Magna - from steel to feel
South Yorkshire's new visitor attraction, Magna, might be attractive. But what is it, exactly?
Religious schools - pluralism or prescription?
The British Humanist Association's education officer raises some secular questions.
Me and my vote: Pub Landlord and Stewart Lee
Al Murray's Pub Landlord is described as 'one of the few remaining Tory blokes'. So how come he's voting New Labour? Plus: Stewart Lee on why there's more to political satire than Ann Widdecombe's hair.
British racism: a new original sin
How New Labour has racialised everyday life.
Looking the death penalty in the face
Why the Oklahoma bomber's execution should be televised - and discussed.
Doctors on the defensive
'One thing is clear from the "Doctors' day of action" - GPs are angry. But that's the only thing that is clear.'
People's peers: why not abolish the lot?
'Presumably those demanding that more "ordinary people" be turned into people's peers would be happy for political debate to echo the banality of commuter train chat.'
|Thursday 3 May 2001|
First Tuesday's first lady
Julie Meyer, founder of the IT networking phenomenon First Tuesday, on why being a dotcom entrepreneur is not all doom and gloom.
May Day UK: media-staged, police-controlled, damp squib
The only thing missing was the protest.
Corporations in denial
As the City of London recovers from Dress-Down May Day, why are big firms so keen for their staff to look anything but corporate?
Diary of a first-time non-voter
On pigeons: 'I can't believe the feathered gremlins have provoked a protest, got their own alliance and had so much attention from the London mayor.'
|Friday 4 May 2001|
The Secret Rulers of the World
Jon Ronson: 'Crazy people are on to something, but what they're on to is very different to what they imagined it to be.'
TV UK, 4 May
'The Secret Rulers of the World goes beyond demonstrating the cookiness of the conspiracy theorists to uncover the viciousness and stupidity of unsinister mainstream institutions.'
Museums: pushing the wrong buttons?
Show us the collections - or the Digidog gets it.
Stem cell research: the battle against Parkinson's
US clinical trials of a new treatment for Parkinson's disease might have failed - but that only shows the need for more stem cell research, says Robin Lovell-Badge, genetics expert at the UK National Institute for Medical Research.
'Palace were losing 2-0 at home to Wolves. At this point fans hurled their season tickets on to the pitch and sang "Stand up if you want Smith out".'
Anti-abortion law through the back door
In supporting the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, the US House of Representatives has taken the first step towards recognising a fetus as a separate person in law. What will this mean for women?
Capitalists against development
The private sector lending arm of the World Bank is keen to stress its support for sustainable development. What's in it for them?
Name, blame, shame and claim
Putting litigious Britain in the dock.
Voices of the Poor - who's talking?
A study published by the World Bank claims that the world's poor value 'wellbeing' over money. Don't believe a word of it.
|Tuesday 8 May 2001|
License to drink - soberly
'The new licensing laws may exercise less control over WHEN we drink, but will only bring about more controls on HOW we drink.'
Inspire us with some new tunes
As the UK election campaign gets off to a non-start, spiked editor Mick Hume proposes a few bullet points for Tony Blair and William Hague to put on little cards and give to all their candidates.
Me and my vote: JG Ballard
'Politics has been downgraded. It is no longer a matter of competing ideologies, but has become a kind of public relations exercise.'
spiked-geist: Day One
Tinkering with politics; Gorging on humble pie; Bunking off Downing Street; Tories: the musical.
The hidden cost of free condoms
To any teenager attracted by the offer of free condoms from their GP, I would say: be careful. The price of a packet of condoms is the surrender of your personal life to professional intrusion.
|Wednesday 9 May 2001|
Wake up! The truth about youth apathy
So what if young people's attitude to politics is 'so what'? Every proposal made about how to engage them in politics will only make them more apathetic.
Your vote counts! (to Bush, Blair, Gore and Hague, anyway)
Should voting be an act so banal as flushing the toilet?
Blair's other babies
What lies behind New Labour's infantile obsession with Young Britain?
spiked-geist: Day Two
Tory Story: the end; New Labour, new hospital food; Real people? Get real; Rock the vote, not the boat; Blair's other babies; R-word bad, A-word good?; Overexcited about apathy; Anti-smoking smokescreen.
The magic of mobile
It is not wireless gizmos that make us stupid at work, but the kind of Hey Presto management thinking that prefers rabbits out of hats to real insights.
Keeping culture in its place
Now that very few people are prepared to uphold the laws of art, what's left is culture with the cultural taken out: primarily therapeutic, with content rendered arbitrary.
|Thursday 10 May 2001|
spiked-geist: Day Three
Blair: Famous in Farringdon (not); Government by accountancy; Ghost-voting; The deserted ballot-box; Tony's school pantomime
|Friday 11 May 2001|
10 things I hate about EU
It's boring, illegitimate, technocratic, divisive and bland. Nobody's for it, nobody's against it, it's a retreat from politics and a retreat from economics. And it's a tricky one.
