Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Tuesday 4 August 2020

Woke universities

In my career, the Duke of Edinburgh paid a visit to two institutions that were my place of work. One filled me with pride and the other, somewhat, ashamed.
In the late sixties, the Duke graced Imperial College, London, with a visit. As a representative of the student body, the President of the student union was invited to welcome the Duke. He did and to the best of my recollection carried out his duty with minimum deference to the visitor's rank. It was to be expected; as a Republican, Piers Corbyn, brother of the former Labour Party leader, had no respect for the man or status of the College's guest. Shameful and in direct contrast to the Duke's visit to the Royal Ordnance Factory at Birtley, co Durham, some years later when all the stones fringing the grassy areas (very few) were painted white. Although the factory workers were mostly left minded Geordies the visitor was accorded every courtesy consistent with his position.

I don't know if Corbyn resented the visit of the Duke but it seems that again the university students and some lecturers are taking it upon themselves to decide whose opinions they are prepared to listen to and 'non-platforming' those with right wing, Brexiteer, or other views at odds with the new woke protocols. I suggest they still don't reflect the views of the majority in the UK and for this reason universities should be compelled to act to secure the freedom of speech for all.

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