November 2009

Nathalie Rothschild Monday 2 November 2009 comments

Telling unfunny jokes should not be a crime

The fining of French comedian Dieudonné for publicly insulting Jews is a crime against freedom of speech.

Tim Black Monday 2 November 2009 comments

Why New Labour is so dopey on cannabis

The interminable debate about whether dope should be a class B or C drug reveals the government’s incoherence.

Brendan O’Neill Monday 2 November 2009 comments

This ‘revolt of the experts’ is revolting

It was wrong of the government to sack David Nutt. But it’s also wrong for experts to pose as paragons of wisdom who are above democracy.

Rob Loynes Tuesday 3 November 2009 comments

Smoking parents pose a threat to their kids

By all means take away the children of obese parents, but parents who smoke and drink are an even greater danger.

Nathalie Rothstein Tuesday 3 November 2009 comments

China’s too lenient: we need a no-child policy

With the swarm of human beings expected to hit nine billion by 2050, it’s time we discussed tough remedies.

Brandon O’Neal Tuesday 3 November 2009 comments

Why we must wipe out climate denialism

With a survey showing that only 15 per cent of Brits are worried about global warming, it’s time to extinguish the ideas warping the public’s mind.

Tim Black Wednesday 4 November 2009 comments

Giving the young a taste of freedom

Prince Edward’s comments may have been crass, but today’s cotton-wool kids need to be allowed to take risks.

Brendan O’Neill Wednesday 4 November 2009 comments

American hippies vs the evil Japanese

The pro-dolphin documentary The Cove exposes how warped are the misanthropic values of the animal-rights lobby.

Mick Hume Wednesday 4 November 2009 comments

Who elected these knights to rule parliament?

Grubby elected – and kick-outable – MPs are still more of a democratic choice than squeaky-clean appointed and unaccountable civil servant Sirs.

Jason Walsh Thursday 5 November 2009 comments

No, I’m the real Irish republican

Jason Walsh spoke to some of those who claim to be the legitimate heirs of 1916 and found their legitimism geeky and unconvincing.

Barry Curtis Thursday 5 November 2009 comments

Fireworks: the killjoys’ pet hate

Miserabilists want to make Bonfire Night a less explosive, less colourful affair in the name of protecting pets. No way.

Nathalie Rothschild Thursday 5 November 2009 comments

Putting a forcefield around green ideas

The notion that green beliefs in the workplace should be legally protected from ridicule is deeply censorious.

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick Thursday 5 November 2009 comments

Autism: moving beyond the quest for a cure

The author of Defeating Autism: A Damaging Delusion challenges both those who want to cure and those who want to celebrate autism.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 6 November 2009 comments

Are we witnessing a counter-Rafalution?

Most Liverpool fans still believe Rafael Benitez is a tactical genius. But the voices of dissent are increasing.

Patrick West Friday 6 November 2009 comments

The Noughties: 10 years of nostalgia

The most striking thing about this decade is how much of it we spent looking back at past decades.

Jennie Bristow Friday 6 November 2009 comments

Why pedagogy is in peril

Frank Furedi explains that the real problem in education isn’t intefering politicians or pushy parents, but a profound crisis of adult authority.

Norman Lewis Monday 9 November 2009 comments

The right to privacy in the Age of Facebook

In an era of voluntary revelation and involuntary regulation, we must find new ways to defend our private lives.

Brendan O’Neill Monday 9 November 2009 comments

David Nutt is not the new Galileo

The curious Cult of Nutt, backed by both dopeheads and scientists, is actually denigrating scientific truth.

Frank Furedi Monday 9 November 2009 comments

Elevating environmentalism over ‘less worthy’ lifestyles

The legal ruling that a belief in climate change is similar to a religious conviction seriously damages science, philosophy and democracy.

Brendan O’Neill Tuesday 10 November 2009 comments

Thirst: a vampire film for grown-ups

If you, too, are bored by the emo, sexless, vegetarian vampires of Twilight, check out Chan-wook Park’s new movie.

Tim Black Tuesday 10 November 2009 comments

See? Mothers can be sex abusers, too

On the flimsiest of evidence, ChildLine and the NSPCC are now even spreading suspicion about the mother-child bond.

Mick Hume Tuesday 10 November 2009 comments

It’s Europe, Dave, but not as we know it

Europe might be back to haunt Cameron’s Tories – but this time things look very different for the EU, Britain, the Tory Party and the rest of us.

James Woudhuysen Wednesday 11 November 2009 comments

Still no clear policy on nuclear energy

New Labour’s commitment to nuclear is half-hearted at best, and goes hand in hand with more policing of our energy use.

Nathalie Rothschild Wednesday 11 November 2009 comments

Airbrushing ‘bad ads’ from public life

The campaign to ban retouched images of skinny models is not only crazy – it’s deeply censorious, too.

