American liberals’ Rally to Share an Inside Joke
In place of political vision, Saturday’s Jon Stewart-inspired Washington gathering offered cheap shots at Republicans.
Why the housing industry is in ruins
Instead of squabbling over housing benefits, how about building some new homes and unbuckling the Green Belt?
A message to the illiberal Nudge Industry: push off
The ‘politics of the brain’ is a threat to choice, freedom and democracy – which is why spiked is declaring war against it.
|Tuesday 2 November 2010|
Oh no, Nutt again!
A year after being sacked as a government drugs adviser, David Nutt is back to warn of the evils of the demon drink.
Google should be criticised for harvesting personal data, but its blasé attitude to privacy is hardly original.
How NGOs are adopting a missionary position in Asia
A sex-worker rights activist in Thailand tells Nathalie Rothschild about the reality of the prudish, neo-colonial anti-trafficking industry.
|Wednesday 3 November 2010|
Animals are useless, unless humans make use of them
We have built cities, cured diseases and created art, yet some people think humans are worth no more than apes.
The student-customer is not always right
Lord Browne’s idea that student feedback surveys should shape education is a bigger shock than the proposed hike in fees.
Terror: ‘f***ing calm down’ and carry on
The Lib-Con government’s declaration of war on printer ink cartridges suggests that the politics of fear did not leave office with New Labour.
|Thursday 4 November 2010|
The loneliness of the
Mike Leigh’s Another Year is a humane look at how the loss of social networks reinforces middle-aged isolation.
It wasn’t God that created the human ‘I’
The gap between neural activity and mental experience – a sense of self – is bridged by years of human interaction.
A protest vote not a Republican revolution
The real lesson of the US midterm elections was that voters have little faith in either party to solve America’s problems.
|Friday 5 November 2010|
Power Snooker: another example of dumbing down?
Thirty-minute snooker matches are not a product of shorter attention spans, but a reminder of sport’s endless evolution.
A not-so grand day out in the world of innovation
Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention was quirky, but could have been much more inspiring about new technology.
Giving football metaphors a certain je ne sais quoi
England’s club managers were in the relegation zone of figurative musing until José, Arsene and all spiced things up.
How to ask awkward questions and annoy people
In his endless pursuit of Truth, Socrates made many enemies. Yet his questioning outlook remains invaluable to understanding the present.
|Monday 8 November 2010|
What the greens really got wrong
Channel 4’s mea culpa from two leading environmentalists still took for granted that humanity faces insuperable natural limits.
What is your beef with Malthus and friends?
A longtime Optimum Population Trust supporter struggles to understand spiked’s opposition to Malthusianism.
Think the Earth is finite? Think again
When modern Malthusians insist that resources are finite, they only expose their historical illiteracy, misanthropy and social pessimism.
|Tuesday 9 November 2010|
In the name of the victim, the jury’s out
The proposal by the ‘victims’ champion’ to cut jury trials is an attack on the essential right to be judged by our peers.
A Happy Meal ban is nothing to smile about
The proposal to ban meals with toys in San Francisco is based on some dubious assumptions about obesity and health.
Why I’d vote for a dodgy MP over an honest judge
Phil Woolas kicked out of parliament by an electoral court, for lying? That’s a bigger scandal than anything he said about his opponents.
|Wednesday 10 November 2010|
Playing around with documentaries
A new breed of factual games reduces the two great media of documentaries and computer games to crass infotainment.
Taking the fun out of videogames
Enough of these family-friendly, green, fat-burning games — let’s get back to slaughtering zombies.
A transparent attempt to resuscitate politics
A new UK government website reveals every ministerial lunch and penny of spending, but it only reinforces the problem of distrust.
It’s time to stand up for courage and conviction
Machiavelli and other humanists would have been appalled by today’s bureaucratisation of everyday life that threatens vital public virtues.
|Thursday 11 November 2010|
Why Celtic fans won’t join in the poppy parade
The poppy is a political symbol. So why are players and fans being told to conform with the idea of wearing one?
