Tag Archives: fascists


A Generation Identity sticker was spotted on campus, this time close to the Management School, on 9 April. ‘Patriots walk amongst you’ it claimed. It was removed within 24 hours.

Another GI sticker was noted near Lonsdale College in March, a few days after the Christchurch shootings.

Anyone seeing fascist stickers or posters on campus is advised to take a picture and email this, with details, to Security at security@lancaster.ac.uk or directly to Julie Ferguson, the university’s Emergency Planning & Risk Manager, at julie.ferguson@lancaster.ac.uk.

While students can report alleged incidents of hate crime and harassment via the UniSafe applet on iLancaster, there does not yet seem to be a systematic way for staff to do the same, apart from directly emailing Security.


Worrying news reaches subtext of Generation Identity (GI) leaflets being left in the Learning Zone at the beginning of February. GI is very much the modern face of the European far-right, but behind its ‘lambda’ logo and black-and-yellow colour scheme lurks the same old evil. Its main aim, as it proudly states, is to stop and reverse the process by which ‘the indigenous European population is replaced by non-European migrants.’

We urge any subtext readers finding GI material on campus to hand it in to the University Safety Office.


Dear subtext,

Many thanks for your recent focus on opposing racism and fascism on campus.

In relation to this, we cannot do enough to highlight the grave injustice that is the prosecution of the ‘Stansted 15’ for taking courageous direct action to halt charter flight deportations – a despicable and legally dubious practice that directly endangers the lives of deportees. For the crime of acting in defence of human rights and taking on Theresa May’s beloved ‘hostile environment’, these brave people are being charged with ‘Endangerment of an Aerodrome’, contrary to section 1(2)(b) of the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990, which is a very serious charge carrying a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. This has prompted Amnesty International to express ‘serious concern’:


It is worth noting that Laura Clayson, former LUSU President, is one of those facing prosecution. I’m sure many on campus will still remember this very popular, principled, energetic young woman. They may also remember that she was, in all probability, reported to police by the University for holding ‘extremist views’ – namely, that bombing Palestine and fracking should be opposed:


(Following the mandatory ‘Prevent’ training, I’m given to understand that labelling your left-wing students ‘extremists’ is a practice officially known as ‘safeguarding’…)

For those who desperately want to oppose the upward surge of racism and fascistic ideas in recent years, here is an opportunity: there are many positive things that can be done to support the Stansted 15 in opposing racist Home Office policies, including writing to MPs, letters to the press and donations to support the Stansted 15 and their cause.

More information on this can be found here:




In solidarity,

Chris Witter


Dear subtext,

There must be a group of people who when they hear/see/read the name Mark E Smith automatically think of our esteemed Vice Chancellor. Within this assembly of folk, there will be some who read the New Statesman. This particular weekly journal has a regular slot where a subscriber is invited to select whom they would like to see on the cover of the New Statesman. Imagine how perplexed and concerned (or elated) the said group of people were, when perusing a recent (9-15th November 2018) edition, to discover that Fergal Kinney of Hackney, East London had chosen Mark E Smith.


Ian Paylor


Dear subtext,

I feel like wading in somewhat on the white t-shirt issue that’s been plastered all over the news. Honestly I’m a little disappointed that some drunken idiots trolling for reactions has caused such an uproar while more physical safety concerns have ended up being swept under the carpet.

In my fresher’s week, someone I was living with was displaying outright predatory behaviour towards myself and at least two other girls, and though we all complained nothing was done and we got to feel unsafe in our accommodation for the rest of the year. I know someone else (also female) who was the victim of a physical attack by a male student and to my knowledge, no action was ever taken against the perpetrator.

I can’t help feeling like the University cares more about maintaining an illusion of safety, than actually making the University safe.

Name supplied

subtext 183 – ‘(white man) in lancaster sugarhouse’

Every so often during term time.

Letters, contributions, & comments: subtext-editors@lancaster.ac.uk

Back issues & subscription details: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/subtext/about/

In this issue: editorial, snowsports special report, demo in the square, charges for overseas staff, lost and found, shart, letters.



