The thing about University is that you go there to learn. Part of the learning process is to encounter ideas and concepts from across the academic and political divide. Not everything learnt will be pleasant or acceptable, especially if you are learning about history or politics.
I am in the process of reading The Romanovs 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefore, an excellent book well researched and highly readable, but the punishments meted out to those who fell foul of the Tsars (particularly in the opening chapters) are somewhat unpleasant.
But they happened and we need to learn from history and in order to do so the material must be as accurate as possible and cannot be redacted, censored or in anyway altered to play to the perceived sensitivities of students who feel they might have bad dreams.
When it comes to politics the views of movements and ideologies across the spectrum then students will have to encounter some very unsavoury people and ideas.. How can you study fascism without referring to Mein Kampf or learning about the Holocaust? Even on a more mundane level then the views of current Conservative politicians have to be discussed and debated. Otherwise how will anyone be able to develop criticisms and counter the reactionary propositions of the likes of George Osborne?
Debate and discussion is central not just to learning but also to putting into practice that which we should all hold as a fundamental proposition, the concept of democracy.
And democracy means tolerating those with ideas we fundamentally disagree with.
Yet the current intake of student activists seeks to ban everything that they don't want to hear and more to the point prevent others from hearing ideas that differ from their own. The new"left" has become the new Stalinism.
Some might even call it a new kind of fascism.
Doesn't matter really the censors no matter what their intentions simply seek to impose their world outlook on everyone whilst encouraging the weak minded and fools on campus to run to so-called "safe spaces" to keep their fragile egos from discovering that there are other ways of looking at the world around us.
It would be sad if it wasn't so dangerous.
The latest example of this campaign of censorship took place at the London School of Economics and for once wasn't around one of those sexual identity issues that student activists are uber-obsessed about.
This time an appearance by Adam Perkins author of The Welfare Trait who fell foul of the NUS censors. His book apparently talks about the problems around the welfare state creating a "production line" of damaged children" who have developed those who have become "employment resistant" and are "hard-wired to failure".
Now not having read the book (and I may do so if I can find the time) this is only the briefest of outlines. According to the Times (no link £) he himself admits he became a loafer in his early years. His basic argument appears to be that personality is shaped around being within a permanently welfare orientated family/background.
Uncomfortable reading, but I do believe environment does have considerable influence over personal development and would like to hear his argument in full.
But these "students" don't even wish to allow those that do to hear him. The LSE cancelled his visit due to security fears.
Our seats of learning are under the dual threat of activist censorship and bad governance that allows this to happen.
The point is guys and girls be careful for what you wish for. You actually may be next. These "students" threaten my "safe space". That being democracy and free speech. Thing is I don't expect it to be a safe space.
There will be many who disagree with me and I have to live with that.
It's called free speech.