After eighteen months of Covid, there were some who feared the age-old tradition of the campus leftie had died out. Fortunately the furore about Rod Liddle has revived the inglorious habits of angry undergraduates at Durham University, with dozens of students assembling today to protest the travesty of a columnist’s after-dinner speech. Mr S has covered the ups and downs of this sorry tale these past five days, with today’s Durham demo being the culmination of efforts to undermine Principal Timothy Luckhurst of South College for inviting Rod to speak at high table.
Among the highlights include Jonah Graham, Durham SU’s Welfare and Liberation Officer, asserting to the assembled throng that ‘this is not an issue about free speech… Tim violated his student space’ and lamenting how ‘we have a lack of space for queer, proud students – a call for diversity cannot reconcile these problems; all it does is force more students to suffer the micro-aggressions, ignorant questions and blatant abuse that many of us have suffered.’ Strong stuff.
According to the local student newspaper Palatinate ‘over 300 people’ attended the rally – though Steerpike’s spies estimate that number to be somewhat lower. Placards and banners bore the legends ‘pathetic arse,’ ‘Luckhurst out’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ with organisers who had asked to meet with the under-fire Principal to discuss Friday’s events being told by Vice Principal Lee Worden that he was willing to engage but ‘barred’ from doing so.
With Durham’s finest now demanding content warnings before future after-dinner speeches and the college dons announcing a probe into the ‘incident,’ Steerpike looks forward to the return of the Stepford students providing him with many more stories in the months to come.
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