December 2008

Sadhvi Sharma Monday 1 December 2008 comments

Bombay bounces back

Sadhvi Sharma reports from the streets and stations of a city that remains resilient in the face of ‘hair-raising experiences’.

Frank Furedi Monday 1 December 2008 comments

Terror in Mumbai: the same old, same old

Claims that the attacks represent a new form of ‘Fourth Generation Warfare’ are infused with historical amnesia and fearmongering.

Christopher Snowdon Tuesday 2 December 2008 comments

Health fears go up in smoke

A year ago, Scottish health chiefs boasted that the smoking ban had cut heart-attack rates. It was a load of hot air.

Neil Davenport Tuesday 2 December 2008 comments

Forcing Britain to sober up

The proposed ban on pub ‘happy hours’ is a metaphor for the government’s miserabilist disgust with fun.

Wendy Kaminer Tuesday 2 December 2008 comments

Why we shouldn’t ban the F-word on American TV

The attempt to punish utterances of the F-word and the S-word on American TV exposes the arbitrary and patronising nature of censorship.

Jennie Bristow Wednesday 3 December 2008 comments

The truth: why Down’s births have gone up

The idea that more Down’s syndrome births show that Britain has become more ‘caring’ is severely misleading.

Rob Lyons Wednesday 3 December 2008 comments

Low-carbon Britain: a pointless distraction

The UK's new climate change plan suggests we make considerable sacrifices for little practical benefit.

Tim Black Wednesday 3 December 2008 comments

An intolerable attack on all of us, the people

It is not going too far to compare the arrest of Damian Green with King Charles I’s war-provoking arrest of five members of parliament in 1642.

James Heartfield Thursday 4 December 2008 comments

Bringing the English Civil war to life

From the Diggers’ lunacy to Cromwell’s moral emptiness, the aim of TV drama The Devil’s Whore is never less than true.

Nathalie Rothschild Thursday 4 December 2008 comments

Changeling: Searching for Oscar

Something’s missing from this new film starring an award-tipped Angelina Jolie – and it’s not just a boy called Walter.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 4 December 2008 comments

How the abuse industry is exploiting Baby P

If the killing of Baby P wasn’t awful enough, now his death is being used to institute a new era of familial fear and spying.

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick Thursday 4 December 2008 comments

False prophets in the ‘crusade against autism’

The author of Defeating Autism: A Damaging Delusion exposes the powerful quackery movement offering dodgy ‘cures’ for autism.

Martyn Perks Friday 5 December 2008 comments

This is no time to call the ‘design police’

By reorganising our lives around suspicion and the fear of crime, design can leave us feeling insecure - and less free.

Patrick West Friday 5 December 2008 comments

How to broaden the viewer’s mind

As the BBC’s recent Horizon programme proves, challenging, thought-provoking TV just needs a little time.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 5 December 2008 comments

From the phone-in to the moan-in

The football phone-in show has provided the ideal showcase for that most tedious of species: the professional whinger.

Rob Lyons Friday 5 December 2008 comments

‘There’s a lot of rich people backing this cause’

Former Enron lawyer turned climate change sceptic Christopher Horner tells spiked that scaring people green has become big business.

Dominic Standish Monday 8 December 2008 comments

The death of Venice is greatly exaggerated

Dominic Standish reports from Venice on how residents and visitors coped with the highest floods in 20 years.

Tim Black Monday 8 December 2008 comments

Declaring war against ‘domestic terrorism’

What Karen Matthews did to her daughter is obscene. So is the implication that such cruelty is widespread in ‘feral Britain’.

Josie Appleton Monday 8 December 2008 comments

Are EU deaf or what?

The author of a new EU Phrasebook, launched in Brussels today, analyses European leaders’ utter inability to understand the word ‘No’.

Tim Black Tuesday 9 December 2008 comments

Porkie pies about the dioxin threat

The recall of Irish pork products exposes the opportunism and hysteria of Ireland and Britain’s food standards bodies.

Brendan O’Neill Tuesday 9 December 2008 comments

Class hatred at Stansted Airport

Posh Plane Stupid insists that it is not picking on poor people. So why is it so madly obsessed with cheap flights?

Sean Collins Tuesday 9 December 2008 comments

Memo to Obama-crush liberals: he’s just not that into you

Now that he’s lined up a conservative cabinet, Obama’s supporters are in disbelief and denial.

Kerry Miller Wednesday 10 December 2008 comments

Liberal tyranny on the World Wide Web

The champions of mandatory filtering are not Australia’s Christian Right but its PC, feministic, leftish elite.

