Pretty Orwellian if you ask me. I'm very interested in what the reasons behind it were and what he intended to do with the information, if he received it. He has since been rebuked by the government and has apologised on Twitter, saying: To be absolutely clear, I believe in free speech in our universities and in having an open and vigorous debate on Brexit.

    Conservative Whip Chris Heaton-Harris writes to the University of Worcestor requesting "the names of professors at your establishment who are involved in the teaching of European affairs, with particular reference to Brexit." Given the generic nature of the letter, I wonder how many other universities this was sent to.

    Google has provided the following links.
    The Evening Standard: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/pol...rofessors-who-lecture-on-brexit-a3666621.html

    The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...emand-information-staff-telling-a8016876.html

    The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/educati...-of-mccarthyite-behaviour-universities-brexit


    EDIT: Tidying up the opening paragraph and adding his tweet.
    Shedman, TCSC47 and JL48 like this.
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    It's absolutely right that courses on Government and Politics, economics, modern history and the like Brexit is subjected to analysis. It would be a failing on the part of institutions not to be doing this.
  3. asnac

    asnac Established commenter

    It does sound sinister the way he put it. But I imagine it was a precursor to some sort of parliamentary question about academic balance.

    I was speaking to a politics student the other day who told me that every one of his lecturers was anti-Brexit.
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Not surprising - there is a strong correlation between level of education and likelihood of having supported 'remain' - the higher the level, the more likely one is a remainer.
    JL48 and emerald52 like this.
  5. MacGuyver

    MacGuyver Occasional commenter


    Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38762034
    JL48 likes this.
  6. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

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  7. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    It's unfortunate that 'remainer' has a yucky ring tomit, when clearkynitbwas the wisest decision to have made, at least in the big cities which pivot upon cheaper migrant contributions. Now the whole country is becoming a bit of a remnants basket. Hmmmm.
  8. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Mrs FW, when seeing this story for the first time on the 10pm news last night, immediately said: 'It's like the Nazis asking for the names of Jews working in your firm once they conquered France [her home country] in 1940....' 'Thin end of a wedge', I said.....
    JL48, emerald52 and TCSC47 like this.
  9. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Idiomas11, emerald52 and TCSC47 like this.
  10. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Seems like he was doing his job to me.

    Are universities teaching students to think for themselves about the balanced arguments for and against, or are universities still living in the past and allowing their lecturers to use lectures to have a good moan and encourage anti-Brexit views? They have made no secret that they are anti-Brexit, but how are they ensuring their own bigoted and biased views are not reflected in bigoted and biased lectures? Are these universities monitoring this to ensure a fair balance? Or are they conveniently doing nothing and pleading ‘free speech’ rather than taking responsibility for the spin their lecturers are “teaching” impressionable undergrads?

    Fair play to the MP. He is checking that universities are being fair. I suspect the melodrama and imagery of Jews and nazis by the remain crowd, who still can’t accept the referendum result, is because we all pretty much know that Universities are being about as far from fair and balanced as you can get!
  11. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Not really.

    His letter shows ignorance on a number of levels:

    • The reference to 'Professors' and not lecturers etc who do most of the teaching;
    • The fact that he seems to think 'Brexit' will be a major course of study rather than something that will impact in many ways, but (as yet) tangentially on law, economics, politics etc.
    • The fact he doesn't say why he wants this information...if it was for a 'book' as he now claims WHY didn't he say so...and why is it on HoC note paper?
    • And the whole, vaguely threatening TONE of the whole letter.

    NB Re: your last paragraph...is he actually saying that? If so, then it's a very threatening letter!
    emerald52 and TCSC47 like this.
  12. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Constant nit-picking over he should have said that, he didn’t say this in his letter by remainers doesn’t wash. He was doing his job and all that is in the letter is a request for information. Hardly sinister!

    Retainers: we’re leaving the EU. Get over it and move on. Bitching about silly things and making mountains out of molehills actually makes you look very petty.
  13. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Are we actually leaving?

    Let's wait & see eh...

    And even if we do, get used to 10, 20 30 or more years of arguing that we should rejoin. Trust me everything that goes wrong in the future in the UK - politically, economically or whatever, WILL be blamed on Brexit, and the fools who voted for it.
  14. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    "Are we actually leaving?"

    Yes, on the 29th March 2019.

    "And even if we do, get used to 10, 20 30 or more years of arguing that we should rejoin. Trust me everything that goes wrong in the future in the UK - politically, economically or whatever, WILL be blamed on Brexit, and the fools who voted for it."

  15. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Your first statement is not correct. There are various scenarios which would see that not happening.
  16. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Nitpick away. It's what you do best.
  17. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Lead commenter

    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
    FrankWolley likes this.
  18. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    MY God! I am surprised that there is actually any support at all anywhere for this guy. I would go as far as say "How dare he?" !!

    He is stepping right outside his remit as an MP. Have any of his constituents been to see him about it? And even then, it is outside his job spec. He should concern himself with the quality not, most certainly, the content.

    Universities work on peer review. They have to. Anything else is, as Mrs. FW said "It's like the Nazis asking for the names of Jews working in your firm once they conquered France [her home country] in 1940....'

    Threatening and disgraceful!!

    Even more worryingly is the support he got from the likes of Leason and others in the Nasty Party. Maybe I should start calling them the Threatening Party.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
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  19. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    I would add that whilst some have tried to spin -- (I'm talking to you Leason) -- Heaton-Harris' letter as being merely an interested request, we know she knows that he knows that he meant it as a threat. We know this because of all the aggression from the pro Brexit media and politicians when ever anybody dares to point out that the Brexit case was based on lies and idiocy. They rise up as though it was a reenactment of the gunpowder plot. The judiciary are closet papists bent on blowing up parliament after pointing out that the government was not legally able to progress brexit without proper democratic procedure put in place. Parliament consequently rolled over upon realising what a hair drier they would get from the gutter media if they attempted to debate the matter in any way. So, Heaton-Harris probably thinks he can get away with such an illiberal nasty meley mouthed threat because of the way the gutter media have gone for any remainer who "dares" to put their head above the parapet.

    Heaton-Harris, Your a disgrace and an apology for a people's representative. Shame on you!
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  20. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Nah, the government has realised they don't really understand enough about the possible implications of Brexit and are hoping to get an insight from Uni courses.
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