Claire Fox

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

Keeping the peace: the politics of policing protest

41 min listen

On the podcast: In his cover piece for The Spectator Ian Acheson discusses the potential disruption to Armistice Day proceedings in London this weekend. He says that Metropolitan Police Chief Mark Rowley is right to let the pro-Palestine protests go ahead, if his officers can assertively enforce the law. He joins the podcast alongside Baroness Claire Fox

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

War of the Windsors

46 min listen

This week: For his cover piece in The Spectator Freddy Gray asks who will win in the battle between the Waleses and the Sussexes. He is joined by historian Amanda Foreman to discuss the fallout Harry and Meghan’s new Netflix documentary (01:00). Also this week: Should the House of Lords be reformed or even abolished? This is

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

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

Boris Johnson is rightly facing the wrath of Tory MPs over the proposed introduction of vaccine passports, but another piece of legislation put forward by the government should also trouble us. Critics of Boris Johnson’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, often focus on its scale. They have a point. The Bill is simply enormous: made up

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

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 County Durham. Martin Raine, a real miner working at the site, was quoted saying: ‘It

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.  There is little doubt that holding the Government to account has been made harder by the imposition of restrictions during the pandemic. During the Covid crisis, politicians have been too keen to treat parliament as a normal workplace; the truth is

Can GB News live up to the hype?

British TV viewers have never had so many channels to watch, yet they’ve also never had so little choice. The Brexit referendum exposed this lack of political diversity all too clearly. As a panellist on Radio 4’s The Moral Maze for 20 years, I suppose I was something of a BBC luvvie. No doubt I was still

Is toppling a statue an act of performance art?

14 min listen

Has the statue of Churchill been improved by being enclosed in a protective casing? Was Colston’s toppling one of the greatest acts of performance art? Or is this all a sad indictment of the state of British politics? Fraser Nelson talks to The Spectator’s arts editor Igor Toronyi-Lalic and Coffee House contributor and writer Claire

My fears about the ‘new normal’

Perhaps there’s light at the end of the long lockdown tunnel. The roadmap at least allows hope that life might get back to normal. For me, normal means freedom to live life as we choose, from cramming into packed planes to go on holiday to crowding into pubs for birthday parties. However, even saying that

Staying at home doesn’t make us heroes

I don’t particularly like the constant war analogies used about fighting coronavirus. However, when someone like Matt Hancock conjures up the Blitz spirit, urging us to pull together ‘in one gigantic national effort’, I think of that cliched question: ‘What did you do in the war, Daddy?’ Forget the sexism, what will our answer be

This is no time for ‘gotcha!’ journalism

The lockdown has ensured that many millions now gather round the TV and watch the daily press conference from No.10. We hang on every word from politicians and medical/scientific experts, trying to read the runes of our fate for the next hours, days, months. These people are leading the country’s response to Covid-19. A third

Here comes Bloomberg

39 min listen

This week, has Mike Bloomberg blown his presidential hopes with a disastrous TV debate (00:50)? Plus, has the BBC really gone downhill (12:05)? And last, Toby Young reveals all about his first stand up comedy gig (26:30).

Don’t expect the EU to learn any lessons from Brexit

I have enjoyed my first fortnight back as a civilian after my temporary stint as an MEP. Along with other Brexit party representatives, we had one job, and we did it. I am rather proud of my modest contribution to bringing democracy home. Looking back at my experience as an MEP, there are lessons worth

Jess Phillips is wrong to tell men to ‘pass the mic’

When Labour leadership challenger Jess Phillips urged men to ‘pass the mic’ to a woman on the top job, telling Sky’s Sophy Ridge it would ‘look bad’ if Labour failed to elect a woman, she more or less admitted not being up to the job. Surely the weakest argument any leadership candidate could use is

My clash with Alastair Campbell convinced me it’s time to hug a remainer

I confess I had butterflies doing the first BBC Politics Live of 2020. It felt like the first day back at school. Beyond Twitter spats and Christmas family banter, the festive period had been politics-free. Would I be rusty, especially as one of the other panelists was the formidable Alastair Campbell? As a former People’s Vote heavyweight, Campbell is something

Boris Johnson couldn’t have done it without the Brexit party

Dear Boris Johnson, Friday felt like June 2016 all over again. The electorate voted Leave; in their droves. Remain reacted by lashing out at the voters (far too many examples but see this for starters:) This was no ordinary General Election: it had another purpose of wresting back control from a gridlocked parliament that had