A thumbs-up for trusting other people
The Hitcher, an exhibition of photographs of hitchhikers and drivers taken by Chris Coekin, reminds us why we shouldn't give in to today's fear of strangers.
Measles: the bitter results of a rash panic
When middle-class parents turn their noses up at the MMR vaccine, it increases the risk of disease for everyone's children - especially those in poorer families.
Is carbon-offsetting just eco-enslavement?
In offsetting his flights by sponsoring ‘eco-friendly’ hard labour in India, David Cameron has exposed the essence of environmentalism.
|Tuesday 4 September 2007|
The Western: a genre in need of a giddyup
The dirty violence of Seraphim Falls, with its vengeful cowboys, snake oil saleswomen and grizzled war veterans, is more 'gorno' than John Ford.
The human footprint isn’t big enough
C4's Dumped, where contestants live on a landfill, is supposed to show us we're creating too much waste. We should draw the opposite conclusion.
Basra withdrawal: a media stunt to end a PR war
British army chiefs pulled out all the stops to get the ‘right image’ of the pullout from Basra.
|Wednesday 5 September 2007|
Remembering Dave Hallsworth
An obituary by Mick Hume.
|Thursday 6 September 2007|
A step in the wrong direction
Pedometers for children are the latest weapon in the War on Obesity. But mere 'activity' is a poor substitute for vigorous and pleasurable sports.
Knocked Up: abort the boring over-analysis
Why has a silly romcom about a stoner impregnating a beautiful TV presenter given birth to miles of handwringing commentary?
It's not the government's job to tell parents how to feed their children.
Planet Relief: the crusade against open debate
The hysterical reaction to the BBC’s decision to scrap its climate change special exposes green crusaders’ antipathy to discussion and dissent.
|Friday 7 September 2007|
What's that terracotta army really up to?
'Yellow peril' fever and politics goes back-to-school - read Mick Hume's columns in The Times (London).
Rugger buggers vs
Rugby snobs who denounce 'soccer' for its rowdy fans and shocking chants are missing the point: football is theatre.
Is it ethical to boycott the BBC?
Our ethical columnist on the BBC's decision to scrap its Planet Relief telethon.
Ossifying the Enlightenment
In his defence of reason, author Dan Hind prefers paternalistically to ‘enlighten’ the public rather than engage it in a battle of ideas.
|Monday 10 September 2007|
Throwing money at Basra’s problems
Meet the British merchant banker and part-time soldier who was given $1 billion, some odd instructions and an order to reconstruct Basra.
Is Osama bin Laden an environmentalist?
In his latest message, Osama poses as a Chomskyite concerned about global warming. He’s as parasitical as ever on Western thought.
Look on the bright side of 'later life'
Ignore reports that depict millions of elderly people as the victims of abuse or mental illness. Getting older is better than it's ever been.
|Tuesday 11 September 2007|
Anita Roddick: prophet of Green Capitalism
The founder of The Body Shop has died – but not before helping to move exhausted industrial capitalism towards a new life as ‘capitalism without growth’.
‘Detention, detention, detention’
Parenting orders, on-the-spot fines... the Brownites are planning to use the education system to police mums and dads as much as educate kids.
Faked TV and phoney scandals
Let’s try to separate the ephemera of reality television and dodgy phone-ins from serious televised reports of reality.
|Wednesday 12 September 2007|
Reviving the idea of the ‘good war’
The French and British governments are cynically using and abusing the situation in Kosovo to try to resurrect support for liberal imperialism.
Like it or not, coal is vital to Asia’s growth
Those calling on China and India to ‘kick the coal habit’, and opt for less sooty forms of energy, overlook the vast benefits of coal-use for those nations.
ITV's decision to kick the has-been comedian out of a reality TV show says a lot about the network's low view of its audience.
Stuffy old moral values of prudence, abstinence and delayed gratification are being rehabilitated by today’s green outlook.
|Thursday 13 September 2007|
Are you sustainability literate?
British universities must now teach students how to live a 'sustainable life'. It sounds nice, until you notice the implications for academic freedom.
Who will atone for Atonement?
With its sometimes plodding direction and balsa-wood acting, the film version of Atonement loses the fizz and drama of Ian McEwan's novel.
Mobile phones are safe, but let's panic anyway
The experts' schizophrenic message about mobiles captures society's curious love/dread relationship with new technologies.
|Friday 14 September 2007|
Morality TV: a hellish vision
Dinosaur-baiting and Portuguese-bashing - read Mick Hume's columns in The Times (London).
Is it ethical to work for a big company?
Our ethical columnist explains why he sometimes works with multinationals - to subvert them from within.
The English disease: a loss of perspective
England’s wins against Israel and Russia show that we’re not as bad or as good as we think. We’re life’s perennial quarter-finalists.
Not seeing the wood for the family trees
As the BBC’s celebrity-genes show Who Do You Think You Are? returns, why are people so keen to define themselves biologically?
Towards an age of abundance
Why we must tackle the critics of economic growth, and finish off the war against scarcity.
|Monday 17 September 2007|
Poor arguments against low-paid work
Ken Loach's new film captures the misery created by immigration controls. But he's wrong to blame only 'the right wing' for migrants' woes.
Digital tantrums on YouTube
From animal rights activists to worried teachers to pro-monarchist Thais: demands for censorship on the popular video-sharing site are getting louder.
Gatwick No Border camp:
a positive airport protest?
After the Heathrow Climate Camp demanded curbs on travel and freedom of movement, meet the radical campers calling for free migration.
|Tuesday 18 September 2007|
GM: where the science doesn’t count
Today’s climate change activists pose as ‘defenders of science’. Yet not so long ago, they irrationally rejected the scientific truth about GM crops.
