The high price of the UK’s housing shortage
While commentators speculate about a house price crash, it's the failure to build new homes that should worry us.
The dangers of lazy science reporting
When policymakers use 'science' as a shortcut to solving society's problems, we need to be sceptical about science stories.
In defence of scientific medicine
The government should give medical practitioners the tools to practice evidence-based medicine - and then leave them alone.
|Tuesday 2 October 2007|
Give art a sporting chance
The diversion of arts funding to pay for the 2012 Olympics has caused uproar, and rightly so. But the art world has only itself to blame.
The daytime TV host is a smug, self-serving idiot - but the real problem is the widespread contempt for his audience.
Hat’s not on in this establishment, sir
Bars in London are telling customers to remove their hats - so the spy cameras can get a better look at them. Cheers!
|Wednesday 3 October 2007|
300: the use and abuse of Greek history
Zack Snyder's film is 'comic-book' entertainment, but that is little excuse for its xenophobia, amorality and inaccuracy.
Bloodless on the conference floor
Just when we thought the knives were out for Tory leader David Cameron, talk of an election has rallied the troops - for now.
Enough to tax the patience of a saint
If George Osborne's plan to reform inheritance tax is the Tories' big idea, politics is dead and buried before the election campaign even begins.
|Thursday 4 October 2007|
Klara and Edda: banned at the Baltic
Censoring photos of children, whether smoking or belly dancing naked, is damaging to artistic licence and our own freedom of thought.
Every parent matters?
The logical conclusion of the UK government's Every Child Matters agenda is to reduce parents to the role of 'partners' in child rearing.
Sputnik: when American fears went into orbit
When the Soviets put the first man-made satellite into space, 50 years ago today, the event launched an era of US self-doubt that continues to this day.
|Friday 5 October 2007|
Who embalmed the Diana crime drama?
Conspiracy theories in high places, why blogs won't free Burma - read Mick Hume's columns in The Times (London).
Bless 'em, didn't they
As the recent World Cup showed, women's football has a long way to go to match the men's game. The patronising coverage won't help.
The dearth of children’s TV: a homegrown crisis
Instead of resorting to cheap America-bashing, we should ask why Britain has failed to come up with a decent children's TV show since the 1980s.
Is it ethical to use a condom?
Our ethical columnist on how we can make love while still loving the planet.
A tyranny of experts
In outsourcing their authority to international institutions, governments bypass the democratic process and treat their publics as simpletons.
|Monday 8 October 2007|
A joyless depiction of the post-punk era
Anton Corbijn’s Control looks good. But it fails to capture the heart and soul of Joy Division, and the bleak-but-exciting era that forged them.
The Doublespeak of the Darzi review
An interim report on the future of the National Health Service is based on a profound misunderstanding of Britain’s current ‘health crisis’.
‘Bottler Brown’ — the PM British politics deserves
Some snap thoughts on the UK election that didn’t snap in the night.
|Tuesday 9 October 2007|
A corrupt view of Africa
Video: In the first in a series of 'Battle Talks', Ceri Dingle of WORLDwrite says the idea that Africa is infected with political double-dealing is a load of 'corruptababble'.
China doesn't need the West in loco parentis
The C4 documentary, China's Stolen Children, showed that there's a patronising streak in some of today's handwringing concern for Chinese kids.
Freedom of the press is a damn sight more important than royal privacy.
This is not eugenics — it is one mum’s tough decision
The slating of a British mother for asking doctors to give her disabled daughter a hysterectomy exposes today's deep distrust of parents.
|Wednesday 10 October 2007|
The (in)capacity to trust
The Mental Capacity Act replaces the freedom of doctors and carers to decide what's best for a patient with the clunking fist of legal decision-making.
Why greens don’t want to ‘solve’ climate change
Environmentalists are cagey about techno-fixes to climate change because berating mankind for its impact on nature is their raison d'être.
|Thursday 11 October 2007|
The live launch of the spiked/O2 online debate took a hard look at the impact of mobiles on the environment.
A trolley load of
Food is a source of sustenance and pleasure, yet today's foodie miserabilists treat it as a potential poison.
Mercenaries in Iraq: Dogs of Indecision
The most striking thing about the Blackwater scandal is the American state’s readiness to share its means of coercion with others.
|Friday 12 October 2007|
Elephant dung, pickled cows and lightbulbs
A retrospective at Tate Britain shows that, while critics have little time for the Turner Prize, the British public love it.
Is it ethical to watch sport?
Our ethical columnist on why there is little difference between football and bear-baiting.
Victory to the posties!
Support striking postal workers, and bugger the rugger buggers: read Mick Hume's columns in The Times (London).
Cheering 'Colin Wanker'
Neil Warnock is outspoken, competitive and loves winding up the opposition: he's the perfect manager for Palace.
