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« Virtue-signalling ministers | Main | Lewis lands a blow »

Safely spaced out - Josh 363

A slightly different angle on a familiar topic - the far left's battle against free speech. It was inspired by Rod Liddle's excellent article in the Sunday Times.

Cartoons by Josh

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Reader Comments (55)

Can't read the article but I'd comment also the modern right-on pro-Islamism faction is causing ructions with feminists and increasing anti-Semitism. If it wasn't for the universal accord that everything bad in the world emanates from big business then they'd disappear up their own fundaments.

Mar 14, 2016 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Not having the inclination to pass the Times paywall, can someone tell me why:

A) This student is portrayed as a male (most uncommon these days)?
B) Why the University makes the person unemployable when a lack of qualifications makes the person ineligible for interview in the first place? You buy your £30k ticket and the rest is up the student, surely?
C) They student gets no sex at university? Compared with any other location full of young adults, anyway.

Josh, you seem to be blaming Universities for the failings (or strong-willed chastity) of individuals.
Students aren't children. They get what they work for.

Mar 14, 2016 at 11:51 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Wonderfully resonant for anyone who has been following the descent of universities in the States, and perhaps to a lesser extent, here in the UK.

May this new Work of Josh get extraordinarily high levels of circulation!

Mar 14, 2016 at 11:59 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Neuropsychological engineering for a collectivist political purpose. Robin Eubanks @ coined this phrase for the deliberate alteration of education and she hits the spot.

Mar 14, 2016 at 12:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

I just know that some of you will be expecting me to rise to this particular bait (the words "red flag" and "bull" immediately come to mind) but I won't, so there. Wit always trumps offense.

Mar 14, 2016 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

MC 1151. "students aren't children". You sure o' dat? I suggest they are children learning to be adults. As it's mostly self-study, some catch on sooner than others.

Mar 14, 2016 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Lohse

M. Courtney, why is Josh's student necessarily male?

Mar 14, 2016 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall


The first article I read in the Spectator every week is the one from Rn Liddle. For the last couple of months Ron has been pounding Islam with his dry, very pointy and belly laughing funny humour. I am amazed and relieved that no fwaat has been issued.

Mar 14, 2016 at 12:33 PM | Registered CommenterDung


I would guess that he/it is not yet old enough to have selected his/its gender option.

Mar 14, 2016 at 12:36 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Alan, Dung is correct, of course.
I took the neckerchief and lack of bosom as gender-signifiers. Wrongly, I forgot that gender is a social - not physical - construct.

Kevin Lohse, We let them vote. We let those of that age fight in wars, even today. They can raise children of their own.

In WW2 people of undergraduate age cracked the Enigma code, flew Spitfires and kept the home fires burning.
They should have learnt how to be adults by 18.
Not infallibly (as adults aren't), but they should be adults.

Mar 14, 2016 at 12:42 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

At the age of 18, I was working in a Bessemer Plant, making steel. No room for poseurs there.

Mar 14, 2016 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

M. Courtney. No, Dung is funny but incorrect. I noticed the long hair coupled with the lack of facial hair - surely this combo is unusual today? The bosom issue is also debateable given some students I have encountered. Are things different in North America from when I taught there in the 1980s? Answers please.

Mar 14, 2016 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

It is sad that those who have benefitted the most from Freedom of Speech, are now trying to deny it to others.

In Political power, one force generates an opposing force, that inevitably leads to conflict. Angela Merkel is currently experiencing a backlash, just when the EU needs it least in Europe and the UK.

Merkel and the EU blame the backlash on 'Extremists', without realising how they created the opposing force.

Mar 14, 2016 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Er - don't assume - I saw a few FEMALE students that looked like that when I was at uni.....!

Mar 14, 2016 at 1:29 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

I withdraw point A. I concede the gender f the carton is undetermined.

Alan Kendall, please be aware that my knowledge of US campuses is derived solely from movies, being an Englishman myself.

