The Counterknowledge blog notes the case of an academic, Nicholas Kollerstrom, who has been stripped of an honorary post by University College, London, for publicly espousing Holocaust denial. I am a near-absolutist on free speech and a strong opponent of legal proscription of Holocaust denial. I consider it a human right to be a bigot and to express bigoted views. But I support UCL's action. The issue is not one of personal liberty or academic freedom. It's about the purpose of the academy. Holocaust denial is a demonstrably false claim about history. It can be promoted consistently only by ignoring or doctoring the evidence. Indeed, the two most prominent Holocaust deniers in the West, my reader David Irving and Robert Faurisson, have been found in courts of law (in the UK and France, respectively) to have engaged in fakery. By taking the stand that it has, UCL has properly insisted that its academics adhere not to a particular view but to a method, that of critical inquiry.
On "Comment is Free", Terry Sanderson of the National Secular Society has a piece praising Tony Blair's support for the right of same-sex couples to adopt and his refusal to grant an exemption to Catholic agencies. I agree on both points.
Harry's Place, one of the big sites for political blogging, has a new design and a new location. It looks smart, and I wish my comrades well. If there is one change I would encourage them to make in their new home, it is to devote more space to the activities of the now ruptured cause of George Galloway MP and the London mayoral candidate Lindsey German. More articles, many more articles, like this, in fact.
Last week a blogger, David Lindsay, posted trenchant comments here expounding his plans for the (as yet) one-member party he has established to oppose immigration, contraception, abortion and the European Union. Mr Lindsay further challenged the junta that rules this country to run me as their candidate in the 2009 European elections. I was pleased that Mr Lindsay gamely if a tad evasively responded in the comments thread to some pretty searching questions posed by my readers. I mention it here in the hope that three of those readers, Gary, Simon and Michael, will keep us informed of this nascent movement, for I found the discussion enjoyable and enlightening.
UPDATE: See also Nick on the Kollerstrom case.