Danu Poyner Wednesday 10 December 2008 comments

‘Digital Natives’ take on censorious Kevin

Rudd has been rattled by the Angry Geek brigade, which has launched an online war to defend free speech.

Guy Rundle Wednesday 10 December 2008 comments

Tear down Australia’s Great Firewall Reef

Kevin Rudd’s Labor government is pushing through a mandatory internet filtering system that rivals China’s severe online censorship.

Basham and Luik Thursday 11 December 2008 comments

Putting the government’s ignorance on display

There's no evidence that children will be tempted to smoke by seeing cigarette packs on the shelf in their local corner shop.

Kevin Yuill Thursday 11 December 2008 comments

Aspirational politics: dead and buried?

In the age of euthanasia, politics has become less about pursuing the Good Life than ensuring a Good Death.

Mick Hume Thursday 11 December 2008 comments

A thinking man’s snuff movie

Televising an assisted suicide was perverse, but unsurprising given our culture’s obsession with the dark side of life.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 11 December 2008 comments

Greece: it’s not all about the economy, stupid

Many see the riots as a simple response to the credit crunch. In truth they expose Greece’s deep and historic crisis of legitimacy.

Mick Hume Friday 12 December 2008 comments

You’re no Rosa Parks, Lily

Read Mick Hume in The Times (London) on the Lily-ban’s hijack of Stansted airport protests.

Tim Black Friday 12 December 2008 comments

Misanthropy, Hollywood style

Remixed with an eco-twist and a slice of Gore, a new version of The Day the Earth Stood Still popularises human-hating.

John Dennen Friday 12 December 2008 comments

Thriller in Manila: a knockout movie

A new documentary about the greatest fight ever shows that Joe Frazier suffered most from Ali's verbal punches.

Kenan Malik Friday 12 December 2008 comments

Twenty years on: internalising the fatwa

Kenan Malik discusses the multiculturalism, political conflict and liberal cowardice that defined the Rushdie Affair and its legacy.

Maria Grasso Monday 15 December 2008 comments

Popping the Pill in pharmacies everywhere

The Pill gives women control over their bodies, time and sex lives. Getting hold of it should be made much easier.

David Perks Monday 15 December 2008 comments

Jim Rose: education becomes a sideshow

The government’s review of primary education is about training children to conform to political pieties.

Jennie Bristow Monday 15 December 2008 comments

Rule 17: The kids don’t know it all

In Britain’s ‘new vision’ for primary education, adults are reduced to the mere flatterers of techno-savvy kids. It’s a recipe for ignorance.

Rob Lyons Tuesday 16 December 2008 comments

Honk if you support the voters of Manchester

Mancunians have struck a blow against the politics of behaviour and blackmail by shunning the congestion charge.

Tim Black Tuesday 16 December 2008 comments

Welcome to the Police Academy state

The shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes reveals the chaos within the institutions of the British state.

Frank Furedi Tuesday 16 December 2008 comments

The Crisis With No Name

Society's inability to make sense of the downturn is hampering what we really need: a major public debate about the economy.

Nathalie Rothschild Wednesday 17 December 2008 comments

The wrong diagnosis

The ‘doctor-turned-terrorist’ has convinced many that it’s too easy for foreigners to join the NHS. In fact, it’s too hard.

Brendan O’Neill Wednesday 17 December 2008 comments

Sock and awe

The global reaction to the shoe-throwing incident in Iraq is a shoe-in for the most bizarre debate of 2008.

Mick Hume Wednesday 17 December 2008 comments

A Middle East piece process?

On a trip to Israel and the West Bank, Mick Hume sees the ‘two-state solution’ already leading to a new partition between Israelis and Palestinians.

Alex Standish Thursday 18 December 2008 comments

Keep ‘global issues’ out of the classroom

The author of a new book on geography teaching says the subject should not be exploited to forcefeed kids ‘values’.

Nancy McDermott Thursday 18 December 2008 comments

Parenting: it’s not rocket science

Mums and dads should trust their own judgments more, and resist the tyranny of the new ‘science of parenting’.

Guy Rundle Thursday 18 December 2008 comments

Baz Luhrmann’s new ‘myth of Australia’

In presenting the artist and aborigines as natural aristocrats who rise above ‘common cruelty’, Australia turns history into a moral fable.

Emily Hill Friday 19 December 2008 comments

Lily Allen is not my home girl

Only grey-haired music-press bores and Boris Johnson think this daughter of privilege is the spokesperson for my generation.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 19 December 2008 comments

Why booing Eboué is no big deal

We should chill out about football fans shouting abuse at their own players: it’s only pointless pantomime.

Patrick West Friday 19 December 2008 comments

Is this the end for the TV reviewer?

