Emails to Roz Kaveney on the issue of no platform policy

Yesterday, I emailed Roz Kaveney to request a quote for this New Statesman article on the subject of no platform policies. Kaveney has subsequently tweeted to say that I requested “an immediate response”, the implication being that she was not given enough time to compile the materials in support of her position or that it was unreasonable of me to expect her to do so. Below, I have reproduced all four of the emails I sent her. None requests an immediate response. For the record, I would have been happy to wait or to approach an alternative source had Kaveney decided not to provide a statement.

Subject: Request for comment on no-platforming

Sarah Ditum

Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Hi Roz, I’m working on a piece for the New Statesman about no-platforming and I wondered if you’d like to contribute a comment towards it. I know that on Twitter you’ve said you “don’t object” to the no-platforming of Julie Bindel, and I wondered if you might be able to briefly outline your reasons for saying that. I believe that you’re a founder member of Feminists Against Censorship, and it seems like there would be an interesting tension between supporting no-platform (which is arguably a form of censorship) and opposing censorship.

Thanks so much for you time and your thoughts. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,


Kaveney has published her reply to this email as a post on LiveJournal.

Sarah Ditum

Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Hi Roz, and thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

I suppose it’s the definition of hate speech that I’m interested in – of Bindel’s work, which parts do you consider to be examples of hate speech?

Thanks again and kind regards,


Sarah Ditum

Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 2:14 PM

I appreciate that this is a sensitive area, and I don’t want to pressure you to go over a subject you find distressing. However, it would be really helpful in explaining the case for no-platforming if you were able to provide some specific examples of what you consider to be hate speech – I’m conscious that if I quote your remarks so far, it might not be enough to convince readers that no-platforming her is justified.

Thanks again,


Sarah Ditum 

Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Absolutely fine. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, best of luck with your lecture tour.

Kind regards,


4 thoughts on “Emails to Roz Kaveney on the issue of no platform policy

  1. the truth is furious and merciful. holding liars accountable for their deception is a profound form of compassion. thank you dear sister, thank you so much.

  2. I think you could’ve quoted Roz and someone-else, couldn’t you? I’m also not sure what I think about no-platforming – I really like Julie Bindell, but I do think what the trans community say about her is right and I still like her, I really struggle with the whole thing, tbh.

  3. Jessi: I assume you mean quoted someone else on the Bindel issue, since I quote quite a lot of people in the piece overall? However, re Bindel, I also include comments from Jane Fae (who disagrees with no platform); I approached Sarah Brown for a comment too (she is pro) but she sadly declined, although she was subsequently critical of what she saw as my failure to supply examples. I see it differently: when pressed for specifics examples of the alleged hate speech, none was forthcoming, and I wonder how much credence we should give claims made without evidence.

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