Mar 14, 2016 at 1:39 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

@golf charlie@ Merkel et al & the EU would never realise that they & their policies have created the situation now facing them & us, because to do so would be to admit they were wrong!!! That would NEVER do!

Mar 14, 2016 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

There are people who call themselves ‘bigger picture’ types or facilitators. What they mean is they want to chat about stuff and then delegate all the work to someone else. The CAGW band wagon is full of them. University is a breeding ground for those who feel that they’ve done their bit by thinking deeply about stuff, regardless of practical matters or success. Never mind the quality, feel the angst. They then demand something be done. At that they rest, knowing they’ve solved the World’s ills. It’s not their role to DO stuff. That’s for drones and grunts.

Society can support a % of useless pontificators. We call some of them politicians. Most of us do it for free and on our own time but a great many now think that they can make a living doing it. Most are disappointed. I wonder what peak windbag looks like? I suspect that a lot of people will still be supporting their adult children when they’re at retirement too.

As an example, a relative of mine wanted to start a fashion business. She had no fashion training, design skills, business skills and couldn’t even sew. Her sales skills were limited to being a part time shop assistant and selling shots in booze hotspots. We asked her how she hoped to do all the jobs a business like that would need. Simple – she’d employ them with the grant money and loan, the government were offering her to start her own business.

Mar 14, 2016 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

It's a funny old game. I line in Thailand where half of the guys want to be girls and half of the girls want to be guys. The girls who want to be guys generally want to be ugly, boorish, aggressive, cigarette smoking and hard drinking neds.

Mar 14, 2016 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

What are the stats on all this? How is it British Universities nevertheless occupy a quarter of the top 200 hundred universities in the world according the the latest ranking figures? That's an amazing achievement. The intolerance is foul to see but let's have a bit of perspective. Are the vociferous ones a minority perhaps?

Mar 14, 2016 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered Commenteralleagra

There's something WRONG with the Josh wording...

<I>...Learn to be totally intolerant of any opinion but your own...

Students are no longer taught to have THEIR OWN opinions. That would never do - it's tantamount to thinking for themselves!

No, students learn to be totally intolerant of any opinion except the politically correct one, which they will be provided with in their lecture notes. Indeed, the word 'opinion' is rather suspect, suggesting a lack of certainty and a personal input into their beliefs. Josh, it would be better to alter that to:

"Learn that there is no other truth beyond that specified in the syllabus.."

Mar 14, 2016 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

@M Courtney

...In WW2 people of undergraduate age cracked the Enigma code, flew Spitfires and kept the home fires burning....

While a lot of fighting undeniably was undertaken by people in their late teens/early 20s, I suspect that most of the heavy work on Enigma was done by people of post-grad age - Turing, for instance, would have been 30 at Bletchley Park. I'm not sure how old the Poles who did the first work were...

...still comparatively young, though, so your point stands....

Mar 14, 2016 at 3:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

Saw a wonderful quotation once:

'A lecture is the process whereby the notes of the lecturer become the notes of the student, without passing through the minds of either...'

Mar 14, 2016 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

alleagra, the ways universities are judged (more than one list) is somewhat arbitrary and often biased due to the use of the English language. Things that might make a good university might not affect the usefulness of the degree you come out with. My relative has a qualification from one of the top 100 and the job she's doing doesn't need it.

Mar 14, 2016 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

At the age of 18, I was working in a Bessemer Plant, making steel. No room for poseurs there.

Mar 14, 2016 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E
I bet working there helped you choose the correct gender option quite quickly ^.^

Mar 14, 2016 at 3:50 PM | Registered CommenterDung

@Dung: 14,000 men, mostly 3-shift working. The only females were the cat and the ladies in the typing pool and secretaries of the bosses. I never had any gender issues except to wish that i were a cat, who were looked after very well......

