Rex Murphy: No Surprise the ‘Squeamish Inquisition’ Wants to Stop Peterson’s Ottawa Talk

by EditorT

Jordan Peterson talks on stage at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Nov. 3, 2022. (Carol Cassis/The Epoch Times)

By Rex Murphy

Commentary

I see there’s another gaggle of busybody woke worry warts trying to cancel Jordan Peterson. There’s a spiderweb of left-wing organizations in Ottawa whose tender sensibilities are already afire with the thought of Dr. Peterson giving one of his world-class, world-celebrated talks in our nation’s capital, the site of the Parliament Buildings—ostensibly emblems and monuments to the most fundamental of freedoms, those of thought and speech.

Don’t Look Now, it’s the Squeamish Inquisition

There are 36 groups, that’s three dozen, who are all in trembles and tingles that Peterson will be allowed to speak to the likely thousands of Ottawa citizens who (a) would like to hear him, (b) would be delighted to hear him (I go by the evidence of previous talks of his, one of which I was pleased to host as moderator, and (c)—this is the strongest part—are totally capable adults who can choose whom they wish to hear and do not want woke ninnies attempting to bar anybody they don’t like and certainly cannot adequately debate.

The cry of the Squeamish Inquisition is that Peterson is too “dangerous” to even allow within the precincts of delicate Ottawa lest (I like certain slightly old words) he ruffle its celebrated tranquility, and more to the point upset the digestion and peace of mind of the woke clerisy who wish to see him cancelled.

I do not know if this latest effort to stomp on freedom of speech is in any way associated with the College of Psychologists of Ontario’s pursuit of Peterson’s licence as a professional clinical psychologist—that ultra-silly effort to take away the credentials of the one member of that group anybody even knows about. But it ranks as a twin exertion, equally fatuous, and does have some standing as a grab for press attention from a volley of otherwise signally unimpressive associations.

You can send out Leif Marouf, the notorious antisemite, on government money to “lecture” broadcasters on anti-bias, and not one of these 36 Capitoline geese will stir to so much as a press release. But let Jordan Peterson even signal he’s going to talk in Ottawa, and there’s the usual woke posse chasing him before he even gets there.

A little background. Earlier this year Dr. Peterson visited—by invitation, be it noted—both Oxford and Cambridge universities, for a whole week at each.

I may solemnly report both revered universities still stand. Their professors (do they still smoke pipes in these grey and great academies? I hope so, but unless they’re stuffing them with Mary-Jane, I doubt it) remain unclouded by hate and bias, and the students are as alert as they were before—if improved in open-mindedness by Peterson’s sojourn in these hallowed academies.

Peterson has wandered most of the seven continents—Antarctica has few lecture halls—and been received with welcome, kindness, and even gratitude by thousands. He brings glory to the University of Toronto on a scale only previously established when Marshall McLuhan was operating as sage, or Northrop Frye was the king of English criticism. (Another note: It is more than strange the U of T is so adamantly silent and unsupportive when one of their own, an emeritus professor, is entangled with the Woke Furies and have done nothing to signal their gratitude to him for emblazoning their campus to the world.)

Of the great cities Peterson has lectured in and are still standing undisturbed, here are but a few: New York, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Sydney, Berlin, Lisbon, Manchester, and Chicago. In Melbourne alone, 13,000 people came to see this brave and learned man and went away pleased and even enlightened, untrammelled by any Australian version of the Squeamish Inquisition.

All remain un-inflamed and secure after his benign presence. Can the League of Ottawa woke anti-free-speech puritans claim an equal list?

Does not Ottawa deserve the same opportunity as these great world centres? And are there not politicians in Ottawa who will rebuke these would-be woke inquisitors for their folly, righteousness, insolence, and maybe even their federal funding? But to hope for spine in Ottawa is to hope for sunshine in a Newfoundland February.

As a last note, you cannot “cancel” Jordan Peterson. He is above and away from the impotence of querulous, self-regarding “cause-mongers” whose only real reason for these fatuous attempts to do so must be a hunger for a smidgen of the attention he earns, and they pick up only by ostentatiously posting their manufactured dread of him.

My advice to the “36.” File a complaint to the Ontario College of Psychologists. Their Peterson file needs replenishment.

And a question: When was the last time anyone tried to muzzle one of your speakers? How you would have squealed! “It’s the damn patriarchy and those bitter heteronormatives.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of NTD Canada.

 

Rex Murphy
Rex Murphy is an author and columnist, and a former CBC Television and CBC Radio host.

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