Sabisky affair is a chilling sign of this government’s direction


The refusal of the prime minister’s office to condemn the views of the recently appointed and now departed adviser Andrew Sabisky is appalling (New adviser to No 10 resigns over race and intelligence controversy, 18 February). No less shocking is the appointment of this far-right extremist in the first place: now we know what Cummings was aiming for in his appeal for “weirdos and misfits” to join his team. “Race science”, its eugenicist parent and its “biology is destiny” kin have been repeatedly and definitively disproved by biologists, geneticists, neuroscientists and psychologists.

There is not a shred of truth in the pseudo-science of race, IQ and genetics. This will not, of course, stand in the way of the extremist ideologues who wish to propagate the lie, sow race hatred and justify ethnic inequalities. That racism is entrenched in this government’s policies we already know from the Windrush scandal and the Home Office’s hostile environment. Now it seems that it is to be embedded as ideological choice and political direction at the heart of government. Sabisky has resigned, but whoever hired him in the first place should be sacked. And our citizens should be warned: this is where the Johnson government is, quite consciously, quite ruthlessly, headed, unless we can stop it.
Chris Sinha
Honorary professor, University of East Anglia

• The resignation of Andrew Sabisky for what he describes as “old stuff online” takes us back to 2013 when a headline in the Observer ran “Gove is urged to reject aide’s ‘chilling views’”. It was Dominic Cummings, special adviser to Michael Gove, whose views on genetic inheritance, laid out in his paper criticising most aspects of the current education system, were apparently not taken seriously by the educational establishment.

There were no apologies then, so why should there be any now? Could it be that special advisers really do believe they are superior?
Emeritus Professor Sally Tomlinson
Marston, Oxford

• What sort of “superforecaster” with Downing Street ambitions doesn’t foresee that his past public comments on race and intelligence will be intensely scrutinised?
Jennifer Rees

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