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.
Then, without warning, this reasonable man stood in some sort of salute and mocked a disabled contributor to the debate with the question: "Are you Richard III?'" It was a bizarre intervention... Surely a man intelligent enough to reasonably argue his case in front of 300 people realises that standing and insulting his opponents will do his cause no good at all?
When the Oxford Union, or indeed any other organisation with a major platform such as the BBC, attempts to give airtime to rather odious right-wing views, there is predictably an almost entirely manufactured outcry. In these circumstances Unite against Fascism normally complains about giving attention to extremists, and this occasion has been no different.
The internet and the growth of online media platforms have changed the game. Private pasts cannot be obliterated and university scandals erased. Those involved in the latest union controversy may find when they come to search for those stressful careers their future employers are not so keen to offer them jobs.
While the technology is far from perfect, drone warfare is not only a legitimate and legal weapon but also a necessary one given the circumstances of conflicts these days. For the opposition to suggest it is neither ethical or efficient is both false and naive as no other alternative could adequately achieve the success seen through the use of drones.