Dermot Feenan Profile picture
Researcher, writer, socio-legal academic, Barrister-at-Law (non-practising), and former therapist. My account, my views: not representative of anyone else.
Sep 7, 2023 16 tweets 5 min read
As a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (@theRSAorg), I support the strike action by staff members @RsaUnion.

The vote by 93.33% of members to strike, on a 78.95% turnout of members (a significant proportion of RSA staff), is emphatic. [1/16]… I'll also show support to staff on any picket.

As a former union rep, I know that members don’t strike lightly—not least as they’ll lose pay. Their sacrifice is for the collective good. So, support can also be shown by donating to the strike fund. [2/16]…
Feb 16, 2021 30 tweets 6 min read
A thread in which I set out concerns with the UK government’s plan for addressing free speech in universities.

Given existing reliable surveys on free speech, the plan is misplaced, and, even on its own logic, will likely be counterproductive.
[1/30]… The BBC report doesn’t cite evidence justifying such intervention. While there are instances of some censorship on campuses, these are not sufficiently widespread to justify the government’s measures, which are akin to using sledgehammers to crack a nut.
Feb 14, 2021 9 tweets 4 min read
A significant development in external investigation of university management in England, here through a power statutorily conferred on the Office for Students ('OfS') (@officestudents). [1/8]… The Guardian refers to Ofs’ ‘powers to scrutinise whether members of senior university management meet a test for being “fit and proper” to exercise their roles.’ The report doesn’t mention the basis of the powers. I set out below what I believe that basis to be. [2/8]
Dec 24, 2020 11 tweets 3 min read
Sloppy, unethical, and unprofessional article by Gabriella Swerling in her Daily Telegraph article earlier this week.

Swerling smears Professor Corinne Fowler (@corinne_fowler) as ‘[t]he “woke” National Trust academic who has been reviewing its links with colonialism.’ [1/11] Professor Fowler is not a ‘National Trust academic’. She is employed by the University of Leicester and was seconded to the Trust in 2019-2020 to conduct research; one of the outcomes from which is a co-edited report published by the Trust (referred to further below). [2/11]
Dec 24, 2020 8 tweets 2 min read
Further press coverage of Durham County Council’s sanctions against Councillor David Boyes following my complaint about his communication in respect of Travellers. This coverage focuses on the Hearing Panel’s reasoning and Councillor Boyes’ apology. [1/6]… The coverage notes that right up to the hearing Councillor Boyes denied that his communications amounted to a breach of the Code. While the coverage correctly refers to the Panel’s view that Cllr Boyes’ actions were ‘careless’,
Dec 24, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
Press coverage of Durham County Council’s sanctions against Councillor David Boyes for his communications in respect of Travellers – by James Harrison/@JHarrisonLDR, Local Democracy Reporter, Sunderland Echo: who I commend for covering this story so well.… 'The panel also rejected suggestions by Mr Feenan that Cllr Boyes should resign his position as chairman of the county council’s Safer and Stronger Communities Scrutiny Committee, which carries a special responsibility allowance worth £2,660.' Interesting detail by @JHarrisonLDR.
Dec 21, 2020 16 tweets 4 min read
Durham County Council has upheld my complaint that Councillor David Boyes breached its Code of Conduct for communications in respect of Travellers. This would appear to be the first time in England that a councillor has been so held to account for such communications. [1/16] The grounds for the complaint are already set out by me: . In summary: on 7 May 2020, Cllr Boyes posted on a Facebook site he shared with another councillor a video of scorch damage from barbeque trays and littering on and around a picnic table.
Dec 20, 2020 30 tweets 7 min read
I’m following up on this, reminded by the latest attacks on Professor Corinne Fowler (@corinne_fowler) and others in The Daily Mail and in other right-wing publications, and prompted by today’s article in The Observer.… While the Education Committee scrutinises the work of the Education Department, including higher education (…), the thrust of the letter signed by Committee members Hunt and Gullis was directed at the National Trust not academics.
Nov 23, 2020 48 tweets 10 min read
Building on @cjayanetti’s article about Jessica Butcher’s recent appointment to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, there are additional concerns about the appointment process for all of the recent vacancies—which I examine in this thread.… I elaborate on these concerns in ‘Concerns about Exclusionary Eligibility Criteria for Recent Vacancies on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’:…. They build on my experience as an Independent Assessor for public appointments in Northern Ireland.
Nov 17, 2020 33 tweets 7 min read
It’s good to see the article by Chris Parr (@ChrisJParr) in TES ‘Can what you teach land you in trouble with the law?’ It deserves a wide readership.… The article sets out questions to, and answers from, the Department for Education regarding comments by Kemi Badenoch, Equalities Minister, on the lawfulness of teaching in schools certain subjects such as Critical Race Theory (CRT) and white privilege.
Nov 17, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
The ongoing delay is troubling, @GypsyTraveller, and, perhaps more troubling, is the lack of response to reasonable inquiry as to when they expect to issue their decision. I wrote to @Ofcom on 23 September requesting a response (below). [1/3]
Nov 11, 2020 14 tweets 3 min read
I have now concluded my participation in the investigation into my complaint of 1 June that Councillor David Boyes, Durham County Council, breached the Council Members’ Code of Conduct for certain communications regarding Travellers. The Council will now hold a hearing. [1/14] The Investigating Officer concluded, consistent with my complaint, that Cllr Boyes acted in breach of both paragraphs 4.3(h) and 4.3(j) of the Code. The matter will now be referred to a Hearing Panel of the Standards Committee. [2/14]
Nov 11, 2020 13 tweets 3 min read
The Joint Committee on Human Rights calls on the Government to set out a comprehensive cross-Government race equality strategy which must have at its heart improved data collection on racial inequality. [1/13]… The report focuses on four issues where inequality in the protection of human rights is of particular concern: (i) health, (ii) criminal justice, (iii) nationality and immigration and (iv) democracy. [2/13]
Nov 6, 2020 16 tweets 5 min read

