Controversial Brendan O’Neill to speak at UCL
He was dubbed ‘the most hated man on UK campuses’
Brendan O’Neill, a controversial journalist and Editor at Spiked Magazine, is coming to UCL this Wednesday to speak at an event hosted by UCLU Libertarian Society.
The event, called “The Right To Offend and Freedom of Speech”, will focus on the current debate raging around the role of free speech and no platforming on UK university campuses, where speakers have been banned and events cancelled in the name of sensitivity and political correctness.
Dubbed “the most hated man on UK campuses“, O’Neill has been a controversial figure to say the least. He argues students and student unions who aim to no-platform speakers with undesirable views are illiberal and misguided, defends the widely loathed cultural meme that is “lad culture”, and criticised the campus feminist movement.
O’Neill has personally experienced being no-platformed after a debate on abortion at Christ Church College, Oxford, was shut down due to protests from students.
Critics have argued O’Neill is simply a “troll”, trying to create controversy by causing offence, and lacking empathy for minority groups that are vulnerable to hate speech.
However, the issue of censorship on campus seems to be more topical than ever: this event comes at a time when LSE’s student union has put forward a motion to ban the recently formed Free Speech Society.
The organisers of the event have encouraged students of all viewpoints to attend and to challenge Brendan in the Q & A session after the talk. It will be held on Wednesday at 6pm at the Institute of Education, room S13.