April 2013

Tom Slater Tuesday 2 April 2013 comments

Compliance: Abu Ghraib in a fast-food joint

Craig Zobel’s low-budget movie is a disturbing tale of what people are willing to do in the apparent presence of authority.

Neil Davenport Tuesday 2 April 2013 comments

Ignoring the real lessons of the riots

It wasn’t poverty that kicked off the 2011 riots; it was the years of intervention from a therapeutic state.

Brendan O’Neill Tuesday 2 April 2013 comments

Saving footie fans from their inner fascist

The increasingly unhinged moral crusade against racism in football is anti-prole loathing dressed up as high liberal principle.

Rob Lyons Wednesday 3 April 2013 comments

Lies, damned lies and hockey sticks

The exposure of yet another dodgy piece of climate-change alarmism shows the need for serious scepticism.

Jon Holbrook Wednesday 3 April 2013 comments

Abu Qatada: the tyranny of human rights

The latest developments in the UK vs Qatada saga shows why the public is right to reject human rights.

Frank Furedi Wednesday 3 April 2013 comments

The philistines have
taken over the classroom

ESSAY: How did we get to a situation where teachers are even more cavalier about knowledge and serious schooling than politicians are?

Patrick Hayes Thursday 4 April 2013 comments

Still smoking? You must be mad

By linking cigarettes to mental illness, anti-smokers are reviving an old authoritarian tactic: pathologising deviants.

Tim Black Thursday 4 April 2013 comments

North Korea: a tale of two superpowers

The latest round of instability on the Korean peninsula reveals a great deal about American and Chinese influence today.

Mick Hume Thursday 4 April 2013 comments

Philpott fire: Shamelessly exploiting dead children

The conviction of Mick Philpott for killing six of his kids has sparked a shroud-waving contest between enemies of welfare and a free press.

Tom Slater Friday 5 April 2013 comments

In the House: the author, revisited

François Ozon once again puts a writer at the centre of his latest witty and dark exploration of fact and fiction.

David Bowden Friday 5 April 2013 comments

The Great British Primetime Stitch-Up

Turning baking into light entertainment was a surprise hit for the Beeb... but competitive needlework?

Nancy McDermott Friday 5 April 2013 comments

‘Breast is Best’: the worst kind of hectoring

Two new books explode the pseudoscientific idea that bottle-feeding is evil, and reveal what a poisonous impact the pro-breast lobby has had.

Luke Gittos Monday 8 April 2013 comments

The dangerous absurdity of hate-crime laws

Giving harsher penalties to those who think a certain way is nothing short of punishing thought crime.

Tim Black Monday 8 April 2013 comments

Asking a teenager to do an adult’s job

The outrage over sweary teen-twitterer Paris Jones tells us far more about the crisis of adulthood than uncouth yoof.

Jennie Bristow Monday 8 April 2013 comments

‘Pro-family’ politicians: a threat to the family

Social conservatives, take note: it is oxymoronic to try to strengthen the family by bombarding parents with patronising advice.

Baris Tufekci Tuesday 9 April 2013 comments

Defending democracy from the demos

The political classes’ fear of right-wing populism is really a fear of volatile voters.

Rob Lyons Tuesday 9 April 2013 comments

One cheer for Labour’s new welfare policy

Basing welfare entitlements on an individual's work history is a good idea. Let's explore it.

Tim Black Tuesday 9 April 2013 comments

How iron was the Iron Lady?

Both right-wing eulogisers and left-wing partiers are wrong: Thatcher was neither ideological firebrand nor destroyer of modern Britain.

Brendan O’Neill Tuesday 9 April 2013 comments

The myth of Thatcherism

The idea that Britain’s problems are all the fault of the evil ‘Mrs T’ distorts history, and lets the left and Labour off the hook.

Patrick Hayes Wednesday 10 April 2013 comments

The NUS’s prissy war on ‘lad culture’

Not content with trying to control what students say, the NUS wants to police how they play, too.

Tiffany Jenkins Wednesday 10 April 2013 comments

A perverted
view of art

It was daft of the Tate to remove Graham Ovenden’s paintings after his indecent assault conviction.

Mick Hume Wednesday 10 April 2013 comments

That’s enough on Hacked Off, Eds

We need to focus less on the private machinations of the anti-tabloid lobby, and more on making the public case for press freedom.

Ann Furedi Thursday 11 April 2013 comments

Why shouldn’t human beings play God?

Read Living Marxism’s 1989 interview with test-tube baby pioneer Robert Edwards, who died this week.

Karl Sharro Thursday 11 April 2013 comments

Syria: how to make a bad situation worse

The West’s strategy-free tinkering has opened the door to the very Islamist groups it has been fighting elsewhere.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 11 April 2013 comments

Gay marriage: a case study in conformism

Anyone who values diversity of thought and tolerance of dissent should find the sweeping consensus on gay marriage terrifying.