Mar 14, 2016 at 3:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Sherlock1, one of my all time favourites. Good because it commonly is so near the truth. Began teaching at UEA with a policy of not sharing my notes with students at all, but over the years gradually had to relent (poor student evaluations!!!).

Reminds me of Xeroxing research papers as a substitute for actually reading them - a practice conducted by academics and students alike (I plead guilty m'lord).

Mar 14, 2016 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

NCC 1701E
My first "proper" job after college was working in a factory in West Lothian where 97% of the staff were miners wives and daughters. Reckon they were more than a match for your steel workers. Mind you I don't suppose many Media Studies and Politics graduates would end up working in either place in they still existed.-

Mar 14, 2016 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Age 18, my brother got me a holiday job in Ravenscaig steel works with one of the contractors. I threw the company bully into a skip and started a strike (over dirty money). These guys (pipe fighters) were smarter than the average university graduates of today and great fun.

We were refused the money even though British Steel would have given it us willingly (told that after I left, obviously) . The two union guys were deported to a North Seal oil rig. I was bullet proof.

Young Paisley Team .

Mar 14, 2016 at 4:36 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Alan Kendall, did the complaining students think that you were refusing to lower your standards to match their own?

Mar 14, 2016 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"a familiar topic - the far left's battle against free speech"

Less so the total intolerance of other ideas evident in Delingpole & Watt's automated censorship of dissent.

Mar 14, 2016 at 6:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

GM I hope they didn't. No, the overwhelming number of my colleagues gave out lecture notes, and then even their PowerPoint presentations that students came to believe that it was their right to get such materials. When I held out I was criticized for my stance and given poor evaluation scores because of it [women scorned have nothing on thwarted students]. Even though I had copyright issues regarding materials used in my PowerPoints I eventually relented and students then moved on to other issues.

Mar 14, 2016 at 6:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Before and after.

The battle ground of tertiary education, is it not time to shut most of them down?

It may be that............... in the interim things have very much changed on Uni campuses. In my student days, pretty much the pure science faculties and engineers kept themselves to themselves, I had friends at UMIST, Bradford, Glasgow, Oxford, Cambridge and Newcastle studying Mech, Civil Eng, Computer stud's, Physics and Mathematics, Geol, we avoided the union buildings, rec' like the plague and stayed away from student politics, unless, it was to do with academic ie meddling - changing our courses.

Off campus, for R&R we went to student pubs and clubs, we used the Uni facilities for sports etc. I found that, courses, years stayed and played together, there wasn't much intermingling depending on what college, it was even more, maybe less insular at places like, Cambridge and Oxford.

The rabble mainly consisted of Humanities/social studies and "that lot" some NUS Socialist-Marxist agitators whom usually, were ex students, failed students on seemingly permanent 'vacation' - and with nothing else to do but stick their oar in other people's business.
Politics was just a bad joke, played by numpties useless idiots who had spurned the chance of a good degree.

I always thought that, and even more so now that, University education should be exclusive to those blessed with, a very academic bent, an elite if you like. Recall - what did they used to say, "the top 1%" and by those standards - going back to my grandfather's day, it would have probably precluded me.

The very idea that, nigh on everybody should be able to attend a degree course of study is preposterous nonsense. A tertiary education scholarship open to anybody all and sundry defeats the very idea of concentrated higher learning. A furnace, study with like minded individuals in a hothouse crammed by learned pedagogues given to imparting advanced concepts and thereby inducing students to greater cerebral, theoretical cogitation.
I am not saying that education should shouldn't be open to all and universal, just that universities are, by their very nature and reason demand to be - exclusive.

Students should be allowed to debate but make them appreciate the opposite opinion. to understand the position from both sides of the argument is better, a dialectic comprehension is infinitely more satisfying - is it not?

That old fashioned idea of going up to Uni, young turks heads filled with facts but aching, willing to go on to greater and in depth education, is somewhat peculiar to another age.

