December 2012

Barbara Hewson Monday 3 December 2012 comments

Fetal rights: a fatal obsession?

The death of a miscarrying woman in an Irish hospital suggests the authorities there have lost the plot.

Luke Gittos Monday 3 December 2012 comments

Passing judgement on the dead

Prosecutors and police had no business in pronouncing that the late Liberal Democrat MP Cyril Smith had abused children.

Mick Hume Monday 3 December 2012 comments

Leveson: a licence to police press freedom

The dangers inherent in Lord Justice Leveson’s report do not end with the controversy over statutory underpinning for a new press regulator.

Brid Hehir Tuesday 4 December 2012 comments

Time to scrap the Care Quality Commission

The only thing the social-care monitoring quango has done is nourish tick-box culture at the expense of patient care.

Rob Lyons Tuesday 4 December 2012 comments

The mandatory stupidity of politicians

Ministers announcing minimum sentences for high-profile crimes looks tough, but is bound to lead to injustice.

Tim Black Tuesday 4 December 2012 comments

Taxation: dodging the real issues

While UK politicians obsess about Starbucks' tax arrangements, the problem of a stagnant economy is being studiously avoided.

Kevin Yuill Wednesday 5 December 2012 comments

Hounding out
blue-collar hunters

A proposal in California to ban hunting with dogs has turned into a celeb-led bashing of the type of people who hunt.

Eero Iloniemi Wednesday 5 December 2012 comments

Why Finnish school lessons are useless

Finland may be at the top of the world’s education rankings, but that tells us more about Finnish society than its schools.

Rob Lyons Wednesday 5 December 2012 comments

Doha: It's the end of the world as we know it

As the latest round of climate-change talks show, the Kyoto Protocol is over and seems unlikely to be replaced. Good.

Emma Webster Thursday 6 December 2012 comments

Flyering: the importance
of hand-to-hand inviting

Many local authorities regard flyers as a nuisance, but they are a vital part of creating cultural scenes in our cities.

Tara McCormack Thursday 6 December 2012 comments

A common enterprise against the Serbs

The international court trying cases from the former Yugoslavia is there to heap blame on just one side.

Tim Black Thursday 6 December 2012 comments

Syria: the dangers of global posturing

The announcement that NATO is to station missiles on Turkey’s border confirms the internationalisation of the conflict.

Patrick West Friday 7 December 2012 comments

Look at me and my old band t-shirt!

Declaring your love for some barely remembered group on your chest is a strange mix of narcissism, nostalgia and irony.

Emmet Livingstone Friday 7 December 2012 comments

Is television upside down Down Under?

Benighted colonials they are not: New Zealand brings a refreshing quirkiness to its programming.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 7 December 2012 comments

In defence of the fine art of defending

This season’s Premier League goal-glut sounds good on paper, but stopping the other team is a vital football skill.

Tom Slater Friday 7 December 2012 comments

A damning indictment of the War on Drugs

Eugene Jarecki’s documentary, The House I Live In shows the damage done by prohibition to inner-city communities.

David Bowden Friday 7 December 2012 comments

Drugs: moralising is better than medicalising

The latest skirmish in Peter Hitchens’ one-man war on modern life at least argues for society, not experts, deciding what is right and wrong.

Tim Black Monday 10 December 2012 comments

Practical jokes do not cause death

The blame game around two radio DJs effectively accused of prompting a nurse’s death only compounds the tragedy.

Alka Sehgal Cuthbert Monday 10 December 2012 comments

Could you be an unwitting abuser?

A campaign about rape, aimed at teens, suggests we can't cope with intimate relationships without expert help.

Rob Lyons Monday 10 December 2012 comments

How we’re all being seduced by the state

Neither George Osborne nor his left-wing critics are willing to face up to the fact that the state is strangling both individual and capitalist initiative.

Jason Walsh Tuesday 11 December 2012 comments

How the ‘peace process’ provokes violence

Recent riots in Belfast confirm that the politics of cultural identity does little more than reinforce sectarian divisions.

