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Braverman University


Ivory Tower: we have a glimpse of a national conservatism future for higher education

Newsnight title sequence

Kirsty Wark: Yes, the year is 2030 and, unbelievably, I’m still presenting this thing because the main host won’t work on a Friday night—more on that story later. It has been two years since Keir Starmer’s Labour government was swept from office after the Metropolitan Police stopped the count of an ill-judged referendum to rejoin the European Union. A lot has changed in that time and, tonight, Supreme Chancellor Suella Braverman has decreed that universities must follow the so-called “Enoch principles”, which guide other public institutions. With me to discuss the state of higher education in England is Conservative MP Sir Roger Barr, who many will know as the sword carrier at King William’s coronation. Good evening, Sir Roger.

Barr: Good evening, Kirsty.

Wark: Sir Roger, many vice-chancellors have expressed concerns today about the news that the Enoch principles will be applied to universities.

Barr: Have they? What are their names? Can you send them over to my office?

Wark: Obviously, the vice-chancellors agreed to speak on the promise of anonymity.

Barr: May I just remind you, Kirsty, that anonymous sources that criticise the government are distinctly unBritish and any attempt to conceal them is an offence under the Freedom of Speech (Journalism) Act, which took effect last year.

Wark: But BBC News has signed the Declaration Against Journalism, Sir Roger.

Barr: The Brexit Broadcasting Corporation, as you have now been renamed, is not above the law.

Wark: The vice-chancellors say they are worried about academic freedom.

Barr: Now that the number of universities has been reduced to 12, it won’t take long to identify the culprits.

Wark: That cut was not without controversy.

Barr: There were far too many people going to university under Labour.

Wark: And the Conservative government, or should I say governments, before that?

Barr: They were not real Conservative governments. They were liberal, woke administrations, which were almost Marxist in nature.

Wark: Liz Truss?

Barr: As you know, Supreme Chancellor Braverman does not recognise the legitimacy of the Truss one-and-a-half-month premiership and all reference to that person has been removed from Downing Street.

Wark: And school textbooks.

Barr: Ofsted was simply fulfilling its statutory duty.

Wark: Universities have also complained about books being removed from libraries.

Barr: I can categorically state that no book has been removed from any university library. Institutions have simply been asked to introduce a forbidden zone within their collections where reading material that is fundamentally unBritish can be quarantined and dealt with appropriately.

Wark: Some have complained about inspection teams from the Office for Students and Re-education arriving with lorries to remove entire floors of books.

Barr: That’s just the sort of anti-British scaremongering from the woke Twitterati that is now punishable by a five to 10-year jail sentence.

Wark: Twitter, of course, is no longer available in this country.

Barr: Quite right, Kirsty, Twitter after it was bought by the Ryan Reynolds Corporation had no respect for the flag.

Wark: If I may, Sir Roger, let’s return to the worries of vice-chancellors.

Barr: Was it that woman who runs Northern Sector A University? Because, to be frank, she is just someone who hates Britain.

Wark: The concern is widespread.

Barr: The charter of Eastern Sector B University is up for renewal, they ought to ask themselves whether they are loyal to Britain.

Wark: Sir Roger, many people are asking whether the Enoch principles are an appropriate framework for higher education.

Barr: The Enoch principles are about fairness in our publicly funded institutions, and who can disagree with that?

Wark: Well, the first Enoch principle, that all members of an institution should sing God Save the King and salute the Union flag at sunrise, seems particularly difficult to impose in a university.

Barr: Following the Mogg reforms, I would expect all staff to be willing to pledge allegiance to the flag and to the monarchy.

Wark: I was thinking of the students.

Barr: Now that the National Alarm sounds at 6am every morning to ensure workers are in their offices on time, I’m sure that students will be awake in good time.

Wark: Isn’t sleeping late and missing lectures part of the rite of passage of being a student?

Barr: Now that the student intake has been reduced from 50 per cent of the population to 5 per cent, we can ensure that loyalty to the monarch is something that is considered as part of the admissions process.

Wark: And will you be expecting similar loyalty from learners at the National Apprenticeship Colleges and the Secretarial and Services Academies?

Barr: I recently had the pleasure of visiting the SSA in my constituency.

Wark: Formerly the University of Sussex.

Barr: And what I discovered was a group of young people who couldn’t have been more enthusiastic about the change Supreme Chancellor Braverman is making in this country.

Wark: Were they enthusiastic about the swingeing student loan repayment rates your government has announced this week?

Barr: Sometimes you have to make tough financial decisions; 50 per cent of earnings above £10,000 in basic salary is perfectly normal these days, Kirsty. But what I can say is that those young people studying for their national qualification in fruit picking and butchery were 100 per cent behind the Supreme Chancellor’s vision for this country.

Wark: Did you meet any international students?

Barr: Don’t be facetious, Kirsty, you know that only Oxford and Cambridge can recruit international students, within a strict cap.

Wark: Of five each.

Barr: I know, I think we’ve been overly generous there.

Wark: The Enoch principles, obviously, prevent EU citizens from working in publicly funded institutions. How will that affect science?

Barr: Science is ungodly.

Wark: But after years of investment by consecutive governments of all colours, we are now top of the international league table for expenditure on R&D.

Barr: International league tables are ungodly.

Wark: But science saved us from Covid-19 through to Covid-23. Surely it’s a British success story?

Barr: Woke propaganda, Kirsty. If allowed to rip, the population would have developed a natural immunity against necrotising swine flu. There was never any proof that it was passed through imported bacon after the free trade deal agreed with President Ivanka Trump.

Wark: I put it to you, Sir Roger, that this government’s policies are actually encouraging illegal immigration.

Barr: The Supreme Chancellor has put an end to migration to this country.

Wark: We spoke to a lab in one university that had paid people smugglers thousands of pounds to help bring a technician into this country because none were available at their local Job Seekers Auction. They landed in a small boat on the coast and were given false papers and a backstory claiming they trained at a Trades and Skills Camp in Darlington.

Barr: This government cannot condone criminality. These people will be caught and punished, and their assets sequestrated to the Conservative Party to fund the Supreme Chancellor’s chosen charities, such as Grass on An Illegal, which does such wonderful work in the Kent area.

Wark: Don’t you think our universities will be at a disadvantage with international competitors?

Barr: Like France?

Wark: We’ll be covering the war with France later in the programme.

Barr: Vice-chancellors need to ask themselves whether they are loyal to the flag and values of this nation or whether they would like to run a higher education institution in Rwanda.

Wark: Officials in Rwanda have said that the country is now nearly full, ever since the woke-undesirables relocation programme.

Barr: If you hate Britain, my advice is to emigrate.

Wark: In handcuffs?

Barr: Kirsty, you’ve been doing this show for a long time, have you ever thought about presenting the news in Kigali?

Wark: Sir Roger, thank you for your time. Coming up, we’ll be speaking to national health insurance tsar, Lord Hancock. But first, a report on how woke vigilantes are digging potholes under the cover of darkness in the constituencies of Conservative MPs.

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