Jewish students wade into Oxford University row
‘Hand back the Mosley millions’: Jewish students wade into Oxford University row over ‘dirty’ money from fascist leader Oswald Mosley’s family fortune
- Oxford University urged to return funds to Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust
- Charity controlled by Max Mosley, controversial campaigner who died in May
- Row comes amid accusations the sector has lost ‘moral compass’
Oxford University is facing fresh criticism for accepting ‘tainted and dirty’ money after taking £12million from the family fortune of fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley.
Oxford, plus other institutions including Imperial College London and UCL, are being urged to return funds to the Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust.
The charity was controlled by Max Mosley, the controversial privacy campaigner and one-time supporter of his father’s racist policies, who died in May aged 81.
Jewish student groups have said it was ‘inconsiderate and inappropriate’ for Oxford and two of its constituent colleges, St Peter’s and Lady Margaret Hall, to have taken money from the trust.
The row comes amid accusations that the sector has lost its ‘moral compass’. Yesterday Oxford don, Professor Lawrence Goldman, emeritus fellow in history at St Peter’s, told Sky News that universities should not accept ‘tainted and dirty money’.
Oxford has faced multiple funding controversies in recent times, including a botched attempt to rename a physics professorship after Chinese firm Tencent after a donation.
Meanwhile the graduate-only Linacre College wants to rename itself Thao College after being offered £155million by a Vietnamese budget airline tycoon.
Oxford University is facing fresh criticism for accepting ‘tainted and dirty’ money after taking £12million from the family fortune of fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley (pictured)
The university maintains that major donations are properly examined by its ‘Committee to Review Donations’, but there is little publicly available evidence of its work or examples of rejected donations.
Imperial College London has also been under scrutiny over lucrative funding links with China, which critics say leave it at risk of intellectual property theft.
Professor Goldman also said that there was a case for dramatic reform and possibly more state control of universities. He added: ‘Oxford has lots of money and can continue to get money from other sources. I don’t really buy the argument that because you can do some good in Oxford, you should just continue to hold on to what is essentially tainted and dirty money.’
Max Mosley was a former student of Christ Church College. His son Alexander was an alumnus of St Peter’s College (pictured) and died of a heroin overdose in 2009
Max Mosley was a former student of Christ Church College. His son Alexander was an alumnus of St Peter’s College and died of a heroin overdose in 2009. Thanks to the money, there is an Alexander Mosley Professor of Biophysics Fund but plans to name an accommodation block at St Peter’s after him have been halted.
Imperial College London said all gifts ‘are subject to thorough due diligence’.
In 2018 a Daily Mail investigation exposed Max Mosley’s racist past after uncovering a bigoted election pamphlet from 1961.
UCL was contacted for comment. The Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust could not be reached.
Disgrace and hypocrisy of my alma mater: Jewish Chronicle editor STEPHEN POLLARD hits out after it emerged Oxford University accepted ‘tainted’ money from family fortune of fascist leader Oswald Mosley
The day I graduated from Oxford more than 30 years ago was one of the proudest of my life. But when I look at my alma mater today, I feel a growing sense of shame.
The revelation yesterday that the university and two of its colleges have accepted a £12 million bequest, derived from the fortune of the late British fascist Sir Oswald Mosley, should sicken any right-thinking person.
But it is especially offensive to all of us in Britain’s Jewish community.
Mosley was a racist and Hitler-worshipper, rightly interned during the Second World War.
Would Oxford be willing to take money from Stalin’s heirs? From the North Korean regime of Kim Jong-un? Or perhaps a new library endowed by Pol Pot?
The new grants have been made from a trust set up a decade ago by Oswald’s late son, the Formula 1 tycoon Max Mosley, himself a thoroughly questionable character and – thanks to a seminal Daily Mail investigation – a proven former racist.
The new grants have been made from a trust set up a decade ago by Oswald’s late son, the Formula 1 tycoon Max Mosley, himself a thoroughly questionable character and – thanks to a seminal Daily Mail investigation – a proven former racist
Since the trust is founded on Max’s bloated inheritance – the tainted money of his fascist father – it is Oxford’s disgrace to have accepted it.
