February 2010

Michael P Fitzpatrick Monday 1 February 2010 comments

How ‘Broken Britain’ became a broken record

There’s nothing original in David Cameron’s phrase, which has been spouted for years by tabloids, celebs and politicians.

Tim Black Monday 1 February 2010 comments

Looking into the native Heart of Darkness

Contrary to the wild claims of the ‘Broken Britain’ brigade, the Edlington child assaults were exceptional, not typical.

Brendan O’Neill Monday 1 February 2010 comments

Why Elizabeth Wilmshurst is not my hero

Trusting lawyers to decide when wars are illegal also means trusting them to decide when wars are legal. That’s called tyranny.

Mick Hume Monday 1 February 2010 comments

Why don’t they just hang Blair and have done with it?

The shrillness and rank stupidity of the anti-Blair hysteria around the Iraq inquiry echoes the way Saddam was monstered to justify the war.

Basham and Luik Tuesday 2 February 2010 comments

A bleary-eyed attitude to alcohol research

It is time we started evaluating studies on the effects of booze on their merits rather than on who happened to fund them.

David Bowden Tuesday 2 February 2010 comments

The fag-end of the New Labour government

As it heads for possible defeat in a General Election, what is Labour’s big idea? To ban smoking all over again.

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick Tuesday 2 February 2010 comments

The war on Dr Wakefield: only 12 years too late

Yes, Dr Andrew Wakefield’s MMR-autism theory was dishonest, but he’s not the only one to blame for the great vaccine scare of the past 12 years.

Jason Walsh Wednesday 3 February 2010 comments

Why Ireland needs a new politics

The farcical devolution talks at Stormont should remind us of the need to replace the exhausted institutions, both north and south.

Nathalie Rothschild Wednesday 3 February 2010 comments

Stop perverting Anne Frank’s diary

Banning the diary from schools because she wrote about sex is bizarre. But so are the attempts to turn it into a guide to life.

Tim Black Wednesday 3 February 2010 comments

On the Equality Bill, the pope has a point

If you believe in freedom of association, then you must accept the right of private institutions to discriminate.

Jennie Bristow Wednesday 3 February 2010 comments

‘We’re afraid of our kids, and we’re afraid for them’

Anthony Horowitz, author of the bestselling teenage spy novels, talks to Jennie Bristow about vetting and the poisoning of adult-child relations.

Dolan Cummings Thursday 4 February 2010 comments

The first step: admit drinking is normal

Yes, we need a better drinking culture: one where alcohol consumption is not seen as a social problem.

Guy Rundle Thursday 4 February 2010 comments

How to ensure a lizard always gets in

As the Australian experience shows, so-called Alternative Voting obscures rather than expresses the democratic will.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 4 February 2010 comments

The IPCC: a Vatican for the twenty-first century?

The problem with the IPCC is not that some of its science is dodgy, but the fact that it elevates science per se above politics and democracy.

Patrick West Friday 5 February 2010 comments

Does anyone believe in Danny Dyer?

In a programme that was as much about the much-mocked cockney as UFOs, Dyer showed an unidentified side of himself.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 5 February 2010 comments

John Terry: let the love rat keep the armband

The England captain may have been a two-timing shit to his wife, but that’s a bad reason for Fabio Capello to sack him.

Sean Collins Friday 5 February 2010 comments

The politico-porn behind the presidential race

From libidinous Bill and crazy Hillary to the narcissistic John Edwards, Game Change shines a glorious, gossipy light on American politics.

Brendan O’Neill Monday 8 February 2010 comments

Precious: a new kind of ‘blaxploitation’

It’s tipped to win Oscars, yet Precious is black-trash porn designed to titillate Oprahites and Hollywood liberals.

Tim Black Monday 8 February 2010 comments

Is the world really poorer without Bo?

The death of tribal languages is sometimes a good thing, revealing the itchy dynamism of human society.

Wendy Kaminer Monday 8 February 2010 comments

The retarded state of American politics

With Republicans pandering to the hard right and Democrats labelling their liberal critics ‘retards’, the US political scene is in a weird state of stasis.

Mark Adnum Tuesday 9 February 2010 comments

Get ready for the annual Meryl Weep

It is right and proper that Meryl Streep hasn’t won an Oscar since Sophie’s Choice in 1982. But just try telling her fans.

Ben Pile Tuesday 9 February 2010 comments

Let’s pick apart this politics of doom

‘Climategate’ confirms what many of us already knew: that claims of future catastrophe are political, not scientific.

Mick Hume Tuesday 9 February 2010 comments

Why the John Terry affair kicked politics off the pitch

Welcome to CeleBritain, where more of us seem to care passionately about who is England football captain than which dullard politician is PM.

Sharmini Brookes Wednesday 10 February 2010 comments

You need more than rugby to bury Apartheid

Clint Eastwood’s Invictus reproduces the euphoria of South Africa's 1995 Rugby World Cup win, and many of its illusions too.

Nathalie Rothschild Wednesday 10 February 2010 comments

Who’s really exploiting children on the Web?

Under the cover of ‘protecting kids’, censorious groups are demonising the internet as a dark and dangerous place.

