This is the press release that Dr Bruce Charlton of the Psychology Department sent out. He told me about it afterwards!
Newcastle University has surrendered in the face of adverse publicity threats coming from a vegetarian dating agency!
Some veggie romantics on a dating forum objected to a humorous article by evolutionary psychologist Nikolas Lloyd ironically entitled 'Why vegetarians should be force fed with lard' have successfully campaigned to get the offending web page removed from the Newcastle University server - also having Nikolas Lloyd's e-mail and web access immediately and permanently cut-off.
The article by Nikolas Lloyd is still available on the Google cache, and is given in full at the end of this message. It is an accomplished piece of 'black humour' in a style reminiscent of PJ O'Rourke.
The veggieromance forum including discussion of the blackmail campaign can also be found on the web:
Nikolas Lloyd (a Newcastle graduate in Archaeology) has for the past decade been allowed access to Newcastle University e-mail and web services in order to pursue his studies. He has made a film about evolutionary psychology (used in teaching), attended conferences and seminars, co-written a comedy presented at the Edinburgh Fringe, appeared as a wit on late night TV, and written several influential web papers including 'Why men won't dance' (he is also a swing-jive dance teacher). Web access was granted by an annual contract signed by the relevant head of department.
But following complaints and threats of adverse press publicity from veggieromance.com, the Registrar of Newcastle University became involved. A decision was made to suspend Nikolas Lloyd's web privileges instantly and without notice or discussion of any alternatives.
It is amusing, although potentially ominous, that Newcastle University has shown itself ready to cave-in to 'threats' emanating from so mild a source as a bunch of vegetarian lonely-hearts!
It also demonstrates that 'having no sense of humour' is just as common among some university administrators as it is among some single-issue fanatics.
Nikolas Lloyd can be contacted at [snip].
[This was followed by a copy of the 'offending' essay.]
The Register's first article
The Register's second article
The veggie forum's thread (now off-line)
The Times Higher Educational Supplement's article
Fraser Charlton's list of web-links on this affair
Richard Lockwood's blog, featuring many comments (you'll need to select normal founts)
The first (failed) attempt to have me banned
The silly essay that started the whole thing
Reinstate the veggie forum thread! Fight for freedom!