05 June 2007

Melanie Phillips on the UCU boycott

Anyone not yet convinced that Britain has somehow turned against its own most fundamental values, not to say departed altogether from reality, should look at the decision by the University and College Union (UCU) to urge a boycott of academic institutions in Israel.

This deplorable move destroys the most sacred role of a university - to act as the guardian of free speech and inquiry in order that knowledge, opinion and truth can flourish and grow. (From ‘A deplorable decision which shows that Britain’s academic elite has taken leave of its senses’ by Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail, 4 June 2007.)

It is ridiculous to think of a university as having a ‘sacred role’. It is as ridiculous as saying that a doctor becomes a trustworthy person because she is given immoral power over other people by the oppressive socialist society in which we live.

Academics get into their positions by being appointed by other academics, and their prime motivation is to reinforce and promote the modern ideology, which includes the dogmatic belief that academics are experts and authorities on what is true, and on the right way of thinking, and that a person holding an academic appointment is qualitatively different from, and better than, someone who does not. Individuals who might express points of view which do not support or appear immediately to reinforce the modern belief system are viciously and slanderously opposed and suppressed.