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Getting extremists off campuses

edited May 2007 in Campaign
Academics are resisting a Government request that they report extremists on campus.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6703047.stm

If they won't cooperate with the Government on the issue of detecting and reporting extremists isn't this going to fall into the hands of the BNP?

Posts

  • maybrickmaybrick Posts: 339
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Patrick Stevens Posted -
    If they won't cooperate with the Government on the issue of detecting and reporting extremists isn't this going to fall into the hands of the BNP? <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    how so?

    is this not an attempt by the state to create a "everyone spying on everyone else" scenario similar to the former east german model?

    if so it's right to resist surely?

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  • I keep hearing all of this type of thing in the press, but don't actually know if any of this is really going on.

    I work at Wolverhampton Uni, which has quite a high proportion of Islamic students and this issue has not even been mentioned here. How am I supposed to spot an extremist then?

    "The trouble is, all year I haven't had the ability to go faster than possible" - Chris Boardman.
  • speshcpspeshcp Posts: 3,746
    I can see both sides to this.

    One the one hand, Islamists using university campuses as recruiting grounds is as welcome as a floating stool in a swimming pool, but...

    Unless there is solid proof of illegal activity, is it the place of academic staff to be acting as detectives for the government?

    It's similar to the recent story about key workers being asked to report anyone about whom they might have concerns regarding violent behaviour.

    Is a nation of informants and pervasive surveillance, beyond anything the authorities behind the Iron Curtain ever perpetrated, really what we want?

    <hr noshade size="1"><font size="1">"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." (Albert Einstein)
    </font id="size1">
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." (Albert Einstein)
  • CanriderCanrider Posts: 2,253
    It's yet another antiterrorism measure aimed at getting people...to report illegal activity. Surely this was already taking place?

    It's ridiculous, and most of the news stories I've read on this item suggest to me it's targeted fairly specifically at Muslim extremists rather than BNP extremists or PETA extremists or..and so on.

    To say nothing of how a university lecturer is to be expected to spot 'extremist behaviour'. They didn't teach me <i>that</i> at university..

    "We will never win until the oil runs out or they invent hover cars - but then they may land on us." -- lardarse rider
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  • and its at this point the italians have something right,

    if a law is dumb, they ignore it.
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Canrider</i>

    To say nothing of how a university lecturer is to be expected to spot 'extremist behaviour'. They didn't teach me <i>that</i> at university..

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    But surely they taught it later as part of the "slew" of additional skills? [;)]
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    Before making your minds up on this one, i would urge everyone to seek out the film 'The Lives of Others' (if you havn't done so already).

    Its focus is on the East German 'secret' police, the Stasi, and how they 'monitored' and hounded dissidents.

    Realistic and chilling, also uplifting in conclusion, but an essential film.

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  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by redcogs</i>

    Before making your minds up on this one, i would urge everyone to seek out the film 'The Lives of Others' (if you havn't done so already).

    Its focus is on the East German 'secret' police, the Stasi, and how they 'monitored' and hounded dissidents.

    Realistic and chilling, also uplifting in conclusion, but an essential film.

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    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    But, redders, many of the dissidents would have been right wingers - the sort of people who would support the Conservative Party in Britain. Surely, a left wing government is entitled to protect itself from those who would restore capitalism given half a chance? [;)]
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    Ah you seek to open up another minefield Patrick. The film i referred to cleverly undermines any prejudices one might have had (for or against the Stalinist tyrannies).

    i would be genuinely interested to hear a view on it from one of your rightist cohorts. Its a German film, so perhaps ankers' will step up?

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  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by redcogs</i>

    Its a German film, so perhaps ankers' will step up?

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Hopefully so, most of us only have Triumph of the Will. [:)]
  • BcpBcp Posts: 1,163
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by redcogs</i>

    Ah you seek to open up another minefield Patrick. The film i referred to cleverly undermines any prejudices one might have had (for or against the Stalinist tyrannies).

    i would be genuinely interested to hear a view on it from one of your rightist cohorts. Its a German film, so perhaps ankers' will step up?

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I'm not sure if I'm from a rightist cohort but I have seen the film. It is absolutely fantastic and as one who has visited the Stasi Museum in Leipzig it does bring the reality of a society under surveillance home. But I think the film overall is about one man's conversion (a bit like Montag in Fahrenheit 451) not so much about the Stasi per se.

    The museum (actually located in the former Stasi HQ in Leipzig) is well worth a visit but a bit difficult if you don't speak German as it's only patchily translated into English. There is a fantastic series of letters from the state apparatus starting from when a 15-year old boy wrote an essay for school which recommended that the state stopped building two-stroke Trabants and instead start building a new model powered by the West German VW Polo engine. It set off an amazing train of events - and does make you wonder about informing on anybody.
  • Flying_MonkeyFlying_Monkey Posts: 8,708
    Patrick, I can't see that there is any justification for attempting to turn lecturers into informers, apart from paranoia and knee-jerk authoritarianism. If we see anything worrying that may be seriously criminal or dangerous, we'd act like any other good citizen in a civilized society, but informing on the political and religious views of students is not something I will ever do. These kinds of measures replace society with state control. Basically, no, no and no.

