Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read pieces from this morning's papers.

1. This shocking NHS bill is without sense or mandate (Guardian)

The Lords should be affronted by the slipshod way our health system is being blown apart, before they can even debate it, writes Polly Toynbee.

2. Visionary, genius, game-changer ... but also a freak (Financial Times)

Steve Jobs could be PT Barnum one minute, banging the drum for a new operating system, and a sweet sixties hippie the next, guilelessly quoting Beatles lyrics, says Philip Delves Broughton.

3. Is Vladimir Putin's Eurasian dream worth the effort? (Guardian)

The Russian prime minister's union plan is not meant as a return to the Soviet past, but he would do well to check precedent, suggests Mark Mazower.

4. Gay marriage is not as simple as David Cameron believes (Daily Telegraph)

Government diktat should not be used to alter the basics of human society, writes Charles Moore.

5. The fight against climate change is down to us - the 99 per cent (Guardian)

Our movement differs from previous anti-globalisation protests, says Naomi Klein. To change society's values we must stay together for years.

6. France's battle to understand banks and banlieues (Financial Times)

French political leaders have still not learnt to think in new terms, argues Christopher Caldwell

7. All I get on the BBC these days is ... the BBC (Daily Telegraph)

From Desert Island Discs to PM to its own cuts, the Beeb is obsessed with itself, says Vicki Woods.

8. Get back on the maple-leaf road to recovery (Times) (£)

Canada and the conquest of debt once topped Cameron's reading list. But he has failed to follow the plot, writes Philip Collins.

9. Dave's posh, Ed's weird: which will be the bigger liability at the polls? (Independent)

Cameron and Miliband can change their policies, but they cannot change who they are, argues Andrew Grice.

10. Women's rights in, before troops out (Times) (£)

We cannot leave Afghanistan if half its population faces a future of virtual slavery, says Marielle Frostrup.

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Why a group of Brunel students walked out on Katie Hopkins instead of no-platforming her

"We silently walked out because Ms Hopkins has the right to speak, but we also have the right to express our discontent."

Earlier this week, columnist and all-round provocateur Katie Hopkins turned up to Brunel University to join a panel in debating whether the welfare state has a place in 2015. No prizes for guessing her stance on this particular issue

But as Hopkins began her speech, something odd happened. Around 50 students stood up and left, leaving the hall half-empty.

Here's the video:

As soon as Hopkins begins speaking, some students stand up with their backs to the panelists. Then, they all leave - as the nonplussed chair asks them to "please return to their seats". 

The walk-out was, in fact, pre-planned by the student union as an act of protest against Hopkins' appearance at an event held as part of the University's 50th anniversary celebrations. 

Ali Milani, the Brunel Student Union president, says he and other students knew the walk-out would "start a conversation" around no-platforming on campuses, but as he points out, "What is often overlooked (either purposely or as a result of the fanfare) is that the conversation at no point has been about banning Ms Hopkins from speaking on campus, or denying her right to speak."

Instead, students who found her appearance at the welfare debate "incongruous" and "distasteful" simply left the room: "We silently walked out because Ms Hopkins has the right to speak, but we also have the right to express our discontent."

Milani praised the student body for treading the line between freedom of speech and expressing their distaste at Brunel's decision: 

"They have respectfully voiced their antagonism at the decision of their institution, but also . . . proven their commitment to free of speech and freedom of expression."

The protest was an apt way to dodge the issues of free speech surrounding no-platforming, while rejecting Hopkins' views. A walk-out symbolises the fact that we aren't obliged to listen to people like Hopkins. She is free to speak, of course, albeit to empty chairs. 

Barbara Speed is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman and a staff writer at CityMetric.