New Labour's vision for popular engagement in 2008 bypasses the ballot box in favour of just getting us to beg for government intervention.
A new BBC film suggests human beings are screwing up the planet. But without us, Earth would be a pointless rock spinning through space.
In allegedly trying to buy off a local Taliban leader, British officials have shown a haughty and colonial disregard for the Afghan government.
The UK government says adults should chill out and let boys play with toy guns. But who made us so uptight about kids’ play in the first place?
The panicky reactions to the killing of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan reveal how the US and its allies are losing the ‘war on terror’.
Brown's plans for a 'personal and preventative' NHS, and the liberty to abuse footballers: read Mick Hume's columns in The Times (London).
Once, quiz shows were all about Q&A. Now they’re about ribbing and racountering, and some have dispensed with questions altogether.
Forget clamping down on footie fans’ abusive chanting: we should admire the lyrical skill of cramming so much filth into such short verses.
For readers, the Flashman novels were a jolly romp. But for author George MacDonald Fraser, they were also a swipe against political correctness.
In the heady period 1648 to 1660, between the trial of Charles I and the restoration of the monarchy, the democratic instinct came to life.
Commentators obsessed with whether Brits are buying too much or too little ignore major shifts in the world economy – and world politics.
The panic about greedy mobs invading Oxford Street during the New Year sales is driven by elite disdain for consumerism and economic growth.
ESSAY: What the Subprime Crisis reveals about the economy, politics and the state in 2008 – and why the real story is the rise of the East as the West flounders.
Ignore the posh fooderati on Channel 4 moaning about the factory-farming of chickens: we should celebrate the freedom provided by mass food production.
A new report shows why we should take celebs’ advice on food, chemicals, how to avoid cancer and other scientific matters with an unhealthily large dose of salt.
He has charisma, a good physique and ‘hip-mod grey suits’, and a policy programme that consists only of ‘hope’. Barack Obama takes the politics of personality to a new low.
Why Western observers see every political conflict in Africa as an inexplicable outburst of violence and a harbinger of ‘holocaust’.
‘It's dangerous, wasteful and too expensive!’ Greens are busily putting the case against nuclear, but there is not a spark of truth in their arguments.
For Aristotle, health meant a ‘flourishing life’. Today, with Brown’s offer of bodily screening, health has been reduced to mere animal fitness.
With slogans promising Hope, Belief and Change, there is a surge of excitement around the US presidential primaries. But can anybody tell us what the Obama-Clinton contest is about?
Politicians in Britain are keen to ‘engage’ with the public... just as long as our leaders get to make all the big decisions behind closed doors beforehand.
With the schedules packed full of Pop Idol clones, ripped-off Brit-coms and half-scripted reality TV shows, it's little wonder the US public finds the screenwriters' strike a turn-off.
Observers describe the post-election violence as a virus. In truth, everyday Kenyans have historically resisted the top-down process of ethnic
All hail ‘The People’s Car’, which could liberate Indians from their (bicycle) chains.
A new dark age in Livingstone’s London, industrial chick farming as golden goose - read Mick Hume’s columns in The Times (London).
How the fun police are sanitising the boozers’ preferred ‘sport’, by banning drink, fags and heated banter.
Those who claim the ‘Bollyline’ affair is just not cricket are wrong: the game has always been a mental war of attrition.
Our ethical columnist on the benefits of sitting in the dark.
In his new book, Bjørn Lomborg shows how the ‘climate science’ on everything from polar bears to pollution has been politicised.
Why are once radical feminists joining the chorus of disapproval about young women in mini-skirts going out, getting hammered and having sex?
At the London launch of his new book, Invitation to Terror, Frank Furedi offered some salutary advice to Gordon Brown on how to win the ‘battle of ideas’.
ESSAY: A leading cancer expert says Gordon Brown’s disease-screening initiative could cause unnecessary distress and diminish autonomy.
They don’t wear ribbons or white wristbands to show off how caring they are, yet African and Asian expats send billions of dollars in ‘aid’ to the developing world every year.
Hashim Thaci, one-time guerrilla turned PM of Kosovo, has promised to break away from Serbia. It's independence, Jim, but not as we know it.
Scientific evidence is being repackaged as ‘The Science’: a superstitious dogma used to hector us on everything from sex to saving the planet.
Some states are planning to ban incandescent light bulbs. But how bright will the future be under their gloomy, ‘energy efficient’ replacements?
British ministers want to extend the vote to 16-year-olds, in the forlorn hope that a youthful turnout will gloss over the crisis in adult politics and democracy.
The Clintons did more than most to turn politics into a personality contest. So why is Hillary so shocked to be judged by what she wears and how she cries?
The PM now wants a system of ‘presumed consent’ to provide more organs for transplant. Yet it was his government obsession with consent that exacerbated the problem in the first place.
The Texas congressman has vicious views on abortion and immigration. So why are so many liberals supporting him?
UK schools minister Jim Knight wants teachers to monitor their pupils' every antic and the behaviour of their parents. We should give his proposals a big red cross.
Kicking off spiked's campaign for freedom of movement in 2008, Nathalie Rothschild argues that there's one way to stop illegal immigration: stop making immigration illegal.
Bitchiness, backstabbing, cults, conspiracies: the inquest into Diana's death shows the triumph of backward court politics over republicanism.
Reality check for child crusaders, and Diana: death of the inquest – read Mick Hume’s columns in The Times (London).
