Starmer
© Reuters / UK Parliament/ Jessica Taylor
FILE PHOTO: Keir Starmer speaks during a session in Parliament in London, Britain, May 12, 2021
The British Labour Party will oppose a Tory-sponsored bill that would allow "deplatformed" political speakers to sue universities. Labour leader Keir Starmer claims the bill will enable "Holocaust deniers" and "anti-vaxxers."

The bill, proposed by the Conservative government and headed for a second reading in the House of Commons this week, would amend existing laws safeguarding free speech on university campuses by allowing guest speakers to sue the universities if they are denied a platform over political views. It would also mandate the appointment of a "Director for Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom" within the government's Office for Students, and allow university staff to take legal action if they felt they had been passed over for a job due to their views.

The Labour Party isn't on board. In a statement on Saturday, the party said that its MPs would vote against this "hate speech bill." Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green said that if passed, it could give "people harmful to public interest the opportunity to sue their way to a platform at universities."

As for who Labour considers "harmful to the public interest," Green listed "Holocaust deniers" and "anti-vaxxers" as two examples. Labour Leader Keir Starmer echoed Green's words on Sunday, calling it "shocking" that the Conservatives would hypothetically support these people's speech rights.


Comment: Conflating the two topics reflects just how far gone Labour because there are a significant number of working class and traditionally liberal people who are not anti-vaxxers but they do question the current hysteria that's being used to push draconian lockdowns and coercing millions of people into suffering experimental vaccines.


The UK's universities are on Starmer's side. Universities UK, which represents 140 higher education institutes, claims that "this bill could make it easier for those who promote conspiracy theories or 'alternative facts' to speak on university campuses," while court cases over free speech could inflict "significant cost, time and reputational damage to universities."


Comment: Of course universities are on Starmer's side, a great number of them are also ideologically possessed and have been working for a number of years towards censoring free speech: If university students self-censor out of fear, freedom of speech in wider society is doomed


Supporters of the bill, however, argue that universities are supposed to be places where facts and opinions - even the most controversial ones - can be debated.