Is there any point to Gavin Williamson’s free speech reforms?

Is there any point to Gavin Williamson’s free speech reforms?


Is there any point to Gavin Williamson’s free speech reforms?

Is there any point to Gavin Williamson’s free speech reforms?

A

rguably, the appointment of a “free speech champion” and strengthening the laws around freedom of expression in universities is at best unnecessary, and at worst another cynical attempt to start a culture war.

Gavin Williamson, the beleaguered education secretary, may have looked enviously at the successful forays into cultural combat recently undertaken by Priti Patel, Liz Truss, Oliver Dowden and the prime minister himself, (on Black Lives Matter protests, lefty lawyers, racial justice, statues and the BBC), and fancied a slice of the action himself.

Nothing delights the Tory base so much as watching a cabinet minister get tough on “wokery” and pour scorn on the sensibilities of ministries and progressives. It’s like a legal high (or would be, if legal highs hadn’t actually been made illegal).


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