For the past week it appears University House has been on lockdown. Once you walk through Reception and make for the stairs to B Floor and above you have to either explain yourself to the Security guard, or have a ‘valid pass’.

Organisations go into lockdown when they fear something. In this case, the fear is of student action over the fallout from the Snowsports Society white t-shirt social. That the information was leaked by a whistleblower and picked up by the national press shows the scale of the issue which senior management are trying to brush off. They are right to be in lockdown, because people are angry. Lancaster: we have a problem.

From the scrawling of swastikas on office doors to the Snowsports Society shitstorm, fascism in its many masks, old and new, is here on campus. It wants women in the kitchen and it thinks rape is a joke. It demands ‘free speech’ in order to promote hate, and wraps all this in either a sugar coating of intellectual rigour, or vomit stained fresher-on-a-bender banter. It is part of a wider wave of global far right populism and xenophobia that results in children being separated from their parents and incarcerated at borders, and in a ‘hostile environment’ that punishes and ostracises the very people it should be welcoming. It leads to spots and sometimes swathes of political extremism, right out in the open, in the mainstream, in government. Anger in response to this is normal and it is right.

The Students’ Union should be ashamed of itself for acting so slowly, and in future should take immediate and visible action to investigate and sanction societies that enable this kind of behaviour. They should reinstate suspended LUSU officer Chloe Long: whistleblowers should not be made scapegoats. Senior management should denounce the most recent events, and all those preceding, publicly and loudly. More than that, they should be proactive and transparent in enabling staff and students to create a positive culture that welcomes everyone… except fascists.

And the rest of us? We have to show up, and stand up to this crap wherever it appears. Let’s put the whole campus on lockdown for fascism: they shall not pass.


Everyone’s least favourite fascist not-quite-a-student-society has been putting up posters on campus this week. In an unintentional parody of the ‘back to the good old days’ element of their rhetoric, the posters are composed mainly of cut and pasted ‘newspaper headlines’ that actually seem to have been printed off the internet. They are largely sensationalist in tone, with the usual semi-deranged rants about marginalised groups. Keeping up the virtual note, this non-soc suggest you contact them via their social media channels. How about you don’t do that.


Centralisation and the erosion of accountability somewhat paled into insignificance when we learned that a small but vocal group of students were attempting to set up a society for fascists. *Ahem*, sorry – ‘traditionalists.’ Their Facebook page is full of the usual witless moaning about ‘social justice warriors’, complaints about black people being in historical dramas, and quotes from avowed fascists.

In subtext 173, we reported that the group in question (which we have yet to name) attended a public lecture on the politics of fear, and banged on about saving a white Christian Europe and how all migrants are rapists. By the time issue 174 was released, we learned that the Students’ Union had rejected the fascists’ application… due to their failure ‘to convince the committee of the group’s sustainability or unique offer.’ Nothing to do with all the homophobia and fascism, then.

Still, we were at least pleased that the SU had rejected the fascists at all, until issue 176, where we reported that the LUSU Executive had ignored the deferral recommendation made by their societies committee, and took a decision to grant official recognition and resources to an actual group of fascists (with promises of sanctions and heavy caveats, such as, err, a risk assessment…). This decision lasted all of no time at all before a sensible LUSU staff member intervened and postponed the application indefinitely.

Perhaps the spate of Nazi graffiti on office doors, which we reported in subtext 166 and 167, was a forewarning?

The matter is now in the hands of the university. The last thing we reported was a protest against an event put on by the group, at which an individual praised the SS and admitted to being scared for his white skin. Meanwhile, one of his ‘bodyguards’ mocked a protestor’s accent and almost elbowed a pensioner in the face. The individual in question pledged to upload a report and footage disputing subtext’s report. Two months ago.

This unsettling rise in on-campus fascism has made it into seminar rooms and public lectures. Thanks to subtext, you can read all about it below:




subtext 180 – ‘better sorry than safe’

Fortnightly during term time.

