It seems that markets are good for higher education in England… But none of this applies to academics. They must be prevented at all costs from moving to further their careers, to get salaries that reflect their value or to escape dysfunctional managements… The REF rules must be structured in such a way as to bolster central planning and constrain mobility… This proposal reinforces the worst aspects of the current fashion for command and control management in UK universities. That approach is fatal to innovation. Innovators are unruly and difficult to manage precisely because their work disrupts existing rules, conventions and assumptions. If UK universities start to select staff for deference and compliance with performance management, they must expect to decline, whatever rhetorical hyperbole is produced by politicians and system leaders. The prospect of Brexit is bad enough but the Stern proposals inevitably compound the growing unattractiveness of working in England. Who wants a career where there are no pressures to counter bullying managements and where organizations try to get talent on the cheap?