August 2007

Mick Hume Wednesday 1 August 2007 comments

What’s behind all this Brown-nosing?

Praise for Britain’s new PM as he returns from his trip to the US is an exercise in fantasy politics.

Philip Cunliffe Thursday 2 August 2007 comments

Darfur: colonised by 'peacekeepers'

The new 26,000-strong UN force being sent to the war-torn western province of Sudan is likely to stir up further tensions rather than deliver peace.

Neil Davenport Thursday 2 August 2007 comments

Dope: the political class’s drug of choice?

Some are happier promoting cannabis over booze, because dope pacifies its users rather than making them confident, cocksure and up for fun.

Rob Lyons Thursday 2 August 2007 comments

Branding parents 'deceitful'

A British committee's shocking proposal to stamp a child's 'donor origins' on birth certificates reduces parenting to a basic biological function.

Mick Hume Friday 3 August 2007 comments

Great White Metaphor Ahoy!

Celebrity sharks off Cornwall and 'Hugh Brown' in Washington - read Mick Hume's columns from The Times (London).

Patrick West Friday 3 August 2007 comments

Where there's a welly, there's a way

We've been inundated with suggestions that the floods are punishment for our wicked ways. But human ingenuity is the solution, not the problem.

Nancy McDermott Friday 3 August 2007 comments

‘Parents take parenting far too seriously’

The widow of Dr Spock – author of the Bible of parenting guides – says he'd be horrified by today's avalanche of advice for mums and dads.

Ethan Greenhart Monday 6 August 2007 comments

Is it ethical to use sanitary towels?

Is it ethical to use sanitary towels?

Tessa Mayes Monday 6 August 2007 comments

Don’t steal this article - but please do discuss it

In the battle between stopping copyright theft online and promoting the free exchange of ideas and images, there is more at stake than 'business models'.

Mick Hume Monday 6 August 2007 comments

Hiroshima: the ‘White Man’s Bomb’ revisited

On the 62nd anniversary of Hiroshima, read Mick Hume's essay on how the dropping of the A-bomb was the final act of a bitter race war in the Pacific.

Brendan O’Neill Monday 6 August 2007 comments

Hands off Jordan’s breasts!

In rejecting breastfeeding because she wants to work and enjoy sex, Katie Price has shown she is more liberated than the ‘militant lactivists’.

Emily Hill Tuesday 7 August 2007 comments

The Great Big Grotesque Book for Girls

A new book encourages girls to knit, bake and make daisy chains. Emily Hill has a better idea: girls should use the book to make a bonfire.

Nathalie Rothschild Tuesday 7 August 2007 comments

Second Life: a virtual nanny state

Strict codes of conduct, bans on bad behaviour, no gambling or rowdiness: Nathalie Rothschild spent a day in Second Life and found it surprisingly stifling.

Mick Hume Tuesday 7 August 2007 comments

Stamp out human foot’n’mouth fever

…before it spreads from Whitehall and Fleet St.

James Woudhuysen Wednesday 8 August 2007 comments

This land is our land

If New Labour is serious about making homes more affordable, then it should allow members of the public to buy land and build homes where they please.

Brendan O’Neill Wednesday 8 August 2007 comments

China’s river of life

The extinction of the Yangtze dolphin is a small price to pay for the transformation of the river into a source of work and energy for millions of people.

Neil Davenport Wednesday 8 August 2007 comments

Who does Doreen Lawrence think she is?

We all empathise with the mother of Stephen Lawrence. But we don’t have to respect her views on race, policing, Boris or anything else.

Andrew Calcutt Thursday 9 August 2007 comments

1967: the summer of possibilities

There was more to the ‘summer of love’ than zoning out, says a writer who spent it reading the NME and fumbling with girls.

Josie Appleton Thursday 9 August 2007 comments

The paedophile panic:
a metaphor for mistrust

Vetting is justified as an effort to keep perverts at arm's length. In truth, it encourages spying on everyday interactions between adults and kids.