Letters, contributions, & comments: subtext-editors@lancaster.ac.uk

Back issues & subscription details: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/subtext/about/

In this issue: editorial, welcome week, deanshare, lab location, UA92 galore, FASS typos, house-building, union blues, shart, poem, TV review, letters



Gaps, holes, deficits, cuts, absences. Call them what you will, it would be hard to deny that the academic year has been littered with them, providing the subtext drones with more than enough metaphorical material to stretch to breaking point and enough space to fly the traditional end of year round-up through on a bus.

The biggest gap generator has been the ongoing building work on campus, particularly on the Spine. There have been holes in the ground where the Spine has been dug up, communication gaps where the pink and purple diversion signs have failed to keep up with the actual situation ‘on the ground’, and most worryingly there has been a huge gap in provision for disabled users of the spine, with accessible routes around the pinball game that traversing campus has become having all but disappeared. Add to this the gaps of buildings that failed to appear (squints at the Management School) and the gap we didn’t know we had (cocks an eyebrow at Alexandra Square’s Big Screen), and it’s a wonder we didn’t all get a collective sprained ankle.

There have been financial gaps as well. Students who may have specific learning disabilities have seen a cut of 50% in the funding available from the University to be assessed for them – a massive blow to the life chances of those that need one but can’t afford it. Nationally, the most disruptive gap of the year was the deficit in the UCU pension fund – and understanding thereof – that saw an unprecedented turnout in support of strike action, and UCU members picketing for two weeks in freezing conditions. Whilst the picket lines saw a huge amount of support from students and non-striking staff there was another gap: no clear or coherent response from the VC. The University as a whole continued to fail to cover itself in glory when the Gender Pay Gap report was published in April, revealing LU to be third from the bottom in the country (University of the Year, though!) with a mean pay gap of 27.7% as opposed to the national average of… cough… 17.8%.

There have been notable gaps in democracy, honesty and decency. Maybe it started when Lancaster University Students’ Union refused to take a stance in regard to supporting the UCU strike, and it definitely didn’t end with their ‘creative’ approach to the online AGM ballot. Maybe it started when the University Court was abolished, removing one of the last democratically elected bodies in the institution (and one that oversaw the appointment of various posts). In fact, subtext notes – with some glee – that you can read all about the machinations of Lancaster University’s ‘Strategic Planning & Governance’ division at gap.lancs.ac.uk. Maybe it started when the VC led us to believe that Lancaster was the first port of call for UA92 (it wasn’t) and shrouded the entire business in a cloak of secrecy. Maybe it started with swastikas on Sociology department doors appearing overnight followed by the attempted setting up of a new student society concerned with white supremacy and other alt-right (i.e. fascist) ideas. This is a gap that is going to take more than a bit of polyfilla and a trowel to sort out.

And we’ve been feeling a bit gappy ourselves – retirement and illness have left us short of an editor or two in the subtext warehouse, so we welcome all those readers with a critical eye, a writerly bent and a typing speed of 80wpm to drop us a line at subtext-editors@lancaster.ac.uk to get involved. And so, once more unto the breach, dear readers – starting October. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks for writing in – do keep doing that. Failing that, hit us with your ‘like’ stick on our Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/lusubtext


Lancaster’s fascist would-be student society, whose behaviour at a public talk on the politics of fear (subtext 173) and rejection by LUSU as an official society (subtext 176) is well documented, are at it again. This time, they’ve publicly promoted an event, ‘What is the Value of Capitalism?’ It might sound like your bog standard management school student style debate, but any debate seeking to discuss whether capitalism leads to the ‘destruction of natural hierarchies and identities’ is bound to raise eyebrows.

Local activists didn’t disappoint. subtext understands that the group in question (who we continue to refuse to name) attempted to book a table for ten at a Lancaster venue on Tuesday 5th June. Upon being made aware of the sort of company they were about to keep, the venue in question immediately cancelled the event. The advice from the local police to venues who might unwittingly be hosting far-right functions is to cancel any such event, the worry being that the opposition from decent people would lead to a public order offence. Failure to comply could lead to the revocation of licenses. Thankfully for the far-right student group, they had booked multiple venues, and had publicly urged supporters to meet a delegate at Common Garden Street in order to be directed to the correct location.

