Nick Cohen

Nick Cohen

Nick Cohen is the author of What's Left and You Can't Read This Book.

Could Jeremy Corbyn become a left-wing Nigel Farage?

Why can’t Jeremy Corbyn be a left-wing Farage? Why can’t he threaten Labour as Ukip and its successor parties threatened and continue to threaten the Tories? There is a gap in the market for a party to the left of Labour, and Corbyn seems just the man to fill it.  Those of us who intensely disliked

There’s nothing racist about Anglo-Saxons

One of the aims of progressives in higher education ought to be to use their privileged position to spread knowledge to their fellow citizens. In the all but forgotten world of the original socialist movement, radicals aimed in the words of the Workers Educational Association (founded 1903) to bring ‘education within reach of everyone who needs

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Labour will swing left as it heads for power

Labour people are used to defeat. Before every election they wonder if the Tories will defy expectations. Real votes are not the same as opinion polls, after all, they say. And yet ever since Boris Johnson broke his own lockdown rules, disastrous performances for the Tories in opinion polls have been replicated by disastrous results in

Kate’s critics should be ashamed of themselves

Who is this speaking with a sneer on their lips and contempt in their voice before news of the Princess of Wales’s cancer broke? A monarchist or a republican? ‘Kate’s admission that she had doctored the photograph, and her apology for doing so, were the latest self-inflicted wound by the House of Windsor, for which trust and

George Galloway’s Rochdale win should trouble Labour

The Rochdale by-election raises a question that Labour will find hard to duck in government: can a European left-wing party survive without a pro-Islamist foreign policy? They can’t win with one, as Jeremy Corbyn proved twice. But the shocking success of George Galloway last night shows that the arguments of the Corbyn years have not

Violence is corrupting our democracy

Fascism begins with political violence on the streets. In 1922, Benito Mussolini ordered his supporters to march on Rome and threaten to overthrow the democratic government. In the early 1930s gangs of Nazis and communists fought for control of Berlin’s streets. In 1999, a mysterious bombing campaign, that killed dozens of people and destroyed apartment

Muslims won’t be fooled by George Galloway any more

It is a measure of how conspiracy theories have triumphed in the darkest corners of the left that, when the Labour candidate for Rochdale started banging on about Jews, his rivals in the George Galloway campaign thought he was making a smart political move.  Azhar Ali had been taped putting forward two anti-Jewish fantasies. In these paranoid circumstances,

The QAnon-style in anti-Israel conspiracy theories

On Boxing Day pro-Palestine demonstrators met customers at the Zara sale in the Westfield shopping centre, in Stratford, east London. They were not there to wish them the compliments of the season. ‘Bombs are dropping while you’re shopping’, they chanted, as police stood by to make sure the protests did not turn violent. ‘Zara is enabling

Anti-Semitism is a threat to the West

Down the road from where I live in Islington, the Jewish community put up a menorah in a park on the main shopping street. Islington Green seemed an appropriate spot to mark Hanukkah. It’s the home to the London borough’s memorial to the dead of the second world war who gave their lives to prevent the

Why the far left sides with Hamas

The great fault of the global left is not that it supports Hamas. For how could western left-wing movements or left-inclining charities or academic bodies truly support Hamas if they were serious about their politics? No one outside the most reactionary quarters of Islam shares Hamas’s aim of forcing the people of the world to accept ‘the

Vivian Silver and the collapse of the Israeli left

The well-lived life and foul murder of Vivian Silver encapsulate the hopelessness of Israel-Hamas war and the bad faith that drives the world’s reactions to it. You could see the bad faith on display in the hours after her death. It inspired a gruesome social media pile-on. Maybe it was just a mistake by an

What the ceasefire vote means for the future of the Labour party

It’s a little too easy to dismiss the huge Labour rebellion on the Israel-Hamas war last night as ‘virtue signalling’. No one can deny that politicians were striking poses. A party, not in government, tearing itself apart about a conflict that does not involve the UK, over policy recommendations which all the combatants will ignore,

Benjamin Netanyahu is a dangerous ally for the left

There is no better example of modern pseudo-sophistication than the dismissal of the argument in the Labour party about a ceasefire in Gaza as self-indulgence. No debate in the UK will influence the Israeli government or Hamas, commentators say, and then sit back as if expecting to hear applause.   Of course, it won’t. But the

Why the far left ignores the crimes of Hamas

It’s not often that Brits can say that the US is behind the UK. But in understanding the dynamic between the successors to the old socialist left and radical Islam, US thinkers have years of catching up to do. It is not as if American commentators are wrong or uninteresting, it is just that, unlike their

The Tory war on woke won’t work

Visibly desperate Conservatives are counting on their opposition to the left’s cultural revolution to save them, if not from defeat, then at least from annihilation.  The party’s deputy chair Lee Anderson forecasts that a ‘mix of culture wars and trans debate’ would be ‘at the heart’ of the party’s coming election campaign. You only need to listen

British anti-Semites are delighted by the attack on Israel

You might think the massacre of Jewish civilians will stop anti-Jewish hatred in Britain. Or, if that is too much to ask, you might think that the atrocities would at least merit a decent period of silence before normal service resumed.  Not a bit of it. This morning, Dave Rich of the Community Security Trust

Why ‘wokeness’ is doomed to fail

There are two dishonest conversations about wokeness, or identity politics if you prefer the less contentious term. The first from conservatives is wearily familiar. For some on the right, ‘woke’ is now a synonym for ‘anything I can’t abide’. Overuse has made the insult meaningless. On the left, the dishonesty lies in the denial that a new ideology

A woke witch hunt has taken over the arts

Remove the preconceptions that stop you seeing clearly, and it is hard to tell the difference between how the arts are treated in the UK versus a dictatorship. In Russia and China, the authoritarian state is the oppressive force. In the West, the state won’t arrest you for breaking taboos, and for that we must