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Should people who attend Nazi conferences get government funding?

(175 Posts)
noblegiraffe Wed 10-Jan-18 23:57:20

Ok, provocative title, but it's hard to distil this situation into a few words. Yes it's about Toby Young.

News has come out about a secret conference held for the last few years at UCL. Invite-only, secret and small, it has apparently been attended by a neo-nazi and a paedophilia supporter. The conference is apparently about the inheritability of intelligence but has also looked at race and intelligence and eugenics.
The Telegraph details the conference here:

It appears that Toby Young was one of the invitees to this secret invite-only conference. Aside from writing misogynistic tweets, he has also written an article supporting 'progressive eugenics'. The Guardian talks about Toby Young's involvement here:

Given that the attendees were aware of the unacceptable nature of their discussions so held them in secret and that the fact that the conferences are now banned and are being investigated, it's clear that something pretty unsavoury has been going on.

Toby Young has resigned from his position on the board of the Office for Students, and it appears his resignation may be linked to these revelations. Toby Young also pulls in a fat salary as Director of the New Schools Network. The New Schools Network is a charity, but it receives the majority of its funding from the DfE. Surely his position there is also untenable?

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noblegiraffe Thu 11-Jan-18 00:10:34

For clarification, it’s not a Nazi conference but a conference involving discussions on eugenics apparently attended by at least one neo-Nazi.

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PerkingFaintly Thu 11-Jan-18 00:18:12

It's a shocking discovery on its own.

But combined with the blog you linked on the other thread, showing Young's flagship West London Free School is so drastically out of step with its local area in terms of students with English as an Additional Language... 5.7% of students compared to averages around 40% in the surrounding secondaries and feeder primaries...


Let's say I'd certainly like to hear the explanation of that.

LineysRunt Thu 11-Jan-18 00:21:30

That Emil Kirkegaard is fucking unbelievable.

noblegiraffe Thu 11-Jan-18 00:31:12

I think while Young was instrumental in setting up WLFS he wouldn’t have any particular influence over admissions apart from his own kids. EAL students also generally outperform white British students so measures to dissuade them from attending wouldn’t make any sense.

I think I’m going to ask for the thread title to be amended as I don’t mean to imply Young is a Nazi, just that he appears to have attended a eugenics conference with one.

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thecatfromjapan Thu 11-Jan-18 00:33:02

I feel this is completely incompatible with his position.

I hope that many others feel this way.

Thank you for starting this thread, noble.

noblegiraffe Thu 11-Jan-18 00:36:06

I’m looking to see who rushes to defend him on this one. Over to you, Boris.

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SlowlyShrinking Thu 11-Jan-18 00:40:30

He really is an awful person

PerkingFaintly Thu 11-Jan-18 00:40:51

The EAL figures need explaining regardless.

And as you say, EAL students statistically outperform white British, so the discrepancy is even odder if the Free School was primarily concerned with getting good results.

But agreed, there may be no connection to Young's, um, additional interests.

ADarkandStormyKnight Thu 11-Jan-18 00:41:10

I can't help but wish Toby Young a hard fall from grace, along with his apologists.

noblegiraffe Thu 11-Jan-18 00:57:01

Oh bloody hell is this true:

"One paper presented at the 2016 conference argued that 'low IQ, high fertility Southern non-Western immigration...threatens the sustainability of European democracy, welfare and civilisation'. Another argued that children from working-class households tend to have 'aggressive, antisocial' personalities and that the welfare state promotes this by letting working-class households have children. Three papers, all by men, were presented on the topic of women being innately less intelligent."

From Private Eye.

The whole thing is disgusting.

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noblegiraffe Thu 11-Jan-18 00:59:14

Toby Young has apparently also since resigned from the Fulbright Commission 'so that he can concentrate on his work with free schools.'

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thecatfromjapan Thu 11-Jan-18 01:28:14

We are asked to tolerate a great deal these days, aren't we?

EggsonHeads Thu 11-Jan-18 01:52:45

It's a difficult one isn't it. Because of the fallout for eugenics post WWII, it is impossible to have a reasonable discussion on genetically inherited traits vs socially inherited traits (but not actively selecting them through social engineering because that isn't reasonable is it?) without being accused of eugenics or being called a nazi (I'm looking at you OP). As a result you have these discussions monopolised by nut cases. Maybe if people didn't feel the need to control intellectual discussions this kind of thing wouldn't happen. Open discussion that can be debated and refuted is key to preventing extremism.

thecatfromjapan Thu 11-Jan-18 02:20:46

So .. because many people - after the real, actual Nazis - find eugenics distasteful, it therefore follows that Toby Young attended such a disgraceful 'conference'?

