Nick Cohen is one of a small number of writers who have contributed to all 54 issues of Standpoint. In his introduction to Living With Lies, a collection of his finest writing for the magazine, Nick calls the five years since Standpoint‘s launch “a time when it became bracingly and embarrassingly obvious that the truths which respectable opinion held to be self-evident were fantasies”. Replacing these fantasies with fact is what Nick has sought to do in the 11 essays that comprise this ebook. But, as he puts it, “everything has changed except our illusions. If the past few years have taught us anything, they have shown the formidable power of inertia. There is an aching desire to ‘get back to normal’, to, in the unintentionally revealing words of a popular cliché, ‘keep calm, and carry on’. The notion that there is no normal to get back to, that we cannot carry on, is terrible hard to accept.”
Whatever the subject — censorship and free speech, the 2008 Crash, jihadist Islam, Thatcherism and anti-Semitism — Nick’s message is clear: our society cannot postpone necessary change any longer. Like the best writing, Living With Lies transcends Left and Right to deliver a much-needed wake-up call.