Melanie Phillips

A controversial Channel 4 interview highlighted how zealots want to crush rational thinking. 

If you want to know what the culture war is about, look no farther than the spectacular eruption in Britain during the past few days over Jordan Peterson, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto.

Peterson came to prominence in 2016 when he refused to adhere to a proposed new Canadian anti-discrimination law, under which it was claimed that personal pronouns would have to be replaced by preferred transgender activist terms such as ze or zir.

The issue for him was liberty. No one, he declared, had the right to dictate what language people should use.

For this stand, he was compared to Hitler, had his lectures drowned out by white noise and was forced to rely on crowdfunding after his grant application to continue his academic research was rejected. He said he feared for his life.

Last week, Peterson was in London to promote his new book, 12 Rules for Life, and was interviewed by Cathy Newman on Channel 4 News.

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