The right to say right things

June 7, 1996

What a strange letter from Simon Batterbury about his colleague, David Marsland. Why does he assume that readers are unable to distinguish between the views of an individual and the university for which he happens to work? I do not happen to share Professor Marsland's opinions, but he has as much right to express them, in The THES or elsewhere, as anyone else.

Mr Batterbury seems to think that everyone should share his social democratic consensus about the welfare state and that only those who do so have a right to hold down an academic position . This would not only be very boring for the students at Brunel but it would also seriously undermine the whole point of a university which is to give succour to open and questioning intellectual enquiry. Perhaps he might reflect on this when he next draws his own state-funded university salary.

Allan Pond Whitley Bay,Tyne and Wear

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