FIRST, they came for the right-wing lecturers, and we said nothing, in fact we cheered. Then they came for the liberal lecturers and then, of course, they came for the students.

Liberal lecturer Dr Neil Thin is still under investigation at Edinburgh University for saying “incorrect” things. Now, we hear that an Abertay University student, Lisa Keogh, is under investigation for being “discriminatory” in classroom discussions when she said women have vaginas.

Some Edinburgh lecturers are calling for the head of the university principal for undermining freedom of speech in one of Scotland’s top academies. Meanwhile, the Tory government in Westminster has announced that it is to introduce a law to make it illegal to stop free speech at universities. But will getting rid of the odd principal or making another law work?

If you’re waiting for a comment about all this from the First Minister or the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice, don’t waste your time. They’re too busy virtue signalling about the evil British immigration service, despite having almost exactly the same policy on immigration.

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Sturgeon and Yousaf, you understand, don’t like British immigration officials. They’re much more caring than that. And here lies the real problem.

People often think that our cancel culture and the destruction of academic freedom and freedom of speech is all about mad Marxists, or obsessive anti-racists, or crazy trans activists. But the real culprit is therapeutics.

In the matter of a generation, almost all of our institutions have adopted a therapeutic approach to people and in the process have transformed the very framework of what it means to be human.

Therapy culture dictates that we are vulnerable and easily harmed. Using the language of mental wellbeing, one result is that language and ideas are now understood to be dangerous, traumatising and in need of regulation.

This is really what is happening at universities across the UK. Human Resources and “caring” university management, with their codes of conduct and wellbeing procedures, have turned universities into protection agencies.

Feel offended? Report it. Tell us about it. No student should feel uncomfortable in class. We will protect you. This is the framework that now governs university life.

At the same time, young people have been educated that the world is all about them, about how they feel, about being the ‘real you’. The promotion of self-esteem or wellbeing has turned many young people in on themselves and they rail against anyone who does not validate or respect them for who they are.

This culture of narcissism, mixed with therapeutics, now means that students feel empowered, feel that it is their right not to be offended. The result is that individuals like Lisa Keogh, who questions what it is to be a man or woman or challenges the idea that all men are potential rapists, end up in a disciplinary hearing.

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But of course she does. Because this is now “best practice”. Our new elites have adopted wholesale their moral role as protectors of the vulnerable. And so, adults at university are treated like children who need their emotional wellbeing protected by university authorities.

Laws won’t change this culture. It can only come from people themselves, from people like Lisa Keogh who is refusing to hang her head and remain quiet about expressing her opinion in a university, and from lecturers, like those in Edinburgh, who are backing Neil Thin.

How many other students have faced a disciplinary hearing? How many more will face this in the future? Are we prepared to sit back and accept our “caring” leaders determining what we can and cannot say in the very place where we should be encouraging debate about anything and everything?

If your answer to this is “No”, then you need to look beyond the odd ranting activist and realise that our culture and institutions are now dominated by an infantilised view of people, a view that is leading to the destruction of open discussion and debate and the harassment of students who dare to speak their mind.

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