July 2010

James Heartfield Thursday 1 July 2010 comments

A surreal assault on your mind

Sculptor Nancy Fouts provides a stimulating exercise in juxtaposition in her London show.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 1 July 2010 comments

Putting St Jamie in
the dock – at last

In flambéing Jamie Oliver, the Lib-Con health secretary is striking a blow against a deeply patronising form of politics.

Nathalie Rothschild Thursday 1 July 2010 comments

Now Israel plans to boycott the boycotters

A proposed Israeli bill to punish groups that call for boycotts is the ugly conclusion to today’s shallow Israel-bashing.

Stuart Derbyshire Thursday 1 July 2010 comments

Abortion is more than a scientific issue

A contributor to a major report on ‘fetal pain’ says the facts are important, but a woman’s right to choose should be discussed in moral terms.

David Bowden Friday 2 July 2010 comments

Don’t leave satire to the satirists

The old school of political comedy shares too many of the new elite’s pretensions to be able to make fun of them.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 2 July 2010 comments

Subverting those World Cup stereotypes

Apparently the Brazilians are ruthlessly efficient and the Germans play with flair. And commentators still talk crap.

Patrick Hayes Friday 2 July 2010 comments

Animal experimentation: nothing to be ashamed of

The scientific and political defensiveness about vivisection gives the green light to misanthropic animal-rights activists.

Tim Black Friday 2 July 2010 comments

The barbarians are copulating at the gates

A new book hysterically imagines that the crisis of Western liberalism is being brought about by fecund foreign fundamentalists.

Rob Lyons Monday 5 July 2010 comments

Officialdom’s bullying of so-called fat kids

The branding of a perfectly normal 11-year-old boy as ‘overweight’ shows how mad the obesity panic has become.

Nancy McDermott Monday 5 July 2010 comments

I’m sorry, but breast-feeding is a bit creepy

A former breastfeeder says of course mums should be free to nurse in public, but why do so many of them want to?

Mick Hume Monday 5 July 2010 comments

Not such a New World (Cup) Order

The predictions of success for African teams and of triumph for Latin America’s ‘beautiful game’ were based on fantasy football politics.

Alex Deane Tuesday 6 July 2010 comments

A systematic intrusion into people’s lives

The director of Big Brother Watch argues that Google has failed to respond properly to privacy concerns.

Toby Stevens Tuesday 6 July 2010 comments

Why it’s time for Google to open up

The head of a privacy think tank says the internet giant should be more honest about what data it’s collecting.

Brendan O’Neill Tuesday 6 July 2010 comments

Stop policing our thoughts, including the hateful ones

Kicking off spiked’s proposals for which laws should be thrown in the shredding machine of history: rip up the religious hatred act.

James Heartfield Wednesday 7 July 2010 comments

Kids deserve nice schools and good education

Labour’s school building scheme was a poor substitute for raising educational standards, but axing it is a bad idea.

Tim Black Wednesday 7 July 2010 comments

What’s the future for innovation?

Four commentators will debate the potential for IT and telecoms at Thursday night’s spiked debate in London.

Rob Lyons Wednesday 7 July 2010 comments

Five years on: the lessons of 7/7

The bombings in London in 2005 were homegrown, nihilistic acts — not part of an international terrorist conspiracy.

Jayde Philips Thursday 8 July 2010 comments

Lymelife: infected by the American Dream

Despite its predictable warning about personal ambition, Derick Martini’s comedy is a cut above the usual indie fare.

Patrick Hayes Thursday 8 July 2010 comments

Bringing smokers to their knees

A French poster unwittingly reveals the kind of relationship the therapeutic state wants to have with tobacco users.

Helene Guldberg Thursday 8 July 2010 comments

Set children free — by trusting adults

We can only give kids the independence they need if we have faith in other people to look out for them.

Josie Appleton Thursday 8 July 2010 comments

Don’t tinker with the vetting rules: scrap them

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act is based on a poisonous assumption: that every adult is a potential abuser unless state-approved.

David Bowden Friday 9 July 2010 comments

Investigating the politics of privacy

So it’s not The Wire, but at least ITV’s new drama Identity is an intriguing exploration of the surveillance society.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 9 July 2010 comments

England: football’s kings of flopability

The only thing that was more tired than the English players was the litany of excuses for their failure.