TV UK, 11 May
'Charles I is another candidate for the dubious honour of being the original Tony Blair, but then so is Oliver Cromwell.'
Me and my vote: Peter Tatchell
'I'm not sure about arresting Blair. You'd have a harder time getting to him than you would to Mugabe.'
Election spiked-geist: Day Four
NHS investment - a 'crucial' choice or a tiny difference?; Northern Ireland - 'the right to be policed'.
'Post foot-and-mouth, Britain is now in the grip of a new epidemic: post-Dome lack-of-nerve syndrome. The first casualty is the new national stadium at Wembley.'
Muay Thai in Koh Samui
Ten days of intensive Thai boxing is a great holiday. But in Thailand, it is a livelihood and a business.
Diary of a first-time non-voter
'Election day is my twenty-first birthday. What sort of party will I end up having now?'
Politics is important - voting isn't
'Nobody need feel any obligation to vote in an election that has become little more than a coronation ceremony for the new oligarchy.'
Cot death: a guilt trip too far
Is every parent's nightmare also their fault?
Pop goes parody
Pop music has been eating itself for decades. So what's new about today?
|Monday 14 May 2001|
spiked-geist: Day Seven
Real Labour; Hard Labour; Never mind the bollards; Sketchy future; Scotland - out of kilter?; Geri for PM; Islington's cash-for-votes policy; Politics Hertz.
|Tuesday 15 May 2001|
Me and my vote: Julie Hesmondhalgh
As New Labour gets soap stars to back its election campaign, Julie Hesmondhalgh - Coronation Street's Hayley - reckons 'there are so many reasons to NOT vote New Labour'.
Low 'Ambitions for Britain'
'New Labour's commitment to "equality of worth" is worse than worthless.'
The Lib Dems have made freedom their big election issue - but not freedom as we know it.
spiked-geist: Day Eight
Letwin the outlaw; Demon eyes - The Return; Bread-and-butter issues
Italy's unfashionable elections
After Silvio Berlusconi's election - is Italy really the hotbed of extremism and corruption the European press claimed it to be?
|Wednesday 16 May 2001|
Bremner, Cook and the politicians' fortune
Are today's satirists opposition leaders - or just friendly critics of the status quo?
New Labour's economy: healthy, sluggish, dull
Are boasts of economic stability merely celebrations of lethargy?
Political satire? Don't make me laugh
Satire may have become the new opposition - but only in the sense that sneering and mocking have replaced politics.
Teaching by telly
With the new Digital Curriculum, says Michael Stevenson, joint director of Factual and Learning at the BBC, teachers will become guides on the side, rather than sages on the stage. But will they - and should they?
Diary of a first-time non-voter, 16 May
'Surely it's more apathetic and lazy to vote for a party you don't really support just because you feel you ought to, than it is to refuse to vote with very good reason?'
spiked-geist: Day Nine
Labour Party manifesto: 25 steps to a politics-free life.
|Thursday 17 May 2001|
The politics of 'Ethics man'
Sandy Starr asks anti-sleaze MP Martin Bell what he's standing for this time.
Shopping for cut-price votes
'The parties try to use taxes to entice us to vote for them, as if we were deciding whether to do the weekend shop at Tesco or Sainsbury's.'
|Friday 18 May 2001|
Me and my vote: Martin Rowson
The Guardian cartoonist on Tony Blair: 'I think he is sincere, and that's just another thing that makes him so ghastly.'
An Englishwoman in Washington
'Only one aspect of the UK election has so far aroused the interest of the US media - the total collapse facing the British Conservative Party.'
spiked-geist: Day 11
'Your Family' and other stereotypes; The BBC: Licence to patronise; Socialist Alliance: What's left for the Left?
TV UK, 18 May
In the studio audience for a show with Tony Blair: 'If anybody is here to assassinate Blair, I thought, shoot me instead'
No dreams - and little reality
New Labour's manifesto leaves nothing to the imagination. And that's the problem with it.
Offside, 18 May
'Now here's a radical idea for you: let's abolish the FA Cup.'
spiked-geist: Day 10
Prescott feels their pain.
|Monday 21 May 2001|
Election 2001 and the Grey Vote: It's the numbers, stupid
Youth apathy may be the big concern of the election - but it's the Grey Vote that the parties really want. Why?
Voting by beer mat?
New Labour's campaigning techniques assume young people will vote Labour after being handed a leaflet in a club, because we'll associate Labour with clubbing. In fact, this just insults us.
