Media

“Mother” and “Man” Scrapped by Woke University for “More Inclusive Language”

The General Secretary of the Free Speech Union, Toby Young, criticised the university for wasting student’s money. “If I was a student at Manchester University I’m not sure I would regard this as a good use of my £9,250 a year,” Young told the BBC. “Instead of focusing on educational standards, or supporting those students who’ve been short-changed during the pandemic, Manchester has wasted time and money on producing a guide to how to speak woke-ish.”

Kurt Zindulka, Breitbart, 14th March 2021

Time to take on the thoughtpolice

At the Free Speech Union, our paper, An Orwellian Society: Non-Crime Hate Incidents and the Policing of Speech, explains what this new form of speech control means for our freedoms. Public awareness of NCHIs has grown since police recorded Harry Miller (in 2019) and Darren Grimes (in 2020) as having committed such ‘incidents’. Though the details and implications of NCHIs are not commonly understood.

Radomir Tylecote, Spiked, 11th March 2021

Police record thought crimes even if no law has been broken – and it could cost you a job

Today’s report, titled An Orwellian Society, warns that because records of NCHIs can be made after an anonymous accusation, this could encourage “a culture of denunciation hitherto unknown in the UK”. The report’s author, Dr Radomir Tylecote, adds that police officers should be trusted to use their common sense to decide if “reported activity constitutes a crime and not record it if it does not”.

David Williamson, The Sunday Express, 7th March 2021.

Former MSP BRIAN MONTEITH whose website had its ads banned by Facebook without warning or explanation says: Our freedoms will not be ended by a jackboot, the algorithms are watching and will just switch us off

[Brian Monteith,] said: “It was only by enlisting the help of the Free Speech Union (FSU) that I uncovered the disturbing truth about what was going on. Political opponents, almost certainly Scottish Nationalists, were abusing Facebook’s anonymous complaint system to trigger an automatic ban. With the help of the FSU, we sent a letter to Facebook signed by more than 40 politicians from all parties.”

Brian Monteith, The Mail on Sunday, 6th March 2021.

Police forced to issue apology after claiming “being offensive” is a crime

Criticising the message, Toby Young, founder of the Free Speech Union said: “It’s deeply alarming that Merseyside Police have such a poor grasp of the law. As Lord Justice Sedley said in a landmark case in 1999, ‘Free speech includes not only the inoffensive but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative provided it does not tend to provoke violence. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.

Ewan Somerville, The Daily Telegraph, 22nd February 2021

Woke Britain sees record number of free speech complaints

Mr Young, General Secretary of the Free Speech Union, said: “The Government has rightly recognised that there is a serious problem around free speech on campus, but the silencing of those with dissenting points of view goes far beyond that. In our first year, we have been contacted by hundreds of ordinary people. They have fallen foul of a censorious minority – often with the backing of HR departments – that will stop at nothing to silence those whose opinions they disapprove of. We have seen people targeted who hold mainstream views, such as supporters of Brexit and traditional marriage. But it’s not just those with conservative opinions. We’ve defended dozens of left-wing feminists who’ve challenged the trans lobby over issues like whether transwomen should be allowed into women’s changing rooms or to compete in women’s sports.”

David Maddox, The Sunday Express, 20th February 2021

Fans MUST be allowed to boo players who take the knee in support of Black Lives Matter, claims Free Speech Union as they lobby FA to stop supporters from being banned by clubs

In a letter to the Football Association, the Free Speech Union insist that if players are free to make the gesture, then fans must be free to disagree with them. The FSU argued in the letter to the FA’s interim chairman Peter McCormick that the “simplest solution” to an issue which continues to split football and other sports, would be to stop players taking the knee at all on the grounds that it shows support for a political cause and not a moral one, something banned in football law.

Malcolm Brown, The Mail on Sunday, 20th February 2021