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“At about midnight, I got a knock on the door”

This is not a quote about life under a Communist or Fascist regime. It is about life in Exeter University in 2018.

I heard about this story from an article by Sanchez Manning in the Mail on Sunday:

A philosophy student overheard through the wall of his room saying ‘veganism is wrong’ and ‘gender fluidity is stupid’ was threatened with expulsion by his university, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Robert Ivinson said he was disciplined after a student next door in halls of residence at Exeter University heard the comments then complained he had been offensive and ‘transphobic’.

Mr Ivinson, who expressed the views in a phone call to a friend, was hauled before university officials and put on a ‘behavioural contract’ for the rest of his studies.

This video made by the Committee for Academic Freedom shows Robert Ivinson giving his own account of what happened.

Mr Ivinson acknowledges that a legitimate part of the complaint against him was that he was speaking too loudly in the phone call in question so that noise was coming through the wall. However he says that the university hearing refused to separate the issues of him making too much noise and what he said in a private conversation being deemed offensive.

Though Mr Ivinson appears perfectly reasonable, indeed likeable, in his video, I would like to believe that there is something missing from his account – because I do not want to believe that a British university can have fallen so far from what a university is meant to be. The Mail on Sunday article says “Exeter University was approached for comment but did not respond.” I shall be most interested to see what the University’s response turns out to be.

17 comments to “At about midnight, I got a knock on the door”

  • Kirk

    Natalie Solent said:

    Though Mr Ivinson appears perfectly reasonable, indeed likeable, in his video, I would like to believe that there is something missing from his account – because I do not want to believe that a British university can have fallen so far from what a university is meant to be. The Mail on Sunday article says “Exeter University was approached for comment but did not respond.” I shall be most interested to see what the University’s response turns out to be.

    Given the recent history of these issues in the UK, I’m rather surprised that they limited themselves to putting him on a “behavioral contract”. I’d have thought they’d have had him dragged into the street, flensed the flesh from his bones, and then gibbeted the remains somewhere outside the school as a salutary lesson to other students about the evils of having a contrary opinion…

    What strikes me as, ah… Interesting? Yes; interesting… Were you to go back and have a look, I fear you would have a very hard time finding an equivalent example of someone being treated like this by the then-dominant “Hetero-normative patriarchy” for expressing like opinions on what was then-current for social norms… Instead, I rather suspect that someone reporting overhearing such things would have been told to mind their own damn business, and get on with life. Sure, maybe the individual voicing these contrary opinions might have come in for some attention in terms of observation, but… Do remember the casual way that closeted homosexuals were treated in a lot of cases. Keep it private, nobody really cared… Nowadays?

    Gotta wonder how long it will be before heterosexuality is illegal in Britain, at this rate.

    It is rather amazing to note how oppressive the freaks are, now that they are given the upper hand. I can recall being told that such things would never, ever happen… ‘Cos the freaks are so humane and understanding.

    There were and are reasons that functioning societies kept these sorts of specimens repressed and closeted, I fear. We’re learning them, with careful tutelage provided by their actions now that they’re out and about. You dare not point out the oddity of adults wanting to discuss sexuality with primary-grades age children, lest you be done for “intolerance”.

    Day’s coming when these idjits get forced back into the closet at gunpoint, with the accompanying brutality and likely forced elimination of a lot of them. This is like watching the opening excesses of the Republicans in Spain against the church hierarchy… People are taking notes, noting who is doing what, and the outcome is likely to end the same way. The sane “differently sexual” are going to suffer the same fate as their “activist” brethren, and it won’t be fair or pretty.

    Excess is always met with retribution.

  • Paul Marks

    The proudest achievement of the Enlightenment was to reject the doctrine that “Error Has No Rights”.

    As far back as the Emperor Valentinian some people argued that different Christian sects, and Pagans too, should agree-to-disagree – but under the influence of the, later, theology of Augustine (who also pushed Predestination – which makes a nonsense of moral responsibility – personhood) the Church rejected agree-to-disagree with the argument that if people did not follow the correct doctrine they would burn in Hell for all eternity – so it was worth a bit of discomfort now (even a bit of burning) to stop people spreading the wrong doctrines and, thus, dooming other people to burn for all eternity.

    That would also be the persecutors answer to J.S. Mill’s “harm principle” – the answer would be “but spreading false doctrines is doing harm to others – it dooms them to eternal torture in Hell” – that this is in contradiction with the idea that God is good (someone who was good would not condemn people for all eternity over such things) is overlooked, or shouted down.

