Why I’ll be at formal with Farage
TOM WHEELDON tells us why he’ll be dining with the UKIP leader at Corpus this Friday
Moderate, liberal Tories are quiet at Cambridge because we get stick from Left and Right.
No doubt the cultural-Marxists at CUSU will say I’m bourgeois scum – or whatever lazy, childish epithet Left-wing extremists spew out these days. And blisteringly right-wing reactionaries will say I’m just a wet.
But here goes: I can’t stand UKIP but I hate this ‘Tell Nigel Farage he is NOT welcome in Cambridge!’ shit just as much.
UKIP represent a hideous type of right-wing politics. There’s the vile reactionary element – no to equal marriage, no to the multifarious benefits of the EU, sod the 3 million Brits whose jobs depend on it.
It’s on immigration that they’re loudest with this. No doubt New Labour’s open doors policy was too extreme, but it’s obvious to anyone with a brain that it’s good for quite a lot of talented, people to come and live in Britain for a better life and to benefit our economy. UKIP’s arbitrary set of draconian caps and restrictions are an intellectual and moral abomination.
Then there’s the libertarian aspect associated with their new MP Carswell. Libertarianism is the politics of privatising the kitchen sink, dismembering the NHS for private companies, letting people do whatever the fuck they want.
Many think he’s a man of integrity and not as socially illiberal as the rest of his party – although the logical conclusions of his libertarianism and his refusal to answer a journalist’s question on whether UKIP would have prevented the NHS from treating Malala for her gunshot wounds speaks for itself.
So I sympathise with people who’ll be protesting when Farage comes on Friday. But it saddens me that the protest’s Facebook group is titled ‘Tell Farage he is NOT welcome in Cambridge!’ and asks people to bring ‘noise making equipment like drums, megaphones, whistles etc’ and drown out his voice.
To try and defeat a nasty political party by trampling upon the Enlightenment principle of free and open discourse would be a betrayal of the values of anti-UKIP people. It means the Cambridge students carrying the strongest impression will be those of the nasty, anti-free speech Left, so much like UKIP in their intolerance and washed up, intellectually moribund extremism.
I’ll be at Farage’s lecture on Friday and at Corpus formal when he’s dining there afterwards. I’ll listen to what he has to say and then tell him exactly his party’s policies are seriously wrong.
The most effective ‘noise making equipment’ with unpleasant political speakers is dialogue: respect for free speech and the use of one’s own to articulate how and why their opinions are dangerous bullshit.