Rob Lyons Friday 9 July 2010 comments

Down with the
doom-mongers!

With its positive approach to the future, Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist is a breath of fresh air in today’s smog of misanthropy.

John Robertson Monday 12 July 2010 comments

We give too much of ourselves away

Labour MP John Robertson worries that a lack of education leaves many blind to the dangers of the internet.

Tom Brake Monday 12 July 2010 comments

Privacy cannot be an afterthought

Lib Dem MP Tom Brake calls for dialogue between government and internet companies prior to product deployment.

Derek Wyatt Monday 12 July 2010 comments

We must assert our rights

Derek Wyatt, former MP and chair of the All-Party Internet group, says that Google is not entitled to our private data.

Robert Halfon Monday 12 July 2010 comments

Google is watching you!

MP Robert Halfon argues that we need to stop internet companies from creating their own surveillance society.

Mick Hume Monday 12 July 2010 comments

World Cup final: a victory for football bull***t

The boring Spanish deserved to win, but spare us the moralistic guff about the beautiful game’s triumph over ‘Cloggers’.

Brendan O’Neill Monday 12 July 2010 comments

Tibet: still a ‘buffer state’ for posh Westerners?

Kicking off a week of reports from Tibet, spiked’s editor finds that Lhasa is nothing like the mystical kingdom of British imperial fantasies.

Emily Hill Tuesday 13 July 2010 comments

It’s time to cut this purposeless prince

While the UK tightens its collective belt, why must we put up with Charles, a useless, unelected feudal throwback?

Nathalie Rothschild Tuesday 13 July 2010 comments

Live Aid 25 years on – time to change the record

Bob Geldof’s charitable venture ushered in an era in which Africa once more appeared as the white man’s burden.

Brendan O’Neill Tuesday 13 July 2010 comments

Chinese officialdom embraces ‘Shangri-La’

The Chinese authorities use the idea that Tibet is somehow ‘different’ to justify the lack of democracy and development.

Mick Hume Tuesday 13 July 2010 comments

Who turned Raoul Moat into Rambo?

The police authorities and media were the ones who seemed most delusional about the fugitive gunman’s powerful image and anti-hero status.

Colin McInnes Wednesday 14 July 2010 comments

Energy crisis? We’ve been here before

Around 400 years ago, Britain faced another problem of dwindling energy resources: ‘peak wood’.

Jason Walsh Wednesday 14 July 2010 comments

Ireland: a jobless recovery is no recovery at all

Those espousing austerity measures for the UK might want to look at the bitter experience of those across the Irish Sea.

Brendan O’Neill Wednesday 14 July 2010 comments

Are Tibetans being ‘seduced’ by modernity?

Western activists are often disappointed to find that Tibetans aren’t keen on living lives of peaceful, contemplative poverty.

Tim Black Wednesday 14 July 2010 comments

Turning us into a nation full of suspects

In the latest in spiked’s series on laws fit for the scrapheap, Tim Black argues for the UK’s snooper’s charter: the RIP Act.

Rob Lyons Thursday 15 July 2010 comments

How Jon Gaunt became a free-speech martyr

A High Court ruling against the ‘shock jock’ confirmed that the state can pick and choose what we’re allowed to hear.

Nicholas Thorne Thursday 15 July 2010 comments

What’s criminal about a drink in the park?

As part of spiked’s series of law-busting demands, a Brighton resident explains why he’d like to free the city of booze bans.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 15 July 2010 comments

Investing the Dalai Lama with unearthly powers

In one of their first interviews with a Westerner since the 2008 unrest, Tibetan officials wildly claim that the ‘Dalai clique’ is behind everything.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 16 July 2010 comments

My top five moments from World Cup 2010

While the football itself might have been below par, there was still plenty to savour from the past month in South Africa.

David Bowden Friday 16 July 2010 comments

Rev: keeping faith with intelligent comedy

A witty sit-com about a vicar who is not from Dibley is in stark contrast to most of the BBC’s bland, safety-first comedy output.

