To "platform" a view is not to legitimise it. Only the responses to a view can do that. It is my firm view that "platforming" obnoxious beliefs actually helps to delegitimise them, in so far as the sheer repulsiveness of a view becomes obvious when shown in a public arena. I remain convinced that bigotry can never be based on facts, and that is why I am proud to propose the motion.
It's simple: "The only way of living in a free society is to feel that you have the right to say and do stuff." Said Salman Rushdie. Go figure. Let truth and falsehood grapple. How do we know what is right if we don't know wrong and the case that is made for wrong. Ideas may be distasteful and deeply disagreeable, but we cannot airbrush and disappear that and those people that we disagree with.
2014 looks set to be a year for landmark elections. India's having a really long one, Ukraine's looking at a fairly awkward one and Syria's going to have a predictable one. But come next month, all eyes will be on Egypt, as the country seeks closure to the Arab Spring in the form of its very own presidential elections.
It was a revelation this month to discover that calling for tougher curbs on smoking, made me a Nazi. Strike that, it was a surprise when my (admittedly provocative) Huffington Post article received a slew of 'she's a Nazi' comments, when my twitter account was inundated with trolls, when I received hate E-mail...
The debate over group rights is contested, but what shouldn't be, is the fact that calling for instant and somewhat arbitrary retributive action against a single MP candidate, who has exercised a right afforded to everyone else, just isn't a convincing way to invite this debate into the public domain. Neither is it just or democratic.
No-platform policies are not a form of Orewellian censorship - they are a reasonable concept encouraging self-regulation. Rather than 'banning' individuals outright, we as students must place significant pressure on the relevant authorities to withhold the right of certain individuals to speak at certain times on campus.