Oxford

Turns out the anti-racist student behind the Rhodes Must Fall campaign is in fact a racist himself

A massive campaign against statues of Cecil Rhodes was instigated in the UK. Lazy journalists here mimicked the story and went looking for statutes of our own horrible people so they could be tipped over.

But it turns out that the student behind the campaign is an awful racist himself.

A student who helped lead the campaign to tear down a ‘racist’ statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oxford has boasted about refusing to tip a waitress because she was white.

Ntokozo Qwabe bragged online that he and a friend made the woman cry ‘typical white tears’ after writing on the bill ‘we will give tip when you return the land’.

The incident, in a café in South Africa, provoked a fierce backlash from critics who branded him a ‘hypocrite’.

Mr Qwabe, 24, is one of the leaders of the Rhodes Must Fall movement, which campaigned to remove a statue of the 19th Century imperialist from Oriel College.

Although he is a Rhodes scholar himself and received money from the Rhodes’ estate to study at Oxford, Qwabe and other activists claimed forcing ethnic minority students to walk past the statue amounted to ‘violence’.

On Thursday, he wrote on Facebook about an altercation with a waitress during a visit to a restaurant called Obz Café in the Western Cape, South Africa.

He said the incident had left him ‘unable to stop smiling because something so black, wonderful & LIT just happened!’

He wrote that he had eaten there with a friend, described as a ‘radical non-binary trans black activist’, but that the pair had refused to pay the ‘white woman’ waitress a tip.

He said: ‘They take a pen & slip in a note where the gratuity/tip amount is supposed to be entered.

‘The note reads in bold: “WE WILL GIVE TIP WHEN YOU RETURN THE LAND”.   Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Jean-pierre Muller/AFP/Getty Images.

Jean-pierre Muller/AFP/Getty Images.  The Védrines family.

Aristocrats and Demons

For nearly a decade, an affluent French family was duped into believing that Freemasons were out to get them. For protection, they shelled out millions of euros, gave away their property, parted with their valuables, and even physically abused one of their members.

The French de Védrines family first met an alluring con man in the late 1990s. Almost immediately, Thierry Tilly began spinning webs about his connections to the illustrious Habsburgs family and later, to the former socialist president François Mitterrand. Soon, he had 11 wealthy and well educated aristocrats believing he was a secret agent.

For years,  members of the acclaimed family barricaded themselves inside their chateau near Bordeaux, believing their lives to be in danger. If, occasionally, one member expressed doubt about the stranger, three more would pipe up to defend him and continue the cycle of abuse.

If Christine de Védrines’s privileged life had gone to plan, she would now be sitting in a vast turreted ancestral chateau surrounded by sunflowers in a picturesque corner of south-west France.

Instead, after a bizarre interlude in a semi-detached house in Oxford, this elegant, unmistakably aristocratic woman is living with her husband, Charles-Henri, heir to the family seat, and three grownup children in a claustrophobic council flat on the outskirts of Bordeaux.

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Photo Of The Day

Photograph: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis. Horse latitude: Lord Berners painting Penelope Betjeman and her pony at Faringdon, 1938.

Photograph: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis.
Horse latitude: Lord Berners painting Penelope Betjeman and her pony at Faringdon, 1938.

Pink pigeons

The Mad Boy and a Horse at the Tea Table

Gerald Tyrwhitt-Wilson (14th Baron Berners) was a composer of classical music who lived from 1883 to 1950. However, while his music was beautiful, his eccentricities are almost more fascinating to read about. As an example: to aid in his music writing while out on the town, Tyrwhitt-Wilson installed a small clavichord keyboard which could be stored beneath the front seat of his Rolls-Royce automobile.

Even at a very young age, Gerald had an inquisitive mind. After learning that birds learn to fly when they are pushed from the nest, he attempted to “teach” his mother’s dog to fly. He was later punished for throwing the dog out a window of his home.

Later in his life, Tyrwhitt-Wilson would have a bird-related hobby: dyeing pigeons. This hobby would start a tradition at his home in Faringdon. Even today you can visit Faringdon House and find purple and pink pigeons wandering the grounds. But purple pigeons were not the strangest animals found on his property, he also had a pet giraffe. And the reason for the giraffe? He wanted a companion for tea!

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How is your moral compass?

Dennis Prager relates in an article at RealClearPolitics his experience at the Oxford Union debates over the Christmas period.

In it he talks about knowing where people’s moral compass is at by how they react to what is described as “The Israel Question”.

His three observations of his time participating in the debates are as follows:

Three conclusions:

First, these statements accurately represent the moral and intellectual level of Oxford and nearly all other Western universities. The moral compass at Western universities is simply broken. The moral north points south and the moral south points north. Thus, the good — most especially America and Israel — are regarded as villains, and the worst are portrayed as victims.

