In subtext 173, we reported on the activities of an unofficial far-right student society, which made its presence felt at a public lecture on the politics of fear by raising concerns about the ethnic makeup of Europe, advocating a white Christian Europe, alleging that Israel forcefully castrates immigrants and that migrants are all rapists. The conversation spilled out into the lobby, where a heated exchange between the group and the other attendees ensued. Since the Students’ Union (LUSU) had been dragging its heels in the process of granting them society status all year, we figured that they would never get anything even close to official recognition by LUSU, especially after our report on their behaviour. After that report, there was a small amount of uproar on their Facebook page, a very boring letter accusing us of libel which we published in subtext 174, a bit of hectoring from the on-campus far-left, and a SCAN article. And that, we thought, was that…
… Until the other day, when we found out that the Students’ Union has gone the extra mile to get them their recognition! All applications for official recognition by LUSU are scrutinised by a ‘Societies Committee’, which voted to postpone the decision to recognise the group until a later meeting. subtext has learned that last week the LUSU full-time officers took an executive decision to ignore the societies committee and ‘approve’ the society in question for official recognition.
To be fair to the LUSU executive, they have identified the ‘high risk’ involved in approving the group, and have been working with the university to develop a strategy to mitigate against those risks.
Firstly, members of the group are going to be given a jolly good talking to about LUSU’s code of conduct, and you’d better know that they won’t be getting an inch unless they swear up, down and sideways that they’ll follow it – indeed, there has even been talk of crossing hearts and hoping to die.
If that doesn’t have them quaking in their boots, there’s also going to be one hell of a risk assessment carried out. It doesn’t end there. The group, which has defended individuals guilty of inciting hate crime, are going to have hate crime explained to them by a local policeman. This will, apparently, help them to recognise signs of people hijacking the group for nefarious political purposes. Because we can’t have extremists in a fascist group, can we?
At the time of writing, the society’s application has been deferred yet again, pending further investigation, following what we understand was an intervention by a senior member of LUSU staff. While another deferral is better than an outright approval, subtext is amazed that the elected LUSU officers were willing to approve the society.
subtext decided to take another look at the group’s Facebook page.
Aside from the usual witless, unsophisticated kvetching about gender studies and white people being oppressed, this society, which LUSU full time officers were happy and willing to grant money, resources, and official recognition to, is relaxed about historical inaccuracies on TV unless a black person shows up. They celebrated the election of Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian autocrat who has worked to quash press freedom and curb civil liberties but is alright because he annoys George Soros (the Emmanuel Goldstein of the alt-right). A member of their group writes Facebook posts under the pseudonym ‘Enoch’. They find it ‘sickening’ that Lauren Southern was banned from the UK. Ms Southern, in case you were wondering, once wrote: ‘another problem I have with Hitler? He fawned over Muslims more sycophantically than Justin Trudeau. Bibi Netanyahu was right to point out that Hitler decided on the Holocaust partly because Middle Eastern Muslims told him they didn’t want Jews expelled into the region.’
Aside from that they’re a box of fluffy ducks, apparently.
ALT-WRONG IN THE CLASSROOM
Should we care if some of our students express views the majority find distasteful? Freedom of speech is a truism in universities and if a few people want to form a society to lament the demise of ‘traditional Christian Europe’, is it our place to stop them? Are they hurting anyone else?
subtext has received reports of several seminars being disrupted, on a regular basis, by small groups of students, who have sought to overwhelm conversations with repeated and extended interventions, often wholly unrelated to the text under discussion.
Seminars have been forced to address such pressing topics as:
– Do Jewish or Asian people control much of Britain’s wealth?
– Will the US Army be weaker than the Chinese army if it welcomes transgender people to serve as soldiers?
– Should women be teaching men?
These interventions, delivered in a rapid succession of questionable debating points (Gish Galloping – Google it), have at times been accompanied by explicit hate speech against disabled and trans people. Lecturers and seminar tutors believe that these contributions are racist, antisemitic and sexist. Female staff seem to be targeted in particular.
The reaction of other students in the seminars seems to be bemusement and taking offence.
Reportedly both first and third year seminars have been affected in this way, so if any readers thought this phenomenon would just naturally expire when the key players graduated, they may have a while to wait.