Brendan O’Neill Friday 16 July 2010 comments

Stuck between a rock and a hard place

Tibetans are caught between a Chinese authoritarianism that treats them as undeserving of liberty, and a shallow Western solidarity that treats them as incapable of exercising liberty.

Sean Collins Friday 16 July 2010 comments

Why more really is more

A vital new book calls for a counter-offensive against the idea that economic growth and mass prosperity are no longer desirable.

Rob Lyons Monday 19 July 2010 comments

An oily, underhand demand for censorship

Calling for ExxonMobil to stop funding climate-sceptic groups is really a demand that these groups be silenced.

Brendan O’Neill Monday 19 July 2010 comments

A prejudice in search of a scientific disguise

The Royal Society’s two-year study of population seems to have already decided that there are ‘too many people’.

Tim Black Monday 19 July 2010 comments

Banning the burqa is an assault on secular values

The fools who want to obliterate the face veil in the name of Enlightened values clearly don't know what Enlightenment is all about.

Paolo Balboni Tuesday 20 July 2010 comments

Stop fighting each other!

Instead, big ICT companies and national regulators need to work together to set out international privacy standards.

Joe Jackson Tuesday 20 July 2010 comments

A dozen reasons to stub out the smoking ban

Musician Joe Jackson on why it’s time to extinguish this illiberal, undemocratic, junk science-inspired legislation.

Patrick Hayes Tuesday 20 July 2010 comments

The sorry state of political protest

Patrick Hayes speaks to the weird and not-so-wonderful campers facing eviction from the ‘Democracy Village’.

Mick Hume Tuesday 20 July 2010 comments

Mandelson’s ‘revelation’: New Labour is history

The ‘Prince of Darkness’ has published his party’s political obituary – and been pilloried by erstwhile Labour allies as they still cling to the corpse.

Martyn Perks Wednesday 21 July 2010 comments

Coercing people into a brave new digital world

A government-backed campaign to get the entire UK adult population online threatens to make cyber slaves of us all.

Nathalie Rothschild Wednesday 21 July 2010 comments

The unhealthy obsession with Africans’ sex lives

The panic about footie fans getting HIV in South Africa exposes the moral colonialism of AIDS campaigning.

Jennie Bristow Wednesday 21 July 2010 comments

Big Society: there’s more to politics than the PTA

There are some good instincts behind the Lib-Cons' BS agenda. But it risks reducing politics to the level of community cakebaking.

Tiffany Jenkins Thursday 22 July 2010 comments

Stop this asset-stripping in the art world

Museums aren’t businesses and they shouldn’t be selling off their treasures to pay the electricity bill or mend the roof.

Tim Black Thursday 22 July 2010 comments

Electoral reform alone won’t resuscitate politics

In a sweaty Westminster room, Tim Black joined 60 Tories who talked more about how we vote than what we vote for.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 22 July 2010 comments

A ‘cycling revolution’? On your bike, Boris

When cyclists are continually told that their mode of transport is saving humanity from doom, it’s no wonder so many of them are annoying pricks.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 23 July 2010 comments

The rise and fall of the cockney Pele

Feted as a youngster, new Liverpool-signing Joe Cole has spent much of his professional career giving the ball away.

David Bowden Friday 23 July 2010 comments

Tony and Barrie: the queens of family life

C4’s film about the world’s first gay parents was both thought-provoking and tacky at the same time.

Nathalie Rothschild Friday 23 July 2010 comments

The dangers of international aid

A new book exposes the problems with Third World aid missions, but ends up replacing NGOs’ black-and-white view of Africa with its own.

David Clements Monday 26 July 2010 comments

A Big Society with small ambitions

The jury is out on whether David Cameron’s flagship initiative will really reduce the role of the state in our lives.

Neil Davenport Monday 26 July 2010 comments

Why mad inventors don’t survive the Dragons’ Den

The hit BBC show reveals the bean-counting cautiousness and lack of entrepreneurial spirit of today’s capitalists.

Tim Black Monday 26 July 2010 comments

The Queen of England vs a pantomime fascist

The expulsion of Nick Griffin from a palace garden party shows how desperate the political class is to keep the BNP as their pet bête noire.