The situation is the same regarding truth. “Israel is behaving like Nazi Germany” is, above all, a lie. Outside of the natural sciences, truth is not pursued at the university — indeed, the existence of objective truth is largely denied.

“Truth” (it is likely to be put in quotes) is a function of race, gender and class. There is, therefore, no truth about Ferguson, only white truth and black truth.

Second, as George Gilder has written in his superb book, “The Israel Test,” how an individual, institution or nation reacts to Israel provides a good guide to their values. Those with an intact moral compass and who are life- and success-affirming admire Israel. The immoral, the morally confused, and those who resent success loathe Israel. The university is in the latter categories.    Read more »

Holly Walker Answers Her Own Questions About The Gender Pay Gap

There is a reason many women get paid less than men.  Holly Walker in quitting politics has just answered her never-ending calls as to why there is a gender gap in pay and opportunity for young women.

They just find other more important things to do with their lives.

Pretend you are an employer (many of you do not need to pretend) and you have to pick a candidate for a vacancy that is not just a job (like an office cleaner) but a career.  You do not want to put in resources, training and expertise into developing that person to have them quit.

Do you pick an almost equally qualified man or a woman?

Holly Walker has not and does not have to explain what her “family reasons”/”personal reasons” are for quitting politics.  The only reason men seem to quit politics for personal or family reasons is if they’ve been caught with their pants down and it was demanded by either a spouse or angry husband.  I am sure it is something far less trivial in Walker’s circumstances but my point is men do not quit with the ease women do.

It is Walker’s choice to quit and with her income as an MP could hire as much help as she wants to.  Walker herself has commented that she received an incredible amount of support from her family, friends and the soft tree-hugging Taliban that is the Green Party.

Walker spent most of her 20’s not in the workforce building an actual career in something of substance but major scale degree collection, winning a Rhodes Scholarship, attending the most colonial of academic institutions in Oxford, taking up space on the Green Party list in 2011, spending time out to have her first baby and has now quit for family reasons.    Read more »

Labour Want Return To Basics

Oh it is all turning pear-shaped

Mr Miliband will suggest he wants to break the dominance of the elite universities, painting a picture of a country ‘where kids aspire not just to go to Oxford and Cambridge but to excellent technical colleges and elite vocational institutions’.

He will suggest Britain’s education system works for only half the country, arguing that for too long both major parties have focused too heavily on young people who go to university.

Common sense when your kid is too thick to get into Oxford or Cambridge I guess….

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Andrew Sullivan on IQ

Andrew Sullivan

Academic testing giving people a better chance in life.

IQ was once a proud issue for the left. In Britain after the Second World War, the Labour government established an IQ test for all eleven year-olds, called the Eleven Plus, and then separated the generations into more academic “grammar schools” and more vocational “secondary moderns”. This was my first encounter with IQ, and it gave me a chance to get an education I otherwise would not have had a hope of. It also liberated millions of young meritocrats from Britain’s class system, filling Oxford and Cambridge with the brainy working and lower middle classes, unleashing potential more broadly.

In the 1970s, the left shifted and regarded any notion of intellectual ability as suspiciously elitist, ended grammar schools and the IQ test. Since then, the proportion of Oxbridge students who come from modest backgrounds has shrunk in favor of the established aristocracy.

I guess some will always see IQ as a way to put some people down. That’s deplorable and stupid. But I also associate it, given my own biography, with helping some people make their way up. That’s worth putting on the table.

The teachers unions would have kittens here if we gave those with higher IQ’s the opportunity to get ahead while their peers went to vocational training.

Celebrating Kiwi Success – Ngaire Woods

New York Times

A Kiwi has been appointed as Dean of the Oxford’s new Blavatnik School of Government. It is Ngaire Woods:

In the days when Britannia still ruled the waves, and the men who ruled the British Empire learned the arts of public policy by studying the classics of ancient Greece and Rome, Ngaire Woods would have been an unlikely choice to head an Oxford school of government.

Yet the 49-year-old New Zealand native, who arrived in Britain as a Rhodes Scholar and taught international relations at Harvard before returning to Oxford, is unabashed in proclaiming that her mission as head of the new Blavatnik School of Government is to assemble and train a new global elite.

“Until this century, global leadership has really been defined in very narrow terms — essentially as something contained in a relationship between Britain and the United States,” Dr. Woods said. “We aim to be a global school from Day 1. Our student body will be international. And they will be learning from Brazil, from Kenya, from Thailand, from China — as well as from Europe and the United States.”

Opened in September 2010 after a £75 million, or $119 million, donation from Leonard Blavatnik — a Russian-American industrialist reputed to be the sixth richest man in Britain — the school has just admitted its first class of 30 students, chosen from 480 applicants in about 80 countries.

“We were looking for outstanding academic ability and a demonstrated commitment to public service. But we were also looking for impact — people who are ready to lead and can deliver,” Dr. Woods said.

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Random Impertinent Question

Why is Wayne Brown the most hated man in Northland?

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