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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.

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‘It’s the newspapers I can’t stand’

30 April 2012 13:47

In Tom Stoppard’s Night and Day, Milne, an idealistic journalist, describes the limitations of newspapers, and then gives the best argument for press freedom I know of. ‘You don’t have… Continue reading

12 Comments
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Rupert Murdoch and the revival of the Labour Party

25 April 2012 16:36

Last year I wrote that the Leveson inquiry would suit Jeremy Hunt rather well. He had appointed Lord Justice Leveson, a judge with little previous experience of media law to… Continue reading

24 Comments
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Gunter Grass: the tin drum and the tin ear

9 April 2012 13:47

This morning’s editorial in Israel’s left-wing Haaretz newspaper noted a double standard that was also a bad joke. Israel’s Interior Minister’s had declared, ‘If Gunter Grass wants to continue to… Continue reading

80 Comments
130910

The tweet police

27 March 2012 12:32

Writing with the optimism of a high-Victorian liberal, John Stuart Mill said that the only legitimate restriction on freedom of speech was to stop the direct incitement to a crime.… Continue reading

73 Comments
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Will Osborne close the ‘Livingstone Loophole’?

20 March 2012 10:33

When I spoke to the tax justice campaigner Richard Murphy about Ken Livingstone’s tax avoidance, he said that the practice of individuals pretending that they were companies caused ‘a massive… Continue reading

17 Comments
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The spectre of militant secularism

19 March 2012 12:06

At the weekend, I was honoured to award the Secularist of the Year prize to Peter Tatchell on behalf of the National Secular Society. From the stage, I looked across… Continue reading

44 Comments

Can we talk about this?

13 March 2012 15:00

Can actors at the National Theatre quote Christopher Hitchens’ destruction of Shirley Williams for her failure to defend freedom of speech against suicide murderers on Question Time, while all the… Continue reading

11 Comments
145010

Should Christians kill Mark Thompson?

27 February 2012 21:06

I’d rather they didn’t. But perhaps a campaign of clerical terror would make the BBC ‘respect’ Christianity. According to the Telegraph, the director general of the BBC said it handles… Continue reading

52 Comments
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The brass neck of Julian Assange

21 February 2012 17:09

On 1 March, the Old Vic theatre in London is hosting the première of Europe’s Last Dictator — a film documenting torture and state-sponsored murder and kidnap in Aleksandr Lukashenko’s… Continue reading

46 Comments
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Attack of the Militant Secularists

18 February 2012 15:40

If you want to hear a BBC discussion going hopelessly wrong, listen to the ‘debate’ between the Bishop of Lichfield, Jonathan Gledhill and Alan Beith on the Today programme this… Continue reading

38 Comments
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We are all journalists now

13 February 2012 17:46

As the cops round up journalists, Trevor Kavanagh’s protest in the Sun has aroused amazement and some scorn. ‘Witch-hunt has put us behind ex-Soviet states on Press freedom’ — ran… Continue reading

29 Comments
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Whatever happened to Human Rights?

12 February 2012 10:29

Human rights campaigners need to follow a self-denying ordinance if they are not to become enemies of the values they espouse. Like a civil servant or judge, they must leave… Continue reading

27 Comments
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Ed Miliband: Britain’s Greatest Leader of the Opposition

30 January 2012 12:46

Ed Miliband is a geek, a failure and a loser. All the press says so, so it must be true. Yet the apparent no-hoper retains the ability of the boy… Continue reading

29 Comments
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An Advertisement for Myself

28 January 2012 17:26

My You Can’t Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom is out this week. As the title says, it’s about freedom of speech, a subject that has come… Continue reading

9 Comments
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How freedom goes

22 January 2012 20:31

Joan Smith has a piece in the Independent about religious censorship of open debate in Britain, a supposedly free country. It is well written and argued, as Smith’s writing invariably… Continue reading

40 Comments
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See? Simple. Next!

18 January 2012 10:23

Ed Miliband is in the happiest position he has been for months. Both left and right are attacking him for stating the obvious. The unions or at least their leaders… Continue reading

27 Comments
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A left-wing writer conservatives should enjoy

11 January 2012 14:29

I have a review of Pity the Billionaire by Thomas Frank, one of the few left-wing writers I believe conservatives can read with pleasure. He is old fashioned, so old-fashioned indeed that… Continue reading

15 Comments
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The Good, the Smug and the Blind

2 January 2012 9:53

The Economist has a rather good, rather smug and – in the end – entirely self-deluding leader about the predicament of the American right this week. It is good because… Continue reading

16 Comments

Interview with a Danish journalist

13 December 2011 13:21

He came to talk to me about British Euroscepticism, and I did my best to explain. I said it was far stronger in England than Scotland for nationalist reasons, and… Continue reading

17 Comments

A regiment of women monsterers

6 December 2011 21:59

Another day at the Telegraph and another attack on Laurie Penny, this time for writing a short piece describing how she had received excellent treatment at a New York hospital.… Continue reading

51 Comments

Lord Justice Leveson and the danger of the great and the good

23 November 2011 13:04

The Leveson Inquiry has all the makings of an establishment disaster. In saying that, I am not defending the behaviour of the tabloids. I find it contemptible that no story… Continue reading

17 Comments

When the centre goes berserk

15 November 2011 12:43

Over at the Leveson inquiry a smug Lord Patten – there is no other kind – said the BBC could not possibly be biased because left wingers attack it on… Continue reading

18 Comments

The Strange Death of Scottish Nationalism

9 November 2011 14:00

A few months ago a German magazine phoned me to talk about Scotland leaving the UK. The reporter had bought the SNP line that Scottish independence was a practical proposition,… Continue reading

90 Comments

Can we torch Time Magazine’s offices now?

4 November 2011 14:38

I should declare an interest and say that I have always admired Time Magazine. It has great journalists. It has even commissioned your humble correspondent and allowed him to join… Continue reading

20 Comments

The Prison of Nations

31 October 2011 14:19

By the standards of what was to come in Europe, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was not so bad – it was not a police state with concentration camps like the 20th… Continue reading

16 Comments