Toke Dahler appeared on Newsnight to defend LUU’s no platform policy

The Union Affairs Officer was up against Times columnist David Aaronovitch

bbc david aaronovitch debate newsnight no platform nus the times toke dahler

Union Affairs Officer Toke Dahler, appeared on Newsnight last night defending the Student Union’s no platform policy.

After flashing a winning smile to the cameras in the show’s introduction, Toke debated with Times Columnist David Aaronovitch about the legitimacy of censoring speakers from the SU who make students feel unsafe.

Toke argued:  “Our single-most important task is to make sure that students feel safe and feel welcome in our building.”

He added: “It is our right to decide who comes into our building.”

The debate touched on the controversial censorship of Germaine Greer by the Cardiff Student Union, with Toke saying: “I would find it highly inappropriate to invite a person that doesn’t see transgender people as real people.”

Daniel Craig lookalike Toke ended the discussion with sass when he said: “If you have a speaker that is racist, why would you invite them and make your own Student Union racist? Not in my Union.”

Toke told the Tab “It came about, I suppose, because we’ve had no platform policy for a few years. We’ve stopped selling the Sun, which got a bit of press as well.

“I wasn’t too nervous, but I expected them to frame it quite negatively – that Student Unions have begun banning things flippantly out of the blue.”

He added: “The reality is that everyone decides who they want to give platform to. We just do it openly and democratically.

Just as the Tab isn’t obliged to publish every bigot with an opinion piece, we can as students decide who we want to give our megaphones too.

“The difference is that we do it democratically – through elections and debates and consultations.”