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Conservatives take aim at cancel culture and ‘woke aggression’

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cancel culture

Conservatives take aim at cancel culture and ‘woke aggression’

The Tory party conference has opened with a battle cry against “woke aggression”, with cabinet ministers decrying “cancel culture” and expected to rail against leftwing bias at the BBC.

Oliver Dowden, the new Conservative party co-chair, set the tone for the conference as he hit out at people who see Britain as “dominated by privilege and oppression that should view its values and history with shame”.

He criticised cancel culture, which he described as “bullying and haranguing of individuals” for their views, and claimed Labour “has got woke running through it like a stick of Brighton rock”.

“Anyone who dares resist this argument – anyone who objects to this woke aggression – is branded as instigating culture wars,” he said during a speech in Manchester. He voiced support for Kemi Badenoch, the minister who is seen as “anti-woke” and has spoken out against schools supporting “the anti-capitalist Black Lives Matter group” or uncritically teaching “political race theory”.

Dowden’s words suggest the Conservatives are trying to draw a dividing line between themselves and Labour before the next election by attempting to associate the opposition party with so-called woke issues and identity politics.

In a sign that Dowden, formerly the culture secretary, is expected to be an anti-woke attack dog in his new role as chair, he told members: “That is why we must be robust in empowering [institutions] to stand up to this bullying. To defend the interests of taxpayers who ultimately fund them. And to keep our national heroes like Nelson, Gladstone and Churchill in the places of honour they deserve.”

The same theme of defending institutions and sectors against leftwing criticism ran through other speeches and fringe events. Nadine Dorries, the new culture secretary, is expected to warn against leftwing bias at the BBC and tell the broadcaster “what is expected of it if it wants to keep the licence fee”.

The new foreign secretary, Liz Truss, one of the most popular cabinet ministers, said the Conservative party had to “reject the zero-sum game of identity politics, we reject the illiberalism of cancel culture, and we reject the soft bigotry of low expectations that holds so many people back”.

Speaking at a fringe meeting about her role as women and equalities minister, Truss said there should not be a separate cabinet role for that function. “I fundamentally don’t agree with identity politics,” she told the Telegraph event.

“I don’t agree with the idea that you should have different policies for women or men. What I think is you should make sure your policies are accessible to everybody, so you should be, in the criminal justice system, making sure women are being treated fairly, gay people are being treated fairly, black people are being treated fairly,” she said.

“If you have a separate women’s ministry, you’re looking at people through the lens of being women. The thing I care about … is your ideas, your talent, your work ethic. I don’t care whether you’re a woman or a man, and that’s the approach I take.”

Truss and Dowden raised the case of the Labour MP Rosie Duffield, who after being accused by party activists of transphobia said she was concerned about attending the Labour conference.

“She is right that women have cervixes, but more than that, she’s also right to be able to express her view, and I’m a huge believer in free speech,” Truss said. “And I think when we try and sort of brush things under the carpet and can’t have an honest, honest and sensible debate, I think that’s a huge problem for British politics.”

Another Tory MP, Chris Loder, spoke out against what he saw as people “pushing a vegetarian or vegan agenda who think it better to ship avocados 5,000 miles for breakfast rather than to have milk or beef from the farm around the corner”. Delegates at a Young Conservative fringe made speeches decrying “wokeism in our universities”.

However, Frank Luntz, the rightwing US pollster, had a warning for Tories at another fringe event, saying they would regret engaging in culture wars. “I’m scared to death of woke. But not just of woke coming to the UK the way that it’s come to America, because it’s destroying our universities, media, entertainment and all the things that have an impact on how we think. But I’m also afraid of how you all use it,” he said.

“Because you can win an election with it, I promise you. If you want to run a woke campaign, the public will be on your side. But you will destroy your country in the process … I cannot stand what’s going on in academia in this country right now, but don’t play into it, because you’ll regret it in the end.”

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Reps To Investigate Subsidy Regime From 2017 To 2021

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Reps To Investigate Subsidy Regime From 2017 To 2021

The House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the petroleum products subsidy regime from 2017 to 2021.

