August 2010

Rob Lyons Monday 2 August 2010 comments

The key lesson of the BP oil spill? Don’t panic

spiked’s prediction that this was not ‘the worst environmental disaster’ in US history has been proven right.

Patrick Hayes Monday 2 August 2010 comments

Hands off tribespeople, because ‘progress kills’

The Westerners campaigning to preserve tribes such as India’s Jarawa are driven by anti-modern misanthropy.

Sean Collins Monday 2 August 2010 comments

This is a ‘digital deluge’, not the Pentagon Papers

Some are comparing Wikileaks’ 92,000 Afghan documents to the internal US study of Vietnam leaked in 1971. But the differences are striking.

Tim Black Tuesday 3 August 2010 comments

‘If anything, this milk will be better quality’

In the wake of the NYT revelations, a genetics expert tells spiked that it’s foolish to cry over cloned cows’ milk.

James Woudhuysen Tuesday 3 August 2010 comments

An exhausted approach to the energy issue

The Lib-Cons ‘energy policy’ is to encourage people to use less of it rather than to generate more of it.

Brendan O’Neill Tuesday 3 August 2010 comments

David Cameron and the death of diplomacy

The PM’s Israel-upsetting, Pakistan-isolating world tour shows that celebrity-style badmouthing has taken the place of diplomatic nicety.

Christopher White Wednesday 4 August 2010 comments

Why shouldn’t we have the right to pack heat?

It’s almost blasphemy to say this, but it needs to be said: Britain’s gun laws should be massively relaxed.

Emily Hill Wednesday 4 August 2010 comments

No, Gisele, breast is not always best

The supermodel’s call for a law forcing mums to breastfeed takes ‘militant lactivism’ to its crazy conclusion.

Brendan O’Neill Wednesday 4 August 2010 comments

We’ll only listen to you if you’ve been peer-reviewed

The decree that all future debate about The Spirit Level should take place in peer-reviewed journals highlights a new censorious dynamic.

Andrew Orlowski Thursday 5 August 2010 comments

Google: a nerds-eye view of the world

The engineers who design Google's services see humans as little more than nodes between which information passes.

Norman Lewis Thursday 5 August 2010 comments

Google and the great privacy contradiction

Why are we perturbed when a picture of our house appears on Google Maps but not when we’re filmed by state CCTV?

Rob Lyons Thursday 5 August 2010 comments

Don’t call us fat or obese. Just leave us alone

The spat over how officialdom should refer to plump people overlooks the fact that it should be none of its business how much we weigh.

David Bowden Friday 6 August 2010 comments

The Norman conquest
of the TV schedule

At last, a serious documentary puts those funny Frenchmen loathed by British schoolboys in historic perspective.

Tim Black Friday 6 August 2010 comments

Why they hate to see Rooney having fun

Why did the 24-year-old footballer’s normal night out become the focus for so much handwringing and bile?

Brendan O’Neill Friday 6 August 2010 comments

Hot goss: what Naomi said to the weird African prez!

The cynical hauling of Naomi Campbell into The Hague shows that it is the powers-that-be, not the little people, who are most in thrall to celebs.

Rob Lyons Monday 9 August 2010 comments

Pity the fool who doesn’t enjoy this film

A remake of The A-Team, with catchphrases and mad action scenes, was bound to be rubbish, right? Wrong.

Patrick Hayes Monday 9 August 2010 comments

Putting the ‘underclass’ on a tighter leash

Dangerous dogs are back in the news, and as always it’s their allegedly dangerous owners who are being demonised.

Tim Black Monday 9 August 2010 comments

Cutting ContactPoint is the easy part

Of course the dismantling of the ‘database state’ should be welcomed, but it’s naive to believe that a new era of freedom will automatically follow.

Luke Gittos Tuesday 10 August 2010 comments

Barnardo’s, butt out of the law

The children’s charity wants to ‘fast track’ court cases that could result in the removal of a child from its family. No way.

Rob Lyons Tuesday 10 August 2010 comments

Stop smoking or your children will die

The redefinition of smoking in cars as ‘child abuse’ is about guilt-tripping parents into changing their behaviour.

Brendan O’Neill Tuesday 10 August 2010 comments

The milk of human kindness? Hardly

The defence of free school milk springs from a view that only the state, not parents, can be trusted to feed kids properly.

Frank Furedi Tuesday 10 August 2010 comments

Parenting isn’t a bunch of skills that can be taught

Frank Field’s proposal to have a GCSE in parenting would denigrate both what it means to be a parent and the purpose of education.

Helen Searls Wednesday 11 August 2010 comments

The defeat of Prop 8 is a Pyrrhic victory

Driven by a snooty desire to avoid engaging with the public, the pro-gay marriage campaign has only isolated itself further.

