The Books They
Don't Want You To Read (Why Do So Many Publications Ban Advertisements For My
I've lost count of the number of
broadcasters and publications which have banned me - or tried to censor my work.
It was partly to ensure that my books get published without being censored that
I started publishing the initial editions myself. (And then selling subsequent
rights to other publishers.)
But I'm now also rapidly losing count of
the number of publications which have banned advertisements for my
Some of the bans are, to say the least, surprising.
Spectator (which you might think of as a rather free-thinking magazine with
an affection for original thought and controversy) has banned advertisements for
all my books. The editor, famously tousle-haired Boris Johnson seems to have
been particulary upset by my books Rogue Nation and England Our
England. The Spectator describes itself as `Informative, irreverent,
controversial and intelligent' and claims that it `comprises an elegant,
liberating mix of politics, current affairs, literature and the arts'. It seems,
however, that the magazine doesn't like too much of a mix, though and doesn't
want to be liberating all the time. The Spectator has refused to run any
Publishing House advertisements. The Spectator say they are banning our
ads because they `received so many letters of complaint, and threats to cancel
subscriptions...'. A political publication which shies away from anything
criticising America, the EU or the pharmaceutical and medical industries because
of readers' complaints, really ought to turn itself into a gardening
A magazine called Best of British, which rather sounds
as if it should be full of patriotic fervour, banned the insert advertisement
for England Our England shortly after accepting it. (They sent back a
lorry load of inserts which had been specially printed to be included in the
magazine.) If you're a subscriber or reader of Best of British you might
like to think again and spend your money elsewhere. They aren't alone. A
surprisingly long list of magazines have banned advertisements for England
Our England and/or Rogue Nation.
Astonishingly, I'm told that
even a magazine published by the Council for the Preservation of Rural England
has banned an advert for England Our England. Since England (rural or
otherwise) won't even exist unless we all fight hard to save it, how could the
Council for the Preservation of Rural England do this? How can an organisation
which promotes itself as protecting England ban an advert for a book which is
intended to keep England alive?
The newsletter What Doctors Don't Tell
You (which I had always thought of as being gutsy and critical of the
medical establishment) has, to my absolute astonishment, banned advertisements
for How To Stop Your Doctor Killing You and SAGA magazine (which
is targeted at older readers) has, quite inexplicably, banned advertisements for
How To Live Longer.
Why do so many publications ban adverts for my
It is, I suppose, impossible to generalise. (Though it is worth
making the point that not one publication has refused to carry advertisements
because they have found a factual error in a book.)
My books do question
Government policies, do pose a real threat to many parts of the Establishment
and are a commercial threat to many multinationals. And that, it seems, is what
frightens so many editors.
I suspect that an editor who once refused to
take any more of my articles might have the answer.
`We can't print your
work,' he told me, without any embarrassment, `because you make people
I always thought that was one of an author's main
I hope my books continue to make people
Magazines, newspapers and broadcasters may ban them.
I'll continue to write them.
And they will, I think I can safely
guarantee, continue to be published.
Copyright Vernon Coleman