All posts tagged: right wing

Mobs on the Menu: Restaurateurs and the Culture War

Last month, the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia attracted international attention when the owner turned away White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her family. The episode shocked many Americans, especially Donald Trump supporters. But in this era of aggressive ideological mobbing, such episodes have become common—even if most of the victims are not nearly as famous as the press secretary. A hip bar in the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles has become the latest business caught up in this phenomenon. And unlike the owner of the Red Hen, the operators of The Griffin found themselves accused of bias by critics on both sides of the political spectrum. Last weekend, The Griffin was forced to shut down when a group of social media-mobilized activists swarmed the bar upon hearing news of a meet-up by Trump supporters in ‘MAGA’—Make America Great Again—hats. For days afterward, activists from both ideological camps followed up by filling the web with negative reviews and hateful comments. A visit to the business’s Yelp page shows a banner indicating the …

“It Has Come to My Attention…”  How Institutional Complaints Procedures are Being Weaponized

In 2005 Charles Murray published a paper entitled ‘How to Accuse the Other Guy of Lying with Statistics’. It summarised methods that social scientists in the USA use to discredit academics whose findings are inconvenient for progressive ideology. Smoke-making, goal post-shifting, nit-picking, the Big Lie – Dr Murray’s paper is stuffed with useful tactics. And judging from their attacks on me over the last couple of years, the left-wing of the UK’s social science community have given it a careful read. Foremost amongst them is Jonathan Portes, whose latest broadside appeared recently in the venerable leftist magazine, the New Statesman.  My cardinal sin was to publish a book three years ago called The Welfare Trait that summarised data linking personality and welfare dependency. Positing such links is blasphemy to those on the left who believe that life outcomes are solely influenced by structural rather than individual factors. And so my discrediting began. In public it took the form of webpages dedicated to detailing my thought-crimes, abusive messages on social media and articles in the left-wing press, …