Bob Geldof: he’s so overrated
The obsession over whether ‘St Bob’ is the saviour or destroyer of Africa precludes tougher questions about charity appeals.
A pantomime battle for the soul of America
Both sides in the ‘Ground Zero mosque’ row are driven by the politics of fear and a disdain for their fellow Americans.
Hungry for knowledge or just angry customers?
Tim Black reports from the university cuts protest in London and argues that the biggest problem is the bastardisation of education itself.
|Friday 12 November 2010|
A wry look look at the state we’re in
The latest film from serial offender of liberals Martin Durkin, on the perilous state of the UK’s finances, was witty but one-sided.
Some sports are more jingoistic than others
Why born-and-bred Dubliner Eoin Morgan's imminent selection for the England cricket team raises barely an eyebrow.
Aha! Has Steve Coogan got his mojo back?
The man behind Alan Partridge returns, with Rob Brydon in tow, for the surprisingly charming The Trip.
A respectable riot
The sympathetic public response to the London student protests demonstrates that millions oppose the coalition’s spending cuts – but nobody has much of a clue what to do about them.
|Monday 15 November 2010|
A futile intervention into our drinking habits
Just because excessive alcohol consumption can have medical consequences, that doesn't make it a Medical Problem.
Let’s blow free speech restrictions sky high
Note to Twitterers: freedom of speech must extend to offensive comments as well as jokes about airports.
Turning New York into a nudgocracy
City Hall is now awash with Nudge-inspired brain invaders, and they’re threatening to zap the spirit and soul from the greatest city on Earth.
|Tuesday 16 November 2010|
When smoking becomes freedom of expression
NYC theatre companies are now prohibited from featuring real cigarettes in their plays. That is censorship.
Held hostage by an army of therapists
The resilience of the couple held by pirates is cause for celebration – except in the mad world of the trauma expert.
Cameron’s happiness index: counting smiley faces
The government’s plan to measure the nation’s emotional wellbeing marks an unhappy shift in the relationship between the state and people.
|Wednesday 17 November 2010|
The horror of climbing the property ladder
Hong Kong slasher flick Dream Home treads an intriguing but ultimately unsuccessful path between satire and sadism.
A Paine in the ass for modern America
How did the ‘Father of the American Revolution’ become the crazy uncle of American history?
Burma: power to which people?
Aung San Suu Kyi has finally been released, but the Burmese people will not be freed by her international fan-club of statesmen and celebs.
|Thursday 18 November 2010|
Someone hand me a commemorative sickbag
Spare us the carnival of naffness that is the marriage of Wills and Kate and let’s cut the royal line instead.
Guantanamo Bay: battered moral authority
The UK government’s offer of £10million to Guantanamo Bay detainees speaks to the elite’s disarray post-9/11.
Students are supposed to read books, not burn them
A leading US defender of free speech on campus says things are so bad that some students are now destroying words that offend them.
|Friday 19 November 2010|
Misfits: standing out from the E4 crowd
The comedy drama about council-estate kids with superpowers is superior to the usual youth-channel fare.
Snood: the latest poncey football affectation
Once upon a time, football was a man’s game. Now players are wearing scarves and gloves on the pitch. Whatever next?
Is Sarah Silverman a true taboo-buster?
Her new autobiography reveals that the ballsy comedian is not the fearless taboo-buster fans and critics might have thought she was.
The Republic of Ireland: colonised by commissioners
As part of the financial bailout, Ireland has been annexed by the Great Power that is the Brussels bureaucracy. Where are the protests?
|Monday 22 November 2010|
Page Three Girls and
It really is sad that so many feminists get their knickers in a twist about the Sun’s topless beauties.
Censorship dolled up as consumer activism
Is it better that it was ‘people power’ rather than state pressure that forced Amazon to remove a paedo book?
The return of the Banana Republic of Ireland?
Not really. Ireland’s economic crisis appears more like the prime example of the travails of Western capitalism.
|Tuesday 23 November 2010|
A public display of BMA ignorance
Bans on tobacco displays are ineffective and economically destructive, no matter what medical policy wonks say.