Once upon a time, there was a government minister. Her name was Kemi Badenoch. Kemi had a blind spot. Though she could see some things, she couldn’t properly see race and its effects. Kemi ought to have known better. You see, Kemi is the Equalities Minister in the UK. She is Black. She went to university. Twice. She was quite lucky. Her dad was a doctor, a GP. Her mother was an academic, a professor.
Nov 6, 2020 5 tweets 3 min read
Four weeks on, Morrisons haven’t even acknowledged the letter of 9 October asking them to reconsider not sharing with their managers, as part of a full investigation, the video of what seems to be discrimination against Travellers. I’ve written to them again today. [1/5] Image This lack of response from Morrisons is concerning. They received the letter of 9 October at their Head office (Bradford, BD3 7DL) on 12 October: confirmation below. I, and many others, continue to boycott Morrisons until they fully investigate and resolve this matter. [2/5] Image
Nov 3, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
The Legal Education Foundation (@The_LEF) is currently seeking to recruit a governor. Apply through Perrett Laver, details here:…. Deadline: noon, Monday, 23 November 2020. This is an important role in a charitable organisation that does considerable good. I’m circulating this information, in part, to encourage Black and minority ethnic applications given that the current governors and staff are largely white.
Nov 2, 2020 24 tweets 5 min read
The Economist article on the recent shift in stance on race among Conservative MPs misunderstands what underpins the shift. I develop this argument in my latest blog post (, with key points summarised in this thread.… The article fails to recognise and analyse the place of race with reference to the ideological shift further to the right in the party, especially in Cabinet. The effect of this shift is reflected partly in different responses between Conservative and Labour MPs on 3 key issues.
Oct 21, 2020 21 tweets 4 min read
Claims by Kemi Badenoch, Minister for Equalities, about Black Lives Matter and Critical Race Theory in yesterday’s House of Commons’ debate on Black History Month are nonsense, for reasons set out here. Her claims are captured in the video below (with a racial slur bleeped out). She begins by stating the government’s position: ‘what we are against is the teaching of contested political ideas as if they are accepted fact’. This is nonsense. Political ideas are, in some sense, ‘accepted facts.’ Conservatism is a political idea. It is an accepted fact.
Oct 5, 2020 53 tweets 10 min read
I set out here, without prejudice to legal proceedings, concerns about the conduct (inaccuracy, distortion, & misrepresentation; and prejudicial, supercilious, & patronising comment) by Anindya Raychaudhuri PhD, in his comments on a thread that I posted on 16 September. [1/53] On 16 September, I posted concerns about an academic not responding to a request to explain a decision not to name an academic publisher that had engaged in apparently unethical & unlawful conduct. I set out public interest concerns about such non-naming. [2/53]
Sep 16, 2020 22 tweets 4 min read
Rosa María Cisneros-Kostic (also known as Rosamaria Cisneros or Rosa Cisneros) holds an academic position at a UK university. This thread raises concerns about her unwillingness to publicly name an academic journal that apparently engaged in unethical and unlawful conduct. /1 On 3 September, one of her posts came up on my timeline, in which she wrote that she was withdrawing an article from an academic journal because it reneged on an assurance (below). I am aware of Dr Cisneros’ work through my own work on equality and non-discrimination. /2
Sep 5, 2020 5 tweets 3 min read
The compilation of covers of Van Morrison songs, organised by @hotpress to mark his 75th birthday is astonishing, including truly distinctive, heartfelt renditions. The list is linked below. Good to see it resonate with so many. [1/5]

#RaveOnVanMorrison My favourites (so far):

Bronagh Gallagher rewiring the studio with soulful, Shakti energy in ‘And The Healing Has Begun’.

This should be prescribed on the NHS. 👨🏽‍⚕️ [2/5]