David Bowden Friday 12 April 2013 comments

Thatcher’s death: how did it make you feel?

This week’s televisual outpourings on the Iron Lady were less about Maggie and more about me, me, me.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 12 April 2013 comments

Di Canio: let’s salute freedom of conscience

So what if the new Sunderland manager has a weird attitude to fascism? It’s his ability to do his job that counts.

Rob Lyons Friday 12 April 2013 comments

A junk outlook on processed food

In his new book about mass-produced foodstuffs, Michael Moss dresses up a rancid view of firms and consumers as investigative journalism.

Rob Lyons Monday 15 April 2013 comments

We need a bit more hunger to end poverty

Claims that climate change will cause mass starvation could actually make it harder to feed the world.

Brendan O’Neill Monday 15 April 2013 comments

Freedom can never be ‘granted’ to us

Brendan O’Neill’s recent speech imploring young libertarians to keep their eyes peeled for ‘phony freedoms’.

Tim Black Monday 15 April 2013 comments

So it’s okay for the Beeb to be ‘unethical’?

If a tabloid used students as a human shield to get a story, there’d be outrage. But by saying ‘public interest!’ the BBC can get away with it.

Ken McLaughlin Tuesday 16 April 2013 comments

Time to abolish the psychiatric ASBO

Placing state-backed constraints on ex-mental patients is a flagrant violation of their autonomy.

Daniel Ben-Ami Tuesday 16 April 2013 comments

Modern Zionists: gatekeepers of what?

A new Israeli documentary shows that Zionism has lost its nationalist vigor and now plays the victim card.

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick Tuesday 16 April 2013 comments

Andrew Wakefield: return of the wicked witch

Wakefield’s MMR-autism nonsense had a baleful influence on public health, but he doesn’t bear sole responsibility for recent measles outbreaks.

Patrick Hayes Wednesday 17 April 2013 comments

Sticking it to Thatcher’s corpse

The political necrophiliacs dancing at ‘death parties’ disrespect the British people as much as Thatcher.

Mick Hume Wednesday 17 April 2013 comments

Didn’t she die when the wall came down?

The ‘divisive’ or ’decisive’ Thatcher made history, but not in circumstances of her own choosing.

Brendan O’Neill Wednesday 17 April 2013 comments

Five things liberals love that Thatcher invented

From safe sex to incapacity benefit, today’s shrill Thatcher-bashers are actually continuing Mrs T’s worst work.

Frank Furedi Wednesday 17 April 2013 comments

The Boston bombings: refusing to be terrorised

The spirit and solidarity shown by Bostonians confirm that while terrorism can kill people, it cannot kill community.

Tim Black Thursday 18 April 2013 comments

An inspiring scientist and a nutty professor

Cheers for a test-tube pioneer who improved our lives, but jeers for the druggy professor who would rule our lives.

Bill Durodié Thursday 18 April 2013 comments

Boston: killers without a cause

Unlike in the 1970s and 80s, terrorism today has become an end in itself for alienated misanthropes.

Kevin Yuill Thursday 18 April 2013 comments

‘Death is not a tonic for society’s ills’

The author of a new book putting the liberal case against assisted suicide answers spiked readers’ questions on life, death and liberty.

WORLDbytes Friday 19 April 2013 comments

Chewing the fat over food fears

In the first of a new series, TV Dinners, Rob Lyons discusses why we shouldn’t swallow myths about our eating habits.

Tom Slater Friday 19 April 2013 comments

Sex-crazed, drug-fuelled, gun-toting babes in bikinis

Spring Breakers is a perfect, knowingly trashy film for a generation that thinks ridiculous is a compliment.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 19 April 2013 comments

Is this the return of hooliganism? No.

The fighting involving Millwall and Newcastle fans last weekend was notable because it's now so unusual.

David Bowden Friday 19 April 2013 comments

TV docs: intensive care for ailing institutions

BBC2’s Keeping Britain Alive is a fascinating but uncritical look at day-to-day life in the National Health Service.

Tim Black Friday 19 April 2013 comments

Biblical miserabilism disguised as science

No wonder Andrew Simms and other greens are always fantasising about Earth's end: they can't stand Earth's inhabitants.

Tim Black Monday 22 April 2013 comments

Beware the broadband bobbies

The police may have dropped an investigation into Paris Brown, but the clampdown on free speech online continues.

James Heartfield Monday 22 April 2013 comments

How to solve the housing crisis

Britain's housing stock is too old and too expensive. The only answer is to build millions of new homes.

Nick Cater Monday 22 April 2013 comments

Welcome to Oz, where no one rules

With no aristocracy or ruling class, Australia is a nation of lucky bastards who make their own luck, says Nick Cater in his new book.

