Tory MP demands details of university lectures on Brexit. This lecturer’s response is perfect

Tory whip Chris Heaton-Harris: The new McCarthy?

Chris Heaton-Harris had it coming.

The Tory whip and staunch Brexiteer took it upon himself to write a threatening letter to universities, demanding that they provide him with details of courses teaching European affairs and the names of the lecturers teaching them.

The move has been condemned as an attempt to introduce McCarthyism into the UK – creating fears of a witch-hunt against pro-EU lecturers and thinking.

Mr Heaton-Harris has denied this –

– but he is a Tory, so of course nobody believes him.

The best response is the one sent to Mr Heaton-Harris by Dr Ben Whitham, Lecturer in International Relations at Leicester’s De Montfort University. In fact, considering what the Tories have done to students, it’s perfect:

For those who can’t read images, it says: “Of course you can access my recorded lectures @chhcalling. Just enrol and pay the £9,000 per year your party deems fair, like everyone else.

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  1. Tony Curr October 24, 2017 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    That is a perfect response to a nasty, weaselly, spiteful bully.

  2. Barry Davies October 25, 2017 at 6:57 am - Reply

    One has to wonder what use lectures on Brexit actually are, after all the outcome is pure conjecture neither side know what the actual outcome will be one is claiming it will be a disaster with Great Britain sinking under the sea, after starving to death and everyone hating us, and the other saying we will be better off, so just how are theses tutors experts in the area, or is it the flat earth type of knowledge.

    • Lynn Jenks October 25, 2017 at 9:11 am - Reply

      They can talk about the causes of Brexit, the political attitudes and the events that lead up to it. They can talk about the campaign to persuade the public, and the reason Cameron risked the economic security of the country. And yes, they can extrapolate using such data as exists to discuss possible outcomes. Lecturers teach their students how to think – which of course is anathema to the right wing, hence the inquiry.

    • Domhnall O'hAodha October 25, 2017 at 1:04 pm - Reply

      The current political debate may be built on pure conjecture but it is possible to improve on that idiocy by actually investigating the issues, picking out empircal evidence and using sensible reasoning to reach an informed view. The government, of course, has commissioned extremely expensive expert reports on many spects of Brexit which, sadly, they have ignored and they do not think we are old enough to consider for ourselves. Maybe an approved course would produce some voters that the government thought capable of reading the evidene we all paid for in our taxes.

  3. marcusdemowbray October 25, 2017 at 7:18 am - Reply

    This should be a sacking offence, it goes against the government-university charter.

  4. NMac October 25, 2017 at 7:59 am - Reply

    What a marvellous reply from an intelligent lecturer to an ignorant and very sinister Tory nasty.

  5. rotzeichen October 25, 2017 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Could this be just the tip of the iceberg, how many sponsors to universities have demanded the same thing behind closed doors?

  6. Zippi October 25, 2017 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Great response however, how is Br’exit to be taught when it is clearly a case of the blind leading the blind. Nobody knows how it will end up, nobody seems to be willing to enter proper negotiations, half of the cabinet seems to have a crystal ball which can predict the future and create a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom, whilst trying to reverse the decision which has yet to be enacted. As for the Galileo comment; that situation is largely misunderstood; Galileo was wrong; he was right about some things but on the whole, he was not correct and had support from a man who was on the run from about every country in which he sought refuge. In addition, Galileo was not treated as badly as many people believe.
    I suggest that people invest the energies in our leaving the European Union, instead of trying to stop it; it hasn’t happened yet. It might be a disaster. It might be the best thing ever to happen to this country in the last hundred year but until it happens, we won’t know. I wholeheartedly support people being taught about the European Project; perhaps, if more people had has this knowledge before the Referendum, we might not be in such a horrible situation with so much bickering, accusations and verbal and written attacks.

  7. Brian October 25, 2017 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    We now hear claims this letter had nothing to do with the government, but was written with a view to publishing a personal account of the process. If that’s true, is Chris Heaton-Harris not guilty of using Commons authority and stationary to obtain a pecuniary advantage by deception. Should he not be suspended, while a police inquiry is pursued.

    • Zippi October 26, 2017 at 12:50 am - Reply

      Interesting. Why would he require information about a university course in order to publish a personal account? are his memoirs not sufficient? Is his memory deficient? Curiouser and curiouser…

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