Douglas Murray On Stephen Toope’s ‘Disastrous’ Reign At Cambridge

In the video below, Douglas Murray discusses the legacy left behind at Cambridge, following the resignation of the vice chancellor, Stephen Toope. In The Spectator, Douglas Murray wrote that ‘his time in the post has been an unmitigated disaster.’

The first question posed to Douglas Murray is about what he believes the motivation behind the resignation was. He speaks about the official reason being given as ‘wanting to spend more time with [his] family’ as potentially being the infamous cop-out, common in British politics. Douglas Murray believes this to be untrue due to the fact that Stephen Toope’s tenure has been ‘marred by a whole set of controversies, battles within the university, and indeed with the wider culture.’ He speaks about the negative attention garnering the university as a result of his tenure and that ‘he is leaving because he is no good at the job and everyone knows it.’

Douglas Murray talks about the how the university was ‘sucking up’ to authoritarian China for funding, and when this was exposed by The Spectator, was unable to be refuted. An example of this was when Stephen Toope was photographed at the Chinese embassy shortly after acquiring the post, and how he spoke about the need for greater cooperation between the authorities in China and educational facilities in the UK.

He speaks about the Chinese backed funding of the university, and how this led to a compromise of free academic enquiry.

He mentions the most ‘striking’ observation, being that of the simultaneous relationship of a vice chancellor of a British university being fostered with China, while a ‘whole set of new speech codes’ he himself instituted, was creeping their way into Cambridge University.

‘Stephen Toope forever talked, during his tenure, about academic freedom, whilst overseeing the trashing of it.’ He speaks about the sacking of a young academic as a result of a small mob being offended by what he had written. This is the antithesis of academic freedom.

You can watch Douglas Murray delve deeper into his thoughts on Stephen Toope and his reign at Cambridge here:

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