According to numerous eyewitness accounts, one member of the group in question, who is known to have joined Generation Identity protests, was present on Common Garden Street to welcome attendees. No attendees showed up, but the member in question was flanked by three individuals, who were acting as his ‘private security.’ He was also joined and, indeed, outnumbered by, a number of individuals from various local anti-fascist groups. A vociferous conversation ensued, in which our fascist declared that the ‘SS instilled a sense of national pride’, adding that he didn’t believe in ‘pride’ as a concept. He claimed that he didn’t personally know other members of the group who had behaved in the ways described in subtext’s reports (even though he has publicly shared photographs of himself with them). Indeed, he even suggested that a splinter-group might be in the works, due to differences in ideology. After affirming that he was ‘scared for [his] white skin’, he complained that he had once been assaulted for being white, failing to add ‘supremacist’ and ‘by antifa’ to various junctures in his sentence.

The behaviour of our fascist’s security detail is also worthy of note. One of the trio was unhappy with the idea of being filmed or photographed in any way, and the anti-fascist protesters duly obliged and put away their phones. She then proceeded to unsheathe her own phone and record the vast majority of the altercation. Another ‘guard’, who was variously described as ‘a whirling dervish’, ‘tired and emotional’, and ‘clearly on something’, made many memorable interjections – including to declare himself a national socialist. In general, it was felt that he frequently invaded the personal space of those in attendance, at one point nearly elbowing a pensioner in the face. He was difficult to pin down verbally – in some instances he was admitting to his ‘boss’ that the protesters ‘had a point’, in others, he openly mocked a protestor’s Polish accent. All throughout, he was reportedly laughing like a hyena. Our fascist’s entourage are said to have distanced themselves from his views, insisting that they were simply his mates with his personal safety at heart. Stockholm syndrome?

Our fascist has announced that a ‘report’ and ‘video footage’ are forthcoming. It’ll take an awful lot of editing to present him in a positive light, but we await it with bated breath all the same.


FROM: Enoch Benito McAdolf, President, LuVE-U White Christian Preservation Society

TO: Jacob Woolly, President, LuVE-U Student Experience Co-ordination Unit

Dear Jacob,

I would like to thank you for disregarding the absurd notion that I am trying to set up some kind of Nazi society. Advocating for the preservation of a white, Christian Europe is nothing like Nazism because Hitler was an atheist, and I am glad that the officers accepted our reasoning so readily at our last meeting.

As per your request, here is the annual budget for our proposed student society. I trust that your societies committee will have no issues with this.

White cloth and scissors, £87

Wooden stakes, £30

Nails, £60

Hydrogen peroxide solution, £40

1 litre industrial fertiliser x 6, £22.85

10 kilos pig carcasses, £1.46 per kilo

1 kilo vaseline, £10




FROM: Jacob Woolly, President, LuVE-U Student Experience Co-ordination Unit

TO: Enoch Benito McAdolf, President, LuVE-U White Christian Preservation Society

CC: Mike M. Shart, VC, Lune Valley Enterprise University (LuVE-U)

Hi Enoch,

Nothing amiss here as far as I can see mate. Have copied in the VC as the uni’s been wanting to monitor the group for some reason. I would send this back to the societies committee but they keep going on at me.



FROM: Mike M. Shart, VC, Lune Valley Enterprise University (LuVE-U)

TO: Jacob Woolly, President, LuVE-U Student Experience Co-ordination Unit

CC: Hewlett Venkklinne, Head of Positive Institutional Perception Synergy

Hi Jacob. Not had chance to look over what this white christian preservation society entails, but Hewlett tells me that the movement is deeply rooted in British history – something about national socialism? Should keep the unions happy. Go right ahead, sounds good.


subtext 176 – ‘for the avoidance of subtext’

Fortnightly during term time.

