I don't think I ever argued threats to academic freedom were non-existent. What I in fact argued, which is very different, is that many of those campaigning for academic freedom did so on the basis of evidence which did not stand up to scrutiny.
I did this very specifically, on a case by case basis, using evidence sources that individuals such as @goodwinmj and Eric Kaufmann (who I can't include in this discussion of freedom of academics to disagree on Twitter because he blocked me for disagreeing with him)
@GoodwinMJ Here is one thread where I did that. Readers can judge for themselves whether Matthew's description of my position is fair:

I also argued then, and continue to believe now, that it is important for university administrations to defend academics who are threatened with campaigns of intimidation. Here I am saying just that:
However, and here's the bit Matthew and his fellow campaigners never seem to engage with, I worry that state invervention is the wrong solution to this problem as the state has, historically, been the greatest *threat* to academic freedom:
I consider the legislation currently passing through Parliament a poor solution to the issue for this reason, and others. We already have legislation to protect academic freedom. The proposed bill won't do anything new, and brings new problems.
With regards the Stock case specifically, I would say this: I do not support anonymous campaigns to intimidate or threaten the career of any academic based on what their have argued. So I condemn campaigns against Stock conducted on such grounds.
I *also* think the specifics of individual cases matter *a lot* in this area, and indeed the need for close attention to context is one reason the problem can't effectively be solved by legislation.
I hope this clears up my views on where I stand on threats to academic freedom in general and the recent Stock controversy in particular. Hopefully this will prevent future misunderstanding or misrepresentation of what I believe on this.
(and on those specifics, the Stock case this past week has actually been encouraging - Stock's Vice Chancellor Adam Tickell defended very strongly her academic freedoms, and condemned the intimidation campaigns. That's how the process should work, I think)

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More from @robfordmancs

11 Oct
There is more I want to say on this topic when I have time (a theme I will return to shortly) but I want to say that I *profoundly* disagree with this kind of "unless you're shouting about it on Twitter, you condone it" argument, which is both illiberal and counterproductive
Firstly, it is patently absurd to claim that you are a proponent of academic freedom while also saying "unless you loudly support this behaviour/campaign/opinion/judgement, you are the enemy". The whole *point* of academic freedom is freedom to *disagree*.
Secondly, there are a whole host of legitimate reasons why academics, with or without "public profiles" might want to refrain from engaging in a particular controversy. Matt, typically, treats the situation as a simplistic black & white morality play. It usually is not.
Read 10 tweets
10 Oct
This is also true in Britain - education (and age) polarisation seen now is genuinely new and different. One thing I would add - education polarisation also matters far more because of demographic change. The graduate class has grown drastically in the last 30 years
A generation ago, graduates were still over-represented in politics, but they couldn't bend political discussion towards the issues that exercised them most because doing so would be electorally nonsensical in a country where 85-90% of voters were non-graduates
Now, with the share of graduates approaching 40% (and higher still in younger cohorts, in the Labour electoral coalition etc) graduates have a lot more electoral heft - but not enough heft to win.
Read 13 tweets
5 Oct
Could the outcome of a second Scottish independence referendum depend on the question put on the ballot paper? M'learned colleagues @robjohns75 John Garry and I ran an experiment to find out. You can read about it here...

@robjohns75 We randomly assigned a representative sample of Scottish respondents to one of three questions:
1. "Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country? Yes/No (this was the SNP's preferred question in 2014, but was shot down by the Electoral Commission)
@robjohns75 2. "Should Scotland be an independent country?" (Yes/No) (this was the question asked in 2014)
3. Should Scotland remain in the United Kingdom or leave the United Kingdom (Remain/Leave) - this adapts the EU referendum question formula to the issue of Scottish independence
Read 9 tweets
29 Sep
This is the sectoral cost of grade inflation - over-recruitment at the top, under-recruitment at the bottom. Both hurt student experience. A grades based offer system cannot function if the grades are not consistent or reliable. Risk is we get a new phase of trouble next year 1/2
If Russell Group unis put up tarriffs sharply after 2 years of over-recruitment (likely) and grade distribution returns to something like pre-pandemic "normal" (plausible), then we will have sharp reduction in places given at RG, but also less capacity at lower tariff unis
Who, like Goldsmiths today, may have begun cutting back courses, staff, places etc. So we will go from feast to famine, and finishing A-level students will find that the options available to them are dramatically different to those available 1-2 years earlier.
Read 4 tweets
25 Sep
Off down to Brighton to do an event with the lovely people at @Labour4PR this evening. Some light reading for the train
TIL that in the 1945 GE it was still legal for people who lived in one constituency and worked in another to register in both and vote twice. I assume it is no longer legal to do this. No idea when they changed it though.
1945 was also the first election where all the results were declared overnight. Between 1922 and 1935 less than half of seats declared overnight and before 1922 the voting itself was spread over two weeks
Read 4 tweets
24 Sep
Was reminded today that its been a while since I did one of these. Eve of Labour conference seems a good point to take another look. Starmer was announced as leader on 4th April 2020, so we are now (again) 17 months in...
More don't seem to have done a leader approval for Sept 2021 yet (maybe they're holding it back for conference next week) but August's figure for Starmer was -26, while September's (related but somewhat different) satisfaction rating was -25. I'll use the -26
Here's Starmer ranked relative to earlier oppo ldrs on MORI data:

Corbyn: -38
IDS: -37
Foot -35
Starmer -26
Hague -21
Howard -20
Ed M -18
Kinnock -13
Cameron -4
Smith +4
Blair +22
Read 9 tweets

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