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Freedom of speech

Image: EPA/Loretta Brennan

You sexist/racist/liberal/elitist bastard! How dare you?

7 April 2014 14:49

While he was dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease, Tony Judt found the breath to educate those who believe they could ameliorate pain with soft words and bans on ‘inappropriate’ language.… Continue reading

75 Comments
Equality campaigners have stormed the Bastille. It would be tragic if they built new Bastilles in its place.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Mozilla controversy suggests that the sexual revolution is getting ugly

4 April 2014 11:04

If you’re reading this on Firefox, you can rest assured that your custom is not going towards any hateful, disgusting, evil people who might disagree with you on something. Not… Continue reading

287 Comments
Caught Smoking

We get the message: smoking is bad for you. Now leave fag packets alone

3 April 2014 23:31

What form do you reckon the government’s consultation on cigarette packaging is going to take? Given that health minister Jane Ellison has said that the government’s intention is clear and… Continue reading

71 Comments
Demonstration Outside Houses Of Parliament As MPs Debate Lobbying Bill

Index on Censorship is thriving and defending free speech around the world

Index on Censorship defends free speech and debate for all – so we defend Nick Cohen’s right to write a blog highly critical of Index. The problem is, however, that… Continue reading

23 Comments
Demonstration Outside Houses Of Parliament As MPs Debate Lobbying Bill

The Crisis at Index on Censorship

31 March 2014 17:13

Index on Censorship, once home to the most important defenders of free speech in Britain, is falling apart. Seventeen full-time staff members in place when Kirsty Hughes, a former European… Continue reading

31 Comments
Maajid Nawaz deserves support. If the Lib Dems won't provide it then the Tories must.

Hampstead and Kilburn – it would be a disgrace if the Lib Dems don’t back Maajid Nawaz to the hilt

27 March 2014 14:41

In the past 30 years British English has received a number of loan words from Arabic, words which would have meant very little to our young grandparents but are now… Continue reading

43 Comments
Soham Trial Nears Conclusion

FGM is a shaming indictment of multiculturalism and mass-immigration

25 March 2014 15:05

A number of interesting things have happened recently: The Law Society has provided legal guidance to ensure that Muslims in Britain can have their wills judged according to Sharia. BBC… Continue reading

172 Comments
Investigation In Jimmy Savile Allegations Continues

The BBC is more scared of offending Muslims than gay people

20 March 2014 17:39

Just to ring the changes, I’ve written about the BBC and political correctness for the mag this week. Yeah, yeah, I know – you haven’t heard enough about that subject.… Continue reading

34 Comments
Soham Trial Nears Conclusion

Who judges the judges?

18 March 2014 12:53

I like Jonathan Calvert and Heidi Blake of the Sunday Times. I will not pretend they are anything like close friends or family. I doubt if I see them more… Continue reading

29 Comments
Investigation In Jimmy Savile Allegations Continues

When Free Speech isn’t free

13 March 2014 14:33

BBC3’s Free Speech programme is a good example of why the channel deserves to be shut down. Aimed at giving a voice to young people it is endlessly dumbing-down, seeks… Continue reading

45 Comments
mentalhealthcop Police inspector's Twitter suspended

Why the police silenced one of the best officers in Britain

18 February 2014 17:45

West Midlands Police’s announcement that it had ordered the closure of the blog and Twitter account of Inspector Michael Brown – ‘the mental health cop’ – has caused astonishment and anger… Continue reading

34 Comments
Maajid Nawaz on Youth Radicalization Redefined At The 2011 Tribeca Film Festival

Taking offence and freedom of speech

26 January 2014 16:37

The row about Lib Dem candidate Maajid Nawaz continues, with some confusion over whether or not one of his critics has a meeting with the party leadership to discuss the… Continue reading

188 Comments
Maajid Nawaz on Youth Radicalization Redefined At The 2011 Tribeca Film Festival

Liberals must rally round Maajid Nawaz

22 January 2014 9:34

Interesting, isn’t it, this rather worrying statement from the Muslim body, MQI UK on the Mohammed cartoon affair. That, you recall, began when a member of a BBC TV audience showed … Continue reading

