Skip to Content

Rod Liddle

Blame the teachers, not the students, for the Oxford Christian ban

It's the grown-ups who are responsible for the dangerous safe-space tribe

14 October 2017

9:00 AM

14 October 2017

9:00 AM

A car driver ploughs into a bunch of people outside the Natural History Museum in London and lefties are furious mostly because the right-wing columnist Katie Hopkins thought it was another jihadi attack. For thinking this she is a racist bigot and consummately evil — despite the fact that I suspect most Londoners thought precisely the same as Hopkins when they heard the news.

We are in the bizarre situation where horrible incidents not perpetrated by Muslims are gleefully welcomed by the lefties because they believe it adds grist to their idiotic mill: other people are capable of driving cars into pedestrians, you see, so it is racist to suggest that radical Muslims have a particular predilection for doing so. This is, of course, a very stupid argument on more levels than I have room to explain. By the same token, though, it is possible to discern the glee in Hopkins’s tweets: yes, they’re at it again, those Mohammedans — told you.

Anyway, the Metropolitan Police have said they are not treating the incident as terrorism-related ‘at present’ and they have released on bail the 47-year-old man they arrested who did the errant driving. That suggests to me that indeed it isn’t terrorism-related — the fact that he was released rather than held, and the age of the accused.

But I will be more comfortable in making this assumption when the name of the chap is released. The fact that it hasn’t been tilts me back slightly into the Hopkins camp: we are too frequently shielded from the truth by our authorities. They lie to us for what they think are good reasons. When his name is published and it turns out to be John Christian Whitechap, I will suspend my doubts. But I think if it had been John Christian Whitechap, we would have been told by now. So there is still a possibility, in my mind at least, that it could be something more like Mohammed al Kafirkilla. If it is, and the BBC reports the story, they will almost certainly describe the man as ‘Norwegian’ because he spent a few months in Bergen.


Forgive the cynicism, please. But this kind of obfuscation happens too often. The BBC and the filth want us kept in a pristine safe space where nasty thoughts are not allowed to occur. And so they do not quite tell us the truth and instead feed us soma. I think this approach is counterproductive, as well as being morally and, of course, journalistically wrong.

There was a pristine safe space at the Freshers Week at Balliol College, Oxford, too. The Christian Union was banned from setting up its stall because the student organisers believe that Christianity is an excuse for ‘homophobia and neocolonialism’. The first and most obvious response to this assertion is: how can people with such a low IQ get into one of the country’s most prestigious colleges? The students also insisted that Freshers’ Week should be a secular affair — I am unaware if the Oxford University Islamic Society was allowed to offer its wares, but I’m prepared to bet that it was — and thus welcoming to everybody.

The irony is that Balliol was set up under the auspices of the Bishop of Durham in 1263. And its patron saint is the Great Martyr Catherine of Alexandria, who converted hundreds of Egyptians to Christianity in the 3rd century before being beheaded at the age of 18. You can see Catherine in a painting by Bernardino Luini (c. 1480-1532) — and she’s really quite fit, for a pious martyr. She certainly looks a lot more up for it than, say, Joan of Arc — who always gives me the impression that she’d be a total pain in the arse if you took her out to Wetherspoons for a few drinks, and that you’d probably wish in the end that you hadn’t bothered. Sitting there with her mineral water and her wacko and fervent Gallic delusions. Cathy, though, looks a very different kettle of fish. But I suppose that this is not the most important point to make here.

The important point is surely that Balliol College, in common with the rest of the United Kingdom, is founded upon Christianity and Christianity permeates every facet of our society. It can not be rendered invisible or expunged or untangled simply because some marble-mouthed, acne-clad, Corbyn-worshipping public-school adolescent thinks it has outlived its usefulness and might offend the poofs. Gay students surely have every bit as much a right to be offended by the Christian Union stall as do god-fearing Christian students who, appalled, chance upon the LGBTQI etc stall.

The student union goon said that the whole deal was about making students feel ‘welcome’, rather than uncomfortable. Well, fine. Let the Christian students feel welcome too, in that case, and give them a stall to which they might cleave. But do not pretend to the Christians or the gays that their lives will be free of offence henceforth. Inclusivity does not imply homogeneity: indeed, it demands the opposite. It demands that we get along despite some people having views which might upset us, if we are easily upset by things like opinions. One would have thought that this should be especially the case at an institute of higher education. But we have been harshly disabused of this notion in recent years.

It is easy to have a go at the students — although that shouldn’t stop us at all, when they deserve it, which they often do. But the dangerous ‘safe spaces’ tripe is avidly supported by the university adults — the dons, the chancellors and so on. Right now, a chap called Felix Ngole is appealing against the decision to kick him off his social work course at Sheffield University because he explained, in an online debate, what Leviticus had to say about homosexuality. He did not say that he agreed with Leviticus. His removal wasn’t down to the idiot authoritarian students, it was down to the idiot authoritarian authorities. With guidance like that, what chance do the students have?

 

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments

Comments

Close