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DAVID KURTEN: Universities Must Uphold Free Speech
David Kurten, UKIP London Assembly member attacks the climate of fear in our universities caused by the deliberate destruction of freedom of speech by far left activists who are trying to intimidate any who disagree with their agenda of subservience and cultural warfare.
The UK is a free country because there is freedom of speech, thought, conscience and belief, but these freedoms are under attack. Action needs to be taken to ensure that Universities and Students’ Unions allow opinions to be heard which may be controversial. Universities should be places where students learn how to think. Many have instead become places where students are programmed with politically correct groupthink, where deviation from the politically correct narrative is a punishable offence.”
Bristol University Students Union’s recent decision to ban feminists who question the female status of ‘trans-women’- people with male anatomy and chromosomes who identify as women – is the latest example of an erosion of free speech and should be reversed. Speakers such as Germaine Greer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Nigel Farage have been ‘no platformed’ at Universities in recent years, and students are the poorer for not being allowed to hear these speakers and form their own opinions and decisions about the ideas they espouse.
University students are adults: if they can’t listen to an opinion they don’t agree with without needing to go to their safe space, then they shouldn’t be at University. Nobody is going to agree with every opinion they hear, but students should not be mollycoddled. They do not need to be protected from being offended. This is particularly true for most visiting speakers: students normally have a choice as to whether they go to listen to them or not.
There is no reason to ‘no platform’ a visiting speaker unless they are inciting violence. If freedom of speech is eroded, either actively or passively, then we replace it with totalitarianism, where everybody is required to have the same opinion and thoughts.