France is now more gung-ho than America
As he threatens war on Iran, French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner is living up to spiked’s warning that he is ‘the most dangerous man in Europe’.
A small number of children can be affected by some food additives, but the reaction in the media has been out of all proportion to the real dangers.
Northern Rock and not-so-popular capitalism
It’s a bit rich to blame the bank’s crisis on ‘panicky’ savers and ‘greedy’ borrowers.
|Wednesday 19 September 2007|
Liberal Democrats: same 'old' story
The British press is harassing Lib Dem leader Ming Campbell about his age, but it is British politics in general that is in a decrepit state.
|Thursday 20 September 2007|
Still think intervention works? Duhh-fur!
Read Mick Hume's column in The Times (London) on why those demanding a crusade in Darfur have learned nothing from Iraq.
The 'Special One' has
After comparing his players to third-rate eggs, José Mourinho has walked away from the Chelsea 'omelette'.
Is it ethical to be a Tory?
Conservatives can be wonderful environmentalists - after all the planet is not a political football.
The real Amnesty-abortion scandal
Forget the Catholic Church’s predictable stance on abortion. Why is a human rights group so cavalier about a woman’s right to choose?
|Friday 21 September 2007|
Hanging out in
I have become a literary stalker of Patrick Hamilton, the 1930s British novelist who captured longing and loneliness like no other writer.
Let’s make the world
The idea that hurricanes are blowback for man’s polluting ways overlooks the fact that it is only man – through development and construction – who can offset the impacts of freak weather.
Me and The Specials
Welding punk and ska, art and dance, earnest and ironic, The Specials captured the anti-Tory mood of 1980 - but they never had the seriousness to challenge Thatcher.
In defence of ‘radicalisation’
Contemporary critiques of Hizb ut-Tahrir focus less on its dodgy mishmash of politics and religion and more on its intense intellectualism. But what’s wrong with devoting oneself to the debate of ideas?
The sickness at the heart of New Labour
Always ill, disowned by their own partners and children, forever moaning about ‘workloads’… the new crop of diaries from Blairite politicians shows that the Blair regime had no idea where it was going or what it believed in.
The first casualty of the abortion wars: truth
In The Politics of Abortion, a frustrating confusion of fantastical observations about pro-choice politics, Anne Hendershott claims the US Democrats are obsessively committed to a woman’s right to choose. If only.
Sex, lies and stereotypes
In Hollywood Undercover, His Highness Halperin sets out to expose the underbelly of boozing, easy sex and no-knicker wearing in Tinseltown. Yet he lazily embraces the worthy do-gooding celebrity of Oprah and George Clooney.
Reading Osama bin Laden’s latest pseudo-literary message to the world, it is striking the extent to which this celebrity terrorist of the MTV era speaks through Western dummies rather than in his own voice.
A tyranny of experts
In outsourcing their authority to international institutions, governments are bypassing the democratic process and reducing their publics to simpletons who must be guided by Enlightened Ones.
|Monday 24 September 2007|
Death Proof: a car
crash of a movie
Quentin Tarantino’s fifth film confirms that the former master is stuck in professional purgatory, churning out gorno rip-offs.
Kid Nation: it's not exactly William Golding
Many feared that CBS’s reality TV show would create a ‘Lord of the Flies’ situation. In fact it has an army of mollycoddling adults off camera.
Jumping over the citizenship hurdle
In testing immigrants on housing, banking and saints' days, the UK Citizenship Test sucks all the zest out of what it means to be a citizen.
|Tuesday 25 September 2007|
‘Eco-enslavement’: peddling misperceptions?
Michael Buick of Climate Care responds to spiked editor Brendan O'Neill's recent critique of carbon-offsetting schemes in India.
‘Boys in blue’: someone to watch over us
As the Madeleine McCann case shows, the desire for security means the British police are more favourably viewed today than ever before.
It's not the sad demise of Debbie the Cow that should concern us but the death of any sense of perspective when it comes to animal disease.
Election: the question is not when, but why and what?
Whenever Gordon Brown calls the UK general election, one result already seems clear: a landslide defeat for political debate.
|Wednesday 26 September 2007|
Detoxing Childhood: poisonous 'advice'
In the follow-up to Toxic Childhood, Sue Palmer peddles the same fears and prejudices of incompetent parents and damaged children.
Ahmadinejad: 'free speech' as pantomime
The Iranian president's visit to Columbia University was less a blow against censorship and more an exercise in moral posturing.
Burma needs democratic revolution, not intervention
International power games between the West and China threaten to take the Burmese people's fate out of their own hands.
|Thursday 27 September 2007|
Echoes of the Satanic panic
Are families being torn apart on the dubious basis that animal cruelty and child abuse are linked?
Free will is not an illusion
The Enlightenment idea of conscious, freely acting individuals is worth defending against those who would reduce freedom to neuroscience.
In search of eco-salvation
Many religions are now more likely to preach about saving the planet than saving souls.
|Friday 28 September 2007|
Seeing Madeleine everywhere and 'mourning' Mourhino - read Mick Hume's columns in The Times (London).
Palin by comparison
Why has cheery, old and loveable Michael Palin become grumpy, impatient and irritable? Because he's tired of being just 'the man off the telly'.
Why I will miss José Mourinho
Sex on legs - with egg metaphors. Duleep Allirajah may hate Chelsea but he's still sad to see the charismatic manager go.
Is it ethical to be anti-roads?
Our ethical columnist on why no amount of low-carbon cars can ever make another by-pass acceptable.
The first casualty of the abortion wars: truth
In The Politics of Abortion, Anne Hendershott claims the US Democrats are obsessively committed to a woman’s right to choose. If only.