Tim Black Tuesday 11 December 2012 comments

The snobbery of the pregnancy refuseniks

Why the commentariat loves declaring its ostentatious indifference to the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy.

Wendy Kaminer Tuesday 11 December 2012 comments

Why we must tolerate hate

To punish racist vandals more harshly than run-of-the-mill vandals is to veer dangerously close towards instituting thoughtcrime.

Rob Lyons Wednesday 12 December 2012 comments

Gorging on anti-
corporate baloney

A Canadian medic claims on YouTube that Big Food is killing us. Such claims need to be taken with a huge pinch of salt.

Michael Fitzpatrick Wednesday 12 December 2012 comments

The charge of the anti-
enlightenment brigade

Far from heralding a new dawn of reason, today’s New Atheists are at the vanguard of the counter-Enlightenment.

Brendan O’Neill Wednesday 12 December 2012 comments

The iron fist in the velvet glove of gay marriage

Under the radical cover of being pro-gay, the state is expanding its sovereignty over all of our private lives and most intimate relationships.

Angus Kennedy Thursday 13 December 2012 comments

Why it’s wrong to censor Holocaust deniers

History, including the history of the Holocaust, should be determined in open, public debate, not in the courts.

Luke Gittos Thursday 13 December 2012 comments

We’re no longer citizens, we’re suspects

The new Communications Data Bill continues the trend away from privacy to giving the state full access to our private lives.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 13 December 2012 comments

Pat Finucane wasn't the only victim of state terror

All those observers ‘shocked’ to discover that Britain colluded with loyalist death squads: where have you been for the past 30 years?

Mick Hume Thursday 13 December 2012 comments

Ditch Leveson - let’s get back to first principles

Amid the elites’ detailed discussion of competing forms of regulation, there's a danger of losing sight of the far bigger issue of press freedom.

Tom Slater Friday 14 December 2012 comments

Life of Pi: not enlightening, but compelling

Ang Lee’s film of Yann Martel’s Booker Prize-winning novel does spirituality badly but storytelling brilliantly.

Niall Crowley Friday 14 December 2012 comments

The sky won't be the same at night

RIP Patrick Moore, who took his audience seriously and believed his subject - astronomy - should be the star of the show.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 14 December 2012 comments

Cultural lessons for overseas players?

Forget the FA’s patronising tips - our columnist tells foreign footballers what they really need to know about Britain.

Patrick West Friday 14 December 2012 comments

Space is ours for the taking

Today is the fortieth anniversary of the last time a man walked on the moon. It is time we went back, and farther into space.

Luke Gittos Monday 17 December 2012 comments

Victim’s justice: a pointless charade

The proposed ‘community remedy’ is another desperate attempt by politicians and police to appear accountable.

Tim Black Monday 17 December 2012 comments

The UK’s evidence-
based drugs problem

The political class’ addiction to evidence and experts has come back to befuddle it on the terrain of drugs legislation.

Brendan O’Neill Monday 17 December 2012 comments

After Connecticut: the myth of America’s ‘gun culture’

The obsession with the guns used in school shootings overlooks the cultural factors behind these modern outbursts of nihilistic violence.

Kevin Yuill Tuesday 18 December 2012 comments

10 myths about the Connecticut shootings

The horrific Sandy Hook massacre has prompted a wave of ill-informed comment about backward Americans.

Neil Davenport Tuesday 18 December 2012 comments

The use and abuse of immigrants

The response to the UK census shows how the chattering class exhibits its decency through being shallowly pro-immigrant.

Josie Appleton Tuesday 18 December 2012 comments

Why everyday life is tied up in red tape

The proliferation of rules and regulations on everything from leafleting to looking after kids exposes how much the state distrusts us.

Rob Lyons Wednesday 19 December 2012 comments

Forget the fearmongers - eat, drink and be merry!

