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Creepy Letter from MP to uni chancellors

(28 Posts)
OliviaD68 Tue 24-Oct-17 20:10:07

Am I the only one to think this letter is creepy?

Chris Heaton-Harris, Conservative MP for Daventry and a staunch Eurosceptic, wrote to vice-chancellors at the start of this month asking for the names of any professors involved in teaching European affairs “with particular reference to Brexit”.

Spinflight Tue 24-Oct-17 20:50:48

Yes.

I'd imagine you are.

Mistigri Tue 24-Oct-17 21:13:02

Much of twitter is up in arms, so you're definitely not alone.

It looks like a bit of an own goal tbh.

MyBrilliantDisguise Tue 24-Oct-17 21:19:45

No, he's being disciplined over it. That's all we need, idiots like him trying to influence academia.

OliviaD68 Tue 24-Oct-17 21:35:12

@Mistigri:

Yes, I've seen the tweets. Massive spike.

Why an own goal?

Phosphorus Tue 24-Oct-17 21:39:14

Between this guy and Andrea Leadsom, UK politics will be going to hell in a hand cart.

It's insidious.

All under an ',oh so innocent' guise that is chillingly transparent to anyone with even a basic grasp of history.

Phosphorus Tue 24-Oct-17 21:40:20

Spinflight really?!

OliviaD68 Tue 24-Oct-17 21:48:10

@Phosphorus

Spinflight is upset because I reacted (too) strongly to drivel from a Brexit armchair expert on another post. Don't blame her for carrying over her anger: I earned it.

Mistigri Tue 24-Oct-17 22:08:55

Why an own goal?

Because he's been widely ridiculed and no 10 has distanced itself.

OliviaD68 Tue 24-Oct-17 22:15:38

@Mistigri

Thanks. He’s the whip right? Is he being canned for his stupidity?

Rufustherenegadereindeer1 Tue 24-Oct-17 22:19:14

Bit worrying

Where is it going to stop

Dh has done some presentations on brexit...are they going to be checking up to make sure he is toeing the line?

HumphreyCobblers Tue 24-Oct-17 22:20:56

It is a dreadful letter but I don't think we need to worry that big brother is actually going to get any information, everyone is pretty appalled. Even his own party.

Rufustherenegadereindeer1 Tue 24-Oct-17 22:22:00

Well ive just told dh they are coming for him humphrey grin

Dont spoil my fun

Mistigri Tue 24-Oct-17 22:26:45

Olivia I kind of doubt he'll be sacked, there are cabinet ministers who've done a bunch of embarrassing shit with impunity.

Tbh I think it's a bit of a storm in a teacup - it's hardly front page news that some Tory MPs aren't greatly in favour of freedom of speech when it comes to brexit. If he were a govt minister acting in an official capacity it would be much more concerning.

OliviaD68 Tue 24-Oct-17 22:28:33

@Mistigri

Thanks. Makes good sense.

cdtaylornats Fri 27-Oct-17 23:05:55

For fucks sake read the letter

Consider it against the SNP letter to employers asking for a list of all EU citizens working for them.

Which is more sinister

OliviaD68 Sat 28-Oct-17 08:51:28

@cdtaylornats

That was not the thread. Not considering the SNP letter but this one to unis.

cdtaylornats Sat 28-Oct-17 10:16:59

I was merely contrasting the level of creepiness

OliviaD68 Sat 28-Oct-17 12:32:31

@cdtaylornats

Understand.

Doesn’t make the intent of this letter any less worrisome.

VikingVolva Sat 28-Oct-17 12:52:33

Request for info is exactly the same as the SNZp request.

If universities are happy with their courses, then why shouldn't they be providing this information? Though of course they may not be staffed to answer random questions from MPs - irrespective of what the enquiry is about.

MPs employ researchers, who should be gathering this info in the first instance from published course information, and then asking (if necessary) for supplementary info (say if some unis have more comprehensive websites, bringing returns to standard of the most informative).

I think that parallels to other requests are being resisted because this is the kind of thing which is fine when it's done by someone you approve of, but nasty by others.

OliviaD68 Sat 28-Oct-17 12:58:35

@VikingVolva

Huh? Really?

A bit naive are we?

Doesn’t matter whether you agree or don’t with what unis are teaching. They need to be left alone. They are not a policy instrument for Westminster or Whitehall.

VikingVolva Sat 28-Oct-17 13:05:37

thank you for characterising me in that way.

It seems you disagree with my post and think I have not given due weight to relevant issues.

But extrapolating from that to brand me personally as naive (I think the idiom is 'playing the man not the ball') is a the sort of name calling which has ruined debate on MN.

I do not assume that answering questions about what is happening in a university makes them any more or less likely to be vulnerable to curriculum interference.

Piratesandpants Sat 28-Oct-17 13:11:33

Doesn’t matter whether you agree or don’t with what unis are teaching. They need to be left alone. They are not a policy instrument for Westminster or Whitehall.

Spot on.

OliviaD68 Sat 28-Oct-17 13:15:51

@VikingVolva

Prima facie you are correct. Why not ask for transparency from unis?

But this is where I disagree. Things are not as they appear. And therefore point to naivety about intent.

Publishing a list can lead to a lot of other things like bullying from govt - whether covertly or overtly or indirectly via our wonderful press - or reduction of funding to coerce alignment of curricula to govt policy.

Were this not a possibility there would be no issue.

YokoReturns Sat 28-Oct-17 13:17:06

OP ignore the paid ‘shills’ on here, they are insidious. Feel free to ask me for clarification on that statement.

Yes, the letter is hideous.

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