Trigger warning: students try to ban free-speech society

4 February 2016

9:30 AM

4 February 2016

9:30 AM

Free speech isn’t what it used to be. From safe spaces to trigger warnings, university campuses have been hit particularly hard by today’s trend for increased censorship. Now these Stepford students have a new target in their sights: free speech societies.

A student at the London School of Economics has submitted a motion to ban the university’s free-speech society. While the LSESU Free Speech Society was set up in protest of the Student Union ‘banning individual opinions’, they have now come under fire for not ‘liking a perceived focus on women and minorities’. Writing for the student paper, a student by the name of Maurice Banerjee Palmer says he filed the motion because he thinks the members unfairly play the victim.

Given that the university has already banned certain papers and songs on campus, Mr S hopes that they will draw a line at banning the anti-ban society.

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Show comments
  • Daidragon

    One student wrote a letter. Any chance of some serious political journalism rather than this hysterical nit picking?

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    But then the Spectator does delete or put on a watch list, comments on the subject of free speech. You think you have a free press Britisher pals? Dream on.

  • Hippograd

    The solution is simple: Open the borders to the Third World! Liberty is indivisible and without free movement we will never have free speech.

  • TrulyDisqusted

    Trigger Warnings?

    I’d rather sponsor the shooter.

  • Tony

    They are so precious aren’t they.

  • CheshireRed

    This article definitely doesn’t subscribe to the principles of free speech. I haven’t paid and can’t read it.

    • rtj1211

      Free speech grants all the right to express their views, so long as they fall within the laws of the land.

      It doesn’t say that everyone has the right to listen to those views.

    • King Zog

      By that definition anything I say in my house is not free speech, since you haven’t paid for a taxi to come and hear me say it. I mean, you’re free to do so, if you like. Or drive. I’m not giving you petrol money, though.

  • chatnoir50

    This has got to be a send up … No?

    • King Zog

      What, you mean the article, or the content? If you mean the latter – indeed, sadly, no.

  • Liberanos

    If one were invited to address one of the student bodies of these universities of the morally blind, and made the completely reasonable and true comment that our safety in this country was entirely dependent on devout muslims not obeying the koran, it’s a fair bet that the wailing would drown any attempt at sensible rebuttal.

  • Michael H Kenyon

    In the modern day, grievance is an adaptive strategy. Those who don’t use this strategy lose out of the differential advantage it provides. Thank identity politics and victim-status signalling. Can’t see it lasting much longer though – don’t they know there’s a war on?

  • Wolfgang Amadeus

    Interesting how the term “troll” has shifted from signifying an “online harasser” to simply “a person who disagrees with my views” … making the world a safe place, one comment at a time.

    • rtj1211

      I”m afraid James Delingpole triggered that shift by saying that I was a ‘troll’. I was one of the few people to stand up to him through his blogs and, horror of horrors, occasionally mock him.

      I actually agree with him about quite a few things, but disagree about others.

      He spends most of his time insulting all he disagrees with. Liberal Democrats, Socialists, anti-hunt protestors etc etc etc.

      Quite how he can complain at others teasing him, taunting him and mocking him is beyond me.

      But there we are……

      • disruptivethoughts

        Delingpole is just another one of the Spectator’s shock jocks. Other than the occasional insight into the baffling madness that is the world of UKIP, he doesn’t really tell very much we didn’t already know.

        Rod Liddle is more or less in the same category, but he shocks us from the left instead.

        All very entertaining, mind you.

  • Nick

    When I attended college aged 16-18 years in the 1970s,I did things like swopping spit with the girls,going to the college disco,trying to get into the local pub,wear a stupidly long scarf and a long coat.

    Not once did I think about safe spaces,triggers,breast feeding or the statue of some bloke that I’d never heard of.

    Amazingly to me and many others,I passed all four end of course exams,was awarded 4 City & Guilds Certificates and have been employed ever since.

    Why can’t these spoilt brats do the same?

    And why are they SO FLIPPING SERIOUS about everything? Get a life you boring farts.

    • Badger

      If you were stupid enough to feel offended and oppressed about absolutely everything all day and night you’d be serious too.
      It’s a serious business being a full time, professional grievance monger.

    • colchar

      Many do, it is just that those who do not do those things find other things to do and tend to scream the loudest.

    • Maureen Fisher

      They will probably be living at home with Mummy well into their forties as the real world will be too horrid for them.

