Cambridge is saying they’re going to respect free speech going forward.
I’m gonna go ahead and say “I don’t believe you.”
Proposals requiring Cambridge University staff and students to be “respectful” of differing views under a freedom of speech policy have been overwhelmingly rejected in a vote by its governing body.
The policy will instead emphasise “tolerance” of differing views after an amendment put forward by those concerned about the impact on academic freedom was carried by a landslide majority (86.9%).
Cambridge alumni including Stephen Fry had been among those who had opposed elements of the new policy, which the actor and writer had described as “muddled”.
Visitors to the university would also have been asked to be “respectful” of the views and “diverse identities” of others.
It was subject to a ballot in recent weeks among members of the institution’s Regent House, its official governing body, which is largely comprised of academic and senior administrative staff.
There are also implications for the issue of “no platforming” as a result of the support for three amendments, elements of which stress that those invited to speak at the university “must not be stopped from doing so” as long as they remain within the law.
The vote was welcomed by Cambridge’s vice-chancellor, Prof Stephen Toope, as “an emphatic reaffirmation of free speech in our university”.
He added: “Freedom of speech is a right that sits at the heart of the university. This statement is a robust defence of that right.
“The university will always be a place where anyone can express new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions, and where those views can be robustly challenged. The statement also makes it clear that it is unacceptable to censor, or disinvite, speakers whose views are lawful but may be seen as controversial.
“Rigorous debate is fundamental to the pursuit of academic excellence and the University of Cambridge will always be a place where freedom of speech is not only protected, but strongly encouraged.”
The new policy reads: “In exercising their right to freedom of expression, the university expects its staff, students and visitors to be tolerant of the differing opinions of others, in line with the university’s core value of freedom of expression.
“The university also expects its staff, students and visitors to be tolerant of the diverse identities of others, in line with the university’s core value of freedom from discrimination.”
However, other academics at the university have expressed concern about the changes to the original policy statement, while the Cambridge branch of the Universities and Colleges Union has said that it and the amendments are not “fit for purpose”.
Imagine that professional academics are now at the point where they feel comfortable denouncing freedom of speech as a concept.
When did this happen? I can’t imagine that ten years ago, any single academic at any single respected Western university would say that free expression is “not fit for purpose.”
Here we are, however. They’re making memes like this:
They say that free speech has to end because it can hurt people’s feelings. I’ve written extensively on the topic, opposing the premise that the reason for banning speech is related to feelings.
Here’s a recent long piece on the topic:
In short: I think it’s a fake argument, and they’re actually just silencing ideas that they fear will lead to social movements that they do not approve of because they could put their underlying global agenda in jeopardy.
If they were actually concerned first and foremost about people’s feelings, a lot of things would be different. Furthermore, the core concept of basing official state, corporate and academic policy on the potential for or the claim of hurt feelings is radically deranged and beyond absurdity.
It’s on par with claiming that speech has to be silenced because it will lead to violence, while they encourage people to threaten to kill Donald Trump.
But how brave of Cambridge to take a stand, publicly, in support of free speech.
If Cambridge wants to show they’re serious, why not invite Andrew Anglin to give a speech?
That would be totally bold, given that I am the first and most banned person ever.
I agree to be absolutely and unequivocally respectful to diverse identities. I’m also probably (maybe?) within the law of the UK generally, and I definitely would be in a speech.
I wouldn’t even talk about Jews. Well, I would probably mention them. But if anyone gave me an opportunity to give a speech right now, I would give a speech entitled “Coronavirus, The Great Reset and the Dystopian Nightmare We Have All Signed Off On.”
Either that, or my more proactively titled “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Gook?: No Chinaman Ever Locked Me in My House,” a speech about how, amidst the greatest violations of basic rights ever in history by Western governments, these same governments are pointing at China and saying we have to go to war with them to give them freedom. (It is a matter of fact that a China run by Joe Biden would be less free than China run by the CCP, no one can really argue that point in an open forum, but here we are.)
I would also participate in a debate with any figure they like on any topic. Although I would like to do a debate on these topics I’ve mentioned: “Are the Coronavirus Lockdowns About Public Health?” or “Is China Less Free Than the West?” I believe that I could win either debate handily, but given that they obviously promote the opposite positions, it would go to follow that they would be willing to debate the issues.
Given this virus nonsense, I will of course agree to do the speech or debate virtually.
If we’re getting serious about freedom of speech here, I would also be willing to debate Stephen Fry on the alleged relationship between AIDS and the supposed HIV retrovirus, or about the alleged Jew Holocaust, both of which I contend are hoaxes and which, as a homosexual Jew, he has a duty to defend in a public forum.
Please note: this is not a joke, I am actually asking to be invited to speak at Cambridge.
If they won’t invite me, then the question becomes: why not?