116 Comments
Fresh rows are breaking out over one's enjoyment of the finer things in life.(PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images)

Fat wars escalate as rival groups row over obesity

13 January 2014 17:01

Last week the sugar police were on the beet beat. This week the ‘thinnist’ lobby is claiming that a 2007 report into obesity, which predicted that half the country would… Continue reading

8 Comments
A Sterling pound note is pictured in Lon

The Mumsnet racketeers

23 December 2013 14:59

The other day Mumsnet asked whether I would talk to its audience about my Spectator pieces (here and here) on the universities’ plans to authorise the segregation of men and women on… Continue reading

141 Comments
Injured Iraqi Christians wait outside a hospital after treatment following explosions near two Baghdad churches on 1 August 2004. (AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

Britain’s refusal to defend Christians in the Middle East is shameful

11 December 2013 16:15

I have an ebook published next Thursday, called The Silence of Our Friends, on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and the apathy of the West about this… Continue reading

68 Comments
What would Rosa Parks have made of this shameful hypocrisy over segregation?

The segregation of women and the appeasement of bigotry at Britain’s universities (part two)

11 December 2013 13:04

On the Today programme this morning Justin Webb covered the decision by Universities UK to allow fundamentalist speakers to segregate women from men at public meetings. With a characteristic disdain… Continue reading

193 Comments
Bob Dylan has defiled the sacred identity of Croats, apparently. (FRED TANNEAU/AFP/GettyImages)

Bob Dylan falls foul of Europe’s neo-blasphemy laws

4 December 2013 14:25

The French authorities are investigating Bob Dylan after some Croats were offended by something he said in an interview with Rolling Stone last year. The singer had said: ‘If you… Continue reading

32 Comments
Boris Johnson has got into hot water for mentioning an unmentionable truth: some people are not very bright.

Untold truths – how the spirit of inquiry is being suppressed in the West

28 November 2013 14:56

It looks like Boris has offended lots of people by suggesting that some folk are where they are because they’re not very bright, something Nick Clegg calls ‘unpleasant’ and ‘careless’.… Continue reading

14 Comments
Geert Wilders upholds freedom of speech but attacks religious freedom. Where's the sense in that?

The Right’s attitude to radical Islam is as bad as the Left’s

20 November 2013 13:01

Whenever a heresy-hunting left-winger fixes me with an accusatory glare and demands to know how can I talk to ‘someone like that’ (the ‘someone’ in question being a right-wing object… Continue reading

339 Comments
A peaceful protest against Russia's anti-gay law, held at the Barbican last week. Picture: The Peter Tatchell Foundation.

No shame in protesting against pro-Putin conductor, Valery Gergiev

12 November 2013 14:00

For a moment I thought someone had spiked my tea with LSD. With escalating levels of disbelief, I read Melanie McDonagh’s bizarre account of last Thursday’s protest at the Barbican… Continue reading

61 Comments
There should be one day a year when anything can be said and it can all be forgotten in the morning. A day when speech is not policed.

My idea for a new date in the calendar – Hate Speech Day

7 November 2013 17:00

I know we’re inundated with ‘raising awareness’ days these days when we’re supposed to wear a bracelet or grow facial hair, but I’ve got a great idea for a new… Continue reading

5 Comments
Soham Trial Nears Conclusion

British journalists lock each other up and throw away the key

28 October 2013 21:23

In the past few days, my colleagues on the Guardian have been publishing stories of national and international significance – indeed, if truth be told, they have been publishing them… Continue reading

65 Comments
Niquab

Veiled differences

25 October 2013 10:25

Last night I took part in an interesting debate for Channel 4 News. It was on the wearing of the niqab – or full face veil – in the UK.… Continue reading

124 Comments
Lord Leveson Publishes His Eagerly Awaited Report Into Press Standards

The Leveson Test – separating the ‘Decent Left’ from ‘the Idiots’

22 October 2013 14:18

If the Leveson Inquiry does nothing else, then it has at least provided a useful guide to the British Left for those of us on the saliva-speckled wastelands of British… Continue reading

91 Comments