Particularly pertinent is the bit where Brendan says that the Martin Luther King quote about judging people by their character not by their skin colour is now apparently regarded on some US college campuses as a microaggression.
I don't always agree with Brendan O'Neill (I've come across him before), but I agreed with three things he said:
1 Too often people look to the 'state' or the law for solutions; 2 The 'chattering classes' are mean-spirited and quite poisonous; 3 His dislike of identity politics.
I'm not so sure that the divisions within society are as simple as he describes.
I'm also sceptical about whether universities are as intolerant as he describes. In the past, I've talked to my children about this. Both have said that there are active groups on campus in favour of all sorts of causes, but that they are a small minority - albeit a vocal one. Most are indifferent, which can be a good or bad thing.
Really interesting. Haven't heard of him before will look out for him in future, he expressed succinctly what a lot of us feel. The term "progressive" aplied in some situations these days often feels regressive.
I think you have posted this man's comments before thatbags. I was reminded of that when I read, and remembered, that he considers the efforts to fight racism in football to be a "class war" driven by the "elites". Well, if he thinks that it's reasonable to accept a situation where a family might go to a football match and hear the crowd making monkey noises and throwing bananas at black players or singing "I'd rather be a Paki than a Kike/Jew", I'm not sure I agree with free speech to that extent.
He also wrote an article entitled "If you were abused by Jimmy Savile, maybe you should keep it to yourself", adding the comment "I think there is more virtue in keeping the abuse a part of your past". That sounds very much to me like trying to "victim shame" and muzzle people who may have been seriously damaged by historical abuse - so no free speech for them then.
I watched on You Tube his address to the Oxford Union on Freedom of Speech and the Right to Offend and thought it was very muddled. He used examples of people who were most definitely not part of the establishment challenging traditional views or completely incorrect but universally accepted "facts". Traditionally, those in power, many of whom might well be considered to be part of the "elite", have been averse to equality laws (for example, the Race Relations Act, which outlaws discriminatory behaviour and certain racially offensive comments).
I do agree with his comment regarding the unacceptability of newspapers such as the Sun and the Express being banned on some university campuses, although it has been widely questioned as to how this ban can be put into practice. These students are hardly the "elite" in this country, more an example of the impetuosity and impracticality that sometimes accompanies youthful thinking.