Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1122/32097

From The Socialist newspaper, 24 February 2021

Tories target universities in free speech shakedown

  (Click to enlarge)

Adam Calvert, Sheffield Socialist Students

The government recently announced plans to introduce a 'Free Speech Champion' to the board of the Office for Students to regulate the approach to free speech on England's university campuses. This role would regulate the actions taken by universities regarding free speech, and how they promote it.

Universities found guilty of not promoting freedom of speech could be fined. This also includes allowing all guest speakers to have a platform, with risks of punishment if they are refused. New legal measures mean individuals could sue if they feel they've had a breach of free speech thrust upon them.

The Russell Group of universities believes these measures will in fact restrict freedom in universities, and instead threaten their internal autonomy.

The National Union of Students also said there is no evidence of a freedom of speech crisis within universities.

As with most things the Conservative Party does, these measures contradict their other actions. Before Christmas the Socialist Party outlined how Priti Patel was pushing a crackdown on freedoms to protest (See 'No to Tories' new anti-protest law' at socialistparty.org.uk). This includes powers to crack down on picket lines and any protests that they deem to be "preventing newspapers or critical infrastructure from functioning". This goes hand in hand with the recently announced 'intentional trespassing' laws, which could make protests illegal on a huge percentage of private land within the UK.

Now why would the Tories be so interested in appearing like they're pursuing freedom of speech within universities when they are intending to introduce so many draconian anti-protest laws?

The Conservative Party is facing huge unpopularity due to their abysmal handling of the Covid-19 crisis. They are aiming to distract from their faults by appearing as champions of free speech, a hot topic within the UK in recent years, in order to shore up sections of their limited support, and to scrape up votes for the May council elections.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 24 February 2021:


Covid

Where's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?

Johnson's 'road map' for schools: Act together to protect safety

Vaccine algorithm can't solve capitalist inequality

Garment workers and Covid: Dying for less than minimum wage


What we think

Starmer's speech a return to New Labour


News

Justice for Moyied Bashir

Uber drivers win case - they are workers

Social care: End privatisation and let workers decide how it's run


Lessons from history

How militant trade unionism defeated the 1971 Industrial Relations Act


Workplace news

Usdaw elections - right makes gains but Broad Left builds

HMRC: Divisive pay deal leads to expulsions

Hinkley Point electricians fight 'deskilling'

"I'm here to fight for the future education of children in Hackney"

London bus dispute against low pay, pay cuts and longer hours

GMB members continue fight against 'fire and rehire' in British Gas

Scunthorpe steelworks scaffolders: Fifth week of action


TUSC

Liverpool Unite branch supports 'no cuts' budget strategy

Scottish TUSC election campaign launch

Keep the fighting fund rushing in for a TUSC stand in May


Campaigns news

W. Sussex children's centres on the chopping block

Coventry success building subscriptions

Socialist Students conference - postering

Save John Carroll Leisure Centre

Getting the Socialist out in lockdown


LGBT+ history month

Pride flag is about unity in struggle

Tories tout toilet tensions


International news

Nigeria: Abbey Trotsky on trial for assisting workers' struggle

Facebook v Australian government: nationalise the bosses' media!


Readers' opinion

Film Review: The White Tiger

Tories admit guilt for asylum seeker neglect

Tories target universities in free speech shakedown

The Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 24 February 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Tories:

triangleNHS pay: 15% now

triangleProtesting is not a crime

triangleTories keep bailing out bosses, while piling pain on workers and public services

triangleTories keep bailing out bosses, while piling the pain on workers and public services

triangleLabour surrenders to Tories in Devon

Universities:

triangleFighting sexual harassment and gender violence on campus

trianglePolice invade student homes

triangleWhy you should come to Socialist Students online conference

triangleSocialist Students open letter to Rent Strike network

Students:

triangleThe system is broken... youth unite and fight back

trianglePimlico Academy protests: "Run by racists for profit"

Protest:

triangleDefiance continues against anti-protest bill

triangleReport condones vigil police violence - democratic community control a necessity

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

7/4/21

London

London: #BuhariMustGo protests are back

7/4/21

Young people

The system is broken... youth unite and fight back

7/4/21

Protest

Defiance continues against anti-protest bill

7/4/21

Fighting Fund

Fighting Fund: An amazing 39,948 raised

7/4/21

Bullying

Marley Tiles workers strike against bullying bosses

7/4/21

British Gas

New British Gas deadline and strike dates

7/4/21

Bristol

Bristol Water walkout

6/4/21

Liverpool

Right-wing Labour and Tory commissioners out!

31/3/21

Trade union

Trade union fighters rally to support victimised workers

31/3/21

Commune

Online rally - 150 years since the Paris Commune

31/3/21

British Gas

British Gas workers strike ahead of 'fire and rehire' deadline

31/3/21

BT

BT Openreach engineers step up the pressure with five-day strike action

31/3/21

Equal pay

Asda equal pay ruling victory - now fight for equal pay for all

31/3/21

Pay

SPS Technologies workers strike against potential pay loss of 3,000 a year

31/3/21

Government

'Chingford skinhead' spills the beans over government surveillance of union activists

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999