May 20, 2024 - 5:30pm

→ Ebrahim Raisi conspiracy theories spread online

It’s an ironclad rule of political deaths that when a leader kicks the bucket, conspiracy theories won’t be far behind. The deaths of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in a helicopter crash yesterday are yet to fully be investigated, but that hasn’t stopped accusations of foul play coming out of the woodwork.

Russian political philosopher Aleksandr Dugin was quick out of the blocks this morning, tweeting that the “global West”, having unsuccessfully tried to bump off Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico last week, assassinated Raisi in what was made to look like a “‘natural’ catastrophe”, all to protect Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky.

Meanwhile, Foad Izadi, an analyst speaking on Iranian state television, cited “the presence of Zionists and Mossad” in the region where the crash took place. In less judicious corners of the internet there was even talk of “space lasers”, though Iranian media reports are currently indicating that an aircraft malfunction is to blame. Would that be the same aerospace designer behind Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private plane?

→ Labour storms ahead of disintegrating SNP

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. That seems to be the message that has circulated around Labour HQ after a new poll has found that the party has surged to a 10-point lead over the SNP.

Keir Starmer’s party is now polling at 39%, up five percentage points from last month, with the SNP dropping to 29%. Interestingly, another party that has slowly crept up this month is the Scottish Greens, which climbed three percentage points to 7% — despite the trans furore that engulfed it earlier this month. For all the talk of Tory annihilation, might something similar be happening with the SNP?

→ Are we seeing a vibe shift on campus free speech?

Are we inching closer towards a consensus on campus free speech? A spate of articles from Left-leaning publications suggests that it may no longer be a conservative culture-war issue.

The Washington Post’s editorial board declared this weekend: “the very purpose of the university is to encourage a free exchange of ideas, seek the truth wherever it may lead […] the use of DEI statements has too often resulted in self-censorship and ideological policing.”

Similar lines have come out of the New York Times and Vox recently, and MIT dropped its DEI statement requirement earlier this month. Perhaps the only way to make free speech cool again is for conservatives to stop caring about it.