What happens when you opt out of the scanner
You can resist being x-rayed at airports, but be warned: you will be subjected to ‘the Diana Ross’ for doing so.
Rage against the x‑ray machine
The criticism of tomorrow’s mass protest against airport scanners highlights how much liberals have become detached from liberty.
|Wednesday 24 November 2010|
Praising the pope, patronising Africans
It is crazy to believe that Benedict XVI can decide the fate of millions of Africans with one comment about condoms.
Putting the poo-poking ‘expert’ in the stocks
Yes, it’s great fun watching the British public get its revenge on vegan hag Gillian McKeith. But let’s not get carried away.
Panorama: titillating the New Atheist set
The revelation that some British Muslim kids are reading Saudi textbooks was like manna from heaven for the anti-faith schools lobby.
It’s just like that 2003 film about 1968!
Guest columnist Zizi Petit-Fraser reports LIVE from the student protests against the Lib-Con cuts, taking place in London today.
|Thursday 25 November 2010|
More moaners’ strike than miners’ strike
Having an official sulk because of a bit of fan abuse suggests many Scottish referees are in the wrong line of work.
A botched invasion of the TV schedule
A BBC drama about bullying in the army was wimpy, but thankfully it wasn’t stopped by protesting military men.
Police on the verge of a nervous breakdown
A crisis amongst Britain’s boys in blue has led to a proliferation of erratic street wardens and watchmen - and they’re ruining community spirit.
|Friday 26 November 2010|
Going beyond the soccer, samba and sex
American journalist Larry Rohter provides an engaging and optimistic overview of Brazil’s place in the world today, despite his predictable Western preoccupations with sustainability and racial identity.
The politics of pester power
Ed Howker and Shiv Malik complain about the economic legacy left to today’s young adults by the baby boomers, but their only alternative is an intergenerational guilt-trip.
Chasing after zombies
Anatole Kaletsky’s sweeping survey of the various eras of capitalism is ambitious. But in obsessing over so-called free-market fundamentalism he misses what is causing the current crisis.
Using typefaces to typecast human beings
Simon Garfield’s fascinating book on fonts takes us from the humanist imperative behind the creation of mass typefaces right through to today’s use of fonts to manipulate our minds.
When Churchill starved India
Today, as Britain seeks diplomatic links with India and as Churchill is championed as a hero of multiculturalism, Madhusree Mukerjee’s shocking account of the exploits of the Empire is well worth reading.
Proof at last: eating meat is not bad for the environment
It turns out that all those green claims that we could save the planet by foreswearing meat were BS. Unfortunately, in the process of exposing this fact, Simon Fairlie still recycles many modern-day eco-prejudices.
A liberal contempt for the land of the free
For all the praise heaped on Jonathan Franzen’s latest novel Freedom, it actually reveals the people-hating, anti-freedom essence of the modern liberal mindset.
Our brave new world of Malthusian madmen
Much of the wacky authoritarianism of twentieth-century dystopian literature is now coming to life, from the promotion of homosexuality as a check on population growth to the celebration of childfree women as superior to ‘breeders’.
|Monday 29 November 2010|
Falling fowl of the food snobs
Bernard Matthews became a culinary Antichrist for the chattering classes who never shop anywhere but Waitrose.
So when should we risk our lives?
The New Zealand mine disaster revealed the extent to which caution has elbowed aside humanistic heroism.
The pushy parents of modern-day radicalism
Showbiz mums who make their daughters do tapdance don’t have a patch on the middle-class parents dropping their kids off at student demos.
|Tuesday 30 November 2010|
Lesbians: the new smug marrieds?
The lesbo-mum comedy The Kids Are All Right implies that super-domesticated same-sex parents are the new normal.
Al-Qaeda supporters on campus – so what?
If there’s one place where people should be tested and provoked by all sorts of ideas, it’s the academy.
Wikileaks: this isn’t journalism ‑ it’s voyeurism
High-minded newspapers’ celebration of the latest Wikileaks revelations is a cynical attempt to turn voyeurism into a virtue.