Tales From The Safe Space, Part 18 – At Edinburgh, The Revolution Eats Its Own

Imogen Wilson - Edinburgh University - Students Union - Safe Space Policy - Identity Politics

Censured for raising her hand and shaking her head in a student council meeting, but don’t feel sorry for her – this student fully supports the draconian Safe Space policy which saw a complaint raised against her

Edinburgh University has long been one of the dodgiest academic institutions in the country when it comes to tyrannical student activism and the suppression of free speech.

The university has consistently scored Red in the Spiked Free Speech University Rankings, with the student union’s bizarre rules banning “hand gestures which denote disagreement” or applause when a motion fails to pass marking the institution as a particularly insufferable place to take a degree.

(It’s amazing that they tolerate applause at all).

Therefore, in such a sanctimoniously authoritarian atmosphere, it was only a matter of time that the Identity Politics revolution which currently subjugates Edinburgh University claimed one of its own revolutionaries. And in this case, the victim is a student union officer (vice President of academic affairs) named Imogen Wilson, someone no doubt more used to doling out punishment for thought crime than being on the receiving end.

Wilson’s crime? Raising her hand to speak during a meeting of the student council, and then later – pass the smelling salts! – shaking her head in disagreement with something which was said.

The Daily Mail reports:

A student was almost kicked out of a meeting after she violated a ‘safe space’ by raising her arm at Edinburgh University.

Imogen Wilson wanted to make a point at Thursday’s student council session when she was told off by officials.

The vice-president for academic affairs at the university’s Student Association was accused of failing disabled students by not responding to an open letter.

She immediately raised her arm to disagree but was made the subject of a ‘ludicrous’ complaint and told not to make the gesture again.

Imogen was also warned for shaking her head during the meeting as it again breached the ‘safe space’ which is part of the university’s Student Association rules. 

But before you feel too sorry for Imogen, bear in mind that she is an enthusiastic proponent of Safe Space policy and the whole range of illiberal, stultifying policies which are crushing freedom of thought and expression at her university.

The Huffington Post explains:

Wilson later shook her head whilst someone was speaking, and was threatened with another safe space complaint.

“I completely understand the importance of our safe space policy, and will defend it to the ground, but I did not think that was fair, and had it gone further I would have either left or argued against it,” she said.

So Wilson was more than happy for the speech and behaviour of others to be strictly regulated and censored while on campus, but is now throwing a petulant tantrum when she herself accidentally steps on one of the very Identity Politics landmines that she and her student tyrant comrades have been busy laying throughout the political and social discourse, and in the students union rulebook.

This is also hilarious:

A fourth-year student at the meeting, who wished to remain anonymous, told HuffPost UK: “The whole thing was a ludicrous abuse of the entire intent of safe space.

“We were having one of the most emotionally tense councils of the year, with the vote on the BDS movement and people speaking who live in Palestine or are Israeli on both sides of the issue.

“There was ample risk of there being an actual safe space issue taking place—an anti-semitic or islamophobic comment for instance—but the whole debate was actually remarkably civil despite how emotional it was.

“So for someone to have abused the very legitimate purpose of safe space rules to get at someone they politically disagreed with was pretty low.

Gosh, so there was a real danger of an “actual safe space issue” occurring – the possibility that someone might have said something a bit crass or offensive about Palestinians or Israelis, thus immediately shattering the fragile psyches of the adult babies studying at Edinburgh University. How terrifying.

(And as always, it is great to see a students union spending its time debating the issues which really affect the day-to-day life of students on campus – like the BDS movement, whose principle agents will surely be quaking in their boots awaiting the verdict of a bunch of jumped-up student activists in Edinburgh).

But funniest of all is the fourth-year student’s complaint that in targeting Imogen Wilson, her accusers had “abused the very legitimate purpose of safe space rules to get at someone they politically disagreed with”.

Well, who would have thought that such cynical behaviour might be a consequence of laying so many verbal and behavioural traps everywhere? Who could have anticipated that by making so many rules governing who is allowed to speak and what they are allowed to say, it might provide an irresistible temptation for students to manipulate those rules to their own benefit, or to spitefully punish someone with whom they disagree? Who could possibly have foreseen such a shocking development?

Clearly not the adult babies of Edinburgh University, who – when they are not high-mindedly resolving the Middle East peace process on behalf of grateful Israelis and Palestinians – are so busy trying to entrap one another with their precious Safe Space / Identity Politics rules that they totally lose sight of why they are at university in the first place.


Safe Space Notice - 2

Top Image: Daily Mail

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