Universities not playing the Trump card

The British Parliament should be ashamed of itself for even considering that Donald Trump should be denied entry to our country.

1995 library filer of Chris Moncrieff. Photo by Peter Smith/PA
1995 library filer of Chris Moncrieff. Photo by Peter Smith/PA

England, as John Bright once said, is the mother of parliaments, yet the House of Commons demeaned itself to the gutter level of those neo-fascist university students who have, in some cases, acted almost violently by gagging even eminent figures from speaking on their campuses if their views do not coincide with their own.

This is intolerance writ large, and it is scandalous that Trump, the front-runner in the Republican battle for the White House, should be treated in this way. Trump may have views that are anathema to many people, but he is no criminal – and could be sitting in the Oval Office sooner rather than later.

All right, ban known criminals, people who advocate violence or who try to brainwash others – but Trump could be leader of the free world by this time next year.

People like feminist Germaine Greer and historian David Starkey have been banned from speaking on campuses. These are people with controversial views, but they are entertaining – and more importantly, they provoke debate, which I would have thought is what universities need. And for politicians to downgrade themselves to such a level leaves an ugly stain on Westminster.

What good news it is that some of Britain’s bullying charities, that prey on the old and the vulnerable, are to be brought to book.

The methods some use to raise money, by, for instance, bombarding people with begging letters, have been condemned by MPs who say they now have a last chance to mend their often cruel ways.

Charity work is now very often not voluntary, but big business with its leaders strutting around in Armani suits – paid for, of course, by unsuspecting people who want to help the deprived, not finance designer wear from Savile Row.

Prison sentences are now on the cards for charity bosses who continue to flout this warning.

I trust this will frighten them into behaving like good, honest citizens.

They might even go to a charity shop for their suits.