Nick Cohen rssNick Cohen

Nick Cohen is a columnist for the Observer and author of What’s Left and You Can’t Read This Book.

Might the battle between Hugh Grant and the press be rejoined? David Cameron fears it will.

Lord Justice Leveson and the baby killers

12 December 2012 11:13

I have worried about Hugh Grant’s understanding of power ever since he started bringing up baby. I first saw him reach for the innocent child at one of the party… Continue reading

Bashar Assad, back when he was a 'goodie', meeting President Khatami of Iran in 2001. Image: Getty.

Tyranny’s fellow travel writers (Part 3)

9 December 2012 19:21

Earlier this year I noted a piece by Michael Moynihan in Foreign Policy. He looked at how the authors of the Rough Guide and Lonely Planet guide books were producing… Continue reading


Theocrats, plutocrats, bureaucrats and other enemies of human freedom

18 November 2012 14:32

This is a video of a speech to Oxford Brookes University on freedom and its enemies based on my book on censorship You Can’t Read This Book.

The Adrian Smith case suggests that 'the Internet is proving that it is the friend of the censorious rather than a tool for emancipation.' Image: Getty

The internet is proving to be a tool of censorship, not emancipation

16 November 2012 14:07

The case of Adrian Smith, the Christian the Trafford Housing Trust demoted for politely expressing his opposition to gay marriage on Facebook, is one of the most disgraceful I have… Continue reading

The disgraced media report on the disgrace of the BBC being laid bare by a committee of disgraced MPs, and you pay for this absurd pantomime. It's enough to turn good, honest folk violent. Image: Getty

A black, bloody insurrection of the hard-working, over-taxed and unbenefited

13 November 2012 10:24

If you want to understand the mood of modern Britain, James Hawes’s novels of middle class fury are not a bad place to start. Hawes’s heroes are middle-aged men, whose… Continue reading

Freedom art round the back of Tate Modern. Image: Getty

My life as a connoisseur

4 November 2012 18:11

‘Passion for freedom‘ is now holding its fourth exhibition at the Unit 24 Gallery just behind Tate Modern. The show is a visible and occasionally dazzling manifestation of an often… Continue reading


Battle of the Chancellors: hope v fear

30 October 2012 11:09

At the Spectator debate on the economic consequences of Mr Osborne last night, Andrew Neil repeated JK Galbraith’s line that ‘economic forecasters exist to make astrologers look good.’ The impressive… Continue reading

The 'great reckoning' is underway against the elites in Britain; but real reform remains elusive. Image: Getty

The Great Reckoning

28 October 2012 16:35

In my Observer column today, I talk about the scourging of Britain’s failed elite. To give readers an idea of how many institutions are in the dock, I quote an… Continue reading

Would any media organisation but the BBC have allowed journalistic enquiry into itself? Image: Getty.

The BBC regains its honour

23 October 2012 9:02

I hope that the entire editorial staffs of the Times, Sunday Times, Sun, Mail, Mail on Sunday, Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph (oh and the Express newspapers if they are still… Continue reading


Mr JS Mill and the Twitterati

14 October 2012 16:56

Corn dealers were the bankers of the early 19th century.  In the popular imagination, they were monsters who threatened the poor with starvation by inflating their prices to satiate their… Continue reading

The heirs of Fred Goodwin want Nick Cohen to become a 21st century citizen by paying for the costs of producing of his statement, twice. Image: Getty.

The myth of the paperless citizen

6 October 2012 20:46

Another day and another unasked for letter asking me to live online. This time it is from my bank, NatWest – and yes, yes, thank you I know that by… Continue reading

Eric Hobsbawm has died. Image: Getty.

Eric Hobsbawm: A man of Extremes

1 October 2012 12:14

A few years ago, I wrote a review of Eric Hobsbawm’s last collection of essays and noted  ‘Hobsbawm is now 94, and although I have no wish to usher the… Continue reading

Mitt Romney's 'gaffe' is the latest example of how distant the Washington parties are from the heartlands of the American working class. Image: Getty.

God, guns,welfare: conspiracy theories about working class Americans

18 September 2012 10:44

Mitt Romney has been caught saying what he really thinks – or in modern journalistic jargon has committed a ‘gaffe’. Serious American commentators believe that his election challenge is all… Continue reading

Salman Rushdie is still going strong, thanks to the efforts of Special Branch. Image: Getty

Salman Rushdie: He’s still here

15 September 2012 12:04

Until the launch party for Salman Rushdie’s autobiography, the best story I’d heard about the forced marriage of literary London and the Special Branch came from the night of the… Continue reading

People chant slogans while holding a sig

A Rough Guide to Tyranny

18 August 2012 13:07

There is an over genteel style in English argument which acts like a sedative. Just when you think that a proper debate is getting going, one of the participants will… Continue reading

Managing Director Charlotte Hindle of Lonely Plane

What lonely planet are they on?

14 August 2012 16:24

A few years ago, I wrote a piece about the Lonely Planet guide to Burma. I looked at how the supposedly right-on publishers sweetened the rule of the military so… Continue reading

Ronald Reagan, Getty Images

RIP Robert Hughes: Enemy of the Woozy

7 August 2012 18:23

Few books have had a greater effect on me than Robert Hughes’ Culture of Complaint. The clarity of Hughes’ style in his dissection of the discontents of the 1980s was… Continue reading

Last Minute Canvassing Takes Place Before Tomorrow's Crucial Elections

Green Party Candidate: Give me more money!

30 July 2012 13:37

As a slogan, ‘give me more money’ is an unlikely election winner. Nevertheless, Peter Cranie came close to trying it at the hustings for the leadership of the Green Party… Continue reading

A lecture against FGM in southern Egypt, Getty Images

The racism of the respectable

24 July 2012 19:33

To be a racist in Britain, you do not need to cover yourself in tattoos and join a neo-Nazi party. You can wear well-made shirts, open at the neck, appreciate… Continue reading

David Cameron is coming under increasing pressure from his backbenchers. Picture: Getty.

Tories, oppose family values

19 July 2012 18:30

For almost a decade now, what social conservatives say and the evidence in front of our eyes has been diverging with remarkable speed. According to the received wisdom, the permissive… Continue reading

Labour Party Conference Focuses On Economy

Westminster’s hollow men

8 July 2012 18:30

In my Observer column today I say that a judicial review into the banking scandal would have achieved little unless the judge could have persuaded the politicians to change the… Continue reading

Bob Diamond, the new chief executive of

Crony Conservatism

4 July 2012 13:15

The fundamental division in modern politics is between corporatists and believers in free markets. So what, you might say, that has been a fundamental division for quite a while. This… Continue reading

Social Networking Sites May Be Monitored By Security Services

Whatever happened to freedom of speech?

28 June 2012 13:30

The issues raised by the Twitter Joke case have been gone over so thoroughly that, as is so often in public debate, only the obvious question remains undiscussed and unanswered:… Continue reading

Prime Minister David Cameron Makes A Speech Following Last Week's Rioting

The war against the young

24 June 2012 14:30

At the time of the student protests, I laid out in the Observer the demographic facts that push unscrupulous politicians into picking on the young. Their political vulnerability is the… Continue reading

Diamond Jubilee - Buckingham Palace Concert

Jimmy’s “Scam”

19 June 2012 12:00

Satirists are like pop stars in two respects. They earn extraordinary amounts of money, and the public assumes that they are left wing. You do not need to be a… Continue reading