Wednesday Sep 20, 2023

Year Zero

Frequent listeners to ‘That’s Debatable’ will remember our interview with Sibyl Ruth from the end of August (you can listen to that episode here). We are very pleased to announce that Sibyl’s case has now been settled and Cornerstones has issued an apology to Sibyl. The apology recognises that Sibyl holds gender critical feminist beliefs, that she is “entitled to these views even if Cornerstones does not share aspects of those views” and that these are “worthy of respect in a democratic society”. Sibyl has posted an update to her crowd funder page to share the news of her settlement and apology and to thank the FSU and her legal team for all the work they’ve done on her case. During our podcast discussion with Sibyl, we discussed the removal or relocation of allegedly contentious books in UK libraries. That idea now seems to have been taken to an extreme in a Canadian public high school. CBC reported this week that all books published prior to 2008 (seemingly the new ‘Year Zero’) have been removed by Peel District School Board amid confusion around a new equity-based ‘weeding’ process. The photo in the article looks like it’s been extracted directly from the ‘dystopian fiction’ section of a library (though we can’t confirm this, since that section no longer contains any books). Our conversation expands to ponder some of the broader free speech woes facing Canada, including the apparent politicisation of the professions as reported by Jordan Peterson. Finally, we discuss a very interesting analysis completed by the group ‘Alumni for Free Speech’ on free speech at our leading universities. Their analysis, which includes a detailed spreadsheet with all the data from their various Freedom of Information requests, shows that around 214 times as much money appears to be being spent by these universities on EDI as on free speech protection.

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