University vs State – Neither Bastions of Free Speech

Universities could face fines over ‘no-platforming’

Only in a mindset as muddled as those in the political, chattering class world could the threat of paternalistic fines be seen as some great way of resolving the need to have free speech on all UK university campuses.

That this only happens over the Christmas period, always a quiet time for “news” highlights the general contempt for this issue held by both the government of our time and universities themselves.

That UK universities (following similar moronic practices in the USA and Canada) have allowed this to fester (since 1974 but it’s hit full swing in the past 5 years) and allowed the National Union of Students to pander to the small but vocal whingers is no small surprise given the general direction of state education from pre-school and general misplaced anti-bullying drives that only ever seek to confuse young minds rather than just letting kids grow up and, more importantly, leaving the education of social issues to children’s parents and simply letting institutes of education focus on standard education areas.

Then again, as degrees become devalued because of a simple dilution of the talent pool, a drive to make “50% of kids enter university” and some absolute pointless, dog-shit degrees that, because most are now charged for graduate education seems to instil in minds that cost = value no matter what the subject, it is hardly surprising that the generation known as Millennials and the subsequent one are likely to need constant “protection” from the harsh realities of life.

This, as far as I am concerned, it attributable to the need to bubble children’s learning from the very beginning and make sure every facet of it is matched by an equivalent curriculum.

Still, so long as no tears are shed because of rude words, or different thoughts.

 

Thanks for reading.

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#MeToo – Poisoning the Well

Nearly two month ago I wrote a piece about the random hysteria and fall-out from the Harvey Weinstein case, in which I made a passing comment about the Orwellian nature of politicians wanting to “raise the conviction rate” for sex crimes.

This week there was this story about Metropolitan Police review of rape cases evidence in which at least 30 rape cases will be reviewed, it is implied because of the way evidence was handled in each of these cases.

Commentators have been putting forward their reasonings for these failings and the above BBC link sums it up perfectly:

Undoubtedly the squeeze on resources, with cuts in the Crown Prosecution Service and policing and a national shortage of detectives, together with the increased caseload for sexual offences units, have played their part.

An inspection report this year also pinpointed inadequacies in training and supervision.

Some see the problems as a direct result of a misplaced culture of “believing” the victim, where police don’t look for or withhold contradictory evidence – but that’s an assertion for the attorney general’s inquiry to examine.

It other words, its the governments fault for a lack of funding, training, etc. but it is dubious whether we’ve now put too much emphasis on securing convictions whatever the cost.

It is very sad that it has come to this.  It strikes right at the very heart of a legal system that is built on innocence until proven guilty and in all these scenarios both the accuser and the accused will end up have a diminished amount of faith in the legal system and the pursuit of having a fair trial.

In other Orwellian fall-0ut from the #MeToo histrionics, if it wasn’t enough to send Kevin Spacey down the memory hole for simply being accused of improper conduct, it is now Matt Damon’s turn, for merely speaking, quite clearly and precisely about his views on conflation of behaviour with actual rapes and sexual assaults, to have his roles in current and future films considered ripe for exorcising from history.

This is a troubling path we are travelling down and precedents are being set at a knee-jerking rate because you can’t be seen to hold even a slight difference of opinion from the new orthodoxy.

Matthew Hopkins would be proud, confused but proud.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

The Continuing Curious Case of Wilfrid Laurier University and Lindsay Shepherd

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece of the rather heinous treatment of a student teacher by a Canadian University for daring to have an open discussion about gender pro-nouns, worst of all playing a video by academic Jordan Peterson.

She was hauled before a private tribunal and if it wasn’t for the fact that she recorded the inquisition she was subjected to then she could have quite easily lost or job or have been vilified for this act when needing references for future employment.

The short of this whole tribunal against her was the there was a complaint(s) made against her, of which she was not allowed to know who or indeed the content of the complaint.

It is now being reported that no evidence of any formal complaint was actually made against Ms Shepherd.

At this present moment in time it would seem that those with a vested interest in diversity and equity, at least of specific thought, would be the ones doing the bullying.

In related UK news an Oxford teacher investigated for ‘misgendering’ to sue school – the teacher in question is pushing his “religious beliefs” as a mode of defence, which in some cases it would be.  Personally speaking, he just misspoke and it is a school dithering about being named and shamed and losing funding, that is causing this needless shit storm.

It seems we expect schools to teach everything to kids these days, except common sense.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Schadenfreude vs Principles

Following the continued fall out from the accusations against Harvey Weinstein and the subsequent #MeToo fire-storm that followed I wrote a piece which was basically looking at all these accusations and stories (stories in the generic sense, not in the “fiction” way) in a cold, detached and rational way that would put the rule of law and the adage of innocent until proven guilty above believe wholesale any claims made by anyone against anyone else.

I held of making this specific piece all 2 of you are reading now after serial Trump-baiter and one trick pony actor George Takei had allegations of groping levelled against him.

