Not the correct answer to any useful question

A truth universally acknowledged, it is exceedingly difficult to think of any useful question to which Cornel West is the answer. However, that is the claim being made in The Guardian today, that black professors – Cornel West is one – will be the savours of us all as we contemplate the horrors of Brexit. I’ll admit to being less than thoroughly convinced of the explanation too:

Who can save the post-Brexit economy? Black professors
Bernadine Idowu-Onibokun

How remarkable that this thesis is being put forward by someone who hopes to become a black professor:

Dr Bernadine Idowu-Onibokun is the visiting lecturer and diversity and inclusion champion at the Dental Institute

Seriously, the Dental Institute has a diversity and inclusion champion? Trying to make sure the incisors and molars all get along together? Sheesh. Teeth being, for those who don’t know, not one of those medical problems which vary by race. And yes, a lecturer (for Septics, read adjunct professor) is going to be one of those arguing for an expansion of the professoriate on the grounds that more places means one might be had personally.

However, we should not make fun of either the afflicted nor the ambitious, so to treat the argument seriously:

The BME Early Career Researcher (ECR) – How to Stay in Academia conference, organised by the diversity and inclusion team at King’s College London, was the very first BME-specific conference in London that covered several disciplines. It was conducted in response to data that illustrated an under-representation of BME early-career researchers at lecturer level upwards. With only 0.5% of professors in the UK being black, there is a desperate need to ensure more members of the BME population remain in academia and work their way up to become professors, otherwise how else will young people be inspired?

The first error is to fail to spot age structures in the population. Sure, the “black” (as opposed to BAME) population is more than 0.5% of all of us but that’s not who we draw our professors from. The 2011 Census told us that BAME were 4% of 80 year olds and 24% of 4 year olds (from memory so don’t check it). We cannot therefore look at the entire population when deciding upon appropriate numbers at a stage in a career. It is, at the very least, the percentage of the black population in the right age group we should be looking at.

But it’s the second which is a much greater one. We’re essentially being told that more black professors will be good for the economy. Well, no. OK, this is where we have the cheap jokes about their only teaching grievance studies and what good does that do? But if we were to leave aside such jibes we’ve still got to understand that universities, and the professors in them, are a cost to the economy, not a benefit. Education might be a benefit – not in grievance studies, obviously – but that’s an argument for more efficient professors, not more professors.

Therefore having more professors, of whatever melanin content, isn’t something that’s going to aid us in economic growth, is it?

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8 COMMENTS

  1. This seems like a good time to take in the Ten commandments again.

    Tax is a tool for managing inflation in the macroeconomy and not a mechanism for funding government spending.
    Taxing the economy reduces demand and reducing demand when there are people with skills seeking gainful employment is a sin.
    Tax is the best mechanism available to deliver a more equal, fairer society. All tax should be designed with that goal in mind.
    There is no one tax that can solve all problems and meet all needs: a whole range of taxes is required as a result.
    No tax exists to maximise its yield: all exist to be effective. That means the optimal revenue for some tax is precisely nothing because the issue that they address has been solved.
    A good tax is clear as to purpose, clear as to who it impacts, clear as to who should pay it, and clear as to the penalty for not doing so, which non-payment should be clearly publicised.
    Tax works best when all lay their cards face up on the table: the maximum possible transparency is at the heart of a good tax system.
    Tax must be administered fairly. This starts with the provision of sufficient resources by government to make sure that this is possible and continues with an open and transparent tax authority that thinks itself accountable to all in society and not just the largest taxpayers.
    Tax is fundamental to the ability of a government to deliver its chosen policies. As such an attack by one government on the ability of another to tax is an attack on the democratic decision making ability of that other country, and this cannot be tolerated in a world that respects the right to democratic self-determination.
    There will always be those who cheat on taxes. Doing so is a crime against all that should result in ostracism from society as drink driving now does.

  2. Hey look, a troll.

    But apart from that, teeth do vary by race. Black people have lovely teeth, white have a tendency to overcrowded jaws. But people must be judged on their individual merits, not rationed out like…well, things.

  3. For decades we have endured the claim that insertion of specific races into places they would not otherwise go, usually by lowering standards, will create more understanding than it does resentment. We have diverted academe from its original mission to these cosmic questions of Fairness, Duke (?) recently extending the principle from classmates to bunkmates. When they can’t get away with that, they argue that it is not ___ themselves who improve the classroom but merely “diversity.” (How?) This presupposes that they fail to assimilate so as to continue offering us diversity, which works out to separatism.

    So, Tim, productivity-per-employee per university employee is way behind in the list of criteria. Regarding the jokes, Africans do not grow up wanting to teach others about their grievances; they have to be trained, for starters, to assume that any slight, of the sort that we all receive, is driven by hatred for an entire race. A tenured guild with a government employees’ union is a perfect place to do this training.

  4. “This seems like a good time to take in the Ten commandments again.”

    Straight up your marxist arse Twatty.

    I don’t have enough income to be a good tax cheat but if I did I would wear any such “shame” as a badge of honour. Cos I don’t care what freeloaders or leftoid scum think.

    Keeping money out of the hands of the scummy state is a smart move. And no amount of shoddy death-trap hospitals or socialist death-wish indoctrination centres masquerading as state “schools” will ever justify your hot air TwatTroll.