      • rtj1211

        I guarantee you 100% that I could make the world too horrid for you. It’s all a question of degree. You just think you are superior because you happen to have a gene pool which makes the world as is somewhat bearable. It’s a matter of simplicity to make it entirely unbearable for you and anyone else. It just requires the right triggers, the right pressures and the right level of venality.

    • rtj1211

      They do have discos at University too, you know. It’s called ‘Freshers’ week’ in the first week and ‘the Friday night disco’ the rest of the year. Large numbers of short-term affairs start at college discos, you know.

      You really must learn to distinguish between what the Press talks about and what goes on in the real world.

      The majority of University students study hard, pass their exams and get jobs as a result. When I was at University, those studying medicine, engineering or science were in effect working a 6 day week, with official course work 9 – 5 four days a week and 9 -1 two days a week. Then we had tutorials, problems to solve, essays to write and the like. In my final year, I was probably doing a 60 – 70 hr week. So were most of my classmates.

      Even back then, you had your CND activists going up to Molesworth and Greenham Common. You had your lefties barracking Michael Heseltine, the South African Ambassador etc etc. You had drunken hooray henrys being rude to visiting speakers. You had the NUS (which almost none of us joined).

      The world as it is is not that which is painted by the media. They just draw a few pictures to sell newspapers, advertising etc.

      • Nick

        Yes much of what you say is true.But what about the university recruiting sergeants for ISIS and hard line islam?

        I didn’t see any of them in the 70s.

        What about the universities that enforce separate seating areas for male and female students?

        I didn’t see any of that in the 70s.

        What about students banning white people from meetings etc.

        I didn’t see any of that in the 70s.

  • Kevin T

    I don’t entirely blame 18 and 19 year olds for being stupid and fanatical, particularly given the 12 years plus of brainwashing they have just had in the NUT-controlled school system. (The Tories’ refusal to deal with this marks the low point of the party’s existence).

    I do however blame the cowards and fellow travellers in the university faculties for indulging them and not simply telling them “No”.

    • Ralph

      If students can’t think for themselves they should be doing something else other than going to university.

      • rtj1211

        I don’t know why you think that thinking for yourself is something employers seek. They all say they do, but in the real world, I’ve never found an employer that wanted someone capable of thinking for themselves. They want people who don’t make waves, do as they are told and keep their head down if others make waves.

        Employers like hiring young people because they can ‘mould them’. The more you can think for yourself, the less mouldable you are. You see through the brainwashing to the nub of things and are thus marked down as a ‘troublemaker’.

        Working class-made good bosses have the greatest difficulty in my experience with middle class thinkers. They want an empire and lots of money and it’s easier to get that without anyone who can challenge your views.

        My view is University is about indoctrinating yourself in the bullshit mantras of the age, getting into bed with as many others as you want to and are able to and making the transition from living at home to running an independent life.

        None of that requires independent thinking per se. You may or may not pull more women thinking independently (as long as you don’t challenge the ‘group think’ of the ‘leaders’ too much), but learning how to fawn before potential employers certainly doesn’t. It requires submitting to a group ethos designed by others. Of course, you can choose independently to submit to it, but usually the more capable you are of independent thought, the less easy it becomes to regress into obedient childishness….

        Independent thought is only for those intending running their own businesses, being senior leaders and looking to change the world. That’s a relatively small percentage of the population to be honest.

    • robertsonjames

      Most of us, I’m afraid, are intimidated, which is, of course, an important aim of the activists. Frightening people into not opposing them, so that they can then dominate the arguments in the public sphere, is a feature of their campaign, not a bug.

      You know the sort of thing. You say something the leftie activists don’t like in a lecture or in a classroom and they make a formal complaint about you for “hate crime” or causing “offence”. The craven management take this sort of thing very seriously indeed and launch an investigation. You are required to defend yourself on pain of dismissal. While this is going on you are subjected to considerable personal stress, quite possibly without the support of your union which has a poor record of defending its members in these sorts of cases. You may well also face a campaign of harassment involving demonstrations against you and calls for boycotts of your work. The media may well also develop an unhealthy interest in you if the issue gets publicity. And, by the way, if the inquisition then ends with dismissal with good cause by your employer you will not only lose your livelihood but also your rights to the pension you’ve been building since you were 25.

      It’s easy enough egging-on university faculty to take a stand against these verminous fanatics but in such a poisonous and frightening atmosphere where they hold all the cards and can make your life a misery and where the senior officers of the institution see nailing you as much the simpler and more painless solution to their little local difficulty there are very few 50-something academics indeed who are going to stick their heads above the parapet, whatever their private views about it.