There are some oddities in the Nottingham Council axes Julie Bindel’s talk at the library story.

Council chiefs cancelled a talk by Julie Bindel, the feminist writer, on protecting women from male violence because it contradicts their position on trans rights.

The talk was scheduled at (and by) the library. Do city councils generally oversee items like what talks libraries are allowed to present? Do they generally veto decisions of that kind, on the grounds that they don’t like the speaker’s ideas?

It doesn’t sound right to me. I’m not an expert in city government but I live in a city and I did work for a city department for several years. It’s my impression that city departments do their own scheduling of talks and deciding of what talks to have. It is just an impression, I haven’t researched it, but I think it’s based on some relevant facts, like how the hell would anybody get anything done if that level of micromanagement were normal? I don’t think city councils do micromanage that way, not least because it would enrage everyone and cause endless argument and fuss and gridlock.

It seems pretty damn highhanded for a council to tell the library what kind of talks it can have. I suppose “within reason” plays its usual role here: I suppose talks by the Proud Boys would be dangerous enough that the higher ups might intervene, but short of that – I doubt this is normal.

On Saturday, Nottingham City Council said allowing Ms Bindel to speak at one of its libraries would violate its commitment to being an “inclusive city”.

But it wouldn’t. Even if you believe the insulting claim that Julie is “anti-inclusive,” it still wouldn’t. One person saying things you don’t agree with at a library branch can’t violate a whole City Council’s commitment to anything. If that were the criterion nobody could talk at all.

Citing its allegiance to the campaign group Stonewall, the council said it was preventing the event from going ahead because of Ms Bindel’s views on transgender rights and in support of the city’s LGBT community.

So because of its allegiance to the misogynistic and totalitarian pests at Stonewall, it’s high-handedly telling a library branch what guest speakers it can and can’t have.

I don’t think this is normal. I wonder if it even violates some of their own rules.

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