Brendan O’Neill Wednesday 11 November 2009 comments

‘Lettergate’ reveals the illiteracy of British politics

The bizarre controversy over Gordon Brown’s letter to a grieving mum shows that we urgently need to improve and deepen political debate.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 12 November 2009 comments

Nutts to these anti-alcohol ‘experts’

Last night’s David Nutt debate confirmed that cannabis is now promoted as a means of pacifying young, drunk ruffians.

Sabine Reul Thursday 12 November 2009 comments

Germany: still divided after all these years

The fall of the Berlin Wall, far from heralding a unified future, ushered in a new period of discord between west and east.

Wendy Kaminer Thursday 12 November 2009 comments

We must stop being tolerant of repression

In a recent speech, the libertarian Wendy Kaminer argued that state intervention into everyday life is giving rise to ‘habits of submission’.

Tessa Mayes Friday 13 November 2009 comments

Erasing David and the fight for privacy rights

David Bond’s documentary makes a decent case for defending privacy, but it too often fails as investigative journalism.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 13 November 2009 comments

Why not just call it the Blub-o-drome?

Yes, Sportsdirect.com@St James Park is a rubbish name for a stadium, but why are Geordies really upset about it?

Patrick West Friday 13 November 2009 comments

Communists can’t make cola

The Secret Life of The Berlin Wall was gripping, but it didn’t explain anything new, like why East German coke was so bad.

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick Friday 13 November 2009 comments

The ‘McCarthyism’ of the anti-smoking lobby

Two new books expose how epidemiology has been used as a tool of propaganda in the war on tobacco, leaving little room for real facts.

Tim Black Monday 16 November 2009 comments

‘Poker is all about skill and self-control’

An American expert on poker challenges the idea that it encourages reckless, addictive, spendthrift behaviour.

Rob Lyons Monday 16 November 2009 comments

The truth about those unemployment stats

Is the small rise really due to economic recovery, or the fact that people are willing to accept wage and hour cuts?

Jennie Bristow Monday 16 November 2009 comments

There’s more to human character than sharing toys

Demos should go on the naughty step for arguing that parenting style determines whether kids become good, bad and even middle class.

Jason Walsh Tuesday 17 November 2009 comments

Why Northern Ireland is a one-party state

Forget Sinn Féin or the DUP, the only party that matters in the Northern Ireland Assembly is the Peace Process Party.

Brid Hehir Tuesday 17 November 2009 comments

Undermining nursing care by degrees

The proposal that nurses in England should be university graduates will further reduce the level of basic nursing skills.

Mick Hume Tuesday 17 November 2009 comments

Election: up for grabs, but nothing to play for

As Gordon Brown launches the General Election campaign, the one certainty seems to be that we won't be offered any political choice.

Shane O’Neill Wednesday 18 November 2009 comments

Modern Warfare 2 has not made me a terrorist

The hysterical campaign against the greatest videogame ever made is based on outdated effects theories.

Tim Black Wednesday 18 November 2009 comments

A climate scare in Trafalgar Square

Ghost Forest, a new art installation, wants to frighten us into changing our greedy, planet-wrecking ways.

Frank Furedi Wednesday 18 November 2009 comments

Let’s give children the ‘store of human knowledge’

In flattering kids as ‘digital natives’ for whom the past is irrelevant, we degrade a vital adult mission: transmitting knowledge.

Rob Lyons Thursday 19 November 2009 comments

What’s stopping us from feeding the world?

Malthus was wrong about the inevitability of famine, but we still need to ask why so many people don't get enough to eat.

David Clements Thursday 19 November 2009 comments

Welfare: how help becomes a hindrance

With the shift of emphasis from welfare to wellbeing, the state reinforces the sense that we are unable to cope with life.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 19 November 2009 comments

Too many people? No, too many Malthusians

Since 200 AD, scaremongers have been describing human beings as ‘burdensome to the world’. They were wrong then, and they’re still wrong today.

Patrick West Friday 20 November 2009 comments

Never mind the guest presenters

The fashion for using a variety of hosts to replace a familiar front man reveals the BBC's indecision.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 20 November 2009 comments

The crisis of Scottish football, part 147

This week’s sacking of Scotland manager George Burley won’t make a mediocre generation of players any better.

Jason Walsh Monday 23 November 2009 comments

Irish fans take on perfidious France

Jason Walsh popped along to the loud, green and peculiar anti-Henry protests outside the French embassy in Dublin.

Brendan O’Neill Monday 23 November 2009 comments

Save us from Le Hand of God!

That handball has become a huge diplomatic issue because the Irish invest way too much political hope in football.

Tim Black Monday 23 November 2009 comments

The European Union: a tyranny of no-marks

The problem with ‘our’ new president and foreign minister is not that they are nobodies, but that they are unelected, unaccountable nobodies.

Rob Lyons Tuesday 24 November 2009 comments

Cockermouth floods: monsoon as metaphor

These aren’t the worst floods England has seen, yet they are being turned into a symbol of human vulnerability.

Bruno Waterfield Tuesday 24 November 2009 comments

Now all of Europe is governed by a Kremlin

With the appointment of its new president, the EU abandoned even the sham of democratic legitimacy.

