The Edition

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

51 min listen

On the podcast: Scotland’s new hate crime law; the man who could be France’s next PM; and why do directors meddle with Shakespeare? 

First up: Scotland is smothering free speech.

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 for protecting freedom of speech writes Lucy Hunter Blackburn, former senior Scottish civil servant. Lucy joins the podcast, alongside Baroness Claire Fox, unaffiliated peer and founder of the Academy of Ideas think tank. (03:18)

Then: William and Gus discuss some of their favourite pieces from the magazine this week, including Sam McPhail’s history of ‘Total Football’ and Richard Madeley’s diary. 

Next: Journalist Gavin Mortimer writes about Jordan Bardella for The Spectator. He is Marine Le Pen’s number two in the National Rally party and the man Gavin says could be France’s next PM. Gavin is joined by Telegraph contributor Anne-Elisabeth Moutet to ask: who is Jordan Bardella? (28:22)

And finally: why do directors feel the need to ‘correct’ Shakespeare? That’s the question that Lloyd Evans asks in the magazine this week. He says that directors should go back to basics when it comes to adapting the bard and leave the gimmicks to one side. Yael Farber – who is currently directing King Lear at the Almeida Theatre and has previously adapted Macbeth and Julius Caesar – joins the podcast to discuss. (41:25)

Hosted by William Moore and Gus Carter. 

Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 

We are always looking to improve the podcast, please send any feedback to:


A blooming good offer

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers by getting the next 3 months for £3.

Already a subscriber? Log in