Ivory Tower: Exclusive access to the government higher education and research WhatsApp group
#NadZEdSec: As part of Operation Save Big Dog, I’ve been asked to pull together a red meat white paper for universities. Let’s have your ideas.
KwasiBEIS: Aren’t you supposed to have that already?
#NadZEdSec: Red meat?
KwasiBEIS: A white paper, I heard it was supposed to be out in November.
DonelanAttendingCabinet: You are thinking of the response to the Augar report.
SirGavinW: No, that was due in 2019.
#NadZEdSec: What’s he doing on here?
SirGavinW: Who do you think is running the unofficial whipping operation on behalf of Big Dog?
KwasiBEIS: Explains why it’s going so well.
DonelanAttendingCabinet: I’m confused, is the red meat for the red wall?
#NadZEdSec: No, it’s for back bench MPs thinking of sending a no confidence letter to Graham Brady.
DonelanAttendingCabinet: To be honest, I don’t have much confidence in Graham Brady, either.
LordGeidt4Ethics: Can someone unsubscribe me from this group? I’m looking for the one about wallpaper.
#NadZEdSec: OK, any ideas people?
NadineCult: Red meat.
#NadZEdSec: Yes, I’ve said that already.
NadineCult: No, red meat, ban vegan menus in student refectories, ensure only red meat is served.
#NadZEdSec: What about vegetarians?
NadineCult: Yes, ban them too.
DonelanAttendingCabinet: I don’t think we can ban vegetarians from going to university. But let me check that.
#NadZEdSec: On a roll, anything else Nadine?
NadineCult: On a roll or perhaps with chips or mashed potatoes with gravy.
#TheSaj: Are there health implications to that?
#NadZEdSec: Might have to issue a health warning.
NadineCult: Woking can seriously damage your health.
KwasiBEIS: Can it?
SirGavinW: Ask Sam Gyimah’s political career.
DeputyRAAB: Was he from Woking?
Liz4PM: Universities should be opening new markets in China.
DonelanAttendingCabinet: For students?
Liz4PM: For pork.
#PritiSaysNo: We don’t want more Chinese students.
BenWallaceMOD: Because some of them might be spies?
#PritiSaysNo: Eh? Hadn’t thought of that.
Liz4PM: We import 100 per cent of our international students. THAT IS A DISGRACE!
#PritiSaysNo: We need more international students from the UK.
#AllYouNeedIsGove: Yes, we should give our own people the opportunity to be international students at our great universities.
DonelanAttendingCabinet: You mean they should quarantine for 14 days on arrival, and they should pay sky high fees?
KwasiBEIS: I thought that happened already.
DeputyRAAB: We could go big on this, “I was the first in my family from a ex-mining village in Durham to be an international student at Oxford”.
KwasiBEIS: But Durham and Oxford are in the same country.
DeputyRAAB: I had not appreciated the full extent of this.
#NadZEdSec: We’ll need more than “home internationals” and meat-only menus.
NadineCult: Defund research about the BBC.
NadineCult: Because there won’t be a BBC.
KwasiBEIS: If there is no BBC, there won’t be an Open University either.
NadineCult: Win win.
Liz4PM: A crackdown on woke.
KwasiBEIS: At the Open University?
Liz4PM: At all universities. Right-wing academics should not be silenced.
FreewheelinGeorge: Are they?
DeputyRAAB: I haven’t seen many right-wing scientists on the news talking about coronavirus.
FreewheelinGeorge: Science isn’t right wing or left wing, it’s just science.
DeputyRAAB: I had not appreciated the full extent of this.
Liz4PM: Academics should prove they are not biased if they want to take a taxpayer funded salary.
FreewheelinGeorge: Err… I don’t think that’s correct.
#PritiSaysNo: They should swear an oath of allegiance.
KwasiBEIS: To who?
Liz4PM: To Britain.
NadineCult: To Big Dog.
FreewheelinGeorge: Academic salaries aren’t funded by the taxpayer.
NadineCult: Aren’t they?
FreewheelinGeorge: You are thinking of Channel Four.
NadineCult: Am I?
SirGavinW: What about students?
FreewheelinGeorge: I don’t think they have taxpayer funded salaries either.
SirGavinW: No, they could swear an oath of allegiance.
KwasiBEIS: Dear God.
SirGavinW: Yes, to God and the flag and to the repayment of their student loan.
