Does the UK have too many laws?

“The state is saying you have got the wrong emotional response and we as the state can have the power to criminalise that and take away your liberty.” Claire and Toby Young spoke to Spectator TV’s John Connolly about petty prohibitions and thought crimes.

War on words: is Scotland ready for its new hate crime law?

Scotland is getting a new, modern blasphemy code in the form of the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act, which takes effect from 1 April. The offence of ‘stirring up racial hatred’ will be extended to disability, religion, sexual orientation, age, transgender identity and variations in sex characteristics. The new law gives few assurances … Read more

Should it be illegal to ‘influence’ a woman seeking an abortion?

Law-making is a funny old business. My move from commentator to legislator has brought with it some poacher-turned-gamekeeper quandaries. While all laws emanate from political choices, unlike my usual stomping ground of activist speeches or polemical articles, there is a danger that legal mis-speaking might end up criminalising people. I feel the need to ask … Read more

We must protect freedom to protest, even for those we despise

“One of the trickiest challenges of being in politics is defending the rights of those we disagree with vehemently. That dilemma has never been truer than in deciding how to approach the Public Order Bill, now making its way through the House of Lords. How can I defend the right to protest when I have little sympathy for those … Read more

Kill the bill: why Boris’s crime law isn’t fit for purpose

“The Tories clearly want to appear tough on crime but criminalising people who wish to vent their unhappiness in a democracy isn’t the way to do so. After all, if there is a crime crisis, it is surely because pre-existing laws aren’t being properly enforced. Coppers seem more interested in scouring Twitter for alleged hate speech … Read more

Boris’s miners joke reveals his contempt for the working class

Writing in The Spectator, Claire takes issues with Boris Johnson’s comments about the miners’ strike… In March this year, 35 years to the month since the end of the miners’ strike, environmentalists were caught dressing up as miners. Their media stunt was intended to protest against a proposed expansion to the Bradley coal mine in … Read more

A ‘Zoom parliament’ is bad for democracy

Is the new normal here to stay? For the sake of our parliamentary democracy, let’s hope not, writes Claire in The Spectator…  At the very time when the Executive needed to be prodded, probed and interrogated over the hundreds of statutory instruments controlling every aspect of public life, Parliament was reduced to stultifying and formulaic set … Read more

Can GB News live up to the hype?

Writing in The Spectator, Claire reflects on the current state of broadcast news… …It’s hardly a surprise then that many people are optimistic about the launch of GB News, a channel which aspires to have its finger on the public pulse and which seeks to feature a diverse range of opinion. Good. Indeed, one reason why the channel … Read more