Rob Lyons Wednesday 10 February 2010 comments

Advocacy research: what a filthy habit

New research suggesting ‘third-hand smoke’ is a major health hazard was spurred by policy, not hard science.

Brendan O’Neill Wednesday 10 February 2010 comments

MPs at work are above the law, and rightly so

The post-expenses-scandal idea that MPs are ‘nothing special’ is another way of saying that the public’s choices and desires are nothing special.

David Bowden Thursday 11 February 2010 comments

Raising awareness, denigrating the audience

Hollywood’s post-Philadelphia love-in with all things gay has less to do with equality than with feeling superior to the redneck masses.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 11 February 2010 comments

It is the liberal elite that feels tortured

Why has torture become a flashpoint political issue today when it was so flagrantly ignored in the past?

Valerie Hartwich Thursday 11 February 2010 comments

Building a fortress around British academia

A new report shows just how devastating, irrational and unfair are the UK’s restrictions on international students.

Sean Collins Thursday 11 February 2010 comments

Palin: if she didn’t exist, they’d have to invent her

It is the Democrats’ deep-seated disdain for the masses and the Republicans’ continued state of disarray that allows Sarah Palin to thrive.

Tim Black Friday 12 February 2010 comments

Haneke: films for middle-class masochists

The director is popular with the arthouse crowd because he gives their prejudices a gloss of seriousness.

John Dennen Friday 12 February 2010 comments

Cheated out of the ‘Fight of the Decade’

Mayweather v Pacquiao fell apart over drug-testing – but there are much more effective ways to bend the rules.

Emily Hill Friday 12 February 2010 comments

It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to

Everyone’s surprised that Gordon Brown will reportedly cry on TV, yet New Labourites have been blubbing publicly for years.

Nathalie Rothschild Friday 12 February 2010 comments

When the times they were a-changin’

With her memoir of a rebellious youth well spent, Suze Rotolo proves she is so much more than that girl on the cover of Bob Dylan’s second album.

Patrick Hayes Monday 15 February 2010 comments

ID cards: there’s more than money to lose

Yes, the UK identity-card scheme is costly and clunky, but the main reason to oppose it is in the name of freedom.

Daniel Ben-Ami Monday 15 February 2010 comments

Not robbing the rich or helping the poor

If a ‘Robin Hood’ tax on financial speculation is so radical, why are world leaders paying lip service to it?

Frank Furedi Monday 15 February 2010 comments

Rescuing adult authority in the twenty-first century

Parental determinism – the idea that parenting skills shape the future – makes Stalin’s economic determinism seem almost subtle by comparison.

Nathalie Rothschild Tuesday 16 February 2010 comments

The mad myth of Israeli organ theft

The sacking of Baroness Tonge was not the work of any Jewish lobby, but of Britain’s own fearful and impotent political elite.

Paul Seaman Tuesday 16 February 2010 comments

An Emergency Meeting in that pub?

The BNP made their ‘big decision’ in the pub where I learnt karate and watched Sunday lunchtime strippers.

Tim Black Tuesday 16 February 2010 comments

First they came for the neo-fascists...

The cajoling of the racist BNP to change its constitution should alarm everyone who believes in free association.

Mick Hume Tuesday 16 February 2010 comments

NATO’s offensive: a model of how not to win a war?

The bizarre notion of giving your enemy advanced warning of an assault reveals much about the West’s self-defeating adventure in Afghanistan.

Michael P Fitzpatrick Wednesday 17 February 2010 comments

The 10 craziest Facebook groups

FB may have hundreds of millions of users, but judging by its campaign groups it won’t change the world anytime soon.

Guy Rundle Wednesday 17 February 2010 comments

The creation of a new Greek myth

Guy Rundle visits the troubled country’s capital to try to find the truth behind the much-caricatured crisis.

Brendan O’Neill Wednesday 17 February 2010 comments

The ‘taboo’ they just can’t stop talking about

Article after article after article now tells us that human overpopulation of the planet is the Great Unmentionable. Hmm, something doesn’t add up.

David Bowden Thursday 18 February 2010 comments

Saving the planet, killing the passion

Reports about ‘eco-quarrels’ causing relationship breakdowns show how green-think can poison human relationships.

Tim Black Thursday 18 February 2010 comments

Afghanistan: why there’s no anti-war movement

The lack of public protest against the current conflict has its roots in the inadequacy of opposition to the Iraq war.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 18 February 2010 comments

Ray Gosling and the problem with euthanasia

A compassionate society should accept that mercy killings take place. But that doesn’t mean publicly sanctioning them.

Rob Lyons Thursday 18 February 2010 comments

America, we need to talk about Jamie

Once upon a time, you kicked us Brits out when we tried to tell you how to run your affairs. It’s time to do the same with Jamie Oliver.

Tim Black Friday 19 February 2010 comments

A Single Man: all style, no substance?

With its ruminations on death, modernity and sentiment, there is more to Tom Ford’s directorial debut than some critics suggest.

