Durham University makes itself a laughing stock

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generallee
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#1
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#1
I can't see a thread on this subject which rather amazes me, maybe I missed it...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yZg_Nvh6aY

It is hard to contain one's laughter at Durham University and retain any respect for it. There was I thinking it was a pretty decent uni, a bit Oxbridge rejecty, and a tad too posh and lacking in diversity, but solid. A proper university.

Now we learn that its students walk out when they hear views they don't agree with because they feel it "upsets them." Aw diddums! Having specially turned up so as to be offended.

It's laughable. And there is a serous dimension, you shouldn't be at university if you don't want to encounter views that disagree with your own. it's the whole point of being there. And wait till you leave!!

The students here are behaving like cry baby children. Liddle called them "jabbering infants" which seems harsh but fair. But the university authorities are meant to be the adults in the room.

If it seeks to have any gravitas and respect as an seat of intellecetal excellence that respects freedom of speech it needs to back Professor Luckhurst.
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Barbu
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You know why no one has made a thread before you?

Because it's normalised behaviour at Durham. It's systematic.

It's been festering for years, and now here's the result.
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generallee
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(Original post by Barbu)
You know why no one has made a thread before you?

Because it's normalised behaviour at Durham. It's systematic.

It's been festering for years, and now here's the result.
I don't know all that much about Durham but am prepared to take your word for it.

It gives the impression of being insular, privileged, public school dominated, and somewhat chippy about being almost everyone there's second choice to Oxbridge. They would rather be walking around the dreaming spires but ended up in the @rse end of nowhere, where it is freezing cold half the year and never really gets light in the winter.

Now we can see that they are prone to childish tantrums to seek attention, aided and abetted by their own academic administrative hierarchy.

Any Durham students on here? Anyone actually go to this terrifying safe space invasion by the transphobic Nazi newspaper columnist?

Or are you too embarrassed to post?
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Crazed cat lady
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Students are entitled to walk out when in the same way I'll walk away from the pub bore when he starts his tedious monologue.

Respect to Rod Liddle and the rest of the conservative MSM for turning a non-story in something on the front pages. They really know how to distract from the failures of their pals in government.

Culture war stories are the modern opium for the masses.
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generallee
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#5
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#5
Crazed cat lady

"That nasty man Rod Liddle invaded my safe space in Durham University and I feel so so so awfully upset... And I had gone there especially to be offended by something that he hadn't even said yet too!!

It's hardly Kent State during the Vietnam War/Paris May 1968, is it?
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SHallowvale
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The college invited Rod Liddle to speak at an event. Students, who paid to attend the event, weren't told you the speaker was going to be and only found out on the day. When they realised, some students chose to leave before Liddle spoke. Some more students left after he began speaking. The college professor, Tim Luckhurst, then hurled abuse at them, saying they were "pathetic", they "didn't belong at university", etc.

I think the university is right to suspend Luckhurst. His comments were totally unnecessary, even if we do assume that all the students who left did so out of protest (which itself isn't necessarily true either).

And right on cue, we hear the argument "you shouldn't be at university if you don't want to encounter views that disagree". So if you don't want to listen to one speaker then you must be incapable of encountering any views that you disagree with, or something? Utter *******s. At some point in their degree all students will encounter people who disagree with them (if not already). Not wanting to listen to someone at a poxy Christmas event doesn't mean they're incapable of hearing all viewpoints they disagree with.
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by Crazed cat lady)
Students are entitled to walk out when in the same way I'll walk away from the pub bore when he starts his tedious monologue.
Exactly. Free speech doesn't mean that people have to listen to you.
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Napp
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(Original post by SHallowvale)
The college invited Rod Liddle to speak at an event. Students, who paid to attend the event, weren't told you the speaker was going to be and only found out on the day. When they realised, some students chose to leave before Liddle spoke. Some more students left after he began speaking. The college professor, Tim Luckhurst, then hurled abuse at them, saying they were "pathetic", they "didn't belong at university", etc.

I think the university is right to suspend Luckhurst. His comments were totally unnecessary, even if we do assume that all the students who left did so out of protest (which itself isn't necessarily true either).

