Media

Eton provost will not rule on Master’s dismissal after backing Headmaster in free speech row

Toby Young, general secretary of the Free Speech Union which is supporting Mr Knowland, said that the case “is and always has been about free speech”. He added that the dispute is over the purpose of a good education and whether it is to “equip children with the knowledge and skills to think through the big questions facing our society or to just teach them the ‘correct’ view”.

Camilla Turner, The Daily Telegraph, 30th November 2020.

Eton students turn on headmaster over teacher’s dismissal

Douglas Murray, an old Etonian […] told The Telegraph that Eton had “discredited” itself by failing to allow the free exchange of ideas between students and lecturers. “The main thing is that the prerequisite for a good education is to make the students in your care think and there’s no sure-fire way of doing it but the best way is to introduce them to ideas they otherwise wouldn’t or haven’t encountered – as far as I can see, this teacher was merely doing that,” he said.

Camilla Turner, Phoebe Southworth and Christopher Hope, The Daily Telegraph, 28th November 2020.

800 Etonians revolt after teacher is sacked for questioning radical feminist dogma on “toxic masculinity” as war on woke hits Britain’s top school

His appeal will be heard on Founder’s Day, December 8, by a panel chaired by former Cabinet Minister Lord Waldegrave, himself an Old Etonian. Mr Knowland will have the support of the Free Speech Union, whose founder Toby Young said: “This is a landmark case. Schools must be places where children are taught all sides of these big questions and allowed to make up their own minds, not indoctrinated with the latest political orthodoxy.”

Sarah Oliver, The Mail on Sunday, 29th November 2020.

A hate-filled war on press freedom

As the Free Speech Union and others have pointed out, the expanded hate-speech categories will make life very hard indeed for newspapers, radio, TV and online media who choose not to play safe and avoid controversy.

Andrew Tettenborn, Spiked, 23rd November 2020.

More than a QUARTER of students “self-censor” their opinions because they fear their university’s woke cancel culture – and 40% are afraid their careers will be ruined if they speak out

Toby Young, who created The Free Speech Union in February, said his organisation is inundated with students “begging for help”. “They thought they’d applied to a university, but they’ve ended up in a Maoist re-education camp,” he added. “If they say anything that challenges the prevailing woke orthodoxy – if they dispute the idea that trans-women are women, for instance – a complaint is made to the authorities and they find themselves being put through dubious, quasi-legal procedures that resemble struggle sessions during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. If they don’t throw themselves at the feet of their inquisitors and denounce their white privilege, they’re liable to be kicked out and reported to the police for ‘hate speech’.”

Max Aitchison, The Mail on Sunday, 22nd November 2020.

“Authoritarian” fact-checkers misleading public on Covid studies, warns journalist

The General Secretary of the Free Speech Union insisted that this not only is a breach of the free speech of Carl Heneghan, the director of the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University who was censored by Facebook “but the rights of the audience,” who are prevented from viewing the article with a neutral mindset.

Maajid Nawaz interviews Toby Young, LBC, 21st November 2020.

The Law Commission’s totalitarian vision

The Law Commission is an unelected quango whose job it is to think up changes to the law. This autumn it published a chilling 533-page call for reforms to “hate crime and hate speech” laws, which tells the government that Britain’s repression of free speech has not gone far enough. As our briefing at the Free Speech Union outlines, the legislation it wants brought before parliament is tantamount to an Anti-Free Speech Bill, and would be unprecedented in this country.

Radomir Tylecote, Spiked, 20th November 2020.

Toby Young: “Challenge Covid-19 orthodoxy and you are silenced on social media”

Toby Young, general secretary of the free speech union, says people who challenge “Covid-19 orthodoxy” online are silenced by social media. The Labour Party have recently said that emergency laws are needed to “stamp out dangerous” anti-vaccine content online. The party is calling for financial and criminal penalties for social media firms that do not remove false scare stories about vaccines.

Kevin O’Sullivan interviews Toby Young, talkRADIO, 20th November 2020.

Law Commission Pushes for Hate Speech Law to Ban “Islamophobic” Mohammed Cartoons

Writing in opposition to the further restrictions proposed by the Law Commission, the research director for The Free Speech Union. Dr Radomir Tylecote, said: “One of the hallmarks of a totalitarian society is that the state’s writ extends into every nook and cranny of people’s lives, eroding the distinction between private and public. Is this what the Law Commission wants? To set children against parents, husbands and against wives, all in the name of boosting social cohesion?”

Kurt Zindulka, Breitbart, 14th November 2020.

Law Commission Would Make Mohammed Cartoons Illegal

The Free Speech Union has produced a briefing worth reading before making your views known via the Law Commission consultation here. Lawyers in Britain increasingly see themselves as social justice warriors…

Guido Fawkes, 13th November 2020.