Ethan Greenhart Friday 10 August 2007 comments

Is it ethical to attend the Heathrow Climate Camp?

Is it ethical to attend the Heathrow Climate Camp?

Mick Hume Friday 10 August 2007 comments

When did FMD become a WMD?

An outbreak of bio-insecurity, and Idealists Against Freedom - read Mick Hume's columns from The Times (London)

Duleep Allirajah Friday 10 August 2007 comments

Why shouldn’t oligarchs buy football clubs?

Clubs should be judged by their results on the pitch and their place in the League, not the alleged human rights records of their owners.

Patrick West Friday 10 August 2007 comments

Newsround: Britain's least Craven news show

Media coverage of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been full of innuendo and even xenophobia. Except on one children's show.

Frank Furedi Friday 10 August 2007 comments

Why political thought is imprisoned in the present

Two new books offer striking insights into the suspicion of the public and fear of the future that underpins contemporary political analysis.

David Chandler Monday 13 August 2007 comments

Why does Gordon Brown hate politics?

A new book suggests that it is politicians' own low horizons and scepticism about political change that leads to apathy amongst the masses.

Brendan O’Neill Monday 13 August 2007 comments

‘F*** the truth, it’s the legend that counts’

Chasing the dragon, screwing prostitutes in a van, and why Coldplay are ‘utter middle-class shite’: the life and times of the late, great Tony Wilson.

Frank Furedi Monday 13 August 2007 comments

The end of Europe?

Blaming Europe’s decline on the fertility rates of fecund immigrants misses the point that the continent is politically, not physically, exhausted.

Neil Davenport Tuesday 14 August 2007 comments

Let's unveil the real enemies of reason

Famed atheist Richard Dawkins’ latest TV attack on tarot-readers and the mystic-obsessed masses lets some far more dangerous irrationalists off the hook.

Brendan O’Neill Tuesday 14 August 2007 comments

Darfur: pornography for the chattering classes

Why have the British media been silent about the Advertising Standards Authority’s damning judgement against the Save Darfur Coalition?

Anna Travis Wednesday 15 August 2007 comments

Please do touch the works of art

From toddlers' expressionism to giant slides at the Tate Modern: 'interactive art' is turning galleries into mindless playgrounds.

Nathalie Rothschild Wednesday 15 August 2007 comments

...Facebook?

The cyber-scaremongers spreading silly stories about Nazis, criminals and weird loners lurking on Facebook should shut their faces.

Mick Hume Wednesday 15 August 2007 comments

The increasingly strange case of Madeleine McCann

The global crusade around missing Maddie seems more and more detached from the local police investigation in Portugal.

James Woudhuysen Thursday 16 August 2007 comments

It’s official: the masses are not gullible

A new British government survey suggests that lots of us have an agnostic or atheist attitude to the cult of environmentalism.

James Panton Thursday 16 August 2007 comments

Let us celebrate the freedom of flight

There’s more to manmade flight than the spewing of CO2 molecules: flying is liberating and enlightening, and that’s why millions of us do it.

Nathalie Rothschild Thursday 16 August 2007 comments

Heathrow protest: not-so-happy campers

Doom-mongering placards, tangoing in tents, and smelly compost toilets (one for liquids, another for solids): welcome to the Climate Action Camp.

Mick Hume Friday 17 August 2007 comments

Let sleeping hound dogs lie

Elvis and Amy, Maddie and Amber Alerts - read Mick Hume's columns from The Times (London).

Duleep Allirajah Friday 17 August 2007 comments

Rooneyfußtrauer

From Beckham's left foot to Rooney's hairline fracture: the injured metatarsal has become a metaphor for England's dashed sporting hopes.

Patrick West Friday 17 August 2007 comments

I love Richard and Judy

It may be shot through with Little Englandism, but the double-headed chatshow is also diverse, comforting and catholic with a small 'c'.

