Letter: Re: Crackdown on university students silencing free speech

We welcome news that the Office for Students will enforce the expectation that universities should once again tolerate all legal viewpoints. The OfS must tackle not only bureaucratic meddling in speaker meetings but also the violent and disruptive protests such as the recent no-platform attack at Kings College London. At that event, security staff were hospitalised but non-violent saboteurs succeeded in shutting down the event by setting off fire alarms and shouting the speakers down. There must now be a clear commitment to enforcing existing law to ensure lawful speech is not prevented by force of any kind.

Simon Gibbs
Martin Keegan
Danny Al-Khafaji

ENDS

[Address provided]

In reply to https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/sam-gyimah-crackdown-on-students-silencing-free-speech-x28jx85fc

More on this topic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8V2T4xAzx4

 

 

Representing Members

Libertarian Home seeks to help Libertarians get stuff done. It allows people to float policy ideas, discuss strategy, hold our institutions and our elite to account, meet and get to know each other, rehearse arguments and have fun. These are the things that help a movement grow.

Does it also seek to represent libertarians? That is, to transmit a view on behalf of it’s members?

Well, perhaps it should. It could, certainly, and it may have appeared do have done so recently in letters responding to the Paris attacks and one on freelancing. However, I am not convinced representing members is a sensible plan. Libertarians are too varied for any institution to transmit a view on everyone’s behalf. That is why there were so many names on our recent letters: writing “Libertarian Home members”, as appeared in some drafts of the Paris letter, would have misrepresented the majority of you who didn’t sign it.  I know that the silent majority included some who actively disagreed. It probably includes many who would support it too, if they had been paying attention to our Twitter on that particular day.

So what I did was put a letter together, add the names of those that did agree and carried a selection of interesting points from a range of libertarian voices. That collection included some who signed the Paris letter, others who didn’t sign and a few that disagreed with the words in the letter.

Incidentally, at 150 odd words and edited down to 100, the Telegraph letter did not represent my own view either, and I wrote it. I imagine it did not fully represent the people who poured over the draft and helped edit it, either. What it did do is on the letters page of a national newspaper show that the anti-surveillance folk outnumbered the pro-surveillance folk by 37:1, although the letters editor gave the 1 pro-surveillance guy top billing. The point is that this seems like something useful that most members would regard as a positive. I hope so.

No one has come to me and said that my approach pissed them off. I consider this way of representing specific members (who have an opinion in common) was a success worth repeating.

Discuss.

The Freedom to Freelance

Sir – Osborne ought to drop guidance which effectively bans flexible working practices by limiting them to one month duration.

We believe individuals have a right to decide their own working practices according to economic realities. The Social Contract (which we never signed) was expanded to include all manner of privileges and obligations without our involvement, often before we were born. If we choose to abandon some clauses that reduce our market value then we should have that right.

The Chancellor’s administrative convenience cannot be made a justification to ban our lifestyle choices. Nor is it healthy to defy economic reality.

Faithfully

You

To associate yourself with this letter fill in this form before the Autumn Statement.

LATER: the first 13 names have been sent to the Guardian and the Daily Mail who covered the story when the policy was kited.

Our Telegraph letter in full

Sir

We read with interest Dan Hodges’ column of November 15th arguing that the incidents in Paris show a need for stricter border controls and mass surveillance at home. We disagree.

We believe the role of Government is not to provide a sugar-coated, bubble-wrapped utopia. Such visions of society are unrealistic and dangerous. Individual liberty should be the fundamental basis of society: it is essential to individual and collective flourishing.

The Paris attacks do not justify surveillance programs that will close down free speech, drive wedges of paranoia between communities and stifle dissent. We should be open to the movement of decent people, willing to earn their way into a better life.

The attacks show we need to face up to ISIS and to the misinformed foreign and domestic policies that allowed terror to come to Paris. History has shown that open societies prosper and closed societies stagnate. Choose your policies accordingly.

Faithfully

Simon Gibbs, Pavel Reich, Nico Metten, Clarissa Clement, Gareth Corfield, Steven O’Sullivan, Jordan Lee, Priya Dutta, Devika Gibbs, Tim Carpenter and Zach Cope of Libertarian Home

Ben Kelly, Conservatives for Liberty
Ammar Hassan, Muslim
Chris Mounsey, Libertarian Blogger
Samuel Hooper, Libertarian Blogger
Daniel Pryor, Liberty League

James Rigby, Simon Gentry, Michael Regan, Christian Michel, David Buckingham, Philip Wright, Adam Cleary , David Warwicker, Andy Harrison, Jonathon Kitson, Andy Bolton, Michael Jennings, Javier Llopis, Leon Gunning, Brett Capewell, Matthew John Hayden, Eric Siva-Jothy, Scott Freeman, Mark Bannister, Raquel Toney, Phil Smith, Brian Markin, Theo Cox Dodgson, Christopher Garcia, Simon Harding