Students and Censorship

I did not go to university – through choice rather than lack of opportunity but that is another story – but had I done so, I don’t think I would be boasting about it nowadays. Rather like the police I was so proud to be a part of, universities seem  to have lost their drive and their reason for being. They spend more time tending to political correctness and he complaints of ever more precious students than they do with providing a good tertiary education.

Take Oxford and Cambridge for example. These two institutions have long been regarded worldwide as great seats of learning and hitherto, only the best would be accepted. Last week however, it was reported that Oxbridge intends to have six and a half thousand more students from deprived backgrounds by 2025.

Since there are no plans to expand undergraduate numbers, these students will doubtless be offered places at the expense of very able, largely middle-class applicants. Can it ever be right to give a place to a less qualified candidate at the expense of an intellectually stronger student who has worked hard, and committed no greater sin than to be born into relatively privileged circumstances? I don’t think so. What on earth has happened to the concept of merit in this mixed up society?

And Cambridge University Students’ Union has said that having military personnel at their freshers’ fair is ‘alarming’ for attendees and could affect their mental health. Have these snowflake numptys any idea of what they will be facing when they get out into the real world?

Students voted in favour of banning societies from bringing firearms to the annual fairs after union welfare and rights officer Stella Swain suggested those with mental health issues could find their presence ‘triggering.’ If they have mental health issues, what on earth are they doing at Cambridge?    

The motion said that the presence of military personnel carrying firearms at the fair indicate ‘implicit approval of their use, despite the links between military and firearms and violence on an international scale.’

Ms Swain, who proposed the motion which passed with over fifty percent approval, said that the union was committed to demilitarisation efforts within the university, and therefore should not be a place for military organisations to recruit.

‘The presence of firearms and military personnel at freshers’ fair is alarming and off-putting for some students and has the potential to detrimentally affect students’ mental welfare,’ the motion said.  

Without the Armed Forces these students wouldn’t be able to study in any case. They would be under the rule of Nazi Germany and the only reason they are able to attend university at all is because of the sacrifice and bravery of the Armed Forces, many of whom would have come from Cambridge ruddy University!

But it doesn’t really come as a surprise. In 2018, the same union voted down a motion to promote Remembrance Sunday citing fears about the ‘glorification’ of conflict. 

When he came to power, I urged the detractors of Bunter Johnson – and there are many – to give the man a chance. One move he made last week makes me worry somewhat though.

On Monday afternoon, journalists at No 10 who were expecting a briefing on EU trade were asked to line up on one side of the entrance hall while a security officer checked them off against a list. Those that were acceptable to the powers-that-be were asked to cross over to the other side of the room. 

The remaining journalists – mostly, though not entirely, from organisations disliked by No 10 – were told to leave. This is surely censorship of the most blatant kind and whether it was encouraged or decided upon by Johnson himself or was the whim of his strange advisor Dominic Cummings is difficult to know.

In the event, everyone present walked out in protest at what was considered an almost unprecedented act of censorship on the part of Downing Street. Nine times out of ten, when journalists grumble about the way they are treated by the authorities, I am inclined to shrug my shoulders, and not take their complaints too seriously, but this smacks of Kremlin or African dictatorship and makes me doubt the prime minister, even though he seems to have done alright so far.

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