The editor of online politics magazine Spiked has told talkRADIO that the "hate incident" row surrounding Amber Rudd is ridiculous and shows the establishment has "lost the plot".
Brendan O'Neill also told Julia Hartley-Brewer that we are now witnessing a "stalinist desire to bump up crime stats" in the pursuit of political ends.
Last year Ms Rudd, the Home Secretary, gave a speech at the Conservative Party conference which outlined rules to tighten overseas recruitment procedures, including new regulations that would require companies to list the number of foreign workers they employ.
Now West Midlands police says the incident is being treated as a "hate incident" after it was reported by Joshua Silver, who spoke to talkRADIO yesterday.
O'Neill told Julia: “It’s terrifying, quite Orwellian, and it shows the British establishment has completely lost the plot.
"It shows how incredibly subjective hate crime is and suggests a stalinist desire to bump up crime stats to make a political point.
"We need to cultivate a more rational, liberal public sphere where we don’t run to the police every time we hear something we don’t like.
"When it comes to expressing opinions about immigration and mulitculturalism, it must be open to a robust debate."