Patrick Marmion Tuesday 27 July 2010 comments

The purgatory of France’s revolutionary Terror

Danton’s Death at the National Theatre is a thrilling study of how social relations melt into air during revolutions.

Nathalie Rothschild Tuesday 27 July 2010 comments

Don’t cancel Love
Parade – make it better

The deaths of 20 revellers is a terrible tragedy, but we shouldn’t respond to such events by putting life on hold.

Brendan O’Neill Tuesday 27 July 2010 comments

The Afghan War leaks don’t tell us The Truth

Journalists’ increasing reliance on leaks is turning them into passive recipients of information rather than active seekers of truth.

Kevin Rooney Wednesday 28 July 2010 comments

The backwardness of Catholic-bashing

Far from being enlightened, the attacks on Catholicism ahead of the pope’s UK visit are illiberal, censorious and ignorant.

Rob Lyons Wednesday 28 July 2010 comments

The speed-cam debate: calm down, dears!

Speed cameras are neither scarily Orwellian devices nor the saviours of pedestrians from rampaging motorists.

Wendy Kaminer Wednesday 28 July 2010 comments

Even grotesque fantasies should not be criminalised

Of course child sexual abuse is a heinous crime that should be punished. But fantasising about child sexual abuse should not be.

Rob Lyons Thursday 29 July 2010 comments

We need more Hurricanes in modern-day sport

Alex Higgins stood out in an era when sportsmen tend to have every crease of personality ironed out of them.

David Bowden Thursday 29 July 2010 comments

Plonking the Amish on a London estate

Amish: World’s Squarest Teenagers provides an enlightening and upbeat insight into teenage life.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 29 July 2010 comments

Hans Blix’s Stalinist rewriting of history

Far from being anti-war heroes, UN weapons inspectors paved the way for the bombing of the ‘bastards’ and ‘moral lepers’ of Iraq.

Tim Black Thursday 29 July 2010 comments

Why more and more people feel ‘mentally ill’

Yes, the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM is mad, labelling even shyness a disorder. But it didn’t create today’s therapy culture.

Jane Sandeman Friday 30 July 2010 comments

How to be a ‘dudelike’ mum

Zoe Williams’ witty and insightful Bring It On, Baby joins a tiny handful of new books calling for solidarity between parents and a war of resistance against patronising parenting propaganda.

Kevin Yuill Friday 30 July 2010 comments

Assisted dying: a product of pessimism

This occasionally meandering critique of assisted dying may be written by a priest, but that should not detract from the sharp insights and cogent criticism contained within.

Patrick Hayes Friday 30 July 2010 comments

Brits: trust each other, or else...

Anthony Seldon’s book on how to restore trust in Britain is a hastily put together manual for how to coerce people into having faith in each other and institutions, relying on anecdotes, pop-philosophy and polls. It’s not to be trusted.

John Gillott Friday 30 July 2010 comments

Choosing our children’s traits

Should parents be free to create ‘saviour siblings’? To have boys and no girls? What about making sure their baby is deaf? A fascinating new book explores these modern moral dilemmas.

Daniel Ben-Ami Friday 30 July 2010 comments

Delivering an ‘Aftershock’ to the economic debate

Philippe Legrain’s Aftershock is a lucid and open-minded introduction to the world economy. But it makes the common mistake of blaming bankers for the current economic crisis.

Tim Black Friday 30 July 2010 comments

Rescuing the Enlightenment from its exploiters

Many of today’s self-styled ‘Enlightened thinkers’ actually have little regard for the freedom of conscience and principle of autonomy that underpinned Enlightenment thought. Tzvetan Todorov gives them their comeuppance.

Neil Davenport Friday 30 July 2010 comments

East Germans don’t have a monopoly on nostalgia

Although the GDR was little better than an open prison, a surprising number of its former citizens hanker after the old days. Such a longing for old certainties exists elsewhere in the West, too.

Josie Appleton Friday 30 July 2010 comments

In defence of privacy

Wolfgang Sofsky’s Privacy: A Manifesto is the finest defence of freedom, autonomy and human dignity published in years. We could do worse than use it as a springboard for reclaiming the unpoliced space.