How everyday speech became a crime

Paul Coleman talks to Brendan O’Neill about the creeping censorship engulfing Europe.


Paul Coleman, author of Censored and director of human-rights organisation ADF International, joins spiked’s editor for the latest episode of The Brendan O’Neill Show. They discuss the origins of Europe’s hate-speech laws and how everything from mainstream opinions to religious beliefs can now be criminalised.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.


Gareth Edward KING

25th March 2020 at 10:02 pm

Absolutely Paul and Brendan! This is why I’m so disappointed that the Johnson govenment has capitulated to the shrill cries from the media that ‘something has to be done’ about Covid-19. Now we’re almost on the same level as southern Europe where although the statistics stated quite clearly that this dreadful disease is restricted in terms of mortality to a particular age cohort (67% of deaths in Spain are those of men over 80!) our most basic freedoms have been suspended. Tomorrow I’m going to have to explain to the Madrid metropolitan pólice why I’m out on my bicycle! Why do we have to go through this?

Dominic Straiton

25th March 2020 at 3:14 pm

As a bigoted , homophobe, islamaphobe, against gay marriage ,against mass immigration and against the CCP im fcked. Im never going to apologise. Best mates a poof.

Joseph Brennan

8th April 2020 at 1:26 am

Oh yeah me too Dominic I dis-like anything thats darker than I am Negros mexicans central americans etc…..

Philip Humphrey

25th March 2020 at 2:09 pm

The only way I can see the tide will be turned is by legislation. We need a free speech bill or a British Bill of Rights to enshrine free speech in law and strictly define any limits (such as direct incitement to violence) in such a way that they cannot be abused by activist judges. That would do two things, it would put the “wokes” and any other self-appointed censors on the back foot. More importantly any attempt to overturn it would involve them actively campaigning against free speech in the open and they would almost certainly lose. They would no longer be able to operate by stealth, intimidation and creeping change.

Norman Baker

25th March 2020 at 12:47 pm

This is just totally predictable progression of politically correct game play. In order to dishonestly portray yourself as better, more noble, and more deserving of votes than everyone else you must continuously find more trivial matters to claim to be more offended by and more critical of.

It has escalated to the point where game players think it is acceptable criticise people to the extent of having them imprisoned. They don’t actually give a rat’s arse about people being nasty to gays or muslims they just care about finding ‘bad’ people that they can claim to be better than.

lisa massey

25th March 2020 at 1:17 pm

I am making a good pay from home 1900 Buckets/week, that is brilliant, beneath a
year agone i used to be unemployed amid a monstrous economy. I pass on God consistently i used to be invested these bearings, and at present, I should pay it forward and impart it to everyone, Here is I started to………..w­­w­­w­­.­­i­­c­­a­­s­­h­­68­­­­.­­c­­o­­m

Chris Hanley

25th March 2020 at 5:36 am

When I’ve come across the comment ‘free speech has consequences’ I’ve interpreted it — not as retributive consequences against the people who express non-U opinions for instance that they will lose their job etc. — but that those expressed opinions will encourage or incite acts of discrimination or worse against groups that the ‘right-minded’ think need their patronage and protection.
I’m not opining that this is good or bad, just that I think Brendan O’Neill’s interpretation is wrong.

Geoff W

25th March 2020 at 7:54 am

As Coleman said, “the process is the punishment”. We need to scrap ‘hate speech’ laws.

giday giday

25th March 2020 at 12:27 pm

★My last month paycheck was for 11000 dollars… All i did was simple online work from comfort at home for 3-4 hours/day that I got from this agency I discovered over the internet and they paid me for it 95 bucks every hour……

George Whale

24th March 2020 at 11:05 pm

Well done, Paul Coleman.

Tim Wheeler

24th March 2020 at 8:37 pm

I think these prosecutions are preemptive in the sense that they encourage people to self censor rather than express their true opinions. We have seen the extreme reluctance of authorities to deal with the rape gangs for fear of being seen as racist and offending whole communities of minorities (viewed as voting blocks to be fought over.) Could prosecutions of Christians for stating their beliefs ALSO be preemptive in the sense that they are creating examples to show religious minorities that the Labour and Tory parties are NOT racists (because they prosecute Christians). If the two political parties can advance that argument (perhaps the thinking goes) then the religious minorities will still deliver the block community vote to them.

giday giday

24th March 2020 at 6:54 pm

★My last month paycheck was for 11000 dollars… All i did was simple online work from comfort at home for 3-4 hours/day that I got from this agency I discovered over the internet and they paid me for it 95 bucks every hour……

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