KCLSU Have Crossed The Line

The blurred lines debate: let’s stop censoring everything. It’s just a song, says Ryan Austin.


When I first stepped foot in King’s all I could think about was the freedom. Sure the lectures would be interesting and the people alright, but that all never seemed bigger than the feeling of independence.

However that feeling of freedom didn’t even make it across the welcome mat. Within two days I heard the eyebrow raising news that in 2012 a motion officially condemning pro-life groups was proposed. Within a week I had read that the council were attempting to strip Lord Carey of alumni status. Yet it was within one month of my infancy at King’s when I heard the most dangerous news of all – that KCLSU had blanket banned the song ‘Blurred Lines’.

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I know what you’re thinking. “But Ryan, it was only one teeny weeny song! Hey, I bet you didn’t even listen to it!”

And yes, you’d be right – I hadn’t listened to it before. In fact, ironically it was listening to the hype and drivel of the censorship police that spurred me to listen to the track.

There I was. Toe tapping, head nodding and an emotionless face. I thought, “Pfft, I’ve heard worse”.

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And this is my issue with the ban – it sets precedent. Now KCLSU has the excuse to ban any song a minority of students deem offensive. The fact that the already egotistical student council can now turn around to some other media, message or group and say, “You know what, that could ‘trigger’ someone. And hence we, as self appointed moral vanguards, have the intellectual and political power to BAN it”.

I’m joking of course. Instead, and even more jaw droppingly, they’ll have the arrogance to argue that they have the ‘representative’ power to do so.

“Er, sorry what?”, says the average student at King’s. “No no, only under 500 people of the 25,000 students at King’s voted in the last NUS delegate election – so what gives you the right to start barging through bans just because 127 students sign a petition?”

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And there’s the answer. They don’t have the right. I utterly condemn rape and believe society should always do as much as we can to prevent it like any crime. But what I don’t support is censorship – what I certainly don’t support are council motions that stink of ideology and not reality,  control and not liberty.