Nathalie Rothschild Wednesday 11 August 2010 comments

‘A modern-day Mother Teresa of Africa’

The most bizarre idea to emerge from the star-studded Sierra Leone trial is that Mia Farrow is a true warrior for justice.

Daniel Ben-Ami Wednesday 11 August 2010 comments

Why is the bible of capitalism cheering on Chinese workers?

Daniel Ben-Ami is not convinced by the outbreak of workers’ solidarity in The Economist, the FT and amongst writers normally so fond of austerity.

James Woudhuysen Thursday 12 August 2010 comments

Don’t let the miserabilists clip humanity’s wings

Flight is one of man’s greatest achievements. Let’s challenge the greens and officials who want to snuff it out.

Tim Black Thursday 12 August 2010 comments

You can stir up fear – just don’t cause offence

The banning of a police ad on the dangers of terrorism exposes the schizophrenia of Britain’s ‘war on terror’.

Mick Hume Thursday 12 August 2010 comments

An economic manic depression

Sudden mood swings in the debate on recoveries and double-dip recessions are symptoms of a more profound economic and political malaise.

Rob Lyons Friday 13 August 2010 comments

Are the Reds really going to buy ‘the Reds’?

Commentators are outraged that China might buy Liverpool, but fans don’t care so long as Beijing shows us the money.

David Bowden Friday 13 August 2010 comments

Being Simon Amstell is no laughing matter

A new Simon Amstell sitcom starring Simon Amstell as ‘Simon Amstell’ is self-indulgently unfunny.

Josie Appleton Friday 13 August 2010 comments

A public intellectual vs
the privacy infringers

A combination of official snooping and our own self-revelation has left privacy battered and bruised. Wolfgang Sofsky wants to rescue it.

Kieron Ryan Monday 16 August 2010 comments

This is a 24-carat disaster for Africa

A former diamond-digger in the Congo explains how the ‘blood diamonds’ scare has made life tougher for Africans.

Tim Black Monday 16 August 2010 comments

Sierra Leone and the White Shoppers’ Burden

The idea that Western consumers can prevent African wars by saying no to ‘blood diamonds’ is pure self-flattery.

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick Monday 16 August 2010 comments

Apocalypse looms – again

Before you fall for the scare about antibiotic-resistant plagues, just consider how insanely wrong the authorities were about swine flu.

Rob Lyons Tuesday 17 August 2010 comments

Are we facing a second ‘Battle of Kingsnorth’?

The Lib-Cons are finally realising that green rhetoric is all well and good, but it doesn’t keep the lights on.

Sharmini Brookes Tuesday 17 August 2010 comments

This bullying of Blyton is jolly trying

Top-down tinkering with Enid Blyton’s books implies children can’t cope with difficult and offensive words. But they can.

Sean Collins Tuesday 17 August 2010 comments

The Culture War over the Ground Zero mosque

It’s hard to know who’s worse in the NYC mosque debate: the opportunistic, anti-Muslim right or the Muslim-loving, masses-fearing liberals.

Craig Purshouse Wednesday 18 August 2010 comments

We can’t blame mum and dad for everything

A recent graduate slams his peers for their constant whining about how the baby boomers ruined their lives.

Neil Davenport Wednesday 18 August 2010 comments

Serge and the soul
of modern France

By celebrating Gallic daring and flashing back to anti-Semitism, Gainsbourg captures France’s identity crisis.

Mick Hume Wednesday 18 August 2010 comments

Tory David Cameron’s debt to Red Jimmy Reid

How the 1971 UCS ‘work-in’, led by the recently deceased firebrand, helped to pave the way for today’s all-in-it-together response to the crisis.

Tim Black Thursday 19 August 2010 comments

Pakistan’s floods and ‘disaster narcissism’

How the deluge in Asia was turned into an opportunity for Western preening and political oneupmanship.

Helene Guldberg Thursday 19 August 2010 comments

Orang-utans are not remotely like humans

Experts should know better than to claim that great apes can communicate in a similar way to human beings.

Frank Furedi Thursday 19 August 2010 comments

Nick Clegg takes ‘parental determinism’ to a new low

It is mad to claim, as the deputy PM does, that poor parenting is more important than poverty in screwing up children’s life chances.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 19 August 2010 comments

The chattering classes’ favourite conspiracy theory

The idea that David Kelly was murdered is as baseless as the idea that Bush crashed planes into the Twin Towers. So why is it so respectable?

Patrick West Friday 20 August 2010 comments

Welcome to the wacky world of Irish TV

Where else could you get a minute’s religious devotion and a show in which contestants cook their own takeaways?

Viral Shah Friday 20 August 2010 comments

MLS: a very successful league of their own

Now that soccer in America has got bags of money and bountiful supplies of young talent, can world domination be far behind?

Neil Davenport Friday 20 August 2010 comments

East Germans don’t have a monopoly on nostalgia

Yes, getting misty-eyed over the old Stasi state seems mad - but others in the West also have a hankering for long-gone pasts.

