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Anorak | Free speech: Robbie Travers, Esme Allman and the great Macaroon War

Free speech: Robbie Travers, Esme Allman and the great Macaroon War

by | 5th, September 2017

We’re all suspects now. What we say is written down on Twitter and Facebook can be used to ridicule and incarcerate us at any time. News reaches us of Robbie Travers, a 21-year-old law student at the Edinburgh university. Travers has 1980s hair and, reportedly, an ongoing investigation for having committed a hate crime.

 

Robbie Travers

Not Carol Decker

 

The 21-year-old third-year student wrote on Facebook post after the US Air Force bombed an ISIS stronghold in Afghanistan in April: “I’m glad we could bring these barbarians a step closer to collecting their 72 virgins.”

The Mail says his fellow student Esme Allman, a second-year history student and the former black and ethnic minority convenor of the university’s students’ association, accused Travers of Islamophobia. Her complaint goes:

“Not only do I believe this behaviour to be in breach of the student code of conduct, but his decision to target the BME Liberation Group at the University of Edinburgh, and how he has chosen to do so, puts minority students at risk and in a state of panic and fear while attending the University of Edinburgh.”

The Sun says her accusation has triggered “outrage”.

Travers adds an update on Facebook:

“Afraid I’ve been a little more quiet as I have been accused of Islamophobia because I mocked ISIS, and I’m being investigated on such a ground by my University. Mocking ISIS allegedly made Islamic and minority students feel ‘threatened’ and ‘unsafe,’ so goes the complainant’s ramblings. Have engaged legal advice to dismiss this nonsense. Wish me luck.”

The Times hears from Travers:

He said: “I am deeply worried that I am being investigated for comments which are expressions of opinion in a jovial way . . . I do not incite the harassment or racist treatment, nor attack anyone with an illegal suggestion or suggest, indeed, that they be deprived of their human rights.”

Allman is quoted further – and for those of you not versed in student speak, this is pretty much what now passes for the norm:

“I value inclusivity as well as building and preserving safe spaces for us. Creating a truly intersectional campaign is incredibly important to me and my first job will be to work alongside the other liberation groups to ensure EUSA are fully representative of our views. Here at Edinburgh I want BME Students to engage in conversations about the issues that affect us.”

The big news is that Robbie Travers is in the news. And he might well like it that way.

 

 

In 2015, he told The Tab:

“I can also talk about football and rugby, if you like. And, sometimes, I just like to go and have a little dance at a party”, he said. “But being a public figure means that people engage with you as a ‘brand’ rather than as a real person”.

Meanwhile…on Twitter Ido Bock – “Writer for the New Statesman, Haaretz, Prospect, CapX” – has some claims regarding Travers’ postings:

 

 

Exciting times on campus, where everyone’s a victim.



Posted: 5th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink