After moderately stupid Tory MP Chris Heaton Harris caused a mild furore by writing to University vice Chancellors demanding to know what they were teaching about the EU and Brexit, he was roundly ridiculed. Many, even on the Leave side of the debate, agreed that this was going too far. But for the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his obedient hackery at the Daily Mail, Heaton Harris merited nothing but praise.
What's f***ing wrong with free speech for me, but not for the c***s I attack?
Thus we come to the latest echo of 1930s-style thought policing, as the Mail has today brought readers the thundering headline “As MP provokes storm by asking what students are being taught about Brexit, a troubling insight into … OUR REMAINER UNIVERSITIES”. All those seats of higher education are refusing to conform with the dictates of the Vagina Monologue, and must therefore be punished accordingly.
And so the mob is instructed what to think by the Big Brother of Northcliffe House: “The extent of anti-Brexit bias at some of Britain’s best known universities was laid bare last night amid a furious row … yesterday the Daily Mail uncovered a string of examples of senior figures at universities explicitly speaking out in favour of Remain … Before the vote, a raft of senior academics spoke publicly to urge their students to back staying in the EU”.
Lecturers and College Principals are named - thus ensuring plenty of hate mail and online abuse. This Dacre knows well; he would blubber to high heaven if anyone did it to him, but in the asymmetric world of the Mail, doing it to others is just fine and dandy. Meanwhile, Heaton Harris has been backed by his fellow self-promoting Tory MPs Andrew “HS2 Ate My House” Bridgen, Andrew Rosindell, and of course Jacob Rees Mogg.
Confirming that this is an organised hit-job, the attack is backed up by a suitably loaded rant from superannuated pundit Stephen “Miserable Git” Glover, although his intervention is little more than a comedy own goal. “When the mighty and powerful are questioned by those they consider unimportant, they are apt to squash their interrogators with disdain - especially if they have something to hide”, he muses, without a hint of irony.
Perhaps he missed the appearance of his editor before the Leveson Inquiry? Dacre, the mighty and powerful, was indeed apt to squash his interrogators with disdain - he used the pages of his paper, day after day, ordering smears and hit-jobs galore, culminating in a bizarre attack over several pages on Leveson advisor David Bell. This blundering fool does no more than demonstrate the Mail’s clumsy hypocrisy.
But what the paper that lionised the Third Reich has not told its readers is the answer to a very simple question: what is it in the teaching materials used by the Universities they are attacking that they find so objectionable? To no surprise at all, not one word of syllabus material - which is what Heaton Harris was talking about - has been revealed.
I mean, the Dacre doggies wouldn’t be objecting to lecturers and principals being free to hold their own views on the EU, would they? The Mail is constantly telling us that it is in favour of free speech. Anything constraining that freedom would be unacceptable if it were imposed on the Mail. But it’s OK if they set the mob on others for just that purpose.