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety

    Now I guess I'll have to tell 'em
    That I got no cerebellum
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Flying_Monkey</i>

    Patrick, I can't see that there is any justification for attempting to turn lecturers into informers, apart from paranoia and knee-jerk authoritarianism. If we see anything worrying that may be seriously criminal or dangerous, we'd act like any other good citizen in a civilized society, but informing on the political and religious views of students is not something I will ever do. These kinds of measures replace society with state control. Basically, no, no and no.

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Basically, I agree with you, but it leads to some difficult questions. For example, what if a student in an essay says he hates a certain group wants to blow them up?
  • gillan1969gillan1969 Posts: 3,119
    will somebody report FM?[:)]

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  • ankev1ankev1 Posts: 3,686
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by redcogs</i>

    Ah you seek to open up another minefield Patrick. The film i referred to cleverly undermines any prejudices one might have had (for or against the Stalinist tyrannies).

    i would be genuinely interested to hear a view on it from one of your rightist cohorts. Its a German film, so perhaps ankers' will step up?

    <font size="1">please look up to the stars.. </font id="size1"><font size="6"><font color="red">***</font id="red"></font id="size6">
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I've seen it, I've even got the DVD and it is IMO a very good film. What really disgusted me was not so much what the Stasi was getting up to, because you sort of expect that from a totalitarian state which treats the citizens as prisoners, but more the fact that the whole chain of events played out at the behest of a corrupt government official. I found this worse because it was persoanl evil.

    Ref the OP. One would hope that anybody would report somebody whom they suspected of terrorist plotting etc. I think it would be wrong to formalise it but maybe it would be an idea to raise the awareness of people in universities (including Muslims) e.g. publish a couple of terrorist case histories. It's usually after the event that everybody says, "Oooh yes, I did notice he had been acting a bit strangely." I noticed there was the usual knee jerk bleat (can you actually have a knee jerk bleat?) about picking on Muslims and not the favoured groups of the bleater. Well, the simple answer to that is that it is extremists from the ranks of Muslims who are predominantly killing people at the moment, so I would regard it as negligent of the government if they weren't target of the month.
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by gillan1969</i>

    will somebody report FM?[:)]

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    An endearing feature of FM is that there is no nastiness in him. Somehow, I can't see him bombing an underground.
  • CJ BillCJ Bill Posts: 415
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Tom M</i>
    I work at Wolverhampton Uni, which has quite a high proportion of Islamic students and this issue has not even been mentioned here. How am I supposed to spot an extremist then?
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Someone with a swarthy complexion who's running for the train.
  • Flying_MonkeyFlying_Monkey Posts: 8,708
    As the Head of SOCA put it at a conference I was at a few months back, "people get shot, you have to live with that" - unfortunately Jean-Charles de Menezes doesn't have the choice of living with it. And if that's what happens with professional surveillance from elite intelligence and police, then what do we expect from amateur supposition and prejudice allowed to roam free? I think my signature of the moment, from one of the great pioneers of modern democracy, says it all... I'd rather live with the risks of being free than the certainties of totalitarianism. The ends do not justify the means.



    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety

    Now I guess I'll have to tell 'em
    That I got no cerebellum
  • ArchcpArchcp Posts: 8,987
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Canrider</i>
    To say nothing of how a university lecturer is to be expected to spot 'extremist behaviour'. They didn't teach me <i>that</i> at university..

    "We will never win until the oil runs out or they invent hover cars - but then they may land on us." -- lardarse rider
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I'd report the one I once overheard saying she liked to run a bath and spend an hour reading Heat magazine. <i>Reading</i> it! An <i>hour</i>!

    And the ones who go on field trips to the Moors without coats.

    Not that these are really dangerous, but they just need to get woken up a bit...[;)]

    If I had a baby elephant, it could help me clean the car. If I had a car.
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  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Flying_Monkey</i>

    As the Head of SOCA put it at a conference I was at a few months back, "people get shot, you have to live with that" - unfortunately Jean-Charles de Menezes doesn't have the choice of living with it. And if that's what happens with professional surveillance from elite intelligence and police, then what do we expect from amateur supposition and prejudice allowed to roam free? <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I don't think that you'd be expected to shoot the suspects yourself. [;)] However, I do agree that the cut off point is where you witness illegal activity. However, it still presents difficult problems in practice. It's clear enough if you see someone actually making a bomb, but what if they just seem to be buying some chemicals for some unspecified purpose?
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by AcademicX</i>

    "Lecturers have voted unanimously to oppose government plans urging them to fight against extremism on campuses"

    And quite right too (I've got too much admin as it is) [:)]


    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    So, if we cut down the admin and offer a salary increment [;)] we could have a whole army of academic informers.
  • cookiemonstercpcookiemonstercp Posts: 1,050
    <font color="blue"><font face="Comic Sans MS">I'm starting University in September and I would like to think that my lecturers were spending their time teaching their respective subject(s) rather than acting like the Thought Police from 1984.</font id="Comic Sans MS"></font id="blue">

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  • Wild CorgiWild Corgi Posts: 67
    Ref the mentions of the Stasi ... FWIW Prof Gleeson, the academic whose brainchild the idea of closely monitoring possibly dissident students is, made his reputation studying the methods of - the Stasi.

