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No Platform Policy

Oct 25, 2003
My Uni union is currently debating whether or not to renew its ' No Platform Policy' and just wondered what other people's views were on the topic

A quick wiki search will fill in any gaps for those who haven't heard of it before, but basically it is a piece of legislation that prevents extremist groups (BNP/National Front etc) from being allowed to speak in university unions/debate halls etc.

Now whilst i am a fierce advocate of free speech, i am finding myself swaying towards the side of voting for this new policy, simply due to the fact i feel groups like the BNP keep raising the same monotonous argument, which is defeated time and time again by simple humanity and common sense. Moreover, i feel that by allowing these sorts of groups a mass stage, we are contributing towards legitimising what they stand for (especially when they come to speak in some of the bigger unions in the country).

Whilst detsroying their arguments is always fun, i feel too many (from my experience) use their opportunity to scare-monger and preach race hate (tactics that work much better in The Sun). These sort of incidents in my opinion have no place in university unions, which should be constructed for reasoned and flavoured debate; not a place where extremist groups and come and play themselves like a broken record to an audience who is inteligent enough to dismiss their views time and time again.

The main issue at the moment in opposition to this policy is that some people believe by banning these groups, the uni will be "sweeping under the carpet" the issues that these groups bring forward. Now i would counter this by saying that is in fact untrue, since many unions still continue to have debates on immigration/globalistaion/cultural identity etc, but in an atnosphere that is not charged with racial and radical prejudice.

I just wondered if any other students or others have encountered this type of policy before and if so what they think of it