Monday 8 December 2014

We used to think the unions were the enemies within [Great Britain], but it was always the universities


The trade unions did enormous amount of damage to Britain in the 1960s and 1970s. We now know that in the 1970s the two most powerful and famous trade union leaders, household names who were better known than almost all the politicians, Jack Jones and Hugh Scanlon, were secretly Communists or, in other words, admirers of Brezhnev's USSR. MI6 knew that they were security risks. So of course were a great many trade union officials and activist - as were many academics. 

The influence of the unions however was limited to (harming) the economy. Academics in the humanities, on the other hand, are what Shelley said poets were, the “unacknowledged legislators of the world.” If you seek their monument, look around you. It is odd that in the 1960s and 1970s, exactly when the working class people decided socialism was out of date, the intellectuals embraced it.

'SOAS tops the Which? University Survey

'SOAS, University of London has been ranked one of the Top University for the in the Political Scene scoring 97%.' 

According to the Which? survey (a consumer magazine reviewing universities is appropriate because university education is now a commodity to be bought and sold):
One SOAS student describes their uni as 'a definition of a political university. Spanning from the Marxist to the Anarchist societies, there's a flavour for anyone choosing to be more politically involved... The student body is very aware of the political climate and ways of making a difference.'
Very diverse... but then diversity does not apply to right-wingers. Ask how many conservatives are employed in women's studies or development studies faculties. 

Back in the 1980s and recently Conservative student associations were forbidden to display the Union Jack as it could be perceived as racist. A student at Liverpool who supported the BNP was recently sent down and had his career prospects severely harmed because he criticised a lecturer who justified the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby. The lecturer remains there. Ukip supporters are not allowed to speak nor people who oppose abortion. A senior lecturer in Russian studies was hustled out of his jobs for expressing racist opinions to a student newspaper though they had no bearing on how he did his job.

Unfortunately this lack of diversity of opinions is not confined to the student body (in fact most students are always conservative but usually keep fairly quiet about it) but applies to the academic staff too.

In the words of Mark Griffith:

The left-wing rejection of tradition is usually framed as "questioning tradition". But in fact there is no asking of real questions which run the risk of returning an answer that suggests that tradition contains wisdom or virtue or efficacy, so this so-called "questioning" amounts to rejection. This rejection seems to those involved to be invigorating, fresh, daring... it seems to open up new possibilities, but in fact it closes them down.


  1. A friend of mine recently (in the context of a discussion on free migration) referred to the "battle of ideas". Sadly in Britain there is no such thing - on television and radio the big government "social justice" case goes unchallenged, the schools and universities teach it, and there is no dissent in the book stores - all the books there blame economic crises on "market fundamentalism" and "lack of regulation" and call for more government spending.

    1. I have an intelligent daughter at school and the experience of being brainwashed has made her cynical about all the 'soft' subjects. Up to the time when she could drop them she used to cold-bloodedly work out what they wanted her to say when they asked for "her own opinion".