Tuesday 16 February 2021

Lewis has spoken


Spiked has very recently tweeted a link to a new article, introducing it with these words:

Critics say campus censorship is a myth. Well tell that to Selina Todd, Tim Hunt, Felix Ngole, Rosa Freedman, Jo Phoenix, Noah Carl, Kathleen Stock, Jenni Murray and many more academics, journalists and speakers hounded off campus for their views. 

I saw that tweet - and read that article - after reading a take on the matter from Newsnight's Lewis Goodall, who's very much in the 'critics' camp:  

Rachel Schraer from BBC Reality Check very good on University freedom of speech on World at One just now. Makes clear there’s very little elimination of freedom of speech or censorship taking place institutionally. A few examples of student groups no platform but even there often the examples “taken out of context” or exaggerated.

"Former" Labour activist Lewis has spoken: Stop talking about campus cancellation culture. Nothing to see here. It barely exists

And Lewis (as ever) has more. He then tells us what we SHOULD be talking about:

Reminder of education problems for which there is incontrovertible evidence:

- no plan yet for exams this summer 

- no comprehensive plan yet to deal with attainment gap caused by lockdown 

- still hundreds of thousands of tablets short for remote learning

In other words: Focus, people, on my agenda - attacking the Tory government from every conceivable angle!

Reminder: It's far from just Emily Maitlis.

P.S. Some estimable people don't agree with Lewis, including Prof. Vernon Bogdanor, Prof. Kathleen Stock, Sir Anthony Seldon and Prof. Matthew Goodwin. 

Now, who to believe, Newsnight's Lewis Goodall or that eminence of many decades of BBC election nights, Prof. Vernon Bogdanor? I think I'll go with the Argument from Authority after all.

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