Free Speech

Brendan O'Neill: A Heretic's Manifesto

Spiked's leading polemicist defends J.K. Rowling, Brexit, and Enlightenment values of free speech and pluralism.


My guest today is Brendan O'Neill of Spiked, whose new collection of essays, A Heretic's Manifesto: Essays on the Unsayable covers heated topics such as attacks on J.K. Rowling by trans activists; dismissals of populist moments that gave rise to Brexit, Donald Trump, and Emmanuel Macron; and the refusal by elites to own up to their mistakes related to COVID lockdowns. I blurbed this provocative and irresistibly readable book, writing that "Brendan O'Neill is the reincarnation of Christopher Hitchens, a devil's advocate who is willing to always state his case clearly, convincingly, and courageously."

Today's sponsor:

  • The Reason Speakeasy. The Reason Speakeasy is a monthly, unscripted conversation in New York City with outspoken defenders of free thinking and heterodoxy. On Monday, June 26, Nick Gillespie talks with Tara Isabella Burton, author of Self-Made: Creating Our Identities From Da Vinci to the KardashiansTickets are $10—which includes beer, wine, soda, food, and plenty of time to talk about politics, culture, and ideas in one of the coolest settings in midtown Manhattan. For details, go here.