The Conservatives’ free speech campaign is a wise election move
The astonishing victory of the Conservatives in the Hartlepool by-election is an interesting case study to consider when it comes to the UK free speech debate. Delivering a 70% leave vote, seat-level data for the last general election revealed Hartlepool to be one of the most conservative constituencies when it comes to youth gender self-identification – and also one most favorable in terms of the protection of freedom of expression in the event of people expressing potentially offensive opinions. The most pro-free speech seat in Britain is Kingston upon Hull East, where Labor MP Karl Turner has a greatly reduced majority and was saved by a notable division in favor of the leave (the Brexit Party winning 18 % of votes in the last general elections). Offering a 73% leave vote, it is a seat the Tories will prioritize as they seek to make further progress in the pro-Brexit north of England in the upcoming general election.
But in addition to being a wise electoral policy, this is a case of intervention by the Conservative government which seeks to exploit the international reputation of the English university system in the post-Brexit world. I am a proud product of this system. Indeed, he continues to be highly respected by my loved ones in different parts of the world – including North America, mainland Europe and the Indian subcontinent. This global status must be precious and certainly deserves to be preserved – and an integral part of this task is to protect the values of freedom of expression and academic freedom.
We can only hope that the government’s plans will help tackle censorship trends that target those who do not necessarily follow the identity line and express views that may be seen as old-fashioned by thought policing political activists. which operate on university campuses in England.