Needless to say, I’m hopping mad about this.
I blogged last month on an op ed by the Massey Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas, which caused me concern over her views on free speech. She backed the decision of Phil Goff to decide who can speak at an Auckland Council venue, and said that some of the Hobson’s Pledge campaign against special race based wards on local government comes dangerously close to hate speech.
She even went on to talk about free speech being a tool of colonialism that must be restricted.
We were right to be concerned. She has unilaterally banned Don Brash from speaking on the Massey campus. It is an appalling decision from a Vice-Chancellor as the Education Act states:
academic freedom, in relation to an institution, means the freedom of academic staff and students, within the law, to question and test received wisdom, to put forward new ideas and to state controversial or unpopular opinions
Her rationale for banning Brash is disingenuous:
The members later approached University management concerned about their ability to meet the agreement’s terms around security after becoming aware of social media posts suggesting the event could lead to violence.
The University considered providing additional security for the event, but decided the risk of harm to students, staff and members of the public was too great, particularly at time of heightened tension over the issues around free speech and hate speech.
I don’t go on about my past, but I will say this: I spent several years around university academics. They love their academic freedom. Many of them are right pricks about it.
They’re not stupid people. They know all the reasons why they’re granted that freedom, and they’re always looking to widen it and protect it.
Then, they use it to follow the herd. Never actually dare speak against orthodoxy. Even when we have madness like people who decide they will be “gender fluid”, and change sex daily depending on mood. I mean, there’s a lot of soft targets out there.
Well, now a VC at a New Zealand university has used her power to not only discourage a talk by someone she disagrees with, but to actively ban him on spurious grounds. That’s not just wrong, but actually the polar opposite of what should be her bound duty.
It’s like a WWII general, set to land at Normandy, turning around and invading England instead. This is that big a betrayal to the university. And by extension, all NZ universities.
There are times in the past where this would have caused riots. She’d have been physically dragged from her offices and publicly humiliated by a huge angry mob of students.
But no one’s going to do that tomorrow.
You’d be lucky to get half a dozen people with a small sign sitting outside her office.
We’ve had our rights too long. Things have worked for too long. We’ve neglected to teach our children why things are the way they are, because that’s something conservative and boring. Thinking up new ideas and utopias is much more fun, and using those to break down the social order.
I literally saw someone on Facebook today say that a whale being put down was the worst thing that happened today. An animal died, in the least painful way those present could manage. And she thought it was worse than anything else she could think of.
The day before, dozens of people were upset because a farm cow was sent to the freezing works after it attacked a person (they claimed, without evidence, that that person caused the incident). Upset at a farm cow being slaughtered! In New Zealand!
How utterly infantile.
Well, things still stand, for now.
Blowed if I can see how the’re going to get better.