Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Anti-Christian despotic fascism at UCL

Some years ago (five, to be precise), His Grace wrote about the appalling plight of the Exeter University Christian Union, which was coming under considerable pressure to permit non-believers not only to attend their meetings (which was never a problem) but to lead them. Their policy of requiring CU leaders to be Christian apparently rendered them ‘too exclusive’ for the university’s ‘inclusion’ policy.

It was (and remains) manifest common sense to His Grace that leaders of a Christian Union ought to subscribe to foundational Christian tenets, not for reasons of dogmatism or exclusivity, but in accordance with St Paul's exhortation to ‘teach what is consistent with sound doctrine’ (Titus 2:1). Quite how non-believers could possibly adhere to this teaching (and so sustain the ethos of the society) is something of a mystery.

At the time, His Grace was searching for evidence of ‘inclusion’ in other Exeter University clubs and societies: perhaps tone-deaf philistines in the Gilbert & Sullivan Society; wheelchair-bound students in the rowing club; a lesbian Christian to lead the Muslim Society’s Friday prayers...

It was all in jest, though doubtless not remotely amusing to those affected.

But now it transpires that students of the LSE have reintroduced the blasphemy law (which His Grace observed long ago [five, to be precise]), and students at University College London have voted to force Roman Catholic chaplaincies to invite pro-abortion speakers to pro-life discussions. The motion (here in full) was adopted by 2002 votes to 818. It says: ‘Any future open events focusing on the issue of termination invite an anti-choice speaker and a pro-choice speaker as well as an independent chair, to ensure there is a balance to the argument.’

His Grace looks forward to pro-Israeli speakers being invited to meetings of the Palestine Society, and for members of the Conservative Society being called to address the Labour Society, and for all avid Guardian-reading lecturers to be accompanied by ardent readers of RightMinds. All ‘to ensure there is a balance to the argument’, you understand.

Honestly, whatever happened to freedom of speech, freedom of religion and of association? This is a university – an English university – in which its student body apparently has no remote understanding of what it is to be educated in the liberal arts tradition, or any appreciation of what it is to live in a liberal democracy.

Further, the UCL Student Union also voted to adopt a fixed pro-abortion stance and formally affiliate itself to the organisation Abortion Rights. This development has considerable implications for the university’s Catholic Society (though by no means exclusively), which has said: “We are concerned that this could set a precedent for other such divisive issues at UCL. Societies such as the Catholic Society, who by their nature are pro-life, are now no longer able to express themselves without first warning the union and inviting a pro-choice speaker in order that so-called ‘balance’ may be imposed.”

Neil Addison (Barrister) has blogged on the legalities (or illegalities) of this. He has recommended that the Catholic Society ignores this Motion ‘which is completely illegal under s43 the Education (No 2) Act 1986 which guarantees freedom of speech at Universities, and is also illegal under Articles 9, 10, and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights’. He says:
The Student Union has no right to dictate what speakers are invited by Student Organisations. Also the resolution assumes that everyone involved in this debate can be easily categorised as "pro choice" or "anti choice" which is a simplistic analysis. Many people for example regard Nadine Dorris (sic) as "pro life" though she describes herself as "pro choice". What right does the Student Union have to decide which category a speaker should be classified under?
His Grace exhorts the UCL Catholic Society and Christian Union to invite whatever pro-life speakers they wish, and not to be intimidated by the harassment and bullying threats of the Student Union, the Constitution of which clearly states:
XXVI. Affiliation to Outside Bodies
A. The Union may not affiliate to any religious, political or other sectarian organisations, other than the NUS and the University of London Union.
Ergo the decision of the UCL Student Union to affiliate to Abortion Rights would appear to be in breach of their own Constitution.

But why let a minor matter of law get in the way of a little anti-Christian despotic fascism?


Blogger Jonathan Smith said...

Your Grace,
In virtually every sphere of life we see the principle fulfilled that was highlighted by Paul the apostle, "professing to be wise, they became fools."

31 January 2012 at 07:23  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

It isn't just LSE either.
Much as I disapprove of religious lunacy, provided it's harmless, it is people's own business what they do.
(The opposite of the behaviour of any theocratic state, please notice)

UCL is even worse.
What was once the proud "godless college" has ALSO instituted a blasphemy "law" against the secular/atheist groups there, led (a.k.a. nazi-soviet Pact) by a very unholy coalition of "left" and muslim -fascist groupings.
Their actions are illegal, even under UCLU rules, but when did that ever stop either religous or political bigots?

[Note: HG mentioned this row over a week ago, but now it has turned quite nasty]

31 January 2012 at 07:55  
Blogger IanCad said...

Let's look on the bright side.
With online education getting on its feet the University system is doomed. Ten years say?