No. I'm not following the logic.

The choice made, by Toby Young (a capable adult), to attend this conference has one cause only - that being Toby Young's own volition.

I really don't think there is any way you can link any kind of causal relationship between that choice - by an adult, competent male - and other people's opinion about eugenics.

Want2bSupermum Thu 11-Jan-18 02:57:46

I have now two DC with ASD. I've read a lot of research around inherited characteristics. It's extremely interesting and can see how someone getting themselves involved with free schools would look further into this area. There is a 'dirty little secret' that intelligence is inherited. The process of realizing that intelligence is what means some people never reach their potential. If you are looking to create a school that can harness a child's potential in terms of intelligence I can see the relevance of attending. You can't control who is in the audience. No matter how we all dislike Toby Young, a neo nazi attending is beyond his control. Also I don't mind these subjects being discussed and there being an exchange of ideas. The minute we stop that happening is the moment we have lost free speech. Keep quiet about this meeting of minds would be something I would think was encourage to prevent neo nazi type people from attending.

thecatfromjapan Thu 11-Jan-18 03:18:21

What sort of conferences do you attend, where the main conference speakers, along with the subject of their papers, aren't widely circulated in advance?

Do you really think the paper-givers just wandered in off the street?

LineysRunt Thu 11-Jan-18 05:52:12

EggsonHeads, there's a huge amount of open research and discussion going on at universities about subjects like evidence of directional and stabilising selection in contemporary humans. It's hardly being pushed underground or whatever it is you're suggesting.

Want2bSupermum, the titles of the UCL papers were apparently deliberately sanitised precisely in order to provide cover for the neonazi eugenecists attending. It was very well planned, and exposed by UCL student journalists.

Toby Young, brought down by students. Quite the karmic ending.

Battleax Thu 11-Jan-18 06:01:21

Placemarking until I'm awake enough.

Rosewatersoap Thu 11-Jan-18 06:13:03


LineysRunt Thu 11-Jan-18 06:34:18

Full credit to the London Student newspaper for breaking this story:

On Twitter, a fellow London Student journalist says that they alerted Toby Young to their story in advance, and he subsequently resigned from the OfS ... So that might suggest Toby Young knows full well that he's been flirting with the unacceptable. Question is, who else knew?

If you read that article, you might need an anti-emetic handy when you read some of the conference contributors' views.

Oh, and it was the fourth year it ran at UCL so I imagine everyone knew exactly what they were walking into.

SolidarityGdansk Thu 11-Jan-18 06:52:12

What Eggonheads said.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 11-Jan-18 07:01:50

I do get the need for there to be discussions about sometimes difficult subjects especially in universities where critical thinking should be encouraged. I do also believe that there’s an argument that traits including intelligence may well be inherited to a great extent.

But I have a problem when I read quotes from people who attended the conference talking about their concerns that Denmark’s gene pool would suffer if there was immigration from the Middle East. When attendees have close links with known white nationalists.

This to me is where they’ve crossed the line between would could be an interesting talk on the scientific aspect of nature vs nurture and into total racist territory.

Piggywaspushed Thu 11-Jan-18 07:20:25

The point is that Young alleges to be an educationalist these days. People can cry PVC all they like but you would not have a single education conference on a topic such as this or have invited speakers with such , for want of a better word, controversial views.

This is the man who suggested that working class people (only working class) could be given a choice to have a gene test so that they could then decide to eradicate their gene pool. It is hard to know with the toadmeister how much is intellectual interest (very little : he isn't as bright as he believes he is), how much is rebelling against daddy, how much sophomore--on--ic provocation and how much is dangerously and genuinely earnest belief.

noblegiraffe Thu 11-Jan-18 07:36:27

without being accused of eugenics or being called a nazi (I'm looking at you OP)

Toby Young has written an article supporting what he called 'progressive eugenics'. His words! Should we not talk about someone supporting eugenics when they have written articles about it and attended conferences to discuss it?
I didn't call him a Nazi, but he attended a conference also attended by at least one neo-nazi. Again, are we not allowed to mention nazis when nazis are actually in the picture?

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