Toby Young, who once said that “living in close proximity to violent crime is the price Londoners pay for racial integration”, has resigned from the board of a new university regulator following criticism over his racist and misogynistic comments.
People like myself are rightfully happy about that, but to think this is the end of the issue is bizarre. Toby Young, who said was appointed by the Tory government. This is despite the fact that Young’s disgraceful beliefs were plastered all over his Twitter page, before he deleted them.
Toby Young, who referred to working class people as “stains”, apologised for his past comments which he said were “ill-judged or just plain wrong”.
As if that means anything. Do people think he’s suddenly a changed man because of an apology? Racists and misogynists don’t just turn over a new leaf because they get called out.
I applied for this role
Thought as pro- chancellor of 1 univ, governor of another, 2 honorary doctorates from others, honorary fellowship & visiting lecturer at 3 more, I might get interview
Clearly I wasn’t what they were looking for!
He was https://t.co/tF0ONtHBy0
— nazir afzal (@nazirafzal) January 1, 2018
Following his appointment to the OfS, Mr Young deleted up to 40,000 tweets posted since 2009, including references to the size of women’s breasts.
Comments made about working class students, about “inclusivity” in a Spectator column in 2012, and remarks aimed at gay people, were also criticised.
A petition calling for his dismissal gathered almost 220,000 signatures.
He wrote: “I am a passionate supporter of inclusion and helping the most disadvantaged, as I hope my track record of setting up and supporting new schools demonstrates.
“But some of the things I said before I got involved in education, when I was a journalistic provocateur, were either ill-judged or just plain wrong – and I unreservedly apologise.”
How can women students, academics, managers, & VCs have confidence in Toby Young to lead them?
His tweets on women/a minor’s breasts epitomise the sexism we want eradicated from public office.
— Ana ফরজানা (@wordsbyana) January 3, 2018
Young’s decision to resign also calls into question the competency of some of most senior members of the cabinet – including the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, and the environment secretary, Michael Gove – who had defended him.
In an interview with Andrew Marr on the BBC on Sunday, May appeared to back Young. But she warned that any future offensive language would result in him being “no longer … in public office”.
That’s nice, but May also said with no hesitation that she would order a nuclear strike on 100,000 innocent men, women, and children, so maybe she should consider removing herself from office on the basis of offensive, downright destructive language.
Piers Morgan said Mr Young had been forced out by the “howling Twitter mob”, which makes a lot of sense considering Morgan himself often publishes bigoted opinions. Birds of a feather flock together, as they say.
Ridiculous outcry over Toby Young. He will bring independence, rigour and caustic wit. Ideal man for job
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 3, 2018
Speaking of birds of a feather, it’s no surprise that Boris backs Young as well, when recently a number of his sexist, homophobic, and racist articles came to light. Johnson also once referred to Black people as “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”.
The Tories might call this “a mistake”, but considering they have access to some of the most advanced surveillance technology, you would think they could conduct some sort of background checks on someone appointed to such a high position.
Excusing people because of apologies might work in personal spaces, but when it comes to those who are in charge of entire institutions, as well as the health and safety of entire populations, they should be held to a much higher standard than an average person.
Which pretty much rules out the current government.