When I chose to study at LSE I anticipated vibrant debate and a rainbow of political ideologies, all coming together to discuss our different beliefs (in a respectful way of course). But sadly this is not the case, oh no, any chance of alternative, perhaps controversial opinions are nipped well and truly in the bud, before any spark of discussion can rear its head; anything outside of the status quo seems to come with a trigger warning and offence is taken left, right and centre.
There is an important yet depressingly polarised debate raging across university campuses on both sides of the Atlantic at the moment. It concerns a plethora of policies ranging from no-platforming certain groups and speakers, banning certain university societies, demanding trigger warnings for a range of issues in lectures and in general extending the philosophy of safe spaces and the reverence of personal feelings into general university life.
Many students come to university interested in understanding and changing the world. Once, student politics provided an outlet for that burgeoning, history-making impulse. But this kind of petty SU authoritarianism stifles that spirit. Argument, forthright disagreement and trying to win people over are the essence of politics. But in the ban-happy world of the SU debate isn't just dodged, it's seen as dangerous.
While we certainly cannot ignore the influence of religious fundamentalism worldwide in suppressing freedom of expression, I would submit that the future of free speech in Britain will depend rather on the willingness of those who believe in free speech to stand against criminalising offensive speech for its own sake...
The headlines make pretty grim reading. Britain seems to be mostly underwater, the threat of Islamic terrorism prevails, an evil universe version of a Sesame Street character is alarmingly close to the most powerful office in the world and it's getting nearer to the time of the year when it feels a bit weird to watch Christmas specials.
Whether it's a bizarre chap on Twitter merrily proclaiming that women belong in the kitchen, a prominent academic who wants to ban faith schools... so long as they're not making threats, I really hope we can try to shut them down with our words, reason and logic. Not by calling for their banishment from every which platform - virtual or not.
Essentially, the desire to ban Mr Trump says nothing about him and says everything about the signatories. It's not that we owe him and his unconvincing hairpiece a single damn thing, we owe him no respect nor do we owe him any pleasantries... However, we do owe centuries of well-developed British principles and traditions, built on free speech and robust debate, better than taking the easy way out.
We are lucky that unlike in the US, the UK already legislates against hate speech, but we must not allow eloquent right-wing commentators to water it down. If we allow hate speech without recrimination then we must abandon our boast of being a fair and equal society. I guess it all comes down to the type of society we want to live in.
One of the memorable scenes of the Hunger Games trilogy - before its lacklustre final two-parter - sees Finnick facing the sharp end of Katniss' arrow, at which point he reminds the protagonist to "remember who the real enemy is". As academics and students criticise one another over free speech and insensitivity, this scene seems particularly apt.
The bonfire night in Lewes is just another example of Britain's innate ability to mock our leaders - and other leaders - with utter abandon. It is a crucial part of British culture. It reminds us that we live in a country where we cherish our ability to exercise freedom of expression and we are creative in the forms we exercise.
If our Dear Leaders want to argue that they have a unique right to not hear views that offend them - a right which they will not extend to their opponents, and indeed cannot or else all speech would stop - then they should at least be honest about it, rather than deceiving your audience by pretending that (legal) free speech has not been replaced by speech subject to conditions...
At its core, this has always been about consideration for trans lives, trans issues and trans voices. Despite the other conversations it has also sparked about the power of activism, the evolution of its methods with the rise of social media, the role of universities in preserving free speech and the boundaries and limitation of free expression, I am glad that we are able to have these debates about inclusivity but I really wish that more trans women were being given the opportunity to speak right now.