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The NUS Is At It Again February 4, 2010

Posted by Fiona in Big things, Bwargh, Durham, Sheer bloody-mindedness, University.

Furore, chaps, actual genuine furore.

If you’re in Durham at the moment, you’ll almost certainly have heard about it.  If you’re not in Durham, just remember that if the Oxford Union can do it, we most certainly can because we’re not an inferior university in the slightest and we can do controversial speakers too what are you suggesting.

There’s a debate on next Friday at the Union Society entitled ‘This house believes in a multicultural Britain’.

I say debate.  Anyone who votes ‘nay’ will surely be a braver, if more deluded, person than I.  The two opposition speakers are from the BNP, in the most unsubtle attempt at following in the steps of Newsnight and letting them shoot themselves in the foot in front of a decent sized audience.  I for one will definitely be going – partly to see what they have to say for themselves, and partly to see if the Union Society’s own particular brand of future politician comes out of the woodwork.  I can very much see the speeches from the floor being more painful than ALL the philosophical debates from last year, probably put together.  (This time last year some poor bastard came and read us something he’d written suggesting the existence of the soul independent from the body.  A lot of ‘I’m not a philosopher/theologian/biologist/otherwise expert, but I play one on TV’ occurred.  It was fascinating.)

The trouble is that, in the interests of course of freedom of speech and expression, the NUS doesn’t want the debate to go ahead.  It has warned the Union Society that it will protest.

I am quite upset at this; for several reasons all of which I imagine you can guess fairly easily.  However, there is nothing wrong with a bit of the old rubbernecking, and I’m sure it’ll do the Union Society the world of good.

I used to get passionate about politics.  I feel like I’m turning into a cynic.  It’s all postulating, anyway.  I don’t think I know how to have a strong opinion any more.



1. Lucy - February 4, 2010

I personally think it’s a lot more dangerous not to let them speak.

That said, the travelling billboard with ‘Jerusalem’ blaring out of its speakers that I passed while walking down Church St three quarters of an hour ago did stir in me a desire to throw rotten eggs, or something along those lines.

2. Jenny - February 8, 2010

I think it would be very interesting indeed. Also I completely agree with you – I find it very difficult to hold opinions these days and to really care; there’s just so much to be cynical about…!

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