Institute of Ideas Director Claire Fox Attacks Artist


“As convenor of the Battle of Ideas festival, with a slogan Free Speech Allowed, we take the issue of free expression too seriously to reduce it to a juvenile stunt.  What is more, the idea of book-burning is an anathema, a revolting notion that goes against the ethos of free speech.  Artistic freedom may extend to idiots, but that doesn’t mean that we endorse every nonsense act in its name.  The Institute of Ideas disassociates itself from the planned idiotic and childish actions of The Hot Chestnut Man”.

Claire Fox, Director, Institute of Ideas; convenor, Battle of Ideas festival

Artist Paul Conneally got sent the above from a journalist who had asked the Battle of Ideas for a quote on Conneally’s proposed performance piece ‘The Hot Chestnut Man’.

The jounalist asked for Conneally’s reaction to the quote. Here it is:

“Well the quote from Claire probably illustrates and amplifies better the underlying context / intentions of the Hot Chestnut Man than I ever could- so all I’ll say for the moment is thanks” – Paul Conneally

The Institute of Ideas ‘Battle of Ideas’ is co-sponsored by Shell

Shell are currently Number 2 (behind Esso) in the Boycott the Bastards Chart.

Institute of Ideas Headline Partners Listing

The Battle of Ideas is produced by



3 thoughts on “Institute of Ideas Director Claire Fox Attacks Artist

  1. Institute of Ideas! It sounds like a piss- take of Harry Potter. Who is the Minister of Ideas – the Hot Chestnut Man? If this is being financed by Government it could be axed as a contribution to filling the deficit black hole. This all appears to be a way the bored can pass the time. Ever thought of knitting?

  2. National Tree Week – great; the knitted tree – I’m sure it will be a lovely piece of work."Artistic freedom may extend to idiots" – indeed. And verbosity to justify a silly occupation suggests an attempt to pull the knitting wool over the e…yes of the readership in order that they will be prevented from seeing the wood for the trees.

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