Frank Furedi Tuesday 24 November 2009 comments

We don’t need another conspiracy theory

The sceptics poring over those ‘Climategate’ emails are indulging in easy conspiracy-mongering rather than having a tough, grown-up debate.

Nathalie Rothschild Wednesday 25 November 2009 comments

Don’t make libel law ‘fairer’. Make it history

If we are serious about defending freedom of speech, then English libel should be sentenced to death.

Tim Black Wednesday 25 November 2009 comments

Why should Beckham cough up his private life?

In our era of identity-through-suffering, David Beckham has shown heroic restraint by keeping his asthma private.

Mick Hume Wednesday 25 November 2009 comments

What happens if the state turns off the ‘life support’?

The UK remains in recession – and in denial about how capitalism has been kept alive by massive state support, secret loans and a pact of silence.

Duleep Allirajah Thursday 26 November 2009 comments

The ‘Hand of Frog’: a great day for football

That handball reminded us that cheating, controversy, injustice and Roy Keane are all part of the fun of footie.

Patrick West Thursday 26 November 2009 comments

Revisiting the Great Tennessee Monkey Trial

Ignoring the BBC’s implicit anti-Americanism, its radio play on the 1925 creationists-v-evolutionists trial was excellent.

Nancy McDermott Thursday 26 November 2009 comments

Don’t feel guilty about this all-American feast

This Thanksgiving, forget about the calorie-counting and carbon-crunching encouraged by food snobs. Let’s just eat!

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 26 November 2009 comments

Society is collapsing because you are greedy

Social crises have always been blamed on the extravagance of the rich. But today, all of us - from wealthy to peasant - are labelled ‘decadent’.

Stuart Derbyshire Friday 27 November 2009 comments

How to overcome recession: develop some ‘autistic’ skills

Books on behavioural economics are everywhere, but this one brings something particulary bizarre to the debate: the idea that autism shows us a way out of recession.

David Bowden Friday 27 November 2009 comments

What if the EU was a Nazi conspiracy?

Focusing on that triumph of opacity and elitist disdain for the people - the EU - Adam LeBor’s enjoyable conspiracy-theory thriller draws a little too closely on reality.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 27 November 2009 comments

Football moves in mysterious ways

Why England Lose is entertaining, but in attempting to explain football teams’ fortunes through number-crunching it overlooks the key subjective factors of footballing success: self-belief, confidence, flair...

Chris Snowdon Friday 27 November 2009 comments

Our humourless, illiberal, curmudgeonly rulers

From smoking bans to sin taxes, Brian Monteith finds that Scotland has proved itself a willing victim for the practices of the nanny state’s angrier successor: the bully state.

Guy Rundle Friday 27 November 2009 comments

Why the left failed to make a drama out of the crisis

Slavoj Žižek’s latest work explores why the near-collapse of capitalism generated so little response from the left, and asks how we might rescue, or remake, radical politics.

Sean Collins Friday 27 November 2009 comments

Whatever happened to the Obama ‘movement’?

The Obama for President campaign excited millions, enthused many first-time voters, and inspired youthful door-to-door campaigning. But it died on the day Obama was elected.

Brendan O’Neill Friday 27 November 2009 comments

The barriers to a Republic of Britain

In this piece for a new collection of essays commemorating the death of Thomas Paine, Brendan O’Neill says republicans face two problems today: the elite’s continuing distrust of the electorate, and the electorate’s distrust of itself.

Tim Black Friday 27 November 2009 comments

Why they’re really scared of Heidegger

The philosopher still makes some academics feel itchily uncomfortable, not because they truly believe his Nazism will leap from the pages of his works, but because his deeply anti-humanist arguments sound a little too familiar.

Dolan Cummings Friday 27 November 2009 comments

‘These rocks are here for me, waiting for the drill’

Maybe one reason why free-marketeers idolise Ayn Rand is because they far prefer her imaginary heroic capitalists to the snivelling and mendacious capitalist class of today.

Josie Appleton Friday 27 November 2009 comments

The rise of the Carbon Fat Cats

The ‘carbon market’ – trading in an invisible gas which cannot be used – has involved the redistribution of resources to unproductive green pursuits and the creation of a vast bureacracy. Let’s bring it down before it gets any bigger.

Patrick Hayes Monday 30 November 2009 comments

‘This is a waste of youthful potential’

Youth unemployment is rising and causing hardship. So why were there so few on Saturday’s ‘Youth Fight for Jobs’ demo?

Nathalie Rothschild Monday 30 November 2009 comments

The Coen brothers’ uncertainty principle

Featuring Jews in 1960s Minnesota struggling with the mystery of being, A Serious Man is a seriously good film.

Tim Black Monday 30 November 2009 comments

Don’t tinker with the monarchy. Abolish it

Gordon Brown is madder than Richard III if he thinks an institution as undemocratic and unequal as the monarchy can be made ‘more fair’.