In essence, it is because it does my thinking for me! Not that I have ceased to think but the sad fact is that I am not very good at it and as I get older my efforts become ever more feeble. Let me give you an example. I have become increasingly irritated at the fascistic behaviour of both students and lecturers in their increasing campaign to ban anyone from speaking if the views expressed are not approved by them. My grumpiness grows toward anger when I remind myself that I am paying for all those 'little Hitlers' as they apply mob force to silence their opponents.
Thus, without giving it much thought - see what I mean? - when I read in the papers that the Government were intending to take action against anyone conspiring to silence speakers at Univerities for whatever reason, my reaction could be summed up by the old phrase, "Give 'em one for me!" But then - sigh! - I read Brendan O'Neill's thoughtful article at The Coffee House.
So, the government has finally come up with a solution to the scourge of yellow-bellied censoriousness that has swept university campuses in recent years: it is going to ban it. Yes, it is going to ban banning. It is going to No Platform the No Platformers. It is going to force universities to be pro-free speech. Which is such a contradiction in terms it makes my head hurt. You cannot use authoritarianism to tackle authoritarianism. This is a really bad thinking.
Ouch! Why couldn't I have thought of that? (Don't answer, it's forbidden!) Mr. O'Neill introduces me to an eccentrically named American lawyer, Judge Learned Hand. Suffice to say that until now I had never heard of him despite the oddity of his name and I will warn you that his Wiki entry is enormous. I have only had time to skim it but later I intend to return and read it more carefully. Mr. O'Neill quotes one of Judge Hand's opinions on free speech, as follows: "Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it." Another quote I would offer in this context is from the film of The Teahouse of the August Moon in which a bellicose American army general serving in Japan after the surrender shouts out something like, 'Godammit, I'll teach these Japs democracy if I have to shoot every one of them!'
So what is the solution to dealing with these university-educated 'Gauleiters' as they do their worst to crush free speech? Mr. O'Neill abjures government action and instead urges us to support the free speech groups which are springing up:
Anyone who wants to help tackle the march of intolerance on campus should not censure or punish banners, however irritating they might be, but rather should support warriors for free speech. They’re out there, setting up debating societies, inviting people they’re not meant to invite, thinking things their student-union betters have warned them not to think. We should back these freedom-lovers rather than banning freedom-haters.
Couldn't have put it better myself, in fact, I couldn't have put it at all because I wasn't thinking!