Peter Tatchell – the latest ‘racist’ and ‘transphobic’ target of speech-policing students

Feb 21, 2018 by

by Mark Wallace, Conservative Home:

We Conservatives are quite used to being targeted by the vocal minority of people on the modern left who seek to silence us by accusing us falsely of some heresy or another. The masked thugs whom Jacob Rees-Mogg confronted were all-too typical, refusing to produce facts or to debate with any coherent argument, and preferring instead to declare him ‘racist’ and ‘fascist’, and therefore demand that he not be allowed to speak.

It’s outrageous, and wholly harmful to the practice of a free and democratic society, but for some such censorious tactics have become not just a habitual norm but an ideological imperative. At its heart it is a fusion of laziness and cowardice – those who pursue it are attempting to gain a short-cut to automatic victory by simply cutting out the right of others to take part in public life, without any risk that their ideas will be challenged or found wanting by robust opposition.

All that said, it’s something many of us on the right have become accustomed to. This is simply the latest in a long tradition of trying to deny our validity on trumped-up ideological grounds. Admittedly it’s more absurd and more pompous than many of its predecessors, but we know it for what it is and we mostly have fairly thick skins already.

It must be rather more of a shock to those on the left who find themselves targeted in this way. I wrote recently of the way that Germaine Greer of all people has found herself on the ‘wrong’ side of the latest development of identity politics, namely the self-identification of trans people. To see Greer facing protests by feminists who want her silenced is quite remarkable.

Over at Prospect magazine, there’s a must-read piece by Peter Tatchell, who is the latest target of this trend towards censorship via threat. As a lifelong champion of free speech, as well as of LGBT rights, he appears to have brought on an episode of brain-freeze on the part of Fran Cowling, the NUS’s LGBT+ officer when they were both asked to speak at Canterbury Christ Church University:

Read here


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