Katie Hopkins speech: Eastbourne must not give into the ‘no-platformers’

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From: Edward Thomas

Collington Close

Roger Barnard provided a welcome measured response to the Katie Hopkins ban from Eastbourne’s civic premises {https://www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/news/opinion/eastbourne-council-s-bar-on-katie-hopkins-speech-raises-freedom-of-speech-issue-1-8996346 |letters, July 12}.

The woman is not my cup of tea.

She peppers her public talk with crude language, without which, nor her propensity to make personal remarks about her adversaries, she would come across as far more authentic.

Often her arguments are soundly based and backed up by evidence, whether one finally agrees with her or not.

We had two examples of what writer Niall Ferguson calls the ‘wokeness test’ placed before us in last week’s Herald; both to do with education.

One was fairly innocuous, the other downright sinister.

The first centred on a primary school in Polegate awarded ‘flagship status in inclusion’.

What the heck does that politically-correct abstract mean?

Time was when schools concentrated on standards in academic ability.

The other case is truly disturbing.

A pupil was initially disqualified from a GCSE exam for alleged racist remarks in the paper, only for the exam board OCR to rescind their stance and accept that they ‘did not reach the right conclusion’.

Stand by for a lot more of this nonsense, and for various bodies to end up with egg on their faces.

For example we have the politically-correct Left beating its collective chest about LGBTQI rights at all costs.

At equal costs they enthuse about Muslim rights, with the result that in the protests in Muslim-dominated schools in Birmingham about the teaching of same-sex relationships, the two ideals clashed.

Katie Hopkins got one thing right in her UKIP speech, to be found on Youtube.

She provided the graphic image of the Left having ‘detonated its own head.’ Whose rights do they favour? They can’t have it both ways.

Charles Moore in The Daily Telegraph summed up the general situation: ‘The liberal desire to stigmatise fellow citizens as bad, ignorant people who say “inappropriate” things has become more marked than ever.’

It leads to the new feature that Roger Barnard chillingly identified in his letter: intellectual fascism.

We must not give in to the rampant and hypocritical hordes of ‘no-platformers’, ready to descend on those with opposing views.