Sunday, December 19, 2004

Thought crimes in St Andrews

Having read on Samizdata that one of the student newspapers there was being forced out of its offices by the Union for the crime of having insulted the Welsh, I was pleased to see that the Telegraph has now picked up the story.

It now appears that the Union will allow the Saint to have its offices back once they have been sent away to the countryside for reeduction.
At an appeal hearing on Friday, The Saint was given permission to use its office
once it has signed up to the association's equal opportunities regulations and
its staff have undergone diversity awareness training.

This sort of politically correct nonsense would be unacceptable in a loony left council, let alone in an ancient university where right to free speech is supposed not only to be understood, but indeed to be critical for its proper functioning.

But there's more:
The association also insists that the editor should in future send each issue to
the university's press office to check that it is not in breach of
discrimination policy before the paper goes to the printers.

This makes the Association look less like the Student Union and more like the Soviet Union. The President of the Association, Simon Atkins, claims lamely that he has a duty to protect the rights of all student groups. I emailed him pointing out that there is no right not to be insulted, but have yet to receive any reply.

It's a pity that there is no UK equivalent of FIRE, the admirable US group that helps American students defend their rights to free speech.