‘Have universities been incubating a new religious puritanism?’

March 3, 2018


GOING BACKWARDS: “We have had a revolution by stealth. Not in our streets but in our values has lurched with quasi-religious fervour into a puritanical group-think where debate is stifled and difference of opinion cannot be tolerated. Everywhere is back to the Middle Ages. In universities, no platforming is a heresy trial without the stake.” – Medieval historian, – BBC Question time panellist and documentary presenter David Starkey.

LIBERAL BIAS: “The Adam Institute released a report saying 85 per cent of lecturers tended to the left or were liberals. Back in the 1960s, they (the Adam Smith Institute) did this comparison which was apparently 60 per cent. It was still a majority but nothing like the hegimony within those unversities such as now. It is all from this left, liberal, censorious, intolerant, authoritarian outlook.” – Associate editor of The Spectator and panellist for BBC’s This Week Rod Liddle. Picture courtesy of You Tube.

 

 

A PROMINENT historian has compared the current attack on free speech on university campuses and wider society on a par with the English Civil War.

David Starkey, who presents historical documenatries for the BBC and a former presenter for the Moral Maze, has been the victim of “no platforming” as a speaker by university student unions who wanted to provide “safe spaces” for their members and those of others who didn’t conform to their world view.

This programme has only been covered by the Daily Express, a so-called right-wing tabloid, whilst most of the broadcast media and the rest of the print media has tried to pretend he never said these words and they have done everything they can to avoid mentioning these thought-provoking comments.

‘Millennials are the new puritans’

He claims this recent trend in public debate and other moves enforced by “politically correct” doctrine was “worrying” and the most recent historical comparison was the “puritanical revolution” when the United Kingdom was the “Protectorate” reign of Oliver Cromwell. Mr Starkey was speaking to the BBC programme This Week when making these observations.

‘Diversity of opinion not tolerated’

“For the last 20 years We have had a revolution by stealth. Not in our streets but in our values has lurched with quasi-religious fervour into a puritanical group-think where debate is stifled and difference of opinion cannot be tolerated.

“Everywhere is back to the Middle Ages. In universities, no platforming is a heresy trial without the stake.
“In law the uncovering of historic sex abuse has turned from due-process into a witch craze. Accusation proves guilt, every victim must be believed. This is Salem.”

‘Identity politics pursued with religious zeal’

Political correctness – or as some others might argue cultural marxism – has created a situation, he says, where a political class virtue-signals their adherence to secularism, politics has taken the form in a divided world where they pursue their goals with “religious intensity”.

At a local level here in Dorset, some might argue it can be seen on the left-leaning platform, Dorset Eye, that claims to speak as a community website for everyone in the county.

‘Momentum thinks JC is their Messiah’

Mr Starkey said in the documentary: “In politics there is a new, pseudo-religious intensity, pro-Trump and anti-Trump, Remainer and Brexiteer confront each other in some sort of holy war.
“While in the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn – JC – plays the Messiah and Momentum presents itself as a cross between the Jesuits and Knights Templar.
“This does not bode well, last time that religion so dominated politics was in the Puritan religion that led to civil war, the abolition of Parliament and military dictatorship. Welcome to the Millennial’s Millennium.

“In a previous edition of This Week, panellist and associate editor of the Spectator Rod Liddle highlighted how the Adam Smith Institute, a neo-liberal think tank, released a report which found that 85 per cent of university lecturers “tended to the left or were liberals”.

‘Universities facilitated censorious age’

“Back in the 1960s, they did this comparison which was apparently 60 per cent. It was still a majority but nothing like the hegemony within those universities such as now. It is all from this left, liberal, censorious, intolerant, authoritarian outlook.”
On writing this, I reflected on a song by Depeche Mode called Going Backwards and their video may resonate with readers on a cultural basis what Mr Starkey is getting at. Their video is here.

  • THIS is based on an article and the work of Daily Express journalist Matt Drake with some additional observations from this blog and should be viewed and read as such.

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