The Times yesterday had a report that the University of Oxford has rejected a call by Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) to drop “ablest, transphobic, classist and misogynistic content” from its reading lists.
The University says, quite rightly, that free speech under the law is the lifeblood of the institution. The present Vice-Chancellor has, commendably, in speeches in recent years made that point and that students should expect to engage with challenging ideas as part of their education.
OUSU is, and has been all the time I have been in Oxford, a pathetic and laughable institution, run by people with petty little agendas of their own. As an organisation it was always a joke to those of us who were in any way involved in the life of The Oxford Union (OUS), which is entirely separate, or of our colleges, or indeed who had a life at all.
That is not to minimise the threat posed by such “woke” enthusiasts in places with a less robust or more amenable administration. Such censorship is dangerous and life-denying yo minds in formation. Censorship can have a place - but not in the contemporary world in a place of learning.
The article in The Times is behind a paywall but if you have access it can be read at Oxford ignores call to censor ‘ism’ texts