Why we should worry about the censorship of the far left

There are many important, principled arguments for free speech. But one of the most convincing is purely tactical. Why empower the powerful to police debate when that power could so easily be wielded against you in the future? The logic of censorship always leads to more censorship, and the authoritarian left is starting to bear some of the brunt of this. Last Friday, the Socialist Workers Party announced it had been booted off Facebook. In a press release, it said Facebook had suspended the party’s main account as well as those of activists and local SWP groups. After a backlash, its main page was reinstated but, according to a follow-up

The cameras miss what’s really happening in Washington

Washington, DC On election day in the capital there is no thrill in the air, but there is a sound: that of hardboard being placed over all of Washington’s windows. Wherever you go in the centre of town, the area is either boarded up or in the process of being so. I enjoy my sausage and eggs on a sidewalk to the accompaniment of the last windows being drilled. ‘Was everything all right?’ my waitress enquires. ‘Delicious,’ I tell her. ‘If the city is still here tomorrow, I’ll be back.’ DC feels as if it is preparing for a natural disaster, not an election result. Like all other major cities

My week with the baying Antifa mob

Portland, Oregon In the days when you could still watch a nature documentary without feeling as if you were sitting through a politics lecture I saw footage of a pack of smaller predators taking down an elephant. At the time I remember thinking: ‘Why don’t you keep running? Why don’t you knock the first one off and keep going?’ Strangely, I thought of that elephant again in the very different savannah of Portland, Oregon. In recent years this city in the Pacific Northwest has become famous for a variety of reasons — none of them good. As one long-term resident said to me last week: ‘This used to be a