Modern students, it is no exaggeration to say that, they come to UK campuses from far more varied backgrounds and cultures, to wit, some of them from a very early age are at variance, have been taught to think totally differently, totally.

I don't really fathom the preconceived notions that some of these students freely emote. Indeed, in some cases freshers students roll up to universities expecting the whole of academia to stop just then, right there and to listen earnestly to their needs, their prejudice and wishes, the whole campus to conform immediately! How can it be that jejune junior scholars many on generous stipends from the African continent and elsewhere not least the middle east, can already be so dead set in their ways?

Across the pond, In the states increasingly but sliding in here like a viper whispers through, in the grass. In the UK, kids arrive at uni thinking out of left field and seduced by abstract concepts which are inimical to the process of gaining - to READING a degree, here think redacting tracts of set books, in case they offend......I can only think of Alinsky but what benefit is to be accrued or, gained? Where, some students, enroll, appear to be full time agitators not concerned one iota about their studies, only concentrated on making mischief, invoking specious claims to historical injustice and which ventures forth - only the minds of these NUS awkward squad individuals.

Then, the other problem is the piety of the secular priesthood of, vice chancellors those terribly squeamish, very thin skinned hypocrites who are hammered down to the university door nailed by the steel sharp tacks of PC*, extremely over paid but undernourished Common Purpose placemen/women who wouldn't ever conceive, dare to exercise any discipline for fear of being intolerant to the sisters and brotherhood of Student intolerance. It's all too little and a pathetic resistance, thus the campuses are taken over. I will make, only the briefest of mentions here concerning, Muslim student societies which are the source of deep malcontent and endless bane of civilized dialectic, indeed modern university life - for all students.

What needs to be done, defund them, now.

Kick them ALL out, shut them down, save the taxpayer give Universities back to rationale and rational academia and to the youthful elite.

*Political Correctness.

Mar 14, 2016 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

In 1968 I was in the October demo in London demanding that the Yanks withdraw from Vietnam. A bit of flag burning and a few scuffles and about 25,000 people,mostly students, milling around Hyde Park and Grosvenor Square. By 1971 I was working for the Americans in Saigon, in the field, with aviation fuels.
If you cannot kick up a ruckus when you are a student when are you going to get the chance? We were not fully formed intellectually in '68 but when our student days were over we had become fully paid up members of the Establishment dedicated to the suppression of foreigners everywhere like all right thinking individuals. Students have silly ideas. The peer pressure is great. We need to get over it. They most certainly will.

Mar 14, 2016 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterIvor Ward

universities should be places of ANALYSIS.
they should STUDY and analyse difficult issues in society. For that you must always
consider all opinions and arguments on equal basis.

lefties have xploited that, then turned universities in fascist breeding places.

instead they export a product nowaday: MADNESS.
in the form of social justrice warriors, or contrived "results" in globolworming activism.

Mar 14, 2016 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenusNotWarmerDueToCO2

Great example of pot and kettle there!
Perhaps you would care to give some examples of either of those two you named engaging in "automated censorship of dissent".
After that you can quote some recent examples of toleration of other views on eg SkepticalScience or RealClimate or desmogblog ... to name but three.
Grow up, vvussell, for heaven's sake! Climate may not be the major impending disaster that your warmist pals at Masochists Anonymous would like it to be but it's too important for that puerile level of comment.

Mar 14, 2016 at 8:38 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

M Courtney 11:51, Alan Kendall 12:33: I'm surprised neither of you have taken Josh to task about the non-ethnic appearance of the student that he portrayed.

Mar 14, 2016 at 9:25 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Salopian, guilty as.charged. Oh the shame. What penance should I do?

Mar 14, 2016 at 10:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Josh's student could be a (much) younger version of Dame Julia, although of course she got her university education free...

Mar 14, 2016 at 10:39 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

@ M Courtney (Mar 14, 2016 at 11:51 AM)

re: C) They student gets no sex at university? Compared with any other location full of young adults, anyway.

