We simply cannot do this if we obsess over this new victim mentality, seeking offense where none is intended. We cannot do this if we refuse to allow those we disagree with to speak. This is a generation of intellectual cowards; whether the NUS disaffiliation campaigns are successful or not, nothing will change until we do.
Common sense and free speech ultimately prevailed, and what happened to me was a glitch in an otherwise important, inclusive and functional policy. I'm not afraid to stand up to the tweeter who claimed I was worse than Putin and Assad combined, and I certainly won't apologise for defending discrimination-free spaces.
No-one in this discussion is honestly questioning anyone's "right" to hold such views - they are simply pointing out the ramifications of doing so. "No platform" calls - when actually made - are often taken by those who already feel marginalised and want to kick back against that which they consider to be a negative or oppressive force.
Instead of criticising the methods of those students stepping up to try and help their peers, we can admire their compassion, and respect their determination to plug a failing support system. And if civil liberties campaigners don't want this to deteriorate into censorship then they can join efforts to make sure that adequate support exists.
Safe Space and No-platform policies are in essence pessimistic and defeatist. Their advocates see mainstream society as something to be feared and to be disengaged from. Our student unions are not challenging or defeating prejudice in wider society, they are simply cowering from it. And in doing so, they are letting down most the minority students they claim to be fighting for.