Oswald Mosley’s racist bigotry is well-known. He spent decades leading one crackpot far-Right sect after another: his pre-war British Union of Fascists became the so-called ‘Union Movement’ throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In their wisdom, the British people were largely repelled by him.
But one particularly rotten apple did not fall very far from the tree.
Max Mosley, who died earlier this year, was very much his father’s son. His dubious sexual proclivities are not our concern here: suffice to say that sadomasochistic orgies, including whipping prostitutes dressed in striped pyjamas while counting in German, are not to everyone’s taste.
Max Mosley, who died earlier this year, was very much his father’s son. His dubious sexual proclivities are not our concern here
More important are his politics. And here, in his later years and like many genuine fascists, Max Mosley poured his fortune into trying to muzzle the free Press while also trying to obscure his racist past.
In the end, not even he could hide the fact that, during the 1960s, he was an active supporter of his father’s movement.
On one march through a Jewish district of east London in 1962, Max Mosley went shoulder to shoulder with his father’s acolytes as they chanted: ‘Jews out!’
He then fought Jewish protesters, some of whom were veterans of the Second World War. One, whom the Mail spoke to in the course of its investigation, had lost relatives in Auschwitz.
In 2018, the Mail revealed the sordid details of Max Mosley’s racist history, including a leaflet he produced for a Manchester by-election in 1961, claiming that ‘coloured immigrants’ were spreading tuberculosis, venereal disease and leprosy, and threatening children’s health.
To his dying day, he refused to apologise for this appalling tract.
Today, Oxford University insists that it has taken ‘legal, ethical and reputational issues into consideration’ when accepting the donation from the Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust, named after Max Mosley’s son who died of a heroin overdose in 2009.
But it cannot have done so with the necessary rigour. For one thing, the Mosley grant will be used to set up the Alexander Mosley Professor of Biophysics Fund.
I’ll say it again: the Mosleys supported Hitler, who murdered six million Jews – among them members of my own family.
Now Jewish students at Oxford will be forced to see the Mosley name every day, woven into the fabric of the university.
What are the ‘ethics’ of that?
Yet perhaps even worse than taking the money – and don’t forget, Oxford and its colleges have a combined endowment of over £6billion, so they are hardly struggling – is the context.
For several long, exhausting years, Oxford has surrendered prostrate before the frenzied demands of a narrow band of woke students.
Curriculums have been ‘decolonised’ amid tortured debates about tearing down statues of long-dead figures such as the Victorian mining magnate Cecil Rhodes.
Peter Conrad, an internationally respected English don, bemoaned recently how ‘the academic study of literature’ has been ‘reduced … to an annexe of identity politics’, while calls have been made for buildings associated – however peripherally – with the slave trade to be renamed.
Oswald Mosley’s racist bigotry is well-known. He spent decades leading one crackpot far-Right sect after another: his pre-war British Union of Fascists became the so-called ‘Union Movement’ throughout the 1950s and 1960s
Sir Oswald Mosley, founder and leader of the British Union of Fascists and the Blackshirts, inspects the womens+ sections before a march on Victoria Embankment
But unlike Rhodes and the Atlantic slave trade, Oswald and Max Mosley are not figures from a distant past.
There are people alive today who bravely stood up to Oswald Mosley’s blackshirts during the 1930s.
I was a child at the time Max Mosley was viciously campaigning for his father’s Jew- hating Union Movement.
To their credit several leading Oxford academics have protested at the donation and are urging students to do the same.
Indeed, where are those oh so woke students now, demanding that ‘Mosley Must Fall’?
Their hypocrisy and that of the university is staggering.
And, of course, Oxford has form in this area.
Only last week we read how one Oxford college has accepted an eye-watering £155million from a self-made Vietnamese billionairess airline tycoon, with alleged links to that country’s tough communist regime, and who has been fined several times for using semi-naked stewardesses to promote her flights.
The college, Linacre, is even renaming itself in her honour. Such double standards are nauseating.
For years, I have made a monthly donation to my old college. With a heavy heart, I’m now going to think very carefully about whether I keep doing so.
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