Learning the ropes
“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.”