Questions have been raised over just how qualified Tory Tosser Toby Young is to sit on the board of the new universities regulator. Somebody has thought to check on what we already knew that both he and the government have exaggerated his ‘qualifications’.
Young was forced to recognise that the Department for Education’s (DfE) claim that he had held teaching posts at Harvard and Cambridge, were not accurate.
“I taught undergrads at Harvard and Cambridge and was paid to do so but these weren’t academic ‘posts’ and I’ve never made that claim,” he was forced to concede.
Defending Young’s appointment to the newly set-up Office for Students (OfS) on Monday, the department claimed that his “diverse experience includes posts” at the institutions.
In a separate statement, it said he was a “teaching fellow” at Harvard and a “teaching assistant” at Cambridge. The problem is that the Tory Tosser was only a student at those institutions when he carried out the work.
It was also claimed that Young had been appointed ahead of people who were actually qualified for the role – including the former chief prosecutor for north-west England, Nazir Afzal.
Afzal said he was the pro-chancellor of one university and the governor of another, as well as holding a series of other relevant qualifications, but he did not get an interview. “Clearly, I wasn’t what they were looking for! He was.”
The Cambridge classicist Prof Mary Beard said that for the DfE to pretend that Young’s role as an academic post “does not help the debate”, though she stressed that she was criticising neither the composition of the OfS board nor graduates who carry out supervision duties.
A former colleague of Prof Beard, Prof Tim Crane, said Young had “no significant experience in universities since those few years in the 1980s, and the DfE should not pretend that he has”.
The DfE has also faced severe criticism over the appointment from those who say Young wrote in support of employing eugenics to weed out children deemed less likely to have high IQs.
Many have pointed out that Young had also attacked the use of wheelchair ramps in schools, as well as other measures to improve inclusivity, in a 2012 Spectator article.
“Schools have got to be ‘inclusive’ these days,” he wrote. “That means wheelchair ramps, the complete works of Alice Walker in the school library (though no Mark Twain) and a Special Educational Needs Department that can cope with everything from dyslexia to Münchausen syndrome by proxy.”
Young said on Tuesday that he was “using ‘inclusive’ in the broad sense to mean a dumbed down, one-size-fits-all curriculum, rather than the narrow sense of providing equal access to mainstream schools for people with disabilities. I’ve absolutely nothing against inclusion in that sense.”
Others pointed out tweets Young has made on Twitter about women’s bodies, suggesting they render him unsuitable for public office.
On Tuesday, a grovelling Young said about “sophomoric, politically incorrect remarks” he made on Twitter. “I hope people will judge me on my actions.””
Unsurprisingly for this failed Tory government the Department for Education have not responded to requests for a comment.