Letters, contributions, & comments: subtext-editors@lancaster.ac.uk

Back issues & subscription details: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/subtext/about/

In this issue: editorial, fash, more fash, gender pay gap, UA92 (in four parts), bad governance, more governance, assistant deans, appeal for more assistant deans, bomb shelter update, grad ball, alternative grad ball, lu text lost and found, email, lusu agm, look at what you could have won, letters.



We’ve had a relaxing vacation spent spring-cleaning the subtext warehouse and enjoying the beer garden experience far more times than is good for us. So much so, that the subtext collective is a little disappointed with what it’s had to return to.

Sure, it’s summer term, and that means flowers, fun events and fluffy ducks chirping away on the University’s bucolic parkland campus. But this year, we also have to contend with high-decibel jackhammering, widespread dust and destruction, discord over where students should hold their balls, continued chipping away at our democratic governance structures, and – oh yes – more fascism on campus. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, you all have to put up with subtext going on about it all every two weeks!

All that aside, welcome to summer term 2018 – we wish you a very happy one!


In subtext 173, we reported on the activities of an unofficial far-right student society, which made its presence felt at a public lecture on the politics of fear by raising concerns about the ethnic makeup of Europe, advocating a white Christian Europe, alleging that Israel forcefully castrates immigrants and that migrants are all rapists. The conversation spilled out into the lobby, where a heated exchange between the group and the other attendees ensued. Since the Students’ Union (LUSU) had been dragging its heels in the process of granting them society status all year, we figured that they would never get anything even close to official recognition by LUSU, especially after our report on their behaviour. After that report, there was a small amount of uproar on their Facebook page, a very boring letter accusing us of libel which we published in subtext 174, a bit of hectoring from the on-campus far-left, and a SCAN article. And that, we thought, was that…

… Until the other day, when we found out that the Students’ Union has gone the extra mile to get them their recognition! All applications for official recognition by LUSU are scrutinised by a ‘Societies Committee’, which voted to postpone the decision to recognise the group until a later meeting. subtext has learned that last week the LUSU full-time officers took an executive decision to ignore the societies committee and ‘approve’ the society in question for official recognition.

To be fair to the LUSU executive, they have identified the ‘high risk’ involved in approving the group, and have been working with the university to develop a strategy to mitigate against those risks.

Firstly, members of the group are going to be given a jolly good talking to about LUSU’s code of conduct, and you’d better know that they won’t be getting an inch unless they swear up, down and sideways that they’ll follow it – indeed, there has even been talk of crossing hearts and hoping to die.

If that doesn’t have them quaking in their boots, there’s also going to be one hell of a risk assessment carried out. It doesn’t end there. The group, which has defended individuals guilty of inciting hate crime, are going to have hate crime explained to them by a local policeman. This will, apparently, help them to recognise signs of people hijacking the group for nefarious political purposes. Because we can’t have extremists in a fascist group, can we?

At the time of writing, the society’s application has been deferred yet again, pending further investigation, following what we understand was an intervention by a senior member of LUSU staff. While another deferral is better than an outright approval, subtext is amazed that the elected LUSU officers were willing to approve the society.

subtext decided to take another look at the group’s Facebook page.

Aside from the usual witless, unsophisticated kvetching about gender studies and white people being oppressed, this society, which LUSU full time officers were happy and willing to grant money, resources, and official recognition to, is relaxed about historical inaccuracies on TV unless a black person shows up. They celebrated the election of Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian autocrat who has worked to quash press freedom and curb civil liberties but is alright because he annoys George Soros (the Emmanuel Goldstein of the alt-right). A member of their group writes Facebook posts under the pseudonym ‘Enoch’. They find it ‘sickening’ that Lauren Southern was banned from the UK. Ms Southern, in case you were wondering, once wrote: ‘another problem I have with Hitler? He fawned over Muslims more sycophantically than Justin Trudeau. Bibi Netanyahu was right to point out that Hitler decided on the Holocaust partly because Middle Eastern Muslims told him they didn’t want Jews expelled into the region.’

Aside from that they’re a box of fluffy ducks, apparently.



Should we care if some of our students express views the majority find distasteful? Freedom of speech is a truism in universities and if a few people want to form a society to lament the demise of ‘traditional Christian Europe’, is it our place to stop them? Are they hurting anyone else?

