Kathleen stock

Portrait of the week: Rishi Sunak defends Kathleen Stock, food prices rise and AI extinction warning

Home Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, supported a visit to the Oxford Union by Professor Kathleen Stock, who believes that there are such things as women: ‘University should be an environment where debate is supported, not stifled,’ he said. He said in a separate announcement that he would ban companies from giving out free samples of vaping supplies to people under 18. He then packed his bags for a visit to Washington, DC, in the coming week for talks with President Joe Biden. Delaney Irving, aged 19, from Vancouver Island, won the women’s race at the Cooper’s Hill cheese-rolling event near Gloucester. Food prices continued to rise rapidly, according to the

Greens select Kathleen Stock’s persecutor

It’s not been a great new year for the Greens. From the north of Britain to the south, two examples in the past week haven’t exactly shown the party at its best. First, the Scottish Sun revealed that Lorna Slater, the co-leader north of the border, told aides she didn’t want to work every day of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow – despite billing it ‘the last chance to save the world.’ Slater, who has now been dubbed ‘Lorna Slacker,’ told government officials she didn’t want them to arrange more than ‘two things in one day’, before being snapped on the first day of COP drinking in a pub at 5 p.m.  And

The best children’s books: a Spectator Christmas survey

J.K. Rowling Poignant, funny and genuinely scary, The Hundred and One Dalmatians was one of my favourite books as a child and the story has lingered in my imagination ever since. Blue iced cakes always put me in mind of Cruella de Vil’s experimental food colourings, and whenever our dogs whine to get out at dusk I imagine them joining the canine news network, the twilight barking. There’s simply no resisting a book containing the lines ‘There are some people who always find beauty makes them feel sadder, which is a very mysterious thing’, and ‘Mr Dearly was a highly skilled dog-puncher’. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall There are countless children’s

Could the ‘Kathleen Stock’ amendment backfire?

The hounding of Kathleen Stock – who left Sussex university following a concerted campaign against her by trans rights activists – was a disgraceful indictment of freedom of speech on campus. But one remedy for preventing a repeat – the so-called ‘Stock amendment’ to the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill, now passing through the Commons – isn’t the answer. Impetuous legislation is normally bad legislation; unless we think very carefully, we may end up with something ineffective or even counter-productive. At first glance, a simple ban on students piling in to demand the sacking or departure of professors on account of their politics or teaching might look good. Indeed, it could be defended

Why liberals must stand with Kathleen Stock

I know what it feels like to be bullied and vilified for expressing views with which, eventually, many right-minded people end up agreeing. I am talking, of course, about transgender ideology and the case of Professor Kathleen Stock which this week was belatedly picked up by the mainstream press. In short, a group of University of Sussex students started a campaign for Stock to be sacked on the spot, claiming she was ‘espousing a bastardised version of radical feminism that excludes and endangers trans people’. The group – a collection of poundshop Antifas – said Stock was a danger to transgender people, arguing: ‘We’re not up for debate. We cannot