And right on cue, we hear the argument "you shouldn't be at university if you don't want to encounter views that disagree". So if you don't want to listen to one speaker then you must be incapable of encountering any views that you disagree with, or something? Utter *******s. At some point in their degree all students will encounter people who disagree with them (if not already). Not wanting to listen to someone at a poxy Christmas event doesn't mean they're incapable of hearing all viewpoints they disagree with.
Oh come now, Liddle might be a inebriant old wind bag but its not like they were hearing Yaxley Lennon give a diatribe. Whilst they have every right to walk out in protest, or for whatever reason, equally the right to mock them for having overly sensitive ears stands, does it not?
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anarchism101
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#9
(Original post by Napp)
Oh come now, Liddle might be a inebriant old wind bag but its not like they were hearing Yaxley Lennon give a diatribe. Whilst they have every right to walk out in protest, or for whatever reason, equally the right to mock them for having overly sensitive ears stands, does it not?
So, what if they just don't find Liddle very interesting or entertaining? Are they obliged to sit through whatever he wants to rant about when they'd rather be doing something else with their time? You could say "Don't go at all", but if they've bought tickets and paid for the food, I don't see why they shouldn't try to get their money's worth - eat dinner, drink and chat to their friends for as long as they can, then leave when Liddle starts speaking because they're not really interested in that seems like a pretty understandable option.
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Joleee
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don't know who this Rod Liddle person is but i did watch the video and read some of the news articles on the story. don't see how he's trying to make himself into a 'free speech' victim here. dude was invited(!) to speak at a university ie he was given a platform; students were invited (!) to attend. like, it wasn't a mandatory lecture or anything and if SHallowVale is correct and the students didn't know who the speaker was till last minute well they're entitled to change their mind. since when does freedom of speech = guaranteed audience and you better sit down and listen to me anyway it's not like Liddle's lecture got cancelled a la Oxford and Jordan Peterson.

ps i can imagine the same thing happening if students found out last minute the speaker was radical feminist Germaine Greer cuz some of y'all hate feminism and wouldn't want to sit through it, or the speaker was some fundamentalist Christian or evangelist cuz some of y'all aren't interested in hearing about putting gays back in the closet or that Jesus loves you. you've got better ways to spend your time.
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by Napp)
Oh come now, Liddle might be a inebriant old wind bag but its not like they were hearing Yaxley Lennon give a diatribe. Whilst they have every right to walk out in protest, or for whatever reason, equally the right to mock them for having overly sensitive ears stands, does it not?
There is a difference between mocking someone and berating someone. Who is Luckhurst to insult students as being "pathetic" and "not fit for university" just because they don't want to listen to a single speaker?

Even if they left out of protest (which we can't assume was the case for all students), to declare them as such purely on this ground is extremely unprofessional and not the behaviour you should see from someone senior in a university.
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generallee
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I'll answer all the above points in one general catch all post.

Once the laughing stops, and you look at this seriously, it is about the wish to exercise power. The control the public discourse, the movement of the Overton Window, by one side of the debate is the aim here, it is a power play nothing more nor less. You may say that Durham students are utterly powerless individually, and thankfully that is largely true, but (a minority) are attempting to impose their view as the only one which it is acceptable to articulate in public. What else is their purpose?

And if Professor Luckhurst is fired they will have succeeded. For what future individual in his position would dare to invite Rod Liddle to such a dinner, again? The point of "cancelling" people is not so much the individual cancelled. It is "pour encourager les autres" as Voltaire said about the hanged Admiral. Self censorship is still censorchip.

And this is my case. If preventing your opponent from speaking in "respectable" outlets (a great example is what happened to David Starkey, now de facto banned from the mainstream media) isn't a prototypical example of the suppression of free speech I don't know what is.

(I'll add that one interesting aspect of this is how much the debate is itself moving its location and the mainstream media is (very very slowly) being marginalised. You may have noticed that the clip was from GB News, as the BBC wouldn't have Rod Liddle (an ex BBC producer incidentally) on air nowadays. GB News was derided by the mainstream media at launch, we were told it had an audience of zero, Andrew Neil stormed off in a huff etc, but events like this are letting it establish its niche. A lot of people agree with Rod Liddle, half the country maybe, and they have an appetite to hear such views articulated. GB News now has more viewers than Sky and BBC News combined on some time slots. Are we starting to imitate the US with bifurcated news outlets on ideological grounds? Time will tell, but these students will have had a footnote in that, if so.)
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by generallee)
Once the laughing stops, and you look at this seriously, it is about the wish to exercise power. The control the public discourse, the movement of the Overton Window, by one side of the debate is the aim here, it is a power play nothing more nor less. You may say that Durham students are utterly powerless individually, and thankfully that is largely true, but (a minority) are attempting to impose their view as the only one which it is acceptable to articulate in public. What else is their purpose?