The attacks on Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson’s ‘unhealthy’ food suggest health cops have everyone in their sights.

Daniel Ben-Ami Wednesday 19 December 2012 comments

Inequality did not cause the crisis

Widening inequality in the US should be seen as a symptom, rather than a cause, of today's economic malaise.

Brendan O’Neill Wednesday 19 December 2012 comments

‘I am not a contrarian. I find contrarians annoying’

spiked editor Brendan O’Neill answers readers’ questions on everything from liberty and progress to drunken contrarianism and gay marriage.

David Bowden Thursday 20 December 2012 comments

The timely death of The Killing

The Danish TV noir was groundbreaking in style, but rather conventional in its conspiratorial worldview.

Duleep Allirajah Thursday 20 December 2012 comments

2012: the summer the moaning stopped

In an astonishing year for British sport, the country has finally put aside its favourite pastime of all: grumbling.

Tim Black Thursday 20 December 2012 comments

Plebgate: the blindness of the posh bashers

Thanks to anti-posh prejudice, too many were willing to believe that Tory ex-minister Andew Mitchell called police officers plebs.

Barb Jungr Thursday 20 December 2012 comments

The new insulting
c-word: cabaret

Singer and songwriter Barb Jungr laments how, courtesy of pop competition shows, ‘too cabaret’ has become the putdown du jour.

Tom Slater Friday 21 December 2012 comments

From a badass Bond to a tedious Ted

Film purists can snort all they like, but 2012 was a great year for the silver screen (with some turkeys, of course).

Patrick Hayes Friday 21 December 2012 comments

Apocalypse now for free speech?

Mayan End Times may not have materialised, but if we’re not careful free speech could be consumed by hellfires.

Rob Lyons Friday 21 December 2012 comments

Was 2012 the best year to be alive?

It’s fashionable to be doom-laden about mankind, but the progress we’ve made in recent years is astounding.

Tim Black Friday 21 December 2012 comments

How the Olympics killed the killjoys

In London 2012, elite cynicism was wrestled and defeated by a mass, democratic thirst for spectacle.

Brendan O’Neill Friday 21 December 2012 comments

In 2013, can we call off the Culture Wars?

This year, there was a decisive shift in the Culture Wars in favour of the ‘illiberal liberals’. The wrong side is winning, in the wrong war.

Emmet Livingstone Thursday 27 December 2012 comments

Body-building for nation states

Cut through Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s lofty pretences and you discover some insightful remedies to society’s ills.

Tom Slater Thursday 27 December 2012 comments

Ten stories, one promising debut

Sam Thompson’s Communion Town provides a poetic examination, from multiple points of view, of an ever-changing city and its inhabitants.

David Bowden Thursday 27 December 2012 comments

Drugs: moralising is better than medicalising

The latest skirmish in Peter Hitchens’ one-man war on modern life at least argues for society, not experts, deciding what is right and wrong.

Angus Kennedy Thursday 27 December 2012 comments

A braindead view of free will

As Wired for Culture demonstrates, the greatest intellectual threats posed to freedom and autonomy today are those put up by evolutionary biologists and psychologists

Tim Black Thursday 27 December 2012 comments

Why learning can’t be bought

In a fascinating examination of the consumerised state of higher education, Joanna Williams sheds light where other analyses have emitted only heat.

Nancy McDermott Thursday 27 December 2012 comments

Are we witnessing the decline and fall of men?

Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men shouldn’t be read as a cast-iron prediction of a newly gendered future, but rather as the raiser of important questions about the crisis of masculinity.

Jennie Bristow Thursday 27 December 2012 comments

From the freewheelin’ Sixties to the fearmongerin’ Noughties

Everyone talks about the impact, whether good or bad, of the tumultuous Sixties - but two in-depth books about that decade say and reveal more than most.

Mick Hume Thursday 27 December 2012 comments

What’s left of press freedom?

The founder of Hacked Off’s book reveals how radical lobbyists wrote the illiberal script for the Leveson Inquiry.