Ethan Greenhart Friday 17 August 2007 comments

Is direct action ethical?

Is direct action ethical?

James Heartfield Friday 17 August 2007 comments

Why Grossman still matters

A brilliant biography of Polish economist Henryk Grossman shows us the man – with silk white gloves and cane – behind the Marxist analysis.

Brendan O’Neill Monday 20 August 2007 comments

Jason Bourne: a ‘John Rambo for liberals’

Plain, nameless and seriously confused about his identity: Jason Bourne captures the cultural zeitgeist far better than Daniel Craig’s pomo Bond.

Nathalie Rothschild Monday 20 August 2007 comments

Hypocrisy of Olympian proportions

For years Western observers slammed China's 'red authoritarianism'. Yet today they positively cheer on its eco-authoritarianism.

Josie Appleton Monday 20 August 2007 comments

Let us bin the moral fable of climate change

Essay: Eco-ethics, with its rules about waste, water and energy-use, is a new brand of conservatism that is sucking the fun out of life.

Alex Hochuli Tuesday 21 August 2007 comments

...gambling adverts?

The UK government's new restrictions on adverts for online casinos are an insult to the public.

Mick Hume Tuesday 21 August 2007 comments

Shares go up and down - economy going nowhere

Things are probably both better and worse than we are led to believe. PLUS: Why stock market jitters are 'contagious'.

Emily Hill Wednesday 22 August 2007 comments

A little bit of misery
does you good

Alexander Waugh’s Fathers and Sons, featuring Evelyn, Auberon, a gay scandal and bananas, is better than any misery memoir.

Patrick West Wednesday 22 August 2007 comments

Truth: the first Casualty of TV drama?

The BBC’s hospital soap has scrapped a storyline involving Islamic terrorists. And it’s not the first time it has allowed PC to get in the way of reality.

Rob Lyons Wednesday 22 August 2007 comments

Philip Lawrence: hard cases make bad law

The furore over the decision not to deport the killer of a headmaster from the UK is being used to promote a dangerous idea: victims’ justice.

Rob Lyons Thursday 23 August 2007 comments

Amir Khan’s reality-TV therapy: no knockout

In a new Channel 4 series, the British Muslim boxer tries to whip six young reprobates into shape. It's Supernanny with the gloves off.

Duleep Allirajah Thursday 23 August 2007 comments

Attack of the shopaholic Wives and Girlfriends?

Roy Keane's fiery tirades are often on the money. But he's wrong to blame WAGs for footballers' reluctance to move to Sunderland.

Nathalie Rothschild Thursday 23 August 2007 comments

A protest that didn’t hit the headlines

While all eyes were on the greenies at Heathrow, landlords, pub-patrons and karaoke kings were marching against the smoking ban in Somerset.

Emily Hill Friday 24 August 2007 comments

Handbags at dawn

Guardian columnist Lucy Mangan’s ‘essential guide to being a girl’ - full of lengthy sentences, stories about weeing and descriptions of infant genitalia - is untreated bilge.

Nathalie Rothschild Friday 24 August 2007 comments

The Frozen Ones

In Michael Chabon’s brilliant Yiddish noir novel, Israel was never created, Jews are living on skid row in Alaska, and their potential Messiah is a heroin addict who’s just been shot.

Peter Smith Friday 24 August 2007 comments

Ecotourism: holier-than-thou holidays

Ecotourist jaunts might make green-leaning holidaymakers feel warm and moist, but they do little to help Third World communities. In fact, ecotourism is a trap for the world’s poor.

Neil Davenport Friday 24 August 2007 comments

Treating voters as instruments

A brilliantly trenchant critique of the Democrats’ penchant for outsourcing canvassing to professionals-for-hire sheds light on why Kerry was blown away by Bush in 2004.

Stuart Derbyshire Friday 24 August 2007 comments

We’re no slaves to our senses

Free will and agency are not merely the creation of nerve endings in the human brain. So while neuroscience can tell us a lot, it does not hold the key to understanding human uniqueness.

