In a move that has shocked absolutely no one, Cambridge University has announced that it is banning armed forces personnel from carrying weapons at its freshers’ fair, stating that it could ‘trigger’ freshers because it is ‘alarming’ and could ‘detrimentally affect’ their mental health.
The motion, proposed by the Students’ Union’s welfare and rights officer, says that the presence of firearms shows ‘implicit approval of their use’, and whines about ‘the links between military and firearms and violence on an international scale’. I’m guessing you’re as shocked as I am. Who could have possibly predicted that firearms, the military, and violence on an international scale are all linked? It passed by 55%, and bans any societies from bringing firearms to the freshers’ fair. Of course, this is just more woke drivel conspicuously dressed up as concern about mental health.
The former commander of the British Forces in Afghanistan, Colonel Richard Kemp, responded correctly, labeling it ‘pathetic, to say the very least’. The worst part about this is it isn’t the first time that Cambridge’s Student Union has caused controversy in this area. Indeed, in 2018 they engaged in a blatantly anti-British attempt to disrespect the memory of the soldiers that have fought and died for this country. They voted down a motion to promote Remembrance Sunday because they didn’t want to engage in the ‘glorification’ of conflict.
Yes, you read that correctly. They didn’t want to promote Remembrance Sunday, which commemorates the contribution of military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and subsequent conflicts, presumably because they were concerned about people having their feelings hurt. The motion had called on the university to be ‘more proactive in promoting the cause of Remembrance’ – for example, asking for a minute’s silence, or encouraging people to buy poppies. Believe it or not, the amendment voted through which rejected the motion was proposed by the same student that argued firearms may be ‘triggering’. The amendment got rid of references to ‘British war veterans’ and ‘Poppies’ and ‘Remembrance Day’, and the reason given was that she didn’t want to just focus on British war veterans, and that students should be encouraged to engage in ‘productive criticism of the war’.
This is a blatant pattern of anti-Britishness designed to disrespect our armed forces
This is not to say that you cannot criticise British foreign policy, of course, or war in general. But this is a blatant pattern of anti-Britishness designed to disrespect our armed forces and further advance the notion that if your feelings are hurt – or if you are ‘triggered’, in the Union’s words – then it’s acceptable to force other people to modify their behaviour in order to conform with your own world view.
Let’s hope that Cambridge learns something from the embarrassing controversies that it keeps steering itself into.
Last modified: 11th February 2020