SPIKED – 7 August

People are still in denial about the free-speech crisis. This week, a new report on how Brexit-backing and right-leaning academics feel ostracised and silenced on campus was dismissed by woke commentators. The same people insist cancel culture is a myth. Those who moan about cancellation are just rich columnists and writers who don’t like being disagreed with, they say, wilfully overlooking the fact that vast numbers of everyday people have been reprimanded, sacked from their jobs and even questioned by police over things they’ve said online. We have to keep exposing censorship every time it occurs – whether it’s being done by the state, Silicon Valley corporations or mobs of correct-thinkers – and stand up for the right of people to say, write, utter and disseminate any opinion they like.


Kleptocracy is a government whose corrupt leaders use political power to appropriate the wealth of their nation, typically by embezzling or misusing  government funds at the expense of the wider population.

Kleptocrats are rulers who implement highly inefficient economic policies, expropriate the wealth of citizens, and use the proceeds for their own glorification or consumption.

Lebanon is a classic case of kleptocratic government – corruption in Lebanon takes the form of the political elite. Corruption in Lebanon has old roots …

Lebanon – Chopping the State Tree
An aerial view shows the massive damage at Beirut port’s grain silos (C) and the area around it on August 5, 2020, one day after a massive explosion hit the harbour in the heart of the Lebanese capital. – Photo by – / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
Police and forensic officers work at the scene of an explosion which took place at the port of Lebanon’s capital Beirut on 5 August 2020. – . (Photo by ANWAR AMRO / AFP) (Photo by ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images)

The Palace of my Beloved

I will build for you each night
A palace luminous
With whole blocks of emerald
And diamond stones.
Shall it be skyblue as your eyes,
Or green as your wishes:
Be, and the palace too shall be.

Said Akl is a Lebanese poet