What’s behind all this Brown-nosing?
Praise for Britain’s new PM as he returns from his trip to the US is an exercise in fantasy politics.
|Thursday 2 August 2007|
Darfur: colonised by 'peacekeepers'
The new 26,000-strong UN force being sent to the war-torn western province of Sudan is likely to stir up further tensions rather than deliver peace.
Dope: the political class’s drug of choice?
Some are happier promoting cannabis over booze, because dope pacifies its users rather than making them confident, cocksure and up for fun.
Branding parents 'deceitful'
A British committee's shocking proposal to stamp a child's 'donor origins' on birth certificates reduces parenting to a basic biological function.
|Friday 3 August 2007|
Great White Metaphor Ahoy!
Celebrity sharks off Cornwall and 'Hugh Brown' in Washington - read Mick Hume's columns from The Times (London).
Where there's a welly, there's a way
We've been inundated with suggestions that the floods are punishment for our wicked ways. But human ingenuity is the solution, not the problem.
‘Parents take parenting far too seriously’
The widow of Dr Spock – author of the Bible of parenting guides – says he'd be horrified by today's avalanche of advice for mums and dads.
|Monday 6 August 2007|
Is it ethical to use sanitary towels?
Is it ethical to use sanitary towels?
Don’t steal this article - but please do discuss it
In the battle between stopping copyright theft online and promoting the free exchange of ideas and images, there is more at stake than 'business models'.
Hiroshima: the ‘White Man’s Bomb’ revisited
On the 62nd anniversary of Hiroshima, read Mick Hume's essay on how the dropping of the A-bomb was the final act of a bitter race war in the Pacific.
Hands off Jordan’s breasts!
In rejecting breastfeeding because she wants to work and enjoy sex, Katie Price has shown she is more liberated than the ‘militant lactivists’.
|Tuesday 7 August 2007|
The Great Big Grotesque Book for Girls
A new book encourages girls to knit, bake and make daisy chains. Emily Hill has a better idea: girls should use the book to make a bonfire.
Second Life: a virtual nanny state
Strict codes of conduct, bans on bad behaviour, no gambling or rowdiness: Nathalie Rothschild spent a day in Second Life and found it surprisingly stifling.
Stamp out human foot’n’mouth fever
…before it spreads from Whitehall and Fleet St.
|Wednesday 8 August 2007|
This land is our land
If New Labour is serious about making homes more affordable, then it should allow members of the public to buy land and build homes where they please.
China’s river of life
The extinction of the Yangtze dolphin is a small price to pay for the transformation of the river into a source of work and energy for millions of people.
Who does Doreen Lawrence think she is?
We all empathise with the mother of Stephen Lawrence. But we don’t have to respect her views on race, policing, Boris or anything else.
|Thursday 9 August 2007|
1967: the summer of possibilities
There was more to the ‘summer of love’ than zoning out, says a writer who spent it reading the NME and fumbling with girls.
The paedophile panic:
a metaphor for mistrust
Vetting is justified as an effort to keep perverts at arm's length. In truth, it encourages spying on everyday interactions between adults and kids.
|Friday 10 August 2007|
Is it ethical to attend the Heathrow Climate Camp?
Is it ethical to attend the Heathrow Climate Camp?
When did FMD become a WMD?
An outbreak of bio-insecurity, and Idealists Against Freedom - read Mick Hume's columns from The Times (London)
Why shouldn’t oligarchs buy football clubs?
Clubs should be judged by their results on the pitch and their place in the League, not the alleged human rights records of their owners.
Newsround: Britain's least Craven news show
Media coverage of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been full of innuendo and even xenophobia. Except on one children's show.
Why political thought is imprisoned in the present
Two new books offer striking insights into the suspicion of the public and fear of the future that underpins contemporary political analysis.
|Monday 13 August 2007|
Why does Gordon Brown hate politics?
A new book suggests that it is politicians' own low horizons and scepticism about political change that leads to apathy amongst the masses.
‘F*** the truth, it’s the legend that counts’
Chasing the dragon, screwing prostitutes in a van, and why Coldplay are ‘utter middle-class shite’: the life and times of the late, great Tony Wilson.