31 January 2012 at 08:01  
Blogger Emlyn Uwch Cych said...

Back in the day, when Your Grace's communicant was (Tory!) Chair[man] of UCLUnion's General Meetings, the wheeze was always to call the meeting inquorate (invariably less than 250 present) whenever a pro-Palestine or pro-infanticide motion was discussed.

Alas, the Union changed its Constitution to lower the quorum, and now every 1970s Socialist nostrum is made the 'policy' of the everyone.

The irony, of course, is that UCL has one of the most conservative-minded, middle class, intellectually capable student bodies in Britain. (The girls are among the best looking, too.)

31 January 2012 at 08:28  
Blogger Albert said...

Yet more evidence that the secular liberalism is intolerant, dogmatic, illiberal and opposed to basic freedoms such as freedom of speech and thought.

Or is it that the UCL Students Union will be requiring women who wish to have their babies scraped from their bodies, will be required to hear the views of pro-life people, before they undergo the procedure?

Or is it just that UCL students are just very stupid?

31 January 2012 at 09:59  
Blogger Emlyn Uwch Cych said...

Not UCL students, Heaven forbid, just the Socialist utopian idiots who think they can change the world by reliving the debates of the 60s and 70s.

31 January 2012 at 10:08  
Blogger Albert said...


Yes, of course, I acknowledge that, one just hopes that the other students will have the sense and the courage to speak out and complain about the way the SU is showing them to be "a bit tik".

31 January 2012 at 10:26  
Blogger Anglican said...

This is not really new, though it is getting worse. Long ago, when I was at university, there was a leading ‘activist’, who had a large following. Their primary aim was to prevent anyone, with whose views they disagreed, from speaking on the campus. Naturally this was all done in the cause of democracy, liberty and fraternity. And heaven help you if you disagreed with them. There was a similar situation at another university a few years later.

31 January 2012 at 10:39  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Could be worse. I was at the University of North London 99-00 and the CU there was an unaffiliated body because a few years earlier, when it had an open membership policy in accordance with the SU's guidelines, a large group of Muslims joined it and then, being in the majority, voted for it to be disbanded.

31 January 2012 at 11:24  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

I'll try again.

Mr Tingey (@ 07:55) makes a sensible point. It's remarkable: yesterday DanJ0, today Tingey.

Whatever next? Perhaps Cranny will start arguing for disestablishment.

31 January 2012 at 11:54  
Blogger Preacher said...

A liberal distribution of the tracts mentioned on January 22nd's blog showing the tragic results of abortion should finish any debate before it starts.
Furnish people with the hidden facts before the talking starts, it's elementary really, sometimes we have to be as radical & tough as the opposition.

31 January 2012 at 12:14  
Blogger Dodo the "Poly-Nominal" Dude said...

Anabaptist said ...

"Whatever next? Perhaps Cranny will start arguing for disestablishment."

Or, maybe I'll become a little less tedious and more Socratic. Now, which do you think is more or less likely?

31 January 2012 at 12:51  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Dodo, I'm sure you could manage to be both Socratic and tedious at the same time. As to likelihood, I'm not sure.

31 January 2012 at 12:53  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Anabaptist, if you persist in trying to cause unnecessary trouble then you will get it back in spades from me.

31 January 2012 at 13:28  
Blogger Emlyn Uwch Cych said...


Imagine if anyone ever tried to pull that stunt at an university Islamic Society.

Not only would the jihadists make life unbearable, they'd probably face university disciplinary proceedings, and even a visit from the Old Bill.

31 January 2012 at 13:31  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Mr DanJ0: so that's what I get for agreeing with you.

31 January 2012 at 13:33  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Liberals trying to destroy what they don't agree with? Where's the surprise in that?

31 January 2012 at 14:18  
Blogger Albert said...


Not UCL students, Heaven forbid

To my surprise, it looks as if I was right the first time. Not only have large numbers of students voted for these daft proposal, the motion includes such daft statements as this:

This Union believes:
1. That both men and women have the right to exercise complete control over their own bodies and this includes the right to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy or not.

Over-looking their recognition of my right as a man to terminate a pregnancy, this is shockingly poorly written. Not only does it not make clear who pregnancy it is they have a right to terminate, the proposition men and women have the right to exercise complete control over their own bodies is (unless they are all total libertarians - and one assumes some of them at least are statist lefties) gravely false. As it stands for example, this gives a man or woman a right to steal.

A large number of students at UCL really are stupid.

31 January 2012 at 14:28  
Blogger Oswin said...

Moonpie @ 07:55 : more or less, bravo! Is it a 'cravat' day today?

31 January 2012 at 16:36  
Blogger Oswin said...

Anabaptist @ 13:31: it ruins his 'cred' if you ain't on the list for agreeing with him; scrunches him up something awful, it does.

