Learn­ing the ropes

THE (Times Higher Education) - - THE POPPLETONIAN -

“Mr Gy­imah has been un­fairly treated.”

That was how one of our few re­main­ing his­tory dons, Dr Si­mon Bonger, re­acted to crit­i­cism of the min­is­ter’s re­cent opin­ion piece in The Times .

Dr Bonger agreed that Mr Gy­imah’s de­fence of free speech on uni­ver­sity cam­puses might have been more telling if it had not in­cluded the some­what hack­neyed and ill-phrased as­ser­tion that “while I wholly dis­ap­prove with [ sic] what you say…I will de­fend…your right to say it.”

But Dr Bonger de­nounced what he called “the pa­tro­n­is­ing rush to judge­ment” as aca­demics raced to point out that Mr Gy­imah had wrongly at­trib­uted the quo­ta­tion to Voltaire.

“Mr Gy­imah has only been in post a short time. It’s a steep learn­ing curve. This modest er­ror might have read­ily been avoided if only some­one had warned him about the in­her­ent dan­gers of con­struct­ing an ar­ti­cle with the help of an es­say bank.”

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