    Can't say he didn't learn those lessons thoroughly.
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Wild Corgi</i>

    Ref the mentions of the Stasi ... FWIW Prof Gleeson, the academic whose brainchild the idea of closely monitoring possibly dissident students is, made his reputation studying the methods of - the Stasi.

    Can't say he didn't learn those lessons thoroughly.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I bet he's an expert at tracking down right wingers. At least after the vote today, the Tory students can sleep easily in their beds tonight.
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">
    I've seen it, I've even got the DVD and it is IMO a very good film. What really disgusted me was not so much what the Stasi was getting up to, because you sort of expect that from a totalitarian state which treats the citizens as prisoners, but more the fact that the whole chain of events played out at the behest of a corrupt government official. I found this worse because it was persoanl evil.

    Ref the OP. One would hope that anybody would report somebody whom they suspected of terrorist plotting etc. I think it would be wrong to formalise it but maybe it would be an idea to raise the awareness of people in universities (including Muslims) e.g. publish a couple of terrorist case histories. It's usually after the event that everybody says, "Oooh yes, I did notice he had been acting a bit strangely." I noticed there was the usual knee jerk bleat (can you actually have a knee jerk bleat?) about picking on Muslims and not the favoured groups of the bleater. Well, the simple answer to that is that it is extremists from the ranks of Muslims who are predominantly killing people at the moment, so I would regard it as negligent of the government if they weren't target of the month.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    There is a segment of the film in which it is revealed that the Stasi gook ((who has spent his entire life spying on innocent people (dissident or otherwise) and being intellectually brutal)) saves a rebel leader from a very tough fate by moving his typewriter from where it is hidden - presumably because his humanity allows his faith in what he was 'defending' to break.

    Do you not see any parallels between that circumstance, and what could happen here if Brown's future cabinet get their own way?

    Surely you cannot believe the Big Brother syndrome is confined to former 'Communist' tyrannies?

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  • ankev1ankev1 Posts: 3,686
    I can see the parallels and I think that as long as people continue to be wary and watchful and indeed active, we should be OK. Now while I'm not defending such a prospect I would point out one significant current (for the foreseeable future)differnence: the Stasi was the instrument of a state which was entirely at odds with most of its citizenry. What is currently going on in the west is the state getting worried about terrorist groups which are entirely at odds with the west. I'm not saying that we shouldn't be careful, but there is a difference.
  • BcpBcp Posts: 1,163
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by redcogs</i>

    There is a segment of the film in which it is revealed that the Stasi gook ((who has spent his entire life spying on innocent people (dissident or otherwise) and being intellectually brutal)) saves a rebel leader from a very tough fate by moving his typewriter from where it is hidden - presumably because <b>his humanity allows his faith in what he was 'defending' to break</b>.


    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    (Spoiler here if you haven't seen Lives of Others and actually intend to see something as novel as a film in German).



    Hmmm, I think you are being a bit simplistic about the film. What made the Stasi officer end up rebelling was the fact that he was on that particular case to further someone's else's political career, that he was being asked to make a case against the playwright where there was no or little evidence (rebel leader makes it sound like Star Wars FFS!) and a senior politician wanted his girlfriend.

    The officer was the sort of character who believes in what they are doing - when it was no longer about saving the DDR and instead all about corruption and sex he'd had enough. I loved the fact that at the end of the film when he'd been demoted to steaming letters open and the wall came down thre guy behind him was the officer who had told the joke about Honecker - nice detail!
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">
    (Spoiler here if you haven't seen Lives of Others and actually intend to see something as novel as a film in German).



    Hmmm, I think you are being a bit simplistic about the film. What made the Stasi officer end up rebelling was the fact that he was on that particular case to further someone's else's political career, that he was being asked to make a case against the playwright where there was no or little evidence (rebel leader makes it sound like Star Wars FFS!) and a senior politician wanted his girlfriend.

    The officer was the sort of character who believes in what they are doing - when it was no longer about saving the DDR and instead all about corruption and sex he'd had enough. I loved the fact that at the end of the film when he'd been demoted to steaming letters open and the wall came down thre guy behind him was the officer who had told the joke about Honecker - nice detail!


    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    i wasn't being a film critic B, just inviting ankev' to consider whether there are any dangers for innocents in over empowering the state during this current period of paranioa regarding Islam.

    Of course, and as usual, he is several steps ahead.. ho hum.

    Naturally i accept your criticisms (re the film ) in their entirety, i 'telescoped' for brevity.

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