August 2009

Jason Walsh Monday 3 August 2009 comments

Orangemen, welcome to a united Ireland!

Gerry Adams’ promise that unionists will have respect and power in a future republic shows the naivety of identity politics.

Rob Lyons Monday 3 August 2009 comments

Organic food and unhealthy snobbery

People don’t eat organic for its nutrients, but because they want to distinguish themselves from the junk-scoffing hordes.

Tim Black Monday 3 August 2009 comments

Bobby Robson and the decline of British decency

He was by all accounts a lovely bloke. But behind the effusive eulogising there lurks a disdain for today’s allegedly crass football fans and players.

Rob Killick Tuesday 4 August 2009 comments

It’s time to get real about the recession

Political and media pundits have been far too calm and cavalier about this serious economic downturn.

Paul Thomas Tuesday 4 August 2009 comments

The return of workers’ blacklists

By calling for far-right people to be sacked from the civil service, the PCS union is adopting anti-union tactics.

Citizen O’Neill Tuesday 4 August 2009 comments

In defence of citizens

The only thing worse than Phil Woolas’s points system for citizenship is his critics’ argument that the idea of citizenship is undesirable.

Patrick Hayes Wednesday 5 August 2009 comments

Sorry, but Fairtrade is a political issue

BBC newsreader George Alagiah is shocked that his bosses think Fairtrade is ‘somehow controversial’. It is.

Tim Black Wednesday 5 August 2009 comments

The UN’s Twitter war against nukes

Why Ban Ki-moon’s teenage Twittering about the evil of nuclear weapons has only 1,064 followers.

Mick Hume Wednesday 5 August 2009 comments

Don’t bank on it, Brown

The notion that the UK banking sector will rescue the economy is as misplaced as the claim that a few bankers were to blame for the crisis.

Butcher and Smith Thursday 6 August 2009 comments

Who’d go on a government-funded gap year?

Travel can be fun and inspiring, just so long as you avoid the micro-managed, skills-obsessed jaunts provided by New Labour.

Tim Black Thursday 6 August 2009 comments

Are British stag nights really wrecking Riga?

The annual silly-season attack on British stags in Latvia is, once again, based on snobbery rather than facts.

Rob Lyons Thursday 6 August 2009 comments

We need planes, trains and automobiles

Justifying high-speed rail as a way of stopping people from flying is a perverse anti-travel argument.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 6 August 2009 comments

Defend green jobs! Smash ungreen jobs!

Environmentalists are defending jobs at the ‘good’ Vestas wind-turbine factory while ignoring the sacking of workers at ‘evil’ Thomas Cook.

Patrick West Friday 7 August 2009 comments

There’s nothing wrong with good repeats

Instead of rubbish new productions, cash-strapped channels like ITV should plunder their vaults for some TV gold.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 7 August 2009 comments

Saving cricket from the stuffed blazers

Far from ruining Cricket's hallowed traditions, the new breed of booing and singing fan has revitalised the sport.

Jennie Bristow Friday 7 August 2009 comments

At last, a serious debate on ‘social evils’

In a challenging new book, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation looks at how therapy culture and individuation have frayed the social fabric.

Henry Williams Monday 10 August 2009 comments

Save our Sloanes

A long-time Chelsea resident says the Kings Road has been ruined by property speculation and petty regulation.

Dolan Cummings Monday 10 August 2009 comments

Against booze bans

Giving police the arbitrary power to prevent people from drinking in public is an attack on everyday freedom.

Joe Jackson Monday 10 August 2009 comments

How killjoys colonised Britain’s public houses

The smoking ban, on top of strict licensing laws and CCTV, has turned pubs from places of choice and tolerance into outlets for official meddling.

Jason Walsh Tuesday 11 August 2009 comments

Content producers of the world unite!

By focusing on consumption, both sides in the debate over illegal file-sharing ignore the value of creative labour.

Greg Hollin Tuesday 11 August 2009 comments

Sickened by modern farming?

Agriculture has provided great benefits to mankind, yet greens are keen to blame it for the swine flu pandemic.

