Fighting Back to Find your Voice
Simon Richards, The Freedom Association
Universities should be places where established opinions are challenged – by criticism, by logic, by argument, by debate, by discussion, by testing. Yet, in recent years, they have become bywords for intolerance and for closing down any view not approved of by the left-liberal establishment. NUS has a shameful record in this respect and many of Britain’s overpaid university administrators and academics are little if any better. Not only has the left monopolised university appointments, but it has closed down freedom of expression by banning any language or views that threaten its narrow world view.
As a King’s College alumnus myself, I find KCL’s shabby record on free speech truly shameful. Sam Barrett rightly criticised the college’s achingly PC plans to remove the busts and portraits of some of its most distinguished former staff, for the crime of not being sufficiently ethnically diverse. Last year, a photograph of George Carey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, was removed from display on the Strand. His crime? Supposedly he is insufficiently supportive of gay rights. A Vice-President of KCL Union of Students even tried to ban the national anthem from events at the college!
It’s all too easy to laugh at such attempts to close down debate or to challenge leftist orthodoxy, but they are not funny, they are sinister. They are designed to silence any challenge to socialist received wisdom. You can challenge the leftist tyrants on campus by finding your own voice. Universities should not be about burning books, but about encouraging diverse voices. Racial and sexual diversity are rightly celebrated; diversity of opinion should be celebrated and encouraged every bit as much.
Freedom of expression only thrives when accompanied by free markets. Socialism leads to tyranny and economic ruin; it has even turned oil-rich Venezuela into a basket-case where the secret police arrest opponents of the regime in the middle of the night. As Friedrich Hayek wrote, it is The Road to Serfdom.
The Freedom Association exists to proclaim the great benefits to all of free markets and freedom of expression. For over forty years we have put the case for freedom, independence and classical liberal economics. If you would like to help set up one of our Freedom Societies at King’s, please let me know. Like me, Dan Hannan MEP first joined The Freedom Association when he was a student. Dan has spoken of how the Freedom Association “created the intellectual climate from which Margaret Thatcher then benefited and which allowed her to effect the transformation of our country in the 1980s and that remains its job to this day: always to plant the flag of debate a little bit in advance of the vanguard, always to create the political circumstances that we legislators can act upon.”
You can follow Dan’s lead by joining The Freedom Association, for just £5 online at tfa.net – and finding your voice, standing up for freedom.