Tim Black Monday 23 August 2010 comments

Gagging orders keep the rumour mill running

Yes it’s a problem that society is obsessed with celebs’ private lives, but that won’t be fixed by issuing superinjunctions.

Barrie Collins Monday 23 August 2010 comments

Who made a mess of modern Rwanda?

ESSAY: Western leaders and human rights groups are now slating Paul Kagame’s authoritarianism. Yet they nurtured and facilitated it for years.

Graham Smith Tuesday 24 August 2010 comments

Aussies shouldn’t have to wait for a republic

Julia Gillard is right that Australia should ditch the monarchy. But it should do it now, not when the queen dies.

Guy Rundle Tuesday 24 August 2010 comments

What is Julia Gillard the leader of, exactly?

Guy Rundle reports on how Australian Labor, cut off from its social roots, is now little more than a husk.

Frank Furedi Tuesday 24 August 2010 comments

Down Under: the danse macabre of labourism

The political quake in Australia echoes what is also occurring in Britain and across Europe: the final demise of social democracy.

Nathalie Rothschild Wednesday 25 August 2010 comments

Wyclef, don’t phunk with celebrity politics

Why did media outlets campaign for Joanna Lumley to be PM but laugh at Wyclef’s desire to be president?

David Perks Wednesday 25 August 2010 comments

University just isn’t
right for everyone

If you’re going to university simply to improve your CV or ‘find yourself’, maybe it’s time for a rethink.

Mick Hume Wednesday 25 August 2010 comments

Stop these Cameron-
Clegg fantasies, please!

Contrary to the imaginings of both critics and fans, the hundred-day-old Lib-Con coalition is neither falling apart nor leading a revolution.

Patrick West Thursday 26 August 2010 comments

A televised escape from economic woe

A blend of Miss World and Mastermind, the Rose of Tralee’s appeal defies the snobbery of the Dublin 4 set.

Viral Shah Thursday 26 August 2010 comments

The Sex Pistols of the German football league

With anarchists and prostitutes among their smoking and drinking fans, FC St Pauli are the punk rockers of footie.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 26 August 2010 comments

Après le deluge, the ghoulish opportunists

Everyone from anti-terror crusaders to end-of-the-world greens is exploiting the Pakistani floods to revive their own flagging careers.

Austin Williams Friday 27 August 2010 comments

Is the motor car driving the world to destruction?

Two Billion Cars, like many modern green tracts, mixes demands for restraint with celebrations of techno-solutions to the problems we face. And as always, the restraint wins out.

Tara McCormack Friday 27 August 2010 comments

Playing the genocide card

The Politics of Genocide, an unflinching attack on Western meddling in foreign affairs, challenges the idea that external intervention can be a force for good.

Rob Lyons Friday 27 August 2010 comments

The Tarantino of food writing

Still raucous, hedonistic and bullshit-intolerant, Kitchen Confidential author and celeb chef Anthony Bourdain serves up more scrumptious food stories in Medium Raw.

James Woudhuysen Friday 27 August 2010 comments

‘Lifestyles will have
to be redesigned’

A Guardian journalist’s ranting about the ‘neglect, greed and human filth’ of modern China shows that new prejudices about a Green Peril have replaced old fears of the ‘Yellow Peril’.

Emily Hill Friday 27 August 2010 comments

The word of the Lord

The trouble with Lord Mandelson’s autobiography is that the thing he tries to paint as tragedy – the thwarting of his and Tony’s big plans – is enjoyed by most sane people as comedy.

Francis Phillips Friday 27 August 2010 comments

The man from Stratford
wrote these works of genius

In this entertaining book, James Shapiro shows that the rush to discover who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays is underpinned by modern prejudices rather than historic fact.

Mick Hume Friday 27 August 2010 comments

Could anybody bend it like Beckham?

Maybe – if they practised for about 10,000 hours. An Olympic sportsman turned award-winning sports writer argues that the idea of natural talent is overrated.

Tim Black Friday 27 August 2010 comments

Me human, you chimp

In a sparkling, erudite polemic, Helene Guldberg demolishes the idea that apes are just like humans, and puts the case for rescuing, and celebrating, the story of our uniqueness.

Ethan Epstein Tuesday 31 August 2010 comments

First the flood, then the condescension

Five years after Hurricane Katrina struck, New Orleans now finds itself drowning under a deluge of liberal pity.

Nathalie Rothschild Tuesday 31 August 2010 comments

Are Pentagon-paid goons crushing Wikileaks?

The idea that the molestation charges against Julian Assange were a dirty tricks campaign looks like pure political fantasy.

Brendan O’Neill Tuesday 31 August 2010 comments

David vs Ed? It’s the end of politics as we knew it

Labour should be charged under the Trade Descriptions Act for describing this spat between flat-packed oligarchs as a ‘leadership contest’.