I held off again when the most snobby of all famous man-hating virtue-signallers Lena Dunham defended one of her shows writers after allegations were made against him.

Then I wrote a piece about something called “hipster racism” a wonderful bit of made up phrasing I’d only become aware of after this was what Dunham was also accused of being.

But I could no longer hold back when, earlier this week, Harry Potter author Joanne Rowling, defended the casting of alleged wife beater Johnny Depp in another of her insipid brain fluff movies, this after “months of silence” on the issue following the release of the original Fantastic Beasts movie.

The fact of the matter is that I am ideologically at odds with the roles that Takei, to a lesser extent, but mainly Dunham and Rowling have both ascended to but also had placed on them thanks to the power of social media and the giant echo-chamber witch-hunting that can arise mainly on twitter

These 3 have constantly stirred up discontent on twitter, be it on purpose or just lending weight to certain hysteria, for numerous amount of right-on and horrible illiberal liberal causes that always attack at the cores of free speech.

But this should not detract from the fact that, in Takei’s case he is indeed innocent until proven guilty and in the other two cases, they themselves are holding this principle to the letter when it comes to things close to them.

Granted their stances are massively hypocritical given some of the previous things they have said but this doesn’t change the fact that they are well within their rights to defend people because they are directly linked to them.

It is amusing watching this whole sorry mess of liberal pie eat itself and the backlash, especially against Rowling has been amusing and caused warm feelings of Schadenfreude to coarse through my veins but it isn’t really personally, it is just it it a magnificent way of holding a mirror up to the fetid, festering, moral Gordian knots that a certain type of persons love to tie themselves up in.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Lindsay Shepherd and the Mis-Education of Universities

This news probably won’t be that big here in the UK but it is a fine example of the backwards step the universities are taking in educating what are supposed to be future generations of free thinking, highly educated people (well, those who aren’t doing media degrees).

In a communications class (no, I don’t know what that is), a graduate teacher played a clip by a renowned lecturer and current lightning rod of the transgender debate, Jordan Peterson, in order to explore and debate the use of pronouns; he, she, they, it, ze, zer and a whole new range of other made up words that look like someone who was particularly poor at Scrabble or Countdown would offer as an answer.

A complaint (confidentially of course) was made against her and she was brought into a disciplinary meeting to discuss what was said and how they could vet her lesson plans in the future.

This seemed to stem from the disciplinary panel having little faith in the ability of their students (all 18+, so adults) to process critically anything that they might disagree with.

Lucky the teacher in question, Lindsay Shepherd, had the forethought to record the meeting on her phone, which has since been “leaked” and it offers not only a glimpse of what a cool, collected and calm person Shepherd is but also the staggering lack of common sense and horrible group think that the panel of other teachers also display.

 

As with anything these days, when the ultimate stupidity of some is laid bare for the world to view, the aggressors are generally quick to apologise, which the university has since done

FULL TEXT: Apology from Wilfrid Laurier officials over handling of free speech controversy

But they still insert caveats into their climbdowns

Let me be clear by stating that Laurier is committed to the abiding principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Giving life to these principles while respecting fundamentally important human rights and our institutional values of diversity and inclusion, is not a simple matter.

Free speech is a very simple matter, you have it or you don’t.

Universities in the UK are seeing an invasion of the anti-free speech crowd.  This is currently manifesting itself as safe spaces.

This has led to some offering “Brave Spaces” which only reinforce the safe space mentality of hurt feelings being more important than free speech and free thought.

Likewise, following the pernicious Rhodes Must Fall debacle, now a student in Liverpool wants former PM Gladstone to have his name removed as the name of a halls of residence because of his apparent lack of opposition to the slave trade.

University has changed a lot since I was there and not for the better.

 

Thanks for reading.

He Had Won The Victory Over Himself

Police arresting nine people a day in fight against web trolls

It is good that they are concentrating on name calling because its ‘Not practical’ to investigate all crime

Oh, hang on a minute, we’ve found some more cash…

Online hate crime to be tackled by new national police hub

“Hate crime” the biggest Orwellian doublespeak nightmare made reality.

Still, you know, private companies can do what they want…

Twitter’s Dorsey: Site to get ‘more aggressive’ policing tweets

Even if they aren’t making any money and are losing revenue.

After the constant state spying on location, email and even encrypted conversations your only chance of a private and free conversation will be in your own home.

With all your technology and gadgets switched off…while perhaps making sure you they can’t lip read either

 

Thanks for reading.

Stick & Stones May Break My Bones But Names…

…Get you reported to the police…

Then again…there is this

Which is what happens when you conflate free speech with abuse and couple it with the ill-defined Orwellian phrases like “hate speech” and “hate crime”

 

It’s a short post, you know where I stand, its part of a larger problem and something I might dig into over time like so many others but for now.

 

Reals before Feels…

 

A cunt is a cunt regardless…

 

Thanks for reading.