    But all this is more than Marxists, such as the late Herbert Marcuse, deploying the “Error-Has-No-Rights” principle of the ancient Church, as persecuting people for disagreeing with doctrines goes back long before Christianity, for example it is in Plato.

    Yes Plato – censorship, persecution of dissent, and so on, can be found in the teachings of the founder of the Academy – Plato.

    And not just religious dissent – dissent over just about anything.

    So universities have returned to their roots.

  • Paul Marks

    Kirk – I see no evidence that the balance of forces is what you imply it is.

    I see no hidden strength of the right as there was, for example, in 1930s Spain (although I am glad to see you understand that the “Republican” regime in Spain was NOT the moderate one that lying left-establishment historians pretend it was, the main academic works, at least in English, on the Spanish Civil War are works of agitation propaganda – agitprop).

    I do not think your superiors are going to lead some military coup against the Woke regime (government and corporate) in the United States.

    On the contrary Sir, I think they are far more likely to order you to shoot “reactionaries” like me.

    And the people who would refuse such orders are being weeded out of the United States military – or are not joining in the first place.

  • Kirk

    I find it amusing that you think that there is even the slightest chance that the US military will have the slightest impact or influence on the probable course of reciprocal action. This ain’t something you can direct a fighter-bomber at; it’ll be something that winds up gutting the entire structure of “woke” once enough people recognize them for what they are, and what they intend. Right now, they’re just “opting out”; once the wokistas decide they have to resort to force, and make everyone comply, the results will be educational for all. And, the organs of the state are going to be left exactly where they were when the wokista coup took place… On the sidelines.

  • Paul Marks

    No compassion for the fact that the six month illness and death of his aunt, a private telephone conversation with people listening through the wall and MISREPORTING what he said.

    But it would not have mattered if he had been giving a speech in public (his aunt in good health) and if every word was as the two informers (for informers is what they are) reported it.

    People should not be punished for expressing their opinions – this Herbert Marcuse doctrine that Freedom of Speech is “Repressive Tolerance” is an EVIL doctrine, it must be REJECTED – not “done is a different way” or some other nonsense.

    As for those who say that “Woke” tactics are “female” – well that is PARTLY true, for example the two women who attacked the young man at the Kangaroo Court meeting were doing so verbally (verbally) – had he responded by laughing and saying “TRY and expel me – go on, try and kick me out of the room” there is nothing they could have done on-their-own – but they were never really on their own. The two thugs who came to the room at midnight were both men. The people who would have arrived to physically remove the young man, had he not agreed to XYZ, would have also have been men.

    This stuff, “Third Wave” feminism and so on, will carry on while men enforce it.

    It was true with male priests as well – the priests were careful to not execute people themselves – that would have been a violation of Canon Law (priests are not allowed to execute people) – but they could always find lay-people to kill for them.

  • Paul Marks

    O.K. Kirk – I take it that you mean that the United States Military would not open fire on “Reactionaries”.

    I hope you are correct Sir – but people used to say that about the FBI, and they clearly have no problem with shoving automatic rifles in the faces of unarmed “Reactionaries”. They are clearly itching to kill – old men, family man in front of his children, they do-not-care. They love dressing up in their body armour and going, in large numbers, to “deal with” people with no record of violence. And they feel good about themselves – because they are serving the Progressive cause, they are on the “correct” (rather than “right”) “side of history”.

    If the 2024 election is rigged as the 2020 election was rigged – what happens then?

  • Kirk

    It is also notable that much of the old-school “misogyny” in terms of cultural oppression against women was more “old women worried about young tarts taking their place”, and then weaponizing the men around them to enforce their will against the younger women they perceived as threatening…

    And, what’s even more amusing to observe? Those young women morph into oppressors themselves, once they had a stake in things.

    It was ever thus, and ever shall be. I suspect that were the human race to achieve physical immortality and youth, then some things would change, but the essentials would not. It’ll always be the establishment going after the disruptors, whoever they might both be…

  • Kirk

    Paul, it won’t matter because these things are essentially immune to influence by way of force. Sure, you can land your British redcoated infantry in New England, attempting to put down the colonials, but… The real problem, the real center of gravity wasn’t the sort of thing you could address with armed force. That just made it infinitely worse. The real issue was just exactly what got the idjit class into power in the first damn place, which was action outside the context of armed force.

    And, once the essentially unworkable and antihuman nature of their delusions become clear to all, that same “outside context” issue will mean that the military is totally without influence on this matter, just like the FBI.