Multi-channel, multi-platform TV limits moments of shared viewing - and the need for someone to write about them.

Tim Black Friday 19 December 2008 comments

Outwitting our inner censor

From ancient Rome to 9/11, jokes have long been a way for humans to fart in the face of conventional logic, expectation and morality.

Nancy McDermott Monday 22 December 2008 comments

Christmas culture wars

Concern that Christmas is anything from too religious to too commercial exposes America’s troubled soul.

James Woudhuysen Monday 22 December 2008 comments

Global rivalries go green

Climate change will be a central part of government agendas in 2009 - and a rich source of diplomatic squabbles, too.

Nathalie Rothschild Monday 22 December 2008 comments

These gifts are degrading to people, not animals

Animal Aid has attacked the nauseating fashion for sending goats and dung to Africans at Christmas - but for all the wrong reasons.

Rob Johnston Tuesday 23 December 2008 comments

How to have a merry and moral Christmas

Forget ‘going ethical’ by buying overexpensive organic gifts you can’t afford. Be moral this year instead.

Tom Slater Tuesday 23 December 2008 comments

Twelve months of music to the ears

Across musical genres – from hip-hop to nu-folk, from rock to soul – this year was never short of tuneful delights.

Basham and Luik Tuesday 23 December 2008 comments

A year of myths about smoking and obesity

At the fag end of 2008, two experts look back at puffed-up claims about smoking bans and the ‘obesity epidemic’.

Nathalie Rothschild Tuesday 23 December 2008 comments

The year that humanity became the baddie

In 2008, movie misanthropy went mainstream, but we had uplifting films about Russian scum and tightrope walkers.

Rob Lyons Tuesday 23 December 2008 comments

2008: the year of living dangerously?

Let’s put into perspective the mad panics – from melting ice to Olympian smog – that made the news in 2008.

Tim Black Tuesday 23 December 2008 comments

Who spiked rated and hated in 2008

From Delia Smith to the ‘Obamabots’, from polar bears to John Maynard Keynes, meet our heroes and villains of the year.

Jennie Bristow Monday 29 December 2008 comments

If only it had stayed ‘all in his mind’

Alastair Campbell’s first novel offers an intriguing peep into New Labour’s view of the human condition: a world in which fucked-up lunatics and victims are governed by other fucked-up lunatics and victims.

Martyn Perks Monday 29 December 2008 comments

‘Nudging’: the very antithesis of choice

‘Libertarian paternalism’ represents a retreat from political debate, and the rise of a base psychological agenda that wants to make us conform on green, health and lifestyle issues.

Tim Black Monday 29 December 2008 comments

‘Sorry’ seems to be the easiest word

A new book on the politics of official apologies takes them too much at face value. These are not sincere attempts to amend past wrongs, but public performances of emotional literacy by our isolated leaders.

Sandy Starr and James Heartfield Monday 29 December 2008 comments

The problem with Pinteresque politics

The same qualities that made Harold Pinter one of the great dramatists – free association, non-sequiturs, jarring juxtapositions, unreliable recollections – also made him a bad political activist.

Philip Hammond Monday 29 December 2008 comments

Why human rights are wrong

As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 60, many seem unsure whether to criticise Western governments for breaching it or to urge them to enforce it. The end result is that our understanding of rights has become degraded.

Stuart Derbyshire Monday 29 December 2008 comments

There’s more to humans than biological burps

Through vivid explorations of tears, snot, earwax and blushing, Ray Tallis’ brilliant new book shows us that ‘being human’ is not a simple stimulus-response thing – it is shaped by history, thought, time and space.

Guy Rundle Monday 29 December 2008 comments

Sam Adams: the first professional revolutionary

It’s high time we reclaimed and celebrated this gleeful scheming propagandist and rabble-rouser of the first order, without whom the American Revolution might not have occurred.

Nathalie Rothschild Monday 29 December 2008 comments

Stuff white people like

They’re self-important and ironic. They love organic food, Tibet and Noam Chomsky. They loathe corporations, their parents and Fox News. Christian Lander tells Nathalie Rothschild about the rise and rise of ‘white people’.

Brendan O’Neill Monday 29 December 2008 comments

The curious victory of Conor Cruise O’Brien

The arch revisionist of Irish history is now denounced as an intellectual eccentric. Yet his misanthropic vision governs modern Ireland; he was the Grandfather of the Peace Process.

Helene Guldberg Monday 29 December 2008 comments

‘Autistic children are now seen as a burden’

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick, author of Defeating Autism, talks to Helene Guldberg about how raising a child with autism can be made infinitely harder – emotionally, financially and practically – by the charlatanic ‘war on autism’.