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Thread: ‘McCarthyism in the UK'

  1. #1
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    Default ‘McCarthyism in the UK'

    Apparently Turning Point UK have set up a British version of their Education Watch tool which encourages students to report academics for 'leftwing bias'...

    ‘McCarthyism in the UK': academics fear shaming for leftwing views -- A rightwing US website whose citing of lecturers for perceived liberal bias has led to death threats now has a British arm

    Academics are issuing warnings about a UK organisation that is calling on students to report lecturers’ “political bias” for publication on its website. “Education Watch” is based on a US site that lists lecturers who have advanced what it calls “leftist propaganda”. Academics in the US have faced threats of death, rape and harm to their children after being singled out by “Professor Watchlist”.

    Education Watch, on the website of Turning Point UK, was launched last month by the British arm of Turning Point USA, an organisation seen as Trump’s youth wing. Turning Point UK was given messages of support from MPs such as Jacob Rees-Mogg and Priti Patel.

    Education Watch, it says, is a tool for UK students to report lecturers for “leftwing bias”, which it claims universities are “overrun” with.

    The website says any naming and shaming will be on a “case-by-case basis”. “So far, we are simply documenting the incidents without naming the teachers, though we may sometimes name the university or the school. However, if some incidents are serious enough, we may decide it is necessary to publicly name the individuals involved. This would not be our default approach, however – unlike in the US.”

    But academics in Britain say that encouraging students to provide evidence of bias is highly dangerous.

    “This is populist rightwing propaganda, encouraging the false idea that there are evil professors out there, indoctrinating young people, who need to be dealt with,” says Eric Lybeck, presidential academic fellow at Manchester University’s Institute of Education and a member of the Council for the Defence of British Education, who has been researching the organisation. “Turning Point UK and Education Watch have been transplanted to the UK very intentionally by rightwing groups in the US. They are pretending to be a student organisation, but they are not a grassroots organisation at all.”

    One US academic who received a death threat says: “It is ridiculous that I have this additional threat in my life because of this, that I have to worry if my kids are safe. This is someone using their money to increase the chances of a hate crime against certain individuals.”

    Hans-Joerg Tiede, of the American Association of University Professors, has been cataloguing the often “traumatic” impact on individuals of being on the Professor Watchlist and a similar site called Campus Reform, for four years. He says many academics – especially women – have received threats of murder and sexual assault or attacks on their children, via social media or email.

    In two cases universities had to close for the day because of the perceived risk to staff and students.

  2. #2
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    A previous far right campaign against left wing education workers resulted in physical assaults on school teachers.

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  4. #3
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    I've a hard time believing the right's claims about higher education.

  5. #4
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    It's chilling.

    Add to that efforts to transform teachers/lecturers themselves into informants through Prevent and UKBA edicts, and academia is in a horrifying way (even leaving aside everything else), attacked from within and without

  6. #5
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    In one of the Reddit threads on this there are people claiming the right wing students they were at uni with thought discussing or even mentioning Marx was an attempt to indoctrinate them.

  7. #6
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    “Facts have a well known liberal bias”

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