    People look at this wrong, on all sides. The wannabe little dictators think they’ve won by capturing all these institutions, but the sad reality for them is that those captures are meaningless in the face of the fact that their ideas don’t work. So, what do you suppose happens when the mass awakens, recognizes all this, and says “Yeah, about that bullshit…? Forget about it, we ain’t playing…”

    If they chose to push matters, look at the correlation of forces: How many FBI agents and cops do you suppose it would take to control an unwilling public? How many soldiers, how many “King’s men” do you suppose it would require? Where will those men come from, to crush their fellow citizens? Where do you suppose their families will live? How will they survive the unrest, while Daddy is away confiscating arms, and Mommy is home alone, in a neighborhood full of people that they’ve made their bounden enemies…? How’s that going to work, again?

    They’re all delusional, to massive degree. This will simply not play out the way they fantasize; there aren’t enough people here in the US willing to do the sorts of things they would need to, and the sad fact is, what few of those hard cases there are…? They ain’t on the side of the woke.

    The US Army trained thousands of men in guerrilla warfare. Actual, real-world effective guerrilla warfare. Heard from any of them, lately? Any Robin Sage players or support personnel gotten “noticed” by the media? There’s a reason for that, and when those sorts get riled up enough to take action, then the feces will have truly hit the fan. All you’ve seen so far are poseurs; the real “reactionaries” aren’t even on the radar. They will be, once the idjit class goes far enough… And, then it will be too late for the idjits to stave off what’s coming.

  • lucklucky

    I disagree with Kirk, because organised media control the narrative and have much more resources. For exemple murdering Jews and forcing them to be defenceless is legitimate today for many today Western journalists, academics, teachers. They take any Hamas information at face value…You just have to read how the TV and newspapers present the news about the conflict.

    The point i am making is to be willing to combat you need logistic and moral support. You can’t fight in a narrative vacuum. Your actions for a start will not be coherent assuming your side even have the will to do anything. 20% willing and organized can control 80% disparate non organized. Yeah Pareto might as well work here too and a big party of citizens will just follow what appears the stronger horse.

  • Agammamon

    because I do not want to believe that a British university can have fallen so far from what a university is meant to be

    People are arrested for praying in public.

    You had best start believing in totalitarian dystopias – you’re livin’ in one.

  • bobby b

    Translate all your prayers into Arabic. You’ll be safe.

  • Stonyground

    I would appear that Exeter University isn’t a very good place to study philosophy.

  • “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas THROUGH ANY MEDIA regardless of frontiers.”

    (Article 19; Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

  • Rich Rostrom

    “Gender fluidity” is nonsense. Gender dysphoria is real, and can be intractable. There are (a very small number of) people in whom gender identity (in the brain) develops differently from the body – inflicting lifelong misery on the victim, which is only somewhat remediable by “transition”.

    That’s because gender identity is, in general, the opposite of “fluid” – absolutely fixed and unchangeable.

    Someone whose gender identity is actually “fluid” would have no trouble in living as the sex of his or her body. Those who “present” as “gender fluid” or “non-binary” are merely fashionable perverts.

  • Steven R

    I can’t decide which is going to ultimately win out in Europe: the hardcore Muslims who will end up throwing the Alphabet Brigade types off of buildings or the Muslims that have been around the perverts for decades and just don’t care any longer.

    My money is on the ones on the buildings. Either way, once their numbers hit critical mass and are the majority Europe can kiss all those silly notions of freedom of thought and speech goodbye. It’s okay, because we here in the states will be enjoying out favelas and race wars in the heartland.

  • Paul Marks

    Kirk we see the situation differently – but you are closer to things (you are “on the ground” as it were) and I am thousands of miles away. Perhaps I am totally wrong about the American situation – perhaps I am looking at Americans as if they were similar to British people, and perhaps Americans are totally different – perhaps they are like the Minute Men of the 1770s.

    Let us hope that you are totally correct, and I am just a silly old man.

  • Ferox

    Paul and Kirk: the question that seems important to me is what ratio of rational minutemen to irrational “revolutionaries” exists in the US right now?

    Because if the rational people outnumber the irrational by a good margin, then maybe when the chips are down and the cards get called things can be resolved without filling the streets with blood.

    But if it’s 50/50 (as the polls seem to suggest) then even if one side has all the trained guerrillas and the other has skinny-jean wearing pink-haired socialists, we are still going to see a serious drop in the US population before things get settled.

    And that can’t be too good for business, unless you work in a mortuary.

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