The Government is right to champion free expression at a time when everyday censorship on campus is rife.
The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech yesterday, is a long overdue piece of legislation, and the Government deserves credit for seeing it through. At stake is a question of values: is freedom of expression or protection from subjectively-defined psychological harm a higher value in our society?
If we elevate empathy for the feelings of the most sensitive member of historically marginalized race, gender and sexual-identity groups – as interpreted by radical activists – over our right to speak, we will have turned our backs on a centuries-old principle which anchors English tradition and the Enlightenment.
Eric Kaufmann is professor of politics at Birkbeck College, University of London and a fellow of the Manhattan Institute.
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