Monthly Archives: February 2013

Don’t Be Afraid To Listen

  “Upon my word, I think the truth is the hardest missile one can be pelted with.” — George Eliot (Middlemarch) Oxford and Cambridge Universities have an awful lot in common.  And last week was no exception.  By inviting polarising political figures from the left and the right – George Galloway and Marine Le Pen, respectively – both institutions reaffirmed what is at once perhaps the most sacred and the most imperilled of all our values: the freedom of speech. Le Pen was shuffled past protesters into the Cambridge Union last Tuesday – an organisation that prides itself on being a forum for all kinds of discussion and debate – to deliver a lengthy diatribe about the EU’s dilution of national identity.  The patina of xenophilia and inclusiveness that she wanted to solidify for the audience was derided and scoured away once the floor was opened to questioning.  In short, her politics …