Tuesday Oct 31, 2023

The Battle of Ideas

This week’s episode was recorded in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Ideas festival, so Ben and Tom sat down in front of their microphones with heads still buzzing from the fascinating conversations and heated debates that were held over the weekend. The discussion ranges across topics as diverse as lived experience, social amnesia, confidence in leadership, and the whole area of whether the culture wars, which (as FSU data proves) are no myth, might yet be an unnecessary distraction. The discussion moves on to the latest FSU research briefing, Not on Our Shelves – Soft Censorship in Local Authority Libraries. As the Telegraph rightly says, this is the first widespread snapshot of the effect censorious transgender activists are having on public libraries. The FSU found that over two thirds (67%) of the local authority library catalogues sampled list more transgender rights (TR) books than gender critical (GC) books. We also found that, although library stock policies are more than matching TR book demand, they are failing to meet demand for GC books. We touch lastly on the disappointing news that the government has resurrected its bill to ban conversion therapy. We are encouraging all our members and listeners to write to their MP using our campaigning tool to raise their concerns.

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