Maybe, yes.

subtext has received reports of several seminars being disrupted, on a regular basis, by small groups of students, who have sought to overwhelm conversations with repeated and extended interventions, often wholly unrelated to the text under discussion.

Seminars have been forced to address such pressing topics as:

– Do Jewish or Asian people control much of Britain’s wealth?

– Will the US Army be weaker than the Chinese army if it welcomes transgender people to serve as soldiers?

– Should women be teaching men?

These interventions, delivered in a rapid succession of questionable debating points (Gish Galloping – Google it), have at times been accompanied by explicit hate speech against disabled and trans people. Lecturers and seminar tutors believe that these contributions are racist, antisemitic and sexist. Female staff seem to be targeted in particular.

The reaction of other students in the seminars seems to be bemusement and taking offence.

Reportedly both first and third year seminars have been affected in this way, so if any readers thought this phenomenon would just naturally expire when the key players graduated, they may have a while to wait.


subtext’s report on racist and antisemitic comments and questions at a public lecture (see subtext 173) seems to have hurt a few feelings (see letters, below). Isn’t it amazing how quickly people who insist on their own right to express hateful opinions start throwing around words like ‘libel’ and ‘slander’ as soon as someone challenges them? As so often in right-wing populist circles, it seems free speech only travels in one direction.

Since the report, LUSU has confirmed that the group in question was denied society status ‘because there was not enough detail in the students’ plan of activity or their description of the group to convince the committee of the group’s sustainability or unique offer, two of the key criteria that all groups are judged by.’ Perhaps the applicants forgot to mention important details, like how they get hot under the collar about black actors playing historical figures on TV, or equal marriage? LUSU went on to clarify that they ‘are working with the students, as we would any student wanting to form a society, to help them address these concerns of the committee and anticipate that they will resubmit an application[…] The union respects the rights of individuals and groups to hold or express potentially controversial opinions – however, all of our groups are subject to union policies designed to deal with instances of discrimination, harassment or hate speech, which are applied accordingly if issues are reported and evidenced.’ So that’s all right then.

Despite not being a student society, the group in question nevertheless set out to organise an event on campus to discuss the life and times of Vladimir Putin, an event ostensibly co-organised by the Russian Society. Until, that is, it turned out that the Russian Society was, to quote LUSU again, ‘suspended temporarily after its president decided to step down this week and it came to light that the group does not meet a number of the union’s administrative requirements. The union is now working with the Russian Society to address these issues in order to return the group to active status.’ No doubt this sudden interest in the administrative workings of the Russian Society, which led to the campus event being cancelled, was entirely coincidental, and nothing to do with their links with the other group. But isn’t it wonderful how LUSU wants to help all societies to meet their full potential!


Dear subtext,

Mr. Fleming’s letter (subtext 173) is factually inaccurate, and shows complete disregard for the strength of staff feeling on this issue at his alma mater, which had the highest turnout in the ballot in England and third highest in the UK, with over 88% endorsing strike action. I would like to respond to each of the points made in the letter in turn.

1. UCU has a strong mandate for industrial action, given by its members through an average turnout of more than 58% across all 68 institutions that were balloted (a record), with 88% voting for strike action and 93% for action short of a strike. Membership is at record levels, with over a 100 members joining UCU at LU in the last two-three weeks alone. The only thing that seems to be over the top is UUK’s intransigence to negotiations, given a number of VCs across the sector, including institutions like Loughborough, Glasgow, Warwick, Birkbeck, Goldsmiths, Strathclyde, London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine and others are publicly calling for a resumption of national talks.

2. While previous pension arrangements are indeed protected, under proposed changes the future pension arrangements will not be protected from 2019. Proposed changes mean our pensions will move from the current defined benefit scheme (which guarantees the rate of pension received in retirement), to a defined contribution scheme (fixing the rate of pay contributing to pension). Crucially, when the chief executive of USS was asked when he visited Lancaster how USS would protect members from the vagaries of the financial markets and that put members pensions at considerable risk, no answer was forthcoming.