Brendan O’Neill Tuesday 11 August 2009 comments

The Tories and the tyranny of anti-politics

Anyone interested in Big Politics and society-shaking debate should challenge the Conservative Party’s ‘clean politics’ agenda.

Rob Lyons Wednesday 12 August 2009 comments

Copenhagen climate deal would be no fairytale

Until we have new technology in place, we can either cut greenhouse gas emissions or tackle poverty — but not both.

Tim Black Wednesday 12 August 2009 comments

Baby P: another round of ‘prole porn’

After the tragic death of Peter Connelly, underclass-baiting offers a relief for pundits in search of a moral crusade.

Mick Hume Wednesday 12 August 2009 comments

The lingering death of New Labour

The party has no voters, no MPs, no leadership, no principles — but we still have to endure another nine months of it in government.

Eliot Forster Thursday 13 August 2009 comments

A chronic case of risk-aversion

Under-investment in UK industry is a problem not just of the credit crunch, but of long-term risk-aversion.

Patrick Basham Thursday 13 August 2009 comments

Displaying the truth about policymaking

Newly released correspondence shows how UK government tobacco policy is being created by anti-tobacco groups.

Jennie Bristow Thursday 13 August 2009 comments

Why parents should oppose vetting

For generations, parents invited other adults to help raise and care for their kids. Now those relationships are being corroded by the state.

Delphine Chui Friday 14 August 2009 comments

Coco Before Chanel: a rags-for-riches tale

Anne Fontaine’s biopic suggests the French fashion icon was as much a social climber as a trend-setting genius.

Patrick West Friday 14 August 2009 comments

An obituary to
a once-great station

The eclectic mix of re-runs on ITV4 remind us that mainstream, commercial television could be great.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 14 August 2009 comments

Justin Langer’s
not-so-dodgy dossier

The former Aussie batsman was right in his assessment of England’s cricketers: they don't like it up 'em.

Dolan Cummings Friday 14 August 2009 comments

There’s more to Calvin than dourness and asceticism

We have forgotten that John Calvin was not only a severe Christian but also a key figure in the intellectual making of the modern world.

Jason Walsh Monday 17 August 2009 comments

EU vote: the opposition will not be televised

Ireland’s scrapping of the equal airtime requirement ahead of the second Lisbon Treaty referendum diminishes debate.

Rob Lyons Monday 17 August 2009 comments

Health wars: six myths about the NHS debate

The support for a Twitter campaign backing the UK health service has little to do with the merits of state-run medicine.

Sean Collins Monday 17 August 2009 comments

America’s health wars

The backlash against Obama’s modest healthcare reforms is born from the fear of an uncertain future and a distrust of the political class.

Tim Black Tuesday 18 August 2009 comments

Going ‘soft’ on learning

While Michael Gove has attacked the way children are pushed toward easier subjects, the real problem is a society that has devalued education.

Nathalie Rothschild Tuesday 18 August 2009 comments

A picture of prudishness

A college disciplinary case over a lecturer showing students some edgy photographs reveals how fear of offence trumps academic freedom today.

Wendy Kaminer Tuesday 18 August 2009 comments

It’s time to teach them Academic Freedom 101

Students should know better than to oppose the appointment of professors they disagree with. Uniformity of opinion only breeds complacency.

Sashwati Mira Sengupta Wednesday 19 August 2009 comments

A festival with much to trumpet

PHOTO ESSAY: Every year in the Serbian town of Guca, belly dancers, Gypsies and tourists get together for a week of fun.

James Woudhuysen Wednesday 19 August 2009 comments

New Labour’s power vacuum

The UK government’s obsession with energy self-sufficiency and renewables looks set to lead to blackouts in the next few years.

Mick Hume Wednesday 19 August 2009 comments

Afghan questions: eight years too late

There has been no serious opposition to the West’s disastrous war in Afghanistan since 2001. What’s behind the outburst of questions now?

Rob Lyons Thursday 20 August 2009 comments

‘We’re in the killing Nazis business’

Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds is preposterous, frequently cartoonish and too long — but it’s still lots of fun.