And if Professor Luckhurst is fired they will have succeeded. For what future individual in his position would dare to invite Rod Liddle to such a dinner, again? The point of "cancelling" people is not so much the individual cancelled. It is "pour encourager les autres" as Voltaire said about the hanged Admiral. Self censorship is still censorchip.

And this is my case. If preventing your opponent from speaking in "respectable" outlets (a great example is what happened to David Starkey, now de facto banned from the mainstream media) isn't a prototypical example of the suppression of free speech I don't know what is.
It's a wish to exercise power from both sides here. Do you honestly think that Luckhurst invited Rod Liddle to speak because they thought Rod Liddle would be a good guest that students would enjoy? Of course not, he invited Rod Liddle to speak probably knowing that they would say something controversial to annoy students, all under the guise of wanting to 'promote free speech'. The students weren't interested in that so they left. Luckhurst then threw his toys out the pram, insulted the students and responded like a "jabbering infant". Hence why he's now in trouble, and rightfully so.

Why would anyone want to invite someone like Rod Liddle to a dinner anyway? Get real for a second, it's a paid event for students and staff to enjoy. If you end up having a speaker that is just going to spout things that people don't want to hear then you've failed as an organiser. I'm all for free speech and having open discussions about the topics that Liddle brought up, but a paid dinner that guests are meant to enjoy isn't the place for that discussion.
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generallee
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(Original post by SHallowvale)
It's a wish to exercise power from both sides here. Do you honestly think that Luckhurst invited Rod Liddle to speak because they thought Rod Liddle would be a good guest that students would enjoy? Of course not, he invited Rod Liddle to speak probably knowing that they would say something controversial to annoy students, all under the guise of wanting to 'promote free speech'. The students weren't interested in that so they left. Luckhurst then threw his toys out the pram, insulted the students and responded like a "jabbering infant". Hence why he's now in trouble, and rightfully so.

Why would anyone want to invite someone like Rod Liddle to a dinner anyway? Get real for a second, it's a paid event for students and staff to enjoy. If you end up having a speaker that is just going to spout things that people don't want to hear then you've failed as an organiser. I'm all for free speech and having open discussions about the topics that Liddle brought up, but a paid dinner that guests are meant to enjoy isn't the place for that discussion.
I have no idea why Prof Luckhurst invited RL to speak. He's a friend of his, since they worked together in journalism back in the day. Sometimes it is hard to find speakers for functions like these, and it's going to be even harder after the shenanigans that took place that night.

Sure he probably agrees with some of Liddle's critique of the bien pensant academic shibboleths, and wants to get them aired. You'll be surprised to learn I suspect that a lot of people agree outside the intellectual kindergartens that universities seem to be becoming.

The point is, whatever your view, left or right, universities should be places where ideas are debated and fought over. Intellectually. They shouldn't be arenas where only one side of the argument gets to be discussed and considered. Why are "post modernists" so afraid to have their views subject to robust intellectual debate and ridicule? Because I lay all this at their door. They have universities in the USA and increasingly here, in their grip.

Jordan Peterson was mentioned earlier in the thread. He was a canary in the mine in this regard realising early on the danger that we being posed to free speech at his own workplace. His robust defence on free speech at Toronto University has made him an intellectual rock star of word wide fame. He debates the assumed truths of modern day academia all over the web, at great cost to himself and his health.

And free thinking students find it refreshing. He was banned by Cambridge as discussed above, then they backed down. Check out recent his appearance at the Cambridge Union, you can find it online. For such an evil, wicked man, he is received very warmly. His audience often don't agree, clearly, but they respect his intellectual integrity. That is how universities ought to be. Intellectual debate, with sincere disagreements not only allowed but actively encouraged.
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by generallee)
I have no idea why Prof Luckhurst invited RL to speak. He's a friend of his, since they worked together in journalism back in the day. Sometimes it is hard to find speakers for functions like these, and it's going to be even harder after the shenanigans that took place that night.

Sure he probably agrees with some of Liddle's critique of the bien pensant academic shibboleths, and wants to get them aired. You'll be surprised to learn I suspect that a lot of people agree outside the intellectual kindergartens that universities seem to be becoming.