3. We are not working in the private sector – our pensions are just a small recompense for our very modest salaries. Modest in relation to the private sector, with very little movement between grades over the lifetime of work, and with the ‘initial investment’ of time and effort spent in gaining qualifications to work in a University that many in the private sector are not required to make. It seems disingenuous to make any comparisons with the private sector, and hardworking academic and related staff would find any comparisons with employer contributions to a pension scheme in the private sector particularly odious. Those who work in the education sector do so because they have a special set of values, of public good and not individual benefit. Our lifetime contributions to our pensions are being put at risk of markets, with it being left to the individuals to decide what they want to do with their pension pot upon retirement. Do we think vultures would be circling? We only have to see what has happened at British Steel recently.

4. UCU has proposed a range of models that illustrate how defined benefits can be maintained by modest increases in contributions (for e.g. 1% for the employees if employers decide to accept the September valuation), lowering of accrual from 1/75th to 1/80th, and willingness to negotiate on salary thresholds. UUK have rejected all proposals outright saying they will only accept a defined contribution scheme.

Sunil Banga

UCU Exec, Pensions Officer


Dear subtext,

I have been trying to understand the reasons for the current pensions dispute, and have found this talk by Carlo Morelli, an economics lecturer at Dundee University really useful:

Most interesting in the talk to me was that the changes appear likely to make the resulting scheme very unattractive to potential new members, causing the very shortfalls in money that Universities UK claim to want to prevent. Over time, USS could fall apart, and each University is legally required to act as guarantor to the current scheme. As I understand it, the danger is therefore not limited to staff pensions, but in the worst case could even affect each university, because each would be required to fund their ex-staff’s existing final salary defined pensions. I am left wondering whether Universities UK are doing a good job of representing the interest of UK universities.

Mike Cowie


Dear subtext,

I was disappointed to see, in your most recent mailout, the claim that SCAN’s UA92 debate column was ‘its first mention of the Gary Neville University since the story broke a year ago.’

This is incorrect. The debate column was published on October 23 2017. We first reported on the Gary Neville University in March 2017 (tinyurl.com/yaw4q7go). We published a second article on October 5 2017 [tinyurl.com/ydftypme].

A Google search for ‘SCAN Gary Neville’ would have produced these articles as the first two results. Alternatively, the SCAN editorial team are happy to search our archives if you need clarification of our coverage in future.


Michael Mander

SCAN Associate Editor


Dear subtext,

I would like to issue a complaint regarding your recent article entitled ‘Alt Wrong’. The article is blatantly libellous on numerous accounts, among which are your claims that we are somehow affiliated with the ‘alt right’, that we are ‘fascists’, ‘national socialists’, in favour of ‘pure blooded ancestry’, and further that we were ‘verbally aggressive towards colleagues’ leading us to be ‘ejected by security staff’. There are many other examples of these outright falsities, and the fact that subtext never reached out to our society for comment only reinforces the impression that you did not intend to fairly represent our society, only to defame it. We have numerous eye-witness accounts that can corroborate this.

While you may argue that the article never mentions our society by name, you made explicit reference to us, such that the article incited opposition to the society which may have escalated to violence were it not for the measures put in place by the University. The University felt the need to hire security and have a member of the police present to ensure that peace was kept, which demonstrates the threat that arose directly from the misrepresentations present in your article. Given these threats, I would ask that my name is not posted on your site, due to the false perception of our society that exists both on and off campus.

Your newsletter claims to be one in favour of free speech ‘without fear of backlash’, yet here our impression is that you are presenting things that did not happen as fact, in order to manufacture backlash with the intent of de-platforming our society.

We request that you remove this inflammatory article and issue an apology, in the interests of preventing further undue backlash and promoting intellectual diversity on campus.

Name withheld on request.

[As the writer acknowledges, subtext did not name the organisation they claim to represent – Eds.]

subtext 173 – ’empowering your opinion with impartial information’

Fortnightly during term time.

