On the sorry state of freedom of speech across UK university populations, and the worrying tendency (I’m not yet sure ‘trend’ would be appropriate) of censoring – whence the neologism ‘no-platforming’ – those with whose views students disagree.
In the words of Noam Chomsky, ‘If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all’.
Well, the no-platforming policy of British students continues apace. This time it involves rescinding a speaking invitation to the Donald Trump of England—London mayor Boris Johnson (they’re both clowns, but Johnson’s hair is marginally better). Johnson was set to take part in debates at King’s College London about whether Britain should dissociate itself from the EU. Writing in The Sun about how leaving the EU would solidify Britain’s ties to the U.S., he had said this about President Obama:
Something mysterious happened when Barack Obama entered the Oval Office in 2009.
Something vanished from that room, and no one could quite explain why.
It was a bust of Winston Churchill – the great British war time leader. It was a fine goggle-eyed object, done by the brilliant sculptor Jacob Epstein, and it had sat there for almost ten years.
But on day one of the Obama administration it was returned, without ceremony, to the…
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