31 January 2012 at 16:44  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Albert @ 09.59
I'm a secular liberal - and have you read my comments, agreeing with HG's on this picee of pocket fascism?
I suggest you switch your brain to ON.

EUC @ 10.08
Very little to do with "socialism" plenty to do with religious bigotry, whether communist or islamic.

Preacher - keep to the subject - abortion is irrelevant here.

I refer AGAIN to my earlier post - I am a liberal, and I object to this insanity as strongly as HG.

If I go out in public, unless I'm going to the allotment, in which case it is muddy scruff; I ALWAYS wear a cravat.

31 January 2012 at 17:05  
Blogger Albert said...

My apologies Tingey. It had never occurred to me that you are a secular liberal. Secular certainly. Liberal, no. Perhaps you mean I should switch my brain to "mind-reader".

31 January 2012 at 17:24  
Blogger Oswin said...

Moonpie: I approve of ''muddy scruff' too; my usual condition, as it happens.

31 January 2012 at 17:42  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. The Inspector is reliably informed there are two types of university graduate. Those that admit their maturity was held up until they got well away from the place, and those that don’t admit to it…

31 January 2012 at 18:13  
Blogger PJ said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 January 2012 at 18:41  
Blogger PJ said...

A similar illiberal motion was passed at Bristol back in October.



It seems like Abortion Rights are encouraging universities across the country to adopt a "pro-choice" stance.

The sad thing about UCL is that the Catholic Society opposed this motion initially and won, but then it was taken to a referendum with very low voting numbers and lost by a slim margin

31 January 2012 at 18:43  
Blogger Roger Pearse said...

And this is why Christians need lawyers, just as John Wesley found that he did, and sought protection from manifest illegality through the Court of Kings Bench. Because the climate of the times means that illegal actions will be directed at Christians, because those doing so believe that they can get away with it. "There's no law for Methodists" they used to jeer; now it's all Christians. Time to seek damages, methinks.

31 January 2012 at 19:11  
Blogger DDoat said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 January 2012 at 20:52  
Blogger Emlyn Uwch Cych said...

Bless you, Diana.

31 January 2012 at 21:12  
Blogger Albert said...

Dear Diana,

Keep up the good work. Please be assured of the support of many, many people. You will see from this board that many people agree with your campaign - what you may not notice is that some of them are in fact pro-abortion, but they recognise how important is the freedom of speech. It's a sign of the immaturity of the SU that people who would otherwise agree with their stance see this as wrong.

For the rest of us - Catholics like myself, and others who are pro-life, we recognise the value of your campaign and rejoice greatly in your efforts. Even if this does not turn out as it should do, the very effort you are making highlights the intolerance of the pro-abortionists and their need to skew debates, undermine opposing voices and generally oppose basic freedoms. Your campaign may have good consequences in ways we cannot see at the moment.

I will have a Mass said for you.

31 January 2012 at 21:58  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Well done Diana. This Catholic is proud of you...

31 January 2012 at 21:59  
Blogger Roy said...

This case ought to be raised in parliament by an MP. Much of the funding of student unions comes, at least indirectly, from the taxpayer. The funding of student unions should be dependent on them upholding fundamental freedoms, e.g. freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, etc. No money should go to the enemies of democracy.

Isn't it interesting that the more "human rights" we have the less freedom we have?

31 January 2012 at 22:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. A cardinals hat beckons. Congratulations and well deserved...

31 January 2012 at 22:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'No one so intolerant as a liberal.'

This is an obvious move to destroy the EUCU from within, it would not be 'liberal' to ban them so destroy their integrity instead.
I am not known to be an avid supporter of Catholicism but I am a Christian and very much a Pro Life and free speech supporter.

I wish you well with your campaign and my prayers will be with you.

31 January 2012 at 22:19  
Blogger Dodo the "Poly-Nominal" Dude said...

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me."

31 January 2012 at 22:39  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

DoDo the PolyNom (sounds almost legendary, Middle Earthish does it not?)

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me."

Ernst is always pleased, as are others here, that occasionally you perform a public backpedal, so here's hoping that it lasts longer than usual?

Psalm 20:17

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

You may be aware that Hieronymus (St Jerome) says that penitence is like a shipwreck (Poenitentia Est Secunda Tabula Post Naufragium) . But God loves a penitent more than an innocent man, since he rejoices in him the more.

Luke 15:7: “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentence.”

Bless you for seeing the errors of your ways Lad!

Ernst S Blofeld

1 February 2012 at 00:47  
Blogger Dodo the "Poly-Nominal" Dude said...


You are a naughty boy, but I do like you (occasionally).

Sleep well.

1 February 2012 at 00:59  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

DoDo the PolyNom


Ditto, you crazy boy. HeHeHe.


1 February 2012 at 17:58  

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