Patrick West Friday 19 February 2010 comments

The Brit Awards: nostalgic for nostalgia

With the pop stars being either old or imitating a time when nostalgia was in, the ceremony was a postmodern pastiche.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 19 February 2010 comments

Haves and have-nots remain leagues apart

To make English football more competitive requires a massive redistribution of wealth, not a fourth place play-off.

Daniel Ben-Ami Friday 19 February 2010 comments

Let’s make this an age of abundance, not austerity

Prosperity’s critics are demonising material desires and calling for governments to elevate happiness over growth. It’s time to fight back.

Rob Killick Monday 22 February 2010 comments

The spurious ‘battle of the economists’

A verbal war fought out in the letters pages of the British press has revealed the vacuity of economic debate today.

Tim Black Monday 22 February 2010 comments

The PCC is no match for the witch-hunters

The PCC’s ruling on Jan Moir didn’t cause much fuss because the job of censuring her had already been done.

Emily Hill Monday 22 February 2010 comments

In defence of ballsy WAGs

Money has always been a prime reason for marriage, so why are working-class women who wed wealthy footballers seen as vulgar?

Brendan O’Neill Monday 22 February 2010 comments

What are these wimps doing in Downing Street?

The real problem is not Brown’s behaviour but the therapy culture’s cultivation of self-styled victims who experience everything as ‘bullying’.

Patrick Marmion Tuesday 23 February 2010 comments

An alternative green and pleasant land

Jez Butterworth’s play Jerusalem celebrates a raucous, rebellious England over contemporary conformity.

Rob Lyons Tuesday 23 February 2010 comments

Is this Food, Inc. or Monsters, Inc?

An Oscar-nominated documentary about America’s food industry is simply ‘outrage porn’ for organic eaters.

Frank Furedi Tuesday 23 February 2010 comments

Turning peer review into modern-day holy scripture

The treatment of peer-reviewed science as an unquestionable form of authority is corrupting the peer-review system and damaging public debate.

Nathalie Rothschild Wednesday 24 February 2010 comments

What’s so progressive about sex education?

The idea that the sex-ed curriculum is pure and neutral, in contrast to faith schools’ alleged bigotry, is nonsense.

Patrick Hayes Wednesday 24 February 2010 comments

Government ads: made to make your eyes water

‘Advertising is based on one thing: happiness’, says Don Draper. Not for the British government, it isn’t.

Mick Hume Wednesday 24 February 2010 comments

Yes, the Tories might well be worse than New Labour, but…

...mostly because it appears they could be even more full of New Labourite nonsense.

Patrick West Thursday 25 February 2010 comments

Why we still love the ‘man in black’

A radio series on Johnny Cash explains why this singer of dark’n’moody country songs still lives in our affections.

Duleep Allirajah Thursday 25 February 2010 comments

Why I’ve fallen for the Winter Olympics

It’s a bunch of sports that Brits don’t understand, yet our sports columnist finds himself glued to events in Vancouver.

Tim Black Thursday 25 February 2010 comments

Have Italian judges ‘broken the internet’?

Yes, the Italian decision on Google was mad, but many of the British politicians slating it also have a dire track record on freedom of speech.

Neil Davenport Friday 26 February 2010 comments

When indie music was truly independent

Death to Trad Rock, John Robb’s splendid recollection of the noisenik experimentalism of the Eighties and early-Nineties indie music scene, is not just nostalgia for fortysomethings – it’s a timely reminder of less sanitised, conformist times.

Helene Guldberg Friday 26 February 2010 comments

Racialising the playground

A brave new book challenges the introduction of anti-racist policies in British schools, arguing that they blow everyday spats out of proportion and split kids along ethnic lines.

Rob Lyons Friday 26 February 2010 comments

A curious blend of doom and optimism

Veteran green Stewart Brand’s new book proves a surprisingly useful source of arguments and facts against green dogmas. But critics of environmentalism should still be wary of him.

Daniel Ben-Ami Friday 26 February 2010 comments

It’s better to be a dissatisfied human than a satisfied pig

It sounds like an unquestionably good idea, yet officialdom’s promotion of happiness and wellbeing is driven by disdain for economic growth and a penchant for conformism.

Sean Collins Friday 26 February 2010 comments

A deserter from the battle of ideas

In his new book, heavyweight economist Joseph Stiglitz imagines he is making a profound contribution to the debate about the recession. In truth he offers only shallow and rehashed arguments.

Emily Hill Friday 26 February 2010 comments

The pub bore of British letters

Martin Amis’s complaint that he is treated badly by the British press is bizarre. Even his painfully bad new novel The Pregnant Widow – full of tits, Islam and pseudo-poetry – has been slavishly well-received.

Philip Hammond Friday 26 February 2010 comments

Why Darfur is everyone’s favourite African war

Rob Crilly’s new book is a fine work of reportage, challenging the myths and misunderstandings that surround Darfur and exposing how celebrity campaigners intensified the conflict.

Frank Furedi Friday 26 February 2010 comments

A depletionist view of history and humanity

David Willetts is one of today’s very few intellectual parliamentarians, which makes the fact that he has now written a neo-Malthusian, generation-bashing book all the more depressing.