Death of Free Speech in Universities

By |2019-09-30T14:57:56+00:00September 27th, 2019|Comment|

The following is an excerpt of an article by Darcy Clements. This features in our Conservative’s Guide to University Special Issue, available from the 15th October.

Find out how to get your own copy of the issue here.

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I have long believed, and indeed argued, that the majority of modern liberal democracies, this country included, have gone down an unsalvageable path of censorship and suppression, one which has already – and will continue to have – extreme and irreparable consequences.

Universities are no exception to this movement. Indeed, one could argue, as I would, that our universities are one of the principal driving forces of this movement. I would, in fact, go further still and argue that it is the particular censorship of traditional or conservative thought, generally on social and moral issues, that is most prominent in both society and our educational institutions.

The phrase ‘it’s more difficult to come out as conservative at university than it is to come out as gay’ is one that I am certain the majority of readers will have heard. This is undoubtedly true and is becoming more and more so with each passing year. This applies even more strictly to social conservatives rather than the actually neo-liberal type who are usually associated with conservatism.

Designed to be beacons of free thought and intellectual stimulation, our universities have become little more than breeding grounds for socially liberal bigots who allow no opinion to be expressed that doesn’t align with their own intolerably narrow world view. It isn’t easy to map exactly quite how British universities, many of which are world leading in quality of research and thought, have come to be in this sorry state. It is undeniable, however, that they have reached this point.

Our universities, once fierce protectors of originality of thought, freedom of sometimes controversial expression and wide-ranging debate have become a mere shadow of their former selves in this respect. The issue for those who seek to prevent this fall in standards is that the true enemy is the enemy within rather than any external force; namely the politically correct lobby that rejects any argument that isn’t fundamentally socially liberal.

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Read the rest of this article in the print issue, information on which can be found HERE.

Photo by wiredforlego on Flickr.

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