The point is, whatever your view, left or right, universities should be places where ideas are debated and fought over. Intellectually. They shouldn't be arenas where only one side of the argument gets to be discussed and considered. Why are "post modernists" so afraid to have their views subject to robust intellectual debate and ridicule? Because I lay all this at their door. They have universities in the USA and increasingly here, in their grip.

Jordan Peterson was mentioned earlier in the thread. He was a canary in the mine in this regard realising early on the danger that we being posed to free speech at his own workplace. His robust defence on free speech at Toronto University has made him an intellectual rock star of word wide fame. He debates the assumed truths of modern day academia all over the web, at great cost to himself and his health.

And free thinking students find it refreshing. He was banned by Cambridge as discussed above, then they backed down. Check out recent his appearance at the Cambridge Union, you can find it online. For such an evil, wicked man, he is received very warmly. His audience often don't agree, clearly, but they respect his intellectual integrity. That is how universities ought to be. Intellectual debate, with sincere disagreements not only allowed but actively encouraged.
You're missing the point. This all happened at a Christmas event. It's a place for people to enjoy themself, not be lectured to by someone they don't want to hear. I agree that universities should be places where ideas are debated and fought over, they already are and will continue to be so, but we're not talking about everyday university life but rather an optional event that students paid for.

For Luckhurst to declare the students who left as "pathetic" and "not fit for university" just because they didn't want to listen to Liddle at an optional event that wasn't part of their degree is exactly the sort of kindergarden behaviour you're decrying. It's wasn't pathetic, it doesn't mean that students aren't fit for university and it isn't an attack on free speech and open debates.

If you were in the position of the students and if the situation were reversed I'm sure you would leave as well. I'm sure you wouldn't want to spend your free time at an event (that you paid for) being lectured by a woke SJW feminist, would you? One that you didn't know would be speaking, no less.
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generallee
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(Original post by SHallowvale)
If you were in the position of the students and if the situation were reversed I'm sure you would leave as well. I'm sure you wouldn't want to spend your free time at an event (that you paid for) being lectured by a woke SJW feminist, would you? One that you didn't know would be speaking, no less.
Au contraire.

I have been to many dinners where the speaker has been either boring or unacceptable to me, some of which I've even paid for. And I've never walked out because it would be bad manners.

As for Luckhurst calling the departing students "pathetic," that seems pretty much on the money, they were.

I saw some earnest young girl, fresh from Benenden or CLC, with a placard on which had been scrawled "Proud to be pathetic!"

Now we know why these protestors didn't make it into Oxbridge...
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by generallee)
I have been to many dinners where the speaker has been either boring or unacceptable to me, some of which I've even paid for. And I've never walked out because it would be bad manners.

As for Luckhurst calling the departing students "pathetic," that seems pretty much on the money, they were.
Pathetic for not wanting to waste their time? Really?

Good on you for not leaving for the sake of your manners. If that's what you're happy to do then all the power to you, but you have no reason to consider other people pathetic because they feel different.
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by generallee)
I can't see a thread on this subject which rather amazes me, maybe I missed it...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yZg_Nvh6aY

It is hard to contain one's laughter at Durham University and retain any respect for it. There was I thinking it was a pretty decent uni, a bit Oxbridge rejecty, and a tad too posh and lacking in diversity, but solid. A proper university.

Now we learn that its students walk out when they hear views they don't agree with because they feel it "upsets them." Aw diddums! Having specially turned up so as to be offended.

It's laughable. And there is a serous dimension, you shouldn't be at university if you don't want to encounter views that disagree with your own. it's the whole point of being there. And wait till you leave!!

The students here are behaving like cry baby children. Liddle called them "jabbering infants" which seems harsh but fair. But the university authorities are meant to be the adults in the room.

If it seeks to have any gravitas and respect as an seat of intellecetal excellence that respects freedom of speech it needs to back Professor Luckhurst.
Durham is there for the name and not the education. If one seeks to receive a proper education, they go to Oxbridge, London Universities or other peer institutions.
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Wired_1800
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#19
(Original post by Barbu)
You know why no one has made a thread before you?

Because it's normalised behaviour at Durham. It's systematic.

It's been festering for years, and now here's the result.
It is concerning that such a university has reduced itself to a low quality institution without proper debate or freedoms.
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looloo2134
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It worries me when I read stories like this one. I have no idea whoMr liddle is and why some people might find his views upsetting. But to walk out because they didn't like his views worries me.

how are those students going to cope when their trying to find employment or they meet people with different life experiences and views
Last edited by looloo2134; 4 weeks ago
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