Miller’s sacking should be the beginning, not the end

The JC Leader, 7 October 2021

October 07, 2021 10:52

It might seem appropriate to praise Bristol University for the dismissal of David Miller. Surely the university has acted properly to protect its students from the targeting of one of its employees, a man with a track record of spreading the kind of conspiracy theories beloved of antisemites through the ages?

Unfortunately, however, the reality is very different. For one thing, David Miller did not turn into a dangerous crank while he was at Bristol. He was a dangerous crank when he was hired by Bristol — which then spent years defending him on spurious grounds of free speech, and, after his behaviour became especially egregious, dug in, treating those who raised objections to his behaviour with contempt.

Far from being a model of how to deal with such people, Bristol’s behaviour has been a disgrace until the very end. This is not a trivial matter — it is important to understand what happened because, as our front page story points out, Miller is not some lone voice but representative of a school of thought embedded in almost every part of academia.

The dismissal of David Miller matters not because it is the end of the affair, but because (irrespective of whether he chooses to fight) it should mark a beginning — the point at which cranks like him start to notice that the tide is turning and their universities will no longer be able to offer them a safe space from which to spread their toxic poison.



October 07, 2021 10:52

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