Shelagh Fogarty is Leading Britain's Conversation.
26 February 2017, 08:10
Here a caller tells Matt Stadlen he's scared to speak his mind because he fears the backlash he'll get from the 'hard left'.
Cambridge Student Tells Matt: 'The Hard Left Make Me Scared To Speak My Mind'
Here a caller, Harry, tells Matt Stadlen he's scared to speak his mind because he fears the backlash he'll get from the 'hard left'.
This Cambridge student phoned LBC Presenter Matt Stadlen during a conversation about Sussex University's 'how to deal with right-wing attitudes' seminar for staff and students.
Matt was left horrified by what the student, Harry, told him.
Harry said: "The original justification for no platforming was, I think, was about making sure fascists didn't have a platform. It's sort of saying , if there are people that want to fight against our basic values as a democratic, open society, who don't want free speech in the long-run, then they shouldn't speak. There's maybe a subtle and complicated case to be made for that.
"But it's gone far beyond that. There's no clear criteria on which we decide who we do and don't invite, because frankly the hard left are happy to invite Islamists who have all kinds of backward views, on women, on gay rights, and they can't challenge those things.
"They want them to come because they're anti-West or anti-Israel and they follow certain supposedly left-wing lines on things. But if you invite someone who is supposedly a darling of the right, with backward views on gays or on women, then you'll get completely lampooned or socially ostracised by these people.
"Cambridge doesn't have nearly as big a scene of the hard left as places like SOAS, or even Oxford, but it is visible and it's there. It's uncomfortable.
"I wouldn't be happy with posting publicly about why I think these people are so wrong because it would just be socially risky."
Matt was shocked. He said: "Seriously? So you would not be prepared to put on your Facebook page an argument suggesting that no platforming was not a good idea?
"I think perhaps if I worded it carefully, I might."
Matt responded: "You see that really worries me, Harry. It really worries me that a highly intelligent young man such as yourself, being educated at one of the great universities, my alma mater, Cambridge University, feels somehow intimidated into not putting onto social media exactly what he feels about something.
"I find that terrifying, I find it sinister."