Liz4PM: What about a quota on woke?
#NadZEdSec: You’ve spent too long reading trade deals.
Liz4PM: As part of their access agreements, every university should be obliged to recruit 50 per cent of their students from right wing backgrounds.
FreewheelinGeorge: You mean 50 per cent of university students should be aged over 65?
#PritiSaysNo: Would solve the problem of a lack of mature students.
#NadZEdSec: What about skills?
SirGavinW: No, I meant “skillz” in a street sense.
KwasiBEIS: Dear God.
#AllYouNeedIsGove: Don’t we have a skills bill already?
SirGavinW: Yes, it’s about creating expertise across the country.
#AllYouNeedIsGove: You want more experts?
NadineCult: Defund research on culture.
NadineCult: Because there isn’t going to be any.
KwasiBEIS: Defund the AHRC?
DeputyRAAB: That will stop them rescuing migrants in dinghies.
#PritiSaysNo: That’s the RNLI.
NadineCult: Defund them too.
FreewheelinGeorge: The RNLI do not receive any taxpayer money.
NadineCult: Them too? Where’s it all going then?
KwasiBEIS: PPE contracts for our donors?
#AllYouNeedIsGove: What about levelling up?
KwasiBEIS: You mean giving out PPE contracts to donors across the country?
#AllYouNeedIsGove: No, can we use research and university funding to level up the regions? Any ideas?
#NadZEdSec: Aren’t you supposed to be writing your own white paper on that?
#AllYouNeedIsGove: Yes, any ideas? Not even kidding.
Rishi™: That’s ideas that don’t cost any money.
NadineCult: Where have you been? Have you been in hiding?
Rishi™: I’ve been in Cornwall seeing the roll out of new communications infrastructure.
NadineCult: So, why didn’t you tweet in support of Big Dog?
Rishi™: I couldn’t get a phone signal.
DowdenWithoutPortfolio: Could we fast-track the free speech tsar?
Shapps/Green/Fox: Buy them a season ticket? Lots of engineering works in January.
DowdenWithoutPortfolio: Let’s have a big hitter right wing academic.
KwasiBEIS: Anyone in mind?
NadineCult: David Starkey.
DeputyRAAB: Darren Grimes.
#NadZEdSec: He’s not an academic.
DeputyRAAB: Really? I thought he was super smart.
#PritiSaysNo: What’s David Irving doing now?
#NadZEdSec: I don’t think we can have a holocaust denier on campuses?
DonelanAttendingCabinet: Can’t we?
SirGavinW: We’ve been through this before, Michelle.
CoffeyDWP: What about pensions?
DonelanAttendingCabinet: For holocaust deniers?
CoffeyDWP: For those woke academics? Can’t we cut their pensions and impoverish them in old age.
KwasiBEIS: I think the ship has sailed on that one. Where have you been for the last few years?
CoffeyDWP: The department for work and pensions.
KwasiBEIS: That makes sense.
#BorisNo1: Sorry, I’m late I’ve been isolating.
#NadZEdSec: From your phone?
#BorisNo1: From Sky News.
NadineCult: Defund Sky News!
FreewheelinGeorge: I’m not sure how to break this to you…
#BorisNo1: Anyway, what ideas have you got for Big Dog?
Rishi™: Don’t tempt me.
#TheSaj: What about student nurses?
#BorisNo1: I deny those allegations implicitly.
#TheSaj: No, the number of young people applying to be nurses after the pandemic is a good news story.
#NadZEdSec: How many?
#TheSaj: Over 16,000.
#BorisNo1: Excellent, and what is the projected NHS nursing shortfall?
#TheSaj: Err… 100,000.
DeputyRAAB: I don’t think you’ve appreciated the full extent of this.
NadineCult: We’ve also got meat-only menus for student recs and an oath of allegiance for academics.
Liz4PM: And quotas on woke.
#BorisNo1: Great, did you think of what to do about the statues?
NadineCult: I thought that was who the red meat was for.
#BorisNo1: Great, good job everyone, back to my place for drinks.
SueGray: Please do not delete any messages from this group, they may be read as part of my inquiry into work events in Downing Street.
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DonelanAttendingCabinet: Any one still there? We haven’t discussed my great new idea for student outcomes yet. 80 per cent of graduates should be the CEO of a FTSE 100 company by the age of 30.
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