The resolution followed a motion by Honourable Sergius Ogun who stated that component costs in the petroleum products subsidy value chain claimed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is highly over-bloated while the transfer pump price per litre, used by the NNPC in relation to Petroleum Pipeline Marketing Company (PPMC), is underquoted.

The lawmaker described this as fraudulent while also expressing worry that the subsidy regime has been used by the NNPC and other critical stakeholders to subvert the nation’s crude oil revenue to the tune of over $10 billion.

The committee is to report back to the House within eight weeks for further legislative action.

Wednesday’s move by the lawmaker came on the same day that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mele Kyari ruled out the possibility of a subsidy for diesel.

He made the comments while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Downstream, alongside the CEO of Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed, among others.

“In our country today, we do not produce AGO and we regret that our refineries are not working,” he said. “Are we doing anything about it? Yes. I have heard the honourable members lamenting; yes, they (the refineries) are not working.

“This is the truth. I don’t want to bore you with why they are not working, but they are not working; I admit they are not working but we regret it. I will invite this committee at your convenience to join us to see how much work we have done to get them back to work, but they will not come back tomorrow.

“They will not! You cannot start it tomorrow. We regret this; we regret this situation, and we are doing everything possible. As a matter of fact, we have decided to do a quick fix for the Warri refinery. The reason is very simple: we don’t even want to go the long route of doing comprehensive turnaround maintenance because we are concerned.”

 

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2023: Presidency Must Return To Southern Nigeria, Fayose Insists

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2023: Presidency Must Return To Southern Nigeria, Fayose Insists

A former governor of Ekiti State Ayodele Fayose has insisted that the southern part of Nigeria must produce the country’s president in 2023.

Fayose, a two-time governor under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said this in a series of tweets on his official handle on Wednesday, pinning his argument on the party’s constitution.

“The PDP Constitution provides for a rotational Presidency. Section 3(c) provides that the Party shall pursue its aims & objectives by “adhering to the policy of the rotation & zoning of Party & Public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice, and fairness’,” Fayose maintained.

“The current President of Nigeria is a 2-term Northern Presidency, thus implying that it MUST be a Southern Presidency in 2023 or NOTHING. Awa ‘South’ lo kan’. Nigerians should await details soon.”

Fayose, who contested the PDP presidential primary, lost out to former Vice President Atiku Abukar in the exercise held earlier this month.

He has been one of the strong advocates for a power shift to southern Nigeria despite the party Atiku from the northern region, as the party’s flagbearer.

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, who also lost in the exercise, had campaigned, among others, based on a power shift to the south.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), however, is fielding a southerner – Bola Tinubu – as its presidential candidate to honour the power-sharing deal called zoning between the north and south.

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Senate confirms Buhari’s ministerial nominees

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Senate confirms Buhari’s ministerial nominees

The senate has confirmed seven persons nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari for ministerial positions.

The upper legislative chamber confirmed the nominees on Wednesday after they were screened by the “committee of the whole” chaired by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

The ministers-designate will replace those who resigned to pursue political bids.

Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Godswill Akpabio and Emeka Nwajiuba are some of the ministers who resigned to pursue presidential bids.

The ministers confirmed on Wednesday are Henry Ikoh (Abia), Umana Okon Umana (Akwa Ibom), Ekuma Joseph (Ebonyi), Goodluck Nana Obia (Imo), Umar Ibrahim Yakub (Kano), Ademola Adewole Adegorioye (Ondo), and Odo Udi (Rivers).

During screening, Ikoh said as a way of tackling employment in the country, “technical” graduates can be job creators.

“On the unemployment situation, we need more technical graduates to do most of the things we are doing right now. If you are a technical graduate, you can employ yourself and employ others,” he said.

On his part, Umana said the country could boost its foreign exchange earnings with its free trade zones.

“On the issue of how to boost foreign exchange, I want to say that even the free zones platform is a veritable platform for this,” he said.

“The free zone is a platform that can drive production because when you produce for export, you earn foreign exchange.”

Nakama said the federal government must be ready to make some compromise to end the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

“On tackling the issue of ASUU, my answer is that there will be leave of compromise. Government and ASUU will have to come to a compromise and through this, we will able to solve these incessant strikes once and for all,” he said.

The remaining four nominees were asked to “take a bow and go” on the grounds of their experience.

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