Letters, contributions, & comments: subtext-editors@lancaster.ac.uk

Back issues & subscription details: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/subtext/about/

In this issue: editorial, campus fascists, senate newsflash, campus fools, campus activists, ua92, researchgate fail, buses fail, bomb shelter update, we need you, love poem, shart, concert review, letters.



Back in October, subtext reported on recent incidents of office doors on campus being defaced by swastikas (see subtext 166 and 167). Now, we bring news of a campus ‘alt-right’ would-be society whose members endorse a white Christian Europe and spread tales of Israel chemically castrating immigrants (see lead story below).

Freedom of speech at Lancaster University, although defended by (almost) everyone here, has in recent years been a mostly theoretical debate. There really weren’t significant numbers of people saying things that really caused offence – not openly, anyway. Demonstrations and counter-demonstrations on ‘giving a platform to hatred’ were things that happened at other universities. Well, those times seem like they might be over, so we need to start thinking about what we should do when people propagate hate speech – at meetings, in seminars and at public events.

subtext has not seen any evidence that our new alt-righters might be planning or encouraging acts of violence – their style is more to disrupt debate and deliberately be ‘provocative’. It’s quite possible that they are really very desperate for attention and, if we leave them well alone, they’ll soon get bored and go back to retweeting memes about frogs.

So do we give them what they want, and start organising demonstrations? Or do we ignore them? And what will our students’ union do about their application for official society status? Let a student jury decide? Your comments and letters would be most welcome.


Lancaster University now has its own alt-right, or maybe just far-right, group. Their aims supposedly include the promotion of traditional values, European heritage, culture, and identity, which seem to include less in the way of republicanism, feminism and revolutionary struggle, more in the way of Wagner, Norse mythology and a certain interpretation of Nietzsche.

Currently, their membership isn’t large enough to warrant the prospect of official recognition by the University – a rejection they consider as bureaucratic obstruction. They do, however, undertake society meetings off-campus. Photographs show that around 16 of the group’s 62 followers met in the Royal King’s Arms on 1 February.

They are also beginning to make themselves heard at University events. On 8 February, the Storey Gallery hosted a public lecture by Ruth Wodak, Professor Emerita in the Department of Linguistics and English Language and internationally renowned expert on right-wing populism and the extreme right, who presented on the theme of her recent book ‘The Politics of Fear’. Around six members of said society dispersed themselves around the room, perhaps in an effort to make it harder for the chair to ignore their questions. They raised what they said were concerns about the ethnic make-up of Europe, asking ‘how to save Europeans’ and endorsing a white Christian Europe. This is a topic recently normalised in mainstream media and publications by neo-conservative commentators like Douglas Murray.

A Lancaster University official at the event was overheard by participants to say ‘they’re not really doing any harm’. We can only hope that this comment was a calculated attempt to defuse the rather odd atmosphere at the wine reception, at which Prof Wodak ‘continued the conversation’, along with several University colleagues, with a small gaggle of testosterone-befuddled fascists, who thought it appropriate to ask/inform her: whether she agreed that European white Christian culture was superior to Islam and other cultures; that it was terrible how Muslims treated women (her response: you know that the extreme right believes women shouldn’t work, right?); what her position was on the supposedly huge criminality of migrants; the fact that all refugees raped women; and the forced castration of immigrants in Israel (a well-worn antisemitic stereotype over many centuries, she responded). They also stated they were in favour of pure-blooded ancestry; one member claimed that he was a national socialist.

If there is anything good that could be said to have come out of the attendance of self-proclaimed ‘saviours of Europe’, it is that they neatly illustrated almost every point that Prof Wodak was making about contemporary extreme right and radical right ideologies. They also managed to get themselves ejected by security staff, apparently for becoming verbally aggressive towards colleagues who continued remonstrating with them after Prof Wodak left the event.

It’s possible that this new student society will just fizzle out through lack of stamina, self-implode through infighting like most far-right groups, or heavens forfend actually use their time at university to learn why their views are so problematic. On the other hand, perhaps the VC was a little premature when he said at Senate some years ago that there was no problem with extremism at Lancaster (see subtext 146).