Oxford Prof: Academics Fear Mob Will Destroy Their Careers If They Defend British Empire

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A leading scholar at the University of Oxford believes conservatives are afraid to stand up to the “zealous left-wing minority” who want to “erase and rewrite history” in case doing so prompts the mob to destroy their careers.

Nigel Biggar, regius professor of moral and pastoral theology, has criticised renewed demands, prompted by the Black Lives Matter movement, for statues and memorials to individuals who do not meet the standards of the 21st-century social justice left to be torn down, and for children to be taught a negatively slanted history of Britain’s imperial past.

“The problem is that most academics know nothing about imperial history,” Professor Biggar told The Telegraph.

“What they do know is that it’s not fashionable to stand up for the British Empire and they also get the impression that if you dare to that, like me, you get mobbed,” he said, referring to a 2017 attempt to cancel him for suggesting Britain’s “morally mixed” history could be a source of “pride” as well as “shame”, “just like that of any nation-state”.

“If you are younger your career is at risk if you stand up for unfashionable causes,” Professor Biggar explained, adding that, this combination of ignorance and timidity allows “A zealous left-wing minority of academics [to] persuade a much larger majority of ignorant… and uncertain academics who don’t really want to get into trouble.”


“Institutional leaders are acting like rabbits caught in headlights yielding to pressure,” he said of the recent streak of cave-ins to Black Lives Matter activists, with libraries, museums, and universities, agreeing to remove statues and memorials and “decolonise” their collections and curricula.

“At the moment we have crowds of mainly young people marching down the streets, shouting and screaming. They give the impression of numbers and power but do they represent majority opinion?” he asked.

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