LSE’s new Free Speech society being banned for stifling free speech is the most ironic thing ever

The hypocrisy is giving me a headache


In possibly the greatest irony of the century, LSE’s newly created Free Speech society has faced criticism over free speech.

LSE has been criticised in recent years as being one of the worst campuses in the UK for freedom of expression and was marked as “RED” in Spiked Magazine’s free speech university rankings. A recent graduate has said that LSE, “breeds lack of debate – which is the exact reason it was set up, to debate economics.” Oh the hypocrisy.

With this in mind, some students have decided to set up a society to champion free speech called the LSESU Free Speech Society – Speakeasy.

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Christian Benson, one of the founders claims that they, “hope to prove the values of free speech by encouraging debate.” Charlie Parker, another founder has also commented that, they “are opposed to any form of restriction that treats students as not capable of making up their own minds.”

What a great, unobjectionable idea.

The Free Speech Society is however facing criticism and a number of people have called for the group to be banned. The most vocal of these is Maurice Banerjee Palmer, a law student, who has in the past claimed that, “banning things is neither a popular nor the most effective way of improving behaviour.”

Banerjee Palmer has now suggested: “It would be hilarious if the anti-ban society was actually banned.

“Instead of actually doing any debating, our three musketeers have decided to set up a society in the name of debate and get their faces in the papers.”

LSE are no strangers to controversy. The rugby club was banned for handing out homophobic and sexist leaflets, an article on last year’s elections wasn’t published in the student paper for fear of being too political and the atheist society were prevented from wearing t-shirts with Mohammed and Jesus holding hands on. Incidents such as these have lead to a crusade against any ideas which could potentially cause offence, and this is the latest example.

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LSE’s rugby team were banned for this letter

Despite this, Nona Buckley-Irvine, the student union general secretary “wholeheartedly disagrees that there is a culture against free speech at LSE”.

She says the union “prioritises campus being a safe space for students and we are pleased to have moved forwards in promoting greater inclusivity and diversity in recent years”.

Harry Maxwell, a third year Geography with Economics student agrees that, “it is important to facilitate constructive debate on campus, especially at a political institution such as the LSE.” But believes that, “ideas should be challenged, not silenced.”