Harry Yorke, The Daily Telegraph
Students are now so powerful that university professors are afraid to teach controversial subjects for fear of being sacked, an academic conference was told on Thursday
Professor Dennis Hayes, a co-founder of
“Academics for Academic Freedom” said that universities were now ruled by a
“culture of censorious quietude” where academics were not able to discuss
Speaking at the University of Buckingham yesterday, Prof
Hayes added: “There’s an interesting turn today, it’s not that people are
abusive, it’s just that they don’t say anything at all in universities.
so many things that could be discussed that you dare not say. And the
consequences of arguing anything difficult is potentially that you could be
“These are mainstream views, of the state, institutions and particularly
universities. Gay rights, feminism, gender fluidity, fear of Islamaphobia, the
belief that we are all unwell, identity-based politics, are not views that
challenge conventional thinking in the way that every university has in its
‘These are conventional thinking. You dare not say you’re against gay
marriage. Just discussing any of these things can get you in serious trouble if
not the sack. What exists in universities is a culture of censorious quietude.
“Try arguing ‘there are boys and girls’… or as McEnroe has found out, that there
are male and female tennis players.
“Things are simply not discussed. Academics
and student… they go silent. They may even take delight in people who stand up
and get beaten for their views.”
Discussing his decision to found a pro-free
speech group in 2006, Prof Hayes added that he wanted academics to feel “free”
to discuss controversial subjects on campus.
“The cry of offence, the fear of
personal emotional hurt, is now the greatest threat to academic freedom,”
continued. His warning came as the Universities Minister Jo Johnson warned that
the erosion of freedom of speech on campus jeopardised Britain’s standing as an
Hat Tip/ The GWPF