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Nicholas Cohen (born 1961)[1] is a British journalist, author and political commentator. He is a columnist for The Observer, a blogger for The Spectator and a writer for Standpoint magazine. Born in Stockport and raised in Manchester, Cohen studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University before entering journalism.

Nick Cohen
Nick Cohen
Cohen at the public launch of the Euston Manifesto in 2006
Nicholas Cohen

1961 (age 57–58)
ResidenceIslington, England


Early lifeEdit

Born in Stockport, and raised in Manchester,[2] Cohen was educated at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys and Hertford College, Oxford, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE).


Cohen began his career at the Sutton Coldfield News, before moving to The Birmingham Post, later becoming a contributor to The Independent and The Observer in 1996, where his first story was on 'a seemingly dreary new feature about zero tolerance of crime in the United States, which offered few opportunities to impress my new employers.'[citation needed] Cohen drew a reputation as the scourge of Tony Blair, who once stated that 'if I listened to Nick Cohen I would never win an election', and of Andrew Adonis, who was at the time a Downing Street policy adviser, and said that 'no one is better at getting under the Government's skin.[citation needed]


Although for many years a critic of Tony Blair's foreign policy, he began modifying his views after 2001, advocating the 2003 invasion of Iraq,[3][4] and becoming a critic of the Stop the War Coalition.[5] In 2006, he was a leading signatory to the Euston Manifesto,[6] which proposed what it termed "a new political alignment" in which the left would take a stronger stance in favour of military intervention and against what the signatories deemed to be anti-American attitudes. An opponent of what he has termed the "tyrannophile left",[7] Cohen has criticised individuals such as Andrew Murray[5] and George Galloway,[8] while expressing his admiration for the opposition movements in countries such as Belarus.[7] He is an atheist.[9] He called for Western military intervention in the Syrian Civil War.[10] He also supported the NATO-led intervention in Libya to oust former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.[11] In August 2014, Cohen was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.[12] Cohen criticised Ecuador for granting political asylum to Julian Assange and called Ecuador a "petro-socialist authoritarian state".[13]


Cohen is columnist for The Observer and Standpoint and a regular contributor to The Spectator. He has also written for Time, Independent on Sunday and the London Review of Books,London Evening Standard, the New Statesman and The New European. He has written five books: Cruel Britannia: Reports on the Sinister and the Preposterous[14] (1999), a collection of his journalism; Pretty Straight Guys[15] (2003), a highly critical account of the New Labour project; What's Left?[16] (2007), a critique of the contemporary liberal left;[17] and Waiting for the Etonians: Reports from the Sickbed of Liberal England[18] (2009). His most recent book, You Can't Read this Book,[19] was published by HarperCollins in 2012 and deals with censorship. The Orwell Prize for political writing shortlisted What's Left? in 2008.[20]

Personal lifeEdit

Cohen lives in Islington with his wife and their son.[21]


  • Cohen, Nick (2000). Cruel Britannia: Reports on the Sinister and the Preposterous. Verso Books. ISBN 1-85984-288-7
  • Cohen, Nick (2003). Pretty Straight Guys. paperback edition: Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-22004-5
  • Cohen, Nick (2007). What's Left?: How the Left Lost Its Way. Fourth Estate. ISBN 0-00-722969-0
  • Cohen, Nick (2009). Waiting for the Etonians: Reports from the Sickbed of Liberal England. Fourth Estate. ISBN 0-00-730892-2
  • Cohen, Nick (2012). You Can't Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom. Fourth Estate. ISBN 978-0007308903


  1. ^ "Nick Cohen". Presseurop. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  2. ^ Nick Cohen Waiting for the Etonians, p. 23
  3. ^ Nick Cohen (14 January 2003). "The Left betrays the Iraqi people by opposing war". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  4. ^ Nick Cohen (16 February 2003). "The Left isn't listening". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  5. ^ a b Nick Cohen (7 April 2003). "Strange bedfellows". New Statesman. London.
  6. ^ "The Euston Manifesto". 11 September 2001. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  7. ^ a b Nick Cohen (16 January 2011)."The Pope's unholy alliance with the dictator". The Observer. London.
  8. ^ Nick Cohen (17 April 2005). "Following Mosley's East End footsteps". The Observer. London.
  9. ^ Nick Cohen (12 February 2009). "Hatred is turning me into a Jew". The Jewish Chronicle. London.
  10. ^ Nick Cohen (1 January 2012)."The west has a duty to intervene in Syria". The Guardian. London.
  11. ^ "EU support for Arab rebels is shamefully late". The Guardian. 13 March 2011.
  12. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories". The Guardian. London. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  13. ^ "Oppressive states such as Ecuador crush the web's power". The Guardian. 6 September 2015.
  14. ^ Cruel Britannia: Reports on the Sinister and the Preposterous – Nick Cohen – Google Books. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  15. ^ Pretty Straight Guys. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  16. ^ What's Left?: How the Left Lost Its Way. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  17. ^ "Biography" Archived 6 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine,
  18. ^ Cohen, Nick. "Waiting for the Etonians: Reports from the Sickbed of Liberal England by Nick Cohen". Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  19. ^ "You Can't Read This Book : Nick Cohen". HarperCollins. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  20. ^ "2008 Book Prize Short List", The Orwell Prize
  21. ^ 'Law without Order', New Statesman 2004, 'Waiting for the Etonians' p.99

External linksEdit