Neil Davenport Thursday 20 August 2009 comments

A low level of educational ambition

While A-level grades may be rising, UK education remains as culturally impoverished as the public life that informs it.

Josie Appleton Thursday 20 August 2009 comments

How about safeguarding innocent adults?

In the name of protecting children, new vetting procedures will condemn adults based on hearsay and dubious decision-making.

Patrick West Friday 21 August 2009 comments

Science TV strikes back

After a decade of decline, the semi-silly science programme is making a comeback – will it inspire kids to become geniuses?

Duleep Allirajah Friday 21 August 2009 comments

The Worst Decision Ever — part II

Who was to blame for Crystal Palace’s goal that wasn’t? The ref, Bristol City, or those pesky stanchion designers (again).

Sean Collins Friday 21 August 2009 comments

Defending A-Rod from moralising sports writers

A Yankees fan is not impressed by a book which claims that Alex Rodriguez is a demanding, self-absorbed drug-taker.

Rob Lyons Friday 21 August 2009 comments

Lockerbie: what’s justice got to do with it?

International politics, not truth or fair play, has been the determining factor in the story of Pan Am flight 103.

Nathalie Rothschild Monday 24 August 2009 comments

The irrational streak to Israel-bashing

An article about the IDF stealing organs suggests ancient myths are becoming acceptable again in polite society.

Tim Black Monday 24 August 2009 comments

Why I’m opposed to a maximum wage

It masquerades as progressive, but the campaign to cap big bonuses is really a moralistic critique of ambition.

Frank Furedi Monday 24 August 2009 comments

Al-Megrahi and the crisis of political leadership

The British government’s mismanagement of the al-Megrahi affair exposes its utter lack of intellectual, moral and political authority.

Kevin Yuill Tuesday 25 August 2009 comments

Turning death into a consumer product

Recent events in America show that the ‘assisted suicide’ approach makes death more regulated rather than peaceful.

Rob Lyons Tuesday 25 August 2009 comments

Cameron’s Tories: the heirs to Blairism

Promoting patient choice, regulating our behaviour... Cameron is channelling New Labour circa 1997.

Mick Hume Tuesday 25 August 2009 comments

Now it’s the ‘special needs’ relationship

The furore over the release of al-Megrahi shows how the US-UK alliance has lost its sheen since the joint crusade against Libya in the 1980s.

Angus Kennedy Wednesday 26 August 2009 comments

Civilisation: it’s more than good culture

An insightful new book reminds us that we need both spiritual and material wealth to create the good society.

Tim Black Wednesday 26 August 2009 comments

Viewing Britain as a nation of Begbies

The Home Office proposal to replace pint glasses with plastic cups sums up its suspicion of animalistic Brits.

Nathalie Rothschild Wednesday 26 August 2009 comments

We’re all traffickers now

We should challenge the idea that everything from smoking a spliff to employing an African cleaner is potential complicity in a ‘slave trade’.

Graham Barnfield Thursday 27 August 2009 comments

Let’s finally erase this ‘law’ from the statutes

The revelation that the Video Recordings Act is not a real law shows the dangers of kneejerk, censorious legislation.

Neil Davenport Thursday 27 August 2009 comments

You say underclass, we say white trash

Chris Grayling’s comparison of Moss Side with The Wire was silly, but his critics have vilified the working class, too.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 27 August 2009 comments

Yes, it’s a return to the dark ages of football...

...when hysteria about hooliganism was rife, anti-working class prejudice was widespread, and there was a clamour for authoritarian solutions.

Patrick West Friday 28 August 2009 comments

The Futurists’ assault on our lugholes

Most of us associate Futurism with painting, but as Radio 3 recently revealed they made music - well, noise - too.

David Bowden Friday 28 August 2009 comments

The Ashes: a five-act Australian tragedy

With fate, a tragic hero and a Hussey, the 2009 Ashes series played out like a classical tragedy — for the Aussies.

Rob Lyons Friday 28 August 2009 comments

Question everything - even environmentalism

A new book on the importance of questioning received wisdom leaves out one area of life where scepticism is frowned on today: climate change.