Unherd reports the UK Government saying:
If universities don’t take action, the government will. If necessary, I’ll look at changing the underpinning legal framework, perhaps to clarify the duties of students’ unions or strengthen free speech rights. I don’t take such changes lightly, but I believe we have a responsibility to do whatever necessary to defend this right.
National should promise to do the same here, if elected.
But the scale of the challenge is huge:
For years, many universities have either indulged or tacitly approved of radical activists who shut down controversial speakers around no-go issues of race, gender and sexuality. The range of subjects which run afoul of these sacred subjects has expanded as the meaning of terms like racism, sexism, transphobia and harm has undergone what psychologist Nick Haslam terms ‘concept creep’ to include innocuous behaviour like wearing sombreros.
Safety is the term now used to demand censorship of everything.
No-platformings are relatively uncommon, but represent the tip of a deeper, growing problem. Activists are launching internal investigations against academics they disagree with, infiltrating university committees, drafting expansive equality and diversity policies, and skewing hiring, promotion and curriculum content. The academic mainstream fears them. An ideologically monocultural, anti-conservative climate is created in the social sciences and humanities which narrows viewpoint diversity, reducing research quality and chilling debates in class. No wonder we found that fewer than 4 in 10 Leave-supporting students felt comfortable expressing this view in the classroom.
It would be interesting to survey students here and find out if they feel comfortable expressing their views in university classrooms?