The end of Europe?
Blaming Europe’s decline on the fertility rates of fecund immigrants misses the point that the continent is politically, not physically, exhausted.
|Tuesday 14 August 2007|
Let's unveil the real enemies of reason
Famed atheist Richard Dawkins’ latest TV attack on tarot-readers and the mystic-obsessed masses lets some far more dangerous irrationalists off the hook.
Darfur: pornography for the chattering classes
Why have the British media been silent about the Advertising Standards Authority’s damning judgement against the Save Darfur Coalition?
|Wednesday 15 August 2007|
Please do touch the works of art
From toddlers' expressionism to giant slides at the Tate Modern: 'interactive art' is turning galleries into mindless playgrounds.
The cyber-scaremongers spreading silly stories about Nazis, criminals and weird loners lurking on Facebook should shut their faces.
The increasingly strange case of Madeleine McCann
The global crusade around missing Maddie seems more and more detached from the local police investigation in Portugal.
|Thursday 16 August 2007|
It’s official: the masses are not gullible
A new British government survey suggests that lots of us have an agnostic or atheist attitude to the cult of environmentalism.
Let us celebrate the freedom of flight
There’s more to manmade flight than the spewing of CO2 molecules: flying is liberating and enlightening, and that’s why millions of us do it.
Heathrow protest: not-so-happy campers
Doom-mongering placards, tangoing in tents, and smelly compost toilets (one for liquids, another for solids): welcome to the Climate Action Camp.
|Friday 17 August 2007|
Let sleeping hound dogs lie
Elvis and Amy, Maddie and Amber Alerts - read Mick Hume's columns from The Times (London).
From Beckham's left foot to Rooney's hairline fracture: the injured metatarsal has become a metaphor for England's dashed sporting hopes.
I love Richard and Judy
It may be shot through with Little Englandism, but the double-headed chatshow is also diverse, comforting and catholic with a small 'c'.
Is direct action ethical?
Is direct action ethical?
Why Grossman still matters
A brilliant biography of Polish economist Henryk Grossman shows us the man – with silk white gloves and cane – behind the Marxist analysis.
|Monday 20 August 2007|
Jason Bourne: a ‘John Rambo for liberals’
Plain, nameless and seriously confused about his identity: Jason Bourne captures the cultural zeitgeist far better than Daniel Craig’s pomo Bond.
Hypocrisy of Olympian proportions
For years Western observers slammed China's 'red authoritarianism'. Yet today they positively cheer on its eco-authoritarianism.
Let us bin the moral fable of climate change
Essay: Eco-ethics, with its rules about waste, water and energy-use, is a new brand of conservatism that is sucking the fun out of life.
|Tuesday 21 August 2007|
The UK government's new restrictions on adverts for online casinos are an insult to the public.
Shares go up and down - economy going nowhere
Things are probably both better and worse than we are led to believe. PLUS: Why stock market jitters are 'contagious'.
|Wednesday 22 August 2007|
A little bit of misery
does you good
Alexander Waugh’s Fathers and Sons, featuring Evelyn, Auberon, a gay scandal and bananas, is better than any misery memoir.
Truth: the first Casualty of TV drama?
The BBC’s hospital soap has scrapped a storyline involving Islamic terrorists. And it’s not the first time it has allowed PC to get in the way of reality.
Philip Lawrence: hard cases make bad law
The furore over the decision not to deport the killer of a headmaster from the UK is being used to promote a dangerous idea: victims’ justice.
|Thursday 23 August 2007|
Amir Khan’s reality-TV therapy: no knockout
In a new Channel 4 series, the British Muslim boxer tries to whip six young reprobates into shape. It's Supernanny with the gloves off.
Attack of the shopaholic Wives and Girlfriends?
Roy Keane's fiery tirades are often on the money. But he's wrong to blame WAGs for footballers' reluctance to move to Sunderland.
Is it really unethical to be a parent?
