Now NUS loons denounce Tatchell … for defending himself against their slander

February 28, 2016 at 8:21 pm (academe, Beyond parody, Free Speech, gay, Human rights, Jim D, lesbian, LGBT, NUS, Peter Tatchell, students, surrealism)

Readers may remember the incident a week or so ago when Fran Cowling, the NUS lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) representative, said that she would not share a stage with Peter Tatchell, whom she described as “racist” and “transphobic”. The row was covered in some detail by Comrade Coatesy here, and in the Guardian here.

Tatchell, a long standing campaigner for gay rights and human rights more generally, quite understandably, decided to mount a public defence of his good name against these outrageous slurs. As a result of doing so, he was denounced yet again, in this hysterical Open Letter – which includes the truly Orwellian charge of Tatchell referring to a “confidential email chain” that had been forwarded to him “without permission”, thus apparently making Tachell’s accuser the true ‘victim’ of this story!

The signatories include not just the usual NUS suspects and their petty bourgeois and authoritarian friends in academia,  but shamefully, the editor of the anarchist Freedom News has signed, too.

It’s a depressing read, but serious in its way, as an example of the anti-free speech, authoritarian logic of extreme identity politics and the hysteria it can induce.

Note, in particular, this paragraph:

Tatchell has a long record of urging that public platforms be denied members of ethnic and religious groups, especially Muslims. He has called for banning so-called “Islamist” speakers from Universities. He has even demanded mosques apologise “for hosting homophobic hate preachers” and give “assurances that they will not host them again.” Tatchell claims the right to decide who qualifies as a “homophobic hate preacher”; what counts is not inciting violence or any tangible threats to LGBT Londoners, but rather simply expressing religious opinions about homosexual acts. The peculiar urgency with which Tatchell targets Muslims lends credibility to the charge of racial insensitivity.”

So, at some point, it has apparently become acceptable for supposed leftwingers to consider speaker tours for homophobic bigots to be a matter of indifference, and that it is “racially insensitive” for LGBT rights campaigners to object to people expressing “religious opinions about homosexual acts“. Most decent lefties (and liberals) will find this euphemistic description of far-right hate preachers pretty sickening. Now, some might disagree with Tatchell on minor tactical issues of precisely how he approaches this, but my gut response, when ‘lefties’ tell gay rights campaigners to shut up about organised far-right bigotry is: “fuck off”.

Also: “The particular urgency with which Tatchell targets Muslims“? Well – which Muslims? All of them? An attack on a far-right preacher who thinks all gay people are animals is an attack on all Muslims? Isn’t it “racially insensitive” to identify all Muslims with the hard-right ideologues that Tatchell feels “urgent” about?

What a wretched, hypocritical shower these self-righteous NUS authoritarians and their academic friends, are!


  1. Glasgow Working Class said,

    Tatchell is a decent bloke and is a well known public figure and therefore restricted on what he says in public less he offends. However I am not a public figure and do not care if I offend Islamic fascists, Nat sis, students and other fundamentalist nutters including Scot nat sis and that bigot Pt.

  2. Lamia said,

    I’m in full agreement, Jim.

    If there is one small consolation to this, I think it is that the NUS/SJW loons are going to find their own tactics increasingly discourage others from taking them seriously or having anything to do with them. Even those somewhat inclined to share some of the views of these people will have to ask themselves: do I want to be part of a movement which some way down the line may end up putting me in the dock?

    These people don’t achieve anything of use to people – including minorities – outside of their safe space playpen, and once in the outside world they will be toxic for any potential employer. Few people will want anything to do with them. That’s what I hope, anyway.

  3. John R said,

    As a counterpoint to the article Jim highlights, I was forwarded an article written by a “radical leftist disillusioned by leftist culture”.

    This quote from her seems quite relevant to the Tatchell situation –

    “I’m tired of the cliques, the hierarchies, the policing of others, and the power imbalances that exist between people who claim to be friends and comrades. I am exhausted and saddened by the fact that any type of disagreement or difference of opinion in an activist circle will lead to a fight, which sometimes includes abandonment of certain people, deeming them “unsafe” as well as public shaming and slander.”

    View at

    Btw, Ms Cowling has written her point of view here –

    She writes –

    “These are systems of oppression, deeply ingrained within our society, which can be upheld in subtle as well as overt ways. Indeed, by signing the Observer letter, I believe Peter tacitly endorsed the right of individuals to espouse hate speech on campuses where vulnerable trans students may be affected. ”

    So, opposing the attempt to stop Germaine Greer being banned in Cardiff tacitly endorses hate speech.

    Outside of NUS, will it have any relevance?

    It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out in Momentum and Labour. Shelly Asquith (NUS) was the prominent youth representative for the Corbyn campaign and gave full support to Fran Cowling. Many on the NUS Left seem to go along with this kind of politics, especially the promotion of Islamist groups such as Cage as “liberation groups’ (e.g. see the “Stand Up to Racism” tour now going on).

    Anyway, here’s the new NUS logo. An all seeing eye watching everything you say and do, while the snake eats itself.

  4. ZINR said,

    “What a wretched, hypocritical shower these self-righteous NUS authoritarians and their academic friends, are!”

    Absolutely correct, couldn’t agree more. It’s utterly disgraceful.

    Also, what a hypocritical shower those who support Corbyn (friend and confidant of Far Right Islamist hate preachers everywhere) but condemn his comrade-in-arms Cowling, are…after all, even the foul Cowling doesn’t appear to be offering public support to Interpal, Hamas or Hezbollah…?

  5. Steven Johnston said,

    If Tatchell has called for homophobic speakers to be banned from universities. Then he has a nerve complaining when he gets banned.
    For the record I would not ban either.

  6. Boleyn Ali said,

    They are teaching our children

    • Steven Johnston said,


      • Glasgow Working Class said,

        The Nat zis taught children and it caused a long war.


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