free speech

Should it be illegal to insult Mohammed?

28 October 2018 10:00

Should you be allowed to say that the founder of one of the world’s largest religions was a paedophile? According…

How my lame joke saw me fall foul of the campus zealots

14 May 2018 15:00

The International Studies Association (ISA) meeting in San Francisco is a chance for academics the world over to come together.…

Tim Farron just can’t escape gay sex

10 May 2018 16:52

What does Tim Farron think about gay sex? Like Ken Livingstone’s repeated reluctance to discuss Hitler, the former Lib Dem…

What a drag it is defending free speech

9 May 2018 13:37

Sunday’s March for Freedom on Whitehall was peculiar, as far right protests go. It didn’t just feature the usual suspects…

No, Oxford students haven’t removed Theresa May’s portrait

8 May 2018 16:58

From the dreaming spires of Oxford this afternoon comes a potent combination of student censorship and fake news. A group…

Count Dankula and the death of free speech

24 April 2018 11:03

On freedom of speech, Britain has become the laughing stock of the Western world. People actually laugh at us. I…

Universities are becoming laughing stocks of intolerance

24 February 2018 9:30

This week my employer, Harvard University, announced its next president, Lawrence Bacow. The campus newspaper asked what advice I would…

Lionel Shriver: We need to not talk about cultural appropriation

20 May 2017 9:10

On the heels of the Today programme’s invitation to discuss ‘cultural appropriation’ (again), the New York Times reported the disheartening…

No, thank you, Officer, I will not think before I speak

28 May 2016 13:44

As my daughter was preparing for her AS level exam on 1984 this week, George Orwell’s dystopian classic loomed back…

Western liberals who banned Eagles of Death Metal are doing Isis’s dirty work

23 May 2016 13:45

If you want to know how lost Europe is, how thoroughly it has abandoned freedom of speech, get this: two…

Introducing the new NUS president – who wouldn’t condemn Isis

20 April 2016 14:22

Students have been getting a bad rep of late. Whether it’s safe space advocates proposing motions to ban free speech societies or…

Introducing ‘The President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition’

18 April 2016 18:46

Nobody should be surprised that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has instituted effective blasphemy laws to defend himself from criticism…

The idea of a university as a free space rather than a safe space is vanishing

17 March 2016 17:00

I’ve always admired the liberal Muslims in the Quilliam Foundation. It is hard to take accusations of betrayal from your…

Should internet trolls, hiding behind made-up names, be prosecuted?

3 March 2016 8:03

On Tuesday, I wrote a short blog about Sadiq Khan’s threats to crack down on Uber. For the rest of the…

Twitter’s new ‘Safety Council’ makes a mockery of free speech

11 February 2016 11:54

If you think it’s only crybaby students who set up safe spaces in which they might hide from gruff words…

Trigger warning: students try to ban free-speech society

4 February 2016 9:30

Free speech isn’t what it used to be. From safe spaces to trigger warnings, university campuses have been hit particularly…

Spectator most read: Our five top pieces from this week

29 January 2016 17:14

Our most-read piece this week was Fraser Nelson’s article about the Swedish government’s refusal to be honest about the crime…

Scotland’s free-speech opponents remain as hypocritical as they are illiberal. Shame on them.

27 January 2016 13:35

Like an old friend you do not actually like very much, the Scottish government’s Offensive Behaviour at Football Act will…

Spot the difference: Trump wants to ban people; people want to ban Trump

20 January 2016 13:17

The shamelessly censorious MPs and petition-signers who want Donald Trump banned from Britain are basically saying: ‘Oh my God, he…

Don’t blame the students. They’re a product of a Britain that’s losing its love of free speech

18 January 2016 16:47

In the past 12 months a curious thing has happened: student politics, for decades the most irrelevant, cut-off sphere of public…

Free speech is so last century. Today’s undergraduates demand the ‘right to be comfortable’

30 December 2015 19:59

At No 5 in the Spectator’s most-read articles for 2015 is Brendan O’Neill’s cover piece describing ‘Stepford Students’: those who…

Will the free speech lobby accept Jeremy Corbyn’s right to be a republican?

13 November 2015 17:14

On Wednesday night, Jeremy Corbyn brought to an end one of the most undignified sagas in recent politics, cobbling together…

Open letter to Narendra Modi: ask David Cameron to safeguard freedom of expression in Britain

12 November 2015 14:37

Dear Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Re: Urging Action by Indian government to Safeguard Freedom of Expression in Great Britain As a…

Should people be free to make death threats? Sometimes, yes

3 November 2015 16:36

The keyboard weirdos bombarding Labour MP Jess Phillips with threats, after she scoffed at the idea of marking International Men’s…

British universities have a duty to defend the ‘unsafe’ space

13 October 2015 15:13

In the ever-noisier debate about campus censorship, one party has been noticeably silent: the universities themselves. Last week, the journalists…