A protest that didn’t hit the headlines
While all eyes were on the greenies at Heathrow, landlords, pub-patrons and karaoke kings were marching against the smoking ban in Somerset.
|Friday 24 August 2007|
Handbags at dawn
Guardian columnist Lucy Mangan’s ‘essential guide to being a girl’ - full of lengthy sentences, stories about weeing and descriptions of infant genitalia - is untreated bilge.
The Frozen Ones
In Michael Chabon’s brilliant Yiddish noir novel, Israel was never created, Jews are living on skid row in Alaska, and their potential Messiah is a heroin addict who’s just been shot.
Ecotourism: holier-than-thou holidays
Ecotourist jaunts might make green-leaning holidaymakers feel warm and moist, but they do little to help Third World communities. In fact, ecotourism is a trap for the world’s poor.
Treating voters as instruments
A brilliantly trenchant critique of the Democrats’ penchant for outsourcing canvassing to professionals-for-hire sheds light on why Kerry was blown away by Bush in 2004.
We’re no slaves to our senses
Free will and agency are not merely the creation of nerve endings in the human brain. So while neuroscience can tell us a lot, it does not hold the key to understanding human uniqueness.
The matter of the heart
It’s mere organic matter, a bundle of muscle that pumps blood around the body. So why throughout history has the heart been seen as the seat of all that is vital in human life?
A childish panic about the next generation
Many of those fretting over the state of contemporary childhood, concerned that kids are passive, cooped up and sedentary, are motivated by naked nostalgia - sometimes even by snobbery.
Ossifying the Enlightenment
Dan Hind’s defence of reason has much to recommend it. But his desire paternalistically to ‘enlighten’ the public rather than engage it in a battle of ideas belongs in the dark ages.
Why communism survived
for so long
Despite what Robert Service says in his GCSE coursework book masquerading as an academic study, the longevity of communism had nothing to do with Russian breastmilk. It was the failures of capitalism that kept it alive.
Towards an age of abundance
Ignore the critics of economic growth who claim that prosperity makes us unhappy. We need to win the war against scarcity once and for all, so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of longer, healthier and wealthier lives.
|Tuesday 28 August 2007|
Can’t we leave Rhys Jones alone?
Who would try to exploit the senseless murder of an 11-year-old to promote their agenda? Well…
|Wednesday 29 August 2007|
You hate being affluent? Then swap with us
A Ghanaian filmmaker who toured the UK with a documentary on debt relief was shocked to find so many Britons down on development.
We Brits invented ‘friendly fire’
Today's cheap critiques of the US military for its ‘friendly fire’ blunders in Iraq overlook Britain’s own disastrous history of killing its own.
The problem of waste in Britain is overstated - we should be more concerned with a modern outlook that treats humanity itself as disposable.
Having children can be good for you — and society
In No Kids, a work of populist misanthropy, Corinne Maier taps into Western culture’s guilty secret: rhetorically it celebrates kids; actually it fears and dislikes them.
|Thursday 30 August 2007|
An ego-trip dressed up
as an eco-trip
Why is the planet-friendly Honda Civic not as popular as the celebs' favourite, the Toyota Prius? Because it looks too much like a normal car for narcissistic eco-drivers.
Let’s research our own R&D record
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development may be right that the Chinese are sluggish on research and development. But the same is true of America and Europe.
Toxic toys: is China poisoning YOUR child?
The overblown scare about China’s lead-painted Big Birds and vinyl bibs has become a metaphor for Western fears about the ‘yellow peril’.
|Friday 31 August 2007|
Why Diana is always with us
Ten years after Diana died, an emotionally-correct, victim-oriented Britain, bereft of real heroes, still clings to the princess.
Can canned laughter
The BBC’s new sitcom Outnumbered wasn’t edgy or awkward enough to be aired without a laughter track.
Keeping it unreal
Sugarhouse, a British gangsta thriller about yoof, drugs and street life, is a cartoon-like portrayal of social inequality.
Is it ethical to own a mobile phone?
Our ethical columnist on the dangers of global communications.
Why did communism
survive for so long?
Despite what Robert Service says, its longevity had nothing to do with Russian breastmilk. It was the failures of capitalism that kept it alive.