I think this might be a reference to the recent idea that consent may be given at the time, but retrospectively withdrawn if one party subsequently changes their (her) mind. I might be mistaken, of course.

Mar 14, 2016 at 11:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterDerek Sorensen

'@Allan Kendall: Re your 6:55 comment: "Even though I had copyright issues regarding materials used in my PowerPoints I eventually relented"

WTF? You are supposed to be teaching students, not showing them how good You are, then withholding your teaching material for 'copyright issues'. Were you actually teaching or just preening yourself?

Mar 14, 2016 at 11:20 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Salopian. You misunderstand. In my PowerPoint presentations I used other people's illustrations. I could legally do this so long as I didn't publish these same materials without getting permission from the original authors or their publishers. Distributing multiple copies, even for educational purposes, would be considered publication and constitute copyright infringement. It was not my work I was trying to protect.

Why such an antagonist tone?

Mar 14, 2016 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Alan Kendall: I suggest you try googling 'copyright exemption for educational use'.

Sorry if you think I am being antagonistic, but I consider your earlier posts rather smug and condescending than actually contributing to the thread.

Mar 15, 2016 at 12:22 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

We could ask Ken Rice what it's like at University, but he'll have been to busy blogging to notice what his real job is like.

Mar 15, 2016 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterdavid smith

"I'm not sure how old the Poles who did the first work were..." --Dodgy Geezer

According to Wankerpedia, Marian Rejewski was born 16 August 1905, Jerzy Witold Różycki, July 24, 1909, Henryk Zygalski, 15 July 1908. That would put them in their early to mid-30s as of 1940, but Rejewski started working on Enigma as early as 1932, part time, after hours.

Awareness of the part the Poles played in breaking Enigma has increased considerably in recent years.

Some background : long BBC Article
- The British Humanist soc a pretty lefty org also highlighted the problem and linked to this New Statesman article
- I see the Union at LSE voted against the banning of the "Free Speech Society"

Mar 15, 2016 at 4:52 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Salopian. Thanks for the advice but it is no longer relevant to me now; I stopped giving my ,(what was it) smug and condescending views to students some years ago. The situation re copyright may have changed but I proceeded on the advice and warnings offered then. Universities had, I believe, been successfully sued in the courts and warnings were prominently posted near all university copying machines.

But there's a wider point : why should students have access to lecture notes and the like? Doesn't this practice encourage PLRS (parrot like regurgitating syndrome)? If you want students to merely accumulate facts get them to read, if you want to stimulate students to think for themselves, be as stimulating and provocative as you can and deny them the crutch of your very personal and ;potentially highly biased lecture notes. I make the exception of lectures introducing new subject areas. For my first year lectures I gave out transcripts.because I wanted my students to think during the lecture rather them confine their minds taking down written notes.
I thought threads about Josh's cartoons were meant to be funny at least in part. My feeble attempts have clearly offended you, for which I apologize. I'll give up having fun at your expense.

Mar 15, 2016 at 6:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

@Alan, I wouldn't worry about countering every point ..Some days a person may get out of the wrong side of bed ..and want to read everything the wrong way.
....Thnaks for your input ..conserve your energy.

Mar 15, 2016 at 6:20 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Stewgreen. Thanks for the advice, I'll try to follow it. Oh shit! failure at the first hurdle.

Mar 15, 2016 at 6:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall


Perhaps you would care to give some examples of either of those two you named engaging in "automated censorship of dissent".

Mar 14, 2016 at 8:38 PM |Mike Jackson

For openers,

Mar 15, 2016 at 7:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Safely spaced out, indeed.

A bunch of middle aged guys complaining about a university system ran by their peers, that is, the classmates they once had in the school system that preceded this one.

Or, maybe, nothing has changed except the complaining middle aged guys...

Mar 15, 2016 at 8:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

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