User-generated sites are mostly full of rubbish, but there are a few gems out there - like Terry Alderton's parody of the Real Football Factories.
Kevin Keegan can be relied on to maintain Newcastle United’s traditions: Keystone Cops defending, lousy signings, and bugger-all trophies.
Our ethical columnist on the 'uncivilised barbarity' of the world's leading whaling nation.
Shyness is now ‘social phobia’, and dissent is ‘Oppositional Defiant Disorder’. How did everyday emotions come to be seen as illnesses?
Charlie Wilson’s War, a borderline slapstick comedy about the CIA’s arming of the Mujahideen, reveals more about America than the pious new films on Iraq do.
No music; no rowdiness; no getting pissed in front of the kids... Britain's Wetherspoon chain of pubs is going even further than the government in policing our behaviour.
After ‘smoking like a Turk’ in Istanbul, Nathalie Rothschild laments the city's plan to enforce an EU-style clampdown on the evil weed.
An Axis of Reaction is furious about the idea of 'cloned meat'. Yet such meat is not only safe; it could also bring enormous benefits to both farmers and farmyard animals.
Desperately hoping that he will change the ‘image of the USA’, white liberals have invested more hope and energy in Obama's campaign than have black Americans.
Ignore the organic-obsessed supermums and mumsy officials who say kids shouldn't watch TV: there's nothing wrong with electronic babysitting.
Using the L-word to describe today’s middle-class eco-miserabilists is an insult to the nineteenth-century radicals who fought for their rights and dignity.
Beyond the mind-numbing financial stats, the Northern Rock debacle gives an insight into the real state of politics and economics today.
If fickle football fans weren’t so parochial, supporters around the country could unite to put pressure on the money men who run the Premiership.
Football's vibrant terrace culture once thrived on trading insults; now it languishes under post-Diana codes of emotional conduct.
The Federal Reserve’s ‘shock’ slashing of interest rates was only the latest episode in a drawn-out drama starring Western sluggishness and Eastern dynamism.
In tackling an imaginary fat epidemic, the government is intruding into our lives, guilt-tripping parents and stigmatising chubby children.
The elevation of anti-social behaviour into a central political issue reveals how the directionless political elite in Britain has manipulated our sense of vulnerability.
The new focus on ‘human security’ in the debate about international relations suggests there should be an even more meddlesome form of policing of other states’ affairs. No thanks.
The Heroin Diaries, by a cleaned-up, self-deluded Nikki Sixx, is probably the last in the classic genre of the bad rock memoir. And it reminds us that early rock’n’rollers’ idea of freedom can’t be found in rehab.
Slicing through PR and marketing bullshit, James Harkin’s dictionary of the ‘latest thinking’ reminds us that ideas can change the world and invites us to start formulating our own.
The left’s cry ‘the personal is political!’ sounded radical once, but it has been used to legitimise state interference in our lives. If what we do in the bedroom is ‘political’, why shouldn’t the authorities regulate it?
With its attacks on advertising, opulence and environmental filth, John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Affluent Society, published 50 years ago, anticipated today’s small-minded growth scepticism.
It is not a clash of ideologies but rather an empty bickering over nothing of much substance that makes the presidential campaign seem so shrill and divided.
Once, the media fawned over anti-MMR crusaders; they were ‘handsome’, ‘glossy-haired’ and ‘brave’. Now it ridicules them as quacks. What explains journalists’ turn from inflaming anti-vaccine hysteria to embracing scientific evidence?
‘Counterknowledge’, fiction masquerading as fact on everything from 9/11 to homeopathy, is thriving thanks to today's mad mixture of postmodern political correctness and capitalist greed.
When Alexander Cockburn, author of the forthcoming book A Short History of Fear, dared to question the climate change consensus, he was punished by a tsunami of self-righteous fury. It is time for a free and open ‘battle of ideas’, he says.
The bloody dictator was not overthrown by Indonesian ‘people power’, as the obits claim; he was sacked by his Western backers when his face no longer fitted.
After his big win in South Carolina, Barack Obama said the word ‘change’ a dozen times. Does he really have a transformative, convention-busting vision?
Those of us committed to true European ideals should challenge the EU oligarchy's disdain for democracy and demand a referendum.
The idea that McDonald's could provide qualifications has prompted derision, but the ‘McDonaldisation’ of learning has already begun.
He relished his role as colonial overlord in Bosnia, so it's not surprising the Afghans don’t want Paternalistic Paddy anywhere near their country.
On the donations scandals, one question remains: apart from denying it did anything wrong, what has Gordon Brown’s government actually done?
A Ryanair chief has described the Advertising Standards Authority as a ‘bunch of unelected, self-appointed dimwits’. He has a point.
Rivers of refuse, bust-ups in parliament, the fall of Romano Prodi’s government: Dominic Standish reports on Italy’s descent into farce.
Why has ridding society of ‘evil’ plastic bags become the issue for radicals, retailers and officials from San Francisco to Shanghai?
Teaching children how to cook should be about taste and pleasure - but the UK government is only interested in obesity, salt intake and telling us how to live.
Tim Black reports from a debate amongst leading journalists about the ‘story of their lifetime’: the abduction of Madeleine McCann and the subsequent public hysteria.
Nathalie Rothschild reports from the first meeting of the Migration Parliamentary Group, which wants to lead a ‘positive’ debate about migration. It got off to a bad start.
The Metropolitan Police’s legalised kidnapping of 10 Roma children suggests the anti-trafficking industry is the greatest threat to migrants.