Sean Collins Tuesday 23 April 2013 comments

America declares war on two losers

Why did the most powerful military nation on Earth freak out over a 19-year-old idiot in a backward baseball cap?

Wendy Kaminer Tuesday 23 April 2013 comments

A city shut down, liberty surrendered

Wendy Kaminer reports from locked-down Boston, where Obama’s promise that ‘a bomb can’t beat us’ rang hollow.

Frank Furedi Tuesday 23 April 2013 comments

Boston: what turns
nice guys into nihilists?

It isn't the lure of foreign jihad but rather the confusions and self-loathing of Western society itself that can turn youngsters violent.

Barbara Hewson Wednesday 24 April 2013 comments

Savita case exposes the cruelty of Irish law

It’s time to face down the Irish Constitution and its bizarre elevation of ‘fetal rights’ over women’s rights.

Jason Walsh Wednesday 24 April 2013 comments

Abortion: make the case in public, not in court

Following the Savita tragedy, Irish pro-choice activists should be engaging with the public, not cosying up to judges.

Ann Furedi Wednesday 24 April 2013 comments

Remaking the case for a woman’s right to choose

ESSAY: In replacing the ideal of reproductive choice with ‘reproductive justice’, feminists underestimate women’s capacity for autonomy.

Tom Slater Thursday 25 April 2013 comments

Men and motors in American suburbia

Derek Cianfrance’s fathers-and-sons triptych The Place Beyond the Pines feels epic and homespun all at once.

WORLDbytes Thursday 25 April 2013 comments

A look at the funny side of terrorism

A new discussion show explores the relationship between contemporary satire and one of its chief targets, terrorism.

Duleep Allirajah Thursday 25 April 2013 comments

What should we do about Suárez? Laugh.

The Liverpool striker’s bonkers bite had football’s moralists foaming at the mouth, yet it was classic entertainment.

Patrick West Thursday 25 April 2013 comments

When pop wore its art on its sleeve

With the gradual disappearance of album art, we are losing far more than a few memorable images.

Mick Hume Thursday 25 April 2013 comments

Can you see what they did yet?

Yes, Rolf Harris should be named. But the media should also be asking why he’s been arrested.

Nancy McDermott Friday 26 April 2013 comments

‘Breast is Best’: the worst kind of hectoring

Two new books explode the pseudoscientific idea that bottle-feeding is evil, and reveal what a poisonous impact the pro-breast lobby has had.

Rob Lyons Friday 26 April 2013 comments

A junk outlook on processed food

In his new book about mass-produced foodstuffs, Michael Moss dresses up a rancid view of firms and consumers as investigative journalism.

James Woudhuysen Friday 26 April 2013 comments

The next killer app: personalised healthcare

Will our smartphones one day tell us if a heart attack is on its way, and nanosensors in our bodies dispense the medicine to deal with it? Eric Topol thinks so.

Tim Black Friday 26 April 2013 comments

Biblical miserabilism disguised as science

No wonder Andrew Simms and other greens are always fantasising about Earth’s end: they can't stand Earth’s inhabitants.

Daniel Ben-Ami Friday 26 April 2013 comments

How to get filthy rich in Asia

Mohsin Hamid’s new novel, written as a self-help guide for Asians who want to make a killing in their new economies, casts light on the social impact of Asia’s breakneck growth.

David Clements Friday 26 April 2013 comments

It’s the public sector we should reform, not the public

A new book challenges Britain’s bureaucratically endorsed culture of entitlement and dependency, but the author’s behaviour-changing solutions are just as paternalistic.

Jon Holbrook Friday 26 April 2013 comments

‘I have a bad dream...’

From the high point of Martin Luther King's March on Washington to lowly modern campaigns to ban 'sexist' ladies' nights in bars and clubs - how far the civil-rights ideal has fallen.

Denis Joe Monday 29 April 2013 comments

Time to end UK art’s dependency culture

State funding of the arts does not help creativity; it suffocates it with policymaking imperatives.

Luke Gittos Monday 29 April 2013 comments

Inviting the police to vet our partners

Clare’s Law will do nothing to stop domestic abuse, but it will poison existing, non-violent relationships.

Frank Furedi Monday 29 April 2013 comments

After Savile: policing as entertainment

Operation Yewtree isn’t about solving crime – it’s more like a reality TV format where the police’s aim is to thrill the paedo-fearing public.

Patrick Hayes Tuesday 30 April 2013 comments

UKIP: monster raving loonies?

The political and media classes' pathologisation of the UK Independence Party exposes their own cowardice.

Kenny Hodgart Tuesday 30 April 2013 comments

How Britannia became cool in HK

Hongkongers are standing up to their new bosses in Beijing by embracing the fashions of their old colonial masters.