Tory peer: Give students money if they can prove they aren't woke

Lord Wei of Shoreditch said students could see their debt paid off depending on their level of wokeness. (UK Parliament)

A Conservative peer has suggested that financial support for students and graduates should be linked to how "woke" they are to encourage them to vote Tory.

In an essay outlining how Conservatives could appeal to new voters to win the next election, Lord Wei of Shoreditch laid out a series of proposals aimed at women, students, car owners, millennials and low-income men.

In order to appeal to a younger demographic, Lord Wei said students could take "national tests" in which they are tested for "tolerance of other viewpoints, lateral thinking, and critical thinking".

"Any support given must be linked with tackling the high levels of woke indoctrination they face at university," Wei wrote on the ConservativeHome website.

"One approach might be to offer debt relief or forgiveness as prizes for those students and graduates who can pass national tests in which they achieve the highest scores for tolerance of other viewpoints, lateral thinking, and critical thinking."

Wei even suggested universities could even have their funding increase if they demonstrated they were not woke.

Read more: Teachers' strike: When could they walk out and will schools be shut?

"Students could have their debts paid off based on their ranking in such awards, both at the level of the university and nationally, and institutions could themselves have their funding increased or decreased based on how many prize winners they have as students or alumni (with funds saved from institutions shut or trimmed down recycled into the funding of more prizes)," he said.

Watch: What does woke mean?

Lord Wei's other proposals included "capping the ability of councils and mayors to milk them financially through low emissions charging schemes" to target car owners.

He said the "biggest issue" facing women was the "erosion of their rights by the introduction of pro trans-legislation", saying Tories should make a "clear offer to protect the rights of women in places they consider to be important such as in the domains of sport, changing rooms and public loos".

For low-income men, a special scheme that provides "accommodation for such workers in empty shops and offices" could be an appealing prospect.

Sam Freedman, a senior fellow at the Institute for Government (IFG) and former senior adviser to Michael Gove when he served as education secretary described the suggestion of monetising anti-woke sentiment as "ludicrous".

"This is obviously ludicrous but more broadly it's amazing the extent to which they think their problem with young people is "indoctrination" rather than them reacting to the context of the country in which they are living," said Freedman.

"I guess it's easier to blame indoctrination than acknowledge that younger people have been absolutely screwed by government policy.

Read more: Teachers strike: Education secretary 'can't guarantee' schools will remain open

"But we should take the opportunity to dwell on the idea that differential tax rates for giving acceptable answers to a state mandated test would reduce indoctrination. Truly galaxy brain."

Dr Rohit K Dasgupta, senior lecturer in cultural industries at the University of Glasgow, said this is "why we need better policy education".

"This is literally a Tory peer whose policy to win votes is to offer debt relief to graduates who can demonstrate they are ‘anti woke’," said Dasgupta.

"This legislator sits in our parliament & votes on laws that impact us."

Wei is a former government adviser and a founding member of the charity Teach First - which seeks to address educational disadvantage in England and Wales.

The Lord also formerly served as a chairman of Conservative Friends of the Chinese, and is a former fellow of Young Foundation.

The term "woke" is a term that originates from African American vernacular, and is used colloquially to describe someone who is aware and alert to racism and injustice.

However, in recent years, the word has been used as a pejorative term, often by those who are right-wing, to describe progressive or liberal causes and campaigns.