Why Carbis Bay?
More on the G7 meeting in Carbis Bay. It just gets stranger by the day. It transpires that Carbis Bay is where Boris Johnson’s grandmother went into labour before being rushed to Penzance where she gave birth to Stanley, his father.
The next issue is the problem of “The Beast”, President Biden’s bomb-proof, armour-plated limousine. It just won’t fit on the rural roads down here. So we face the problem of major road closures and extended perimeter protection or helicoptering in the President from Newquay airport to the beach at Carbis Bay.
The next problem is an odd one. The police built a brand-new Cornish headquarters in Bodmin which was opened in 2019. This is a wonderful facility, less than 5 minutes from the A30 main trunk road. The minor flaw in the design is that it was built without custody suites. If there are demonstrations and arrests made during the summit, they will have to make do with the limited custody options in Cornwall or ship them over 100 miles into Devon. Currently there are 23 cells in Camborne and 11 in Newquay with an additional 2 non-designated cells available in the Isles of Scilly. If it all kicks off during the summit, they will have a logistics problem. June is also the start of the main holiday season (Covid willing) and the time of maximum demand for the cells in Newquay.
What is a concern is the media focus that will be on the treatment of detainees due to conduct at the likely demonstrations. The following extract from a report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary raises some concerns.
S21 Custody staff generally managed challenging behaviour well, de-escalated situations appropriately and only used force against detainees as a last resort. In the cases we examined, we found that the majority were managed well overall and the force used was proportionate to the risk or threat posed. We did, however, have some concerns, which included poor use of techniques, and referred several cases back to the force for review and lessons to be learned. Overall, the governance and oversight of the use of force in custody was not sufficiently robust and incidents were not sufficiently or accurately recorded.Source: Report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services 13-24 May 2019
Let’s hope the summit goes without incident.
Just to show that New Zealand isn’t alone in silliness from some universities let’s look at Leicester University. Leicester, whilst not being a Russell Group university (the 24 most prestigious in the UK) had a reputation well above where it should have been. Until recently Leicester University was consistently in the top 20 UK universities but since 2014 it has consistently continued to fall down the rankings and is now 23rd.
In 2008 it was voted “University of the Year” and in 2010 announced its ambition to become a top 10 University. Where has it all gone wrong?
Well, Leicester used to have a highly rated English Literature department and this year has proposed to drop the study of Chaucer, Marlowe and Donne to make room for “a chronological literary history, a selection of modules on race, ethnicity, sexuality and diversity, a decolonised curriculum, and new employability modules”.
The recently appointed (2019) vice-chancellor Professor Nishan Canagarajah decided to ‘decolonise’ the curriculum and started to describe students as “citizens of change”. It is repositioning itself away from an institution of academic excellence to a vehicle for social change and re-education of young minds.
Professor Canagarajah is urging Leicester to recruit more staff and students from ethnic minorities. Leicester has 14% of staff from minorities, (fact, the UK has 13.8% of its population as coming from BAME background).
He went on “when you have a large proportion of ethnic minorities, like in Leicester, we need to make sure they can identify with that curriculum, but I think there’s still more work to be done to truly decolonise the curriculum.”
(fact: in the 2011 census, 45% of Leicester’s population was classed as white British).
In his drive to align with the local population, he is forgetting that UK universities recruit from all over the country. Admission numbers are dropping and income is falling. Leicester is progressing down the slope of a self-induced decline.
Just to finish on another example of wonderful thinking from UK academia, York University (ranked 16 in the UK) used an image of the three wise monkeys as part of a campaign publicising an art history conference. Academics decided that they could be seen as an oppressive racial stereotype, and pulled an image of the animals from their website to avoid offence. (Offend whom? What is offensive?)
The three wise monkeys were originally associated with Buddhism and became popular in Japan in the 16th century. It later appeared in the West after contact with Japan increased and became part of western culture. The image of three wise monkeys portrayed them as helpers to divinity and is a positive image in Japan. When will academics start to learn to do research?
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