Josie Appleton Friday 24 August 2007 comments

The matter of the heart

It’s mere organic matter, a bundle of muscle that pumps blood around the body. So why throughout history has the heart been seen as the seat of all that is vital in human life?

Helene Guldberg Friday 24 August 2007 comments

A childish panic about the next generation

Many of those fretting over the state of contemporary childhood, concerned that kids are passive, cooped up and sedentary, are motivated by naked nostalgia - sometimes even by snobbery.

Dolan Cummings Friday 24 August 2007 comments

Ossifying the Enlightenment

Dan Hind’s defence of reason has much to recommend it. But his desire paternalistically to ‘enlighten’ the public rather than engage it in a battle of ideas belongs in the dark ages.

Michael Fitzpatrick Friday 24 August 2007 comments

Why communism survived
for so long

Despite what Robert Service says in his GCSE coursework book masquerading as an academic study, the longevity of communism had nothing to do with Russian breastmilk. It was the failures of capitalism that kept it alive.

Daniel Ben-Ami Friday 24 August 2007 comments

Towards an age of abundance

Ignore the critics of economic growth who claim that prosperity makes us unhappy. We need to win the war against scarcity once and for all, so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of longer, healthier and wealthier lives.

Mick Hume Tuesday 28 August 2007 comments

Can’t we leave Rhys Jones alone?

Who would try to exploit the senseless murder of an 11-year-old to promote their agenda? Well…

De Roy Kwesi Andrew Wednesday 29 August 2007 comments

You hate being affluent? Then swap with us

A Ghanaian filmmaker who toured the UK with a documentary on debt relief was shocked to find so many Britons down on development.

Patrick West Wednesday 29 August 2007 comments

We Brits invented ‘friendly fire’

Today's cheap critiques of the US military for its ‘friendly fire’ blunders in Iraq overlook Britain’s own disastrous history of killing its own.

Rob Lyons Wednesday 29 August 2007 comments

...rubbish?

The problem of waste in Britain is overstated - we should be more concerned with a modern outlook that treats humanity itself as disposable.

Jennie Bristow Wednesday 29 August 2007 comments

Having children can be good for you — and society

In No Kids, a work of populist misanthropy, Corinne Maier taps into Western culture’s guilty secret: rhetorically it celebrates kids; actually it fears and dislikes them.

Rob Lyons Thursday 30 August 2007 comments

An ego-trip dressed up
as an eco-trip

Why is the planet-friendly Honda Civic not as popular as the celebs' favourite, the Toyota Prius? Because it looks too much like a normal car for narcissistic eco-drivers.

James Woudhuysen Thursday 30 August 2007 comments

Let’s research our own R&D record

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development may be right that the Chinese are sluggish on research and development. But the same is true of America and Europe.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 30 August 2007 comments

Toxic toys: is China poisoning YOUR child?

The overblown scare about China’s lead-painted Big Birds and vinyl bibs has become a metaphor for Western fears about the ‘yellow peril’.

Mick Hume Friday 31 August 2007 comments

Why Diana is always with us

Ten years after Diana died, an emotionally-correct, victim-oriented Britain, bereft of real heroes, still clings to the princess.

Patrick West Friday 31 August 2007 comments

Can canned laughter

The BBC’s new sitcom Outnumbered wasn’t edgy or awkward enough to be aired without a laughter track.

Tim Black Friday 31 August 2007 comments

Keeping it unreal

Sugarhouse, a British gangsta thriller about yoof, drugs and street life, is a cartoon-like portrayal of social inequality.

Ethan Greenhart Friday 31 August 2007 comments

Is it ethical to own a mobile phone?

Our ethical columnist on the dangers of global communications.

Michael Fitzpatrick Friday 31 August 2007 comments

Why did communism
survive for so long?

Despite what Robert Service says, its longevity had nothing to do with Russian breastmilk. It was the failures of capitalism that kept it alive.