The deserted ballot-box
Key facts and statistics: A picture of political disengagement in 2001.
|Tuesday 22 May 2001|
Asylum: enforcing discrimination
Are tougher asylum laws just common sense?
Asylum: a bogus debate
Look at the figures - asylum seekers are not a problem.
Global warming - where's the consensus?
The facts behind the politics.
Just another expert?
Frank Furedi, author of the controversial book 'Paranoid Parenting', clears up some of the confusions created by his critics.
Tom Green's film Freddy Got Fingered may be gross - but it is also a wicked comment on the Hollywood film industry.
Even politicians in Scotland regard the UK general election as little more than a dress rehearsal.
spiked geist: Day 15
Sanitised debate and cynical stunts.
Videos - only a game?
However widespread the assumption that video games are linked with real-life violence, research so far has failed to find any concrete link between the two.
|Wednesday 23 May 2001|
spiked-geist: Day 16
Roll up for the pensioners' auction; The University of Hot Air; Europe: neutering politics; The passive postal vote; Playing games with the youth vote; Fragmenting education; Vigilantes' Charter; Dogs R Us?
What does the sympathetic reaction to a father's 'mercy killing' of his depressed daughter say about our attitude to life?
Grey demands (What I want)
A pensioner pens his four proposals.
|Thursday 24 May 2001|
Give them enough rope
However wrong and despicable the ProLife Alliance party political broadcast might be, it is more wrong for the BBC to ban it.
Caught between trying to appear modern and trying to hold on to traditional values, no wonder the Tories are tearing themselves apart.
Diary of a first-time non-voter, 24 May
I have noticed that there is money to be made in self-help manuals, so I am writing one to help wannabe politicians in their election campaigns.
Some last words on that libel trial
Former editor of the now-deceased LM magazine, reflects on the bizarre world of the libel courts.
|Friday 25 May 2001|
Blair wins - so why is New Labour so nervous?
'While New Labour is going to trounce the Tories, it has yet to establish the authority of the new political elite.'
Offside, 25 May
After the UEFA Cup euphoria: 'Calm down, calm down - let's just stop to consider what Liverpool have actually achieved this season.'
Northern Ireland election: a done deal
The election campaign in Northern Ireland is being described as a 'hot contest' - but it is not so much nationalist v Unionist, as nationalist v nationalist and Unionist v Unionist.
Think about the phrases 'baby bond' and 'Child Trust Fund'. For a few hundred quid, the state can buy a bond with your baby - and show that you, the parent, cannot be trusted.
What's not cricket?
Meet Angus Calder: Scot, poet and cricket fan
Cleaning up cricket
For cricket to retain credibility, it needs to get its house in order - but teams still play to win.
War and peace in Israel
Why has Israel launched all-out war on Palestinians? The answer won't be found in the Palestinian territories that are being bombed, but in Israel itself.
TV UK, 25 May
'Nuremberg' reminded me of the story about the stage production of Anne Frank's diary that was so bad the audience shouted, 'She's in the attic!'.
|Tuesday 29 May 2001|
Same Oldham story?
When Oldham is painted as a hotbed of racism where whites hate Asians and Asians hate whites, it can't do much for community relations.
spiked-geist: Day 22
Stop treating women like dummies; Creating communities; Foot-and-mouth; School's out?
Are scruffy youth so scary?
The child curfew scheme in Hamilton, Scotland, was supposed to make both adults and children feel safe from crime. Yet it seems to have made all age groups more afraid of each other.
Food: Executive Relief, May 2001
Easy posh dinners for people who value their time. This menu from Laurel Carr.
'Men have made politics a combative sport'
New Labour women MPs talk about what the 'softer, more feminised' culture in the new parliament will mean for political life.
|Wednesday 30 May 2001|
Pearl Harbor: the prequel
As the film Pearl Harbor opens in UK cinemas, what was really behind the Japanese attack on American fleets?
spiked-geist: Day 23
Mr Sums and Mr Shrink; Grey Vote
Me and my vote: Susie Orbach
'We don't need more conflict and argument among politicians, but a bit of courage to solve the nation's problems.'
|Thursday 31 May 2001|
Jim Royle, Bagpuss, Tigger...how students see politicians
spiked-survey: 'Students may not be fired up about the Euro or tax, but there is one issue they are divided on - whether John Prescott is more like Jim Royle or Homer Simpson.'
Keep politics out of healthcare
The more Tony Blair makes health a key election issue, the more the health service will suffer.
Diary of a first-time non-voter, 31 May
Tory meltdown: 'Contests just aren't very interesting if there is only one contender. And they can't be won either.'