In defence of ‘radicalisation’
Critiques of Hizb ut-Tahrir focus less on its dodgy politics than on its intellectualism. But what’s wrong with a devotion to the debate of ideas?
|Monday 15 October 2007|
IPCC: the dangers of enforcing ‘consensus’
While appearing to be the ultimate experts on global warming, the UN's climate panel has actually distorted public discussion of the issue.
And the 'Nobel Fear Prize' goes to…
Al Gore, scaremonger-in-chief of the green lobby, is a fitting winner of a prize that's long mistaken fear-makers for peacemakers.
Al Gore’s ‘good lies’
When is an error not an error? When it’s in a film designed to raise awareness about climate change and make us change our behaviour.
|Tuesday 16 October 2007|
Eco-warrior vs Terracotta Warrior
A stunt to put face masks on the unique Chinese figures at the British Museum shows up the childish nature of climate change activism.
The University of the Easily Offended
Meet the rugby-playing student at a London university, forced to recant after sticking up an 'offensive' poster advertising an English Party.
The myth of stressed and depressed schoolkids
If we’re not careful, claims that young people can’t cope with the ‘intense pressure’ of exams could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
|Wednesday 17 October 2007|
Come on, bin Laden, make my day
At a debate in London, Martin Amis posed as the Dirty Harry of the Western liberal tradition, telling Islamic terrorists: ‘I want to be a target.’
The dangers of fried food and a fried planet
Claims that the ‘obesity epidemic’ is as bad as climate change suggest that modern society is bingeing on scare stories.
You only Ming when you’re losing
The rise and fall without trace of another Liberal Democrat leader is symptomatic of our dried-up husk of a political system.
|Thursday 18 October 2007|
The Kingdom: big dumb fun
Look, if you want to know the history of Saudi Arabia, read a book. But if you want two hours of thrills, shoot-ups and car chases, watch The Kingdom.
That's enough 'Corruptababble'
The director of a new film about Africa explodes the myth that the continent is sick with corruption and needs the West to cure it.
We should ignore the warnings of the environmentalists and keep playing those itunes.
‘Greens use rhetorical violence to silence critics’
Battle Talk: Dominic Lawson, former editor of the Sunday Telegraph, on free speech, environmentalism and the death of ideology.
|Friday 19 October 2007|
Why artists shouldn’t accept state funding
An illustrator argues that the cost of government funding - the loss of artistic independence - is too high a price to pay.
Hazardous whining is bad for our health
Defend the suburban wine drinkers, and don't zap the paparazzi - read Mick Hume's columns in The Times (London).
A dirty tackle on the working classes
England's appearance in the Rugby World Cup final tomorrow has become another excuse for an outburst of class snobbery against football fans.
TV repeats: thanks for the memory
As commentators moan that BBC budget cuts will mean more re-runs, the new digi-channel 'Dave' reminds us why some shows are worth a second look.
What is the most ethical way to get rid of mice?
Mice are beautiful creatures, says our ethical columnist. If anything, it's human beings that should be 'got rid of'.
It is striking the extent to which Bin Laden, celebrity terrorist of the MTV era, speaks through Western dummies rather than in his own voice.
|Monday 22 October 2007|
Abortion: What You Didn’t Need To See
The Channel 4 Dispatches documentary on late abortion and fetal pain was a gratuitous and confused mess.
Let us decriminalise abortion altogether
Did you know that abortion is still formally illegal in the UK? Here's why the 1967 Abortion Act needs to be overhauled.
Abortion: stop hiding behind The Science
With anti-abortionists pushing 'scientific evidence' on fetal viability, it is time to restate the moral case for a woman's right to choose.
|Tuesday 23 October 2007|
Why everyone is getting out of their box over the fact that some supermarket packaging can't be recycled?
Knocking school sports for six
From football to frisbee, school sport is being stripped of its competitive element and turned into a tool for social engineering.
In Defence of Bad Losers
Should the England Rugby Union team’s ‘manly tears’ and Lewis Hamilton’s politeness really make them ‘role models’?
|Wednesday 24 October 2007|
A tactical re-treaty for Europe's elites
The debate about the Lisbon Treaty - the European Constitution rehashed - reveals how divorced European leaders are from the European masses.
Scientists should never be censored
In turning James Watson into a pariah, Britain’s scientific community failed miserably in its responsibility to challenge unreason through open debate.
Don’t play the ‘offence’ card
The convenor of the Manifesto Club calls for a New Deal for public debate: Stop hiding behind cries of 'offence!' and stand up for your beliefs.
|Thursday 25 October 2007|
Count me out of atheism's creed
The desire to belong has made atheism into its own religion. But non-belief is no basis for a group identity.
'New Labour is
allergic to fun'
Battle Talk: James Delingpole, author of How to Be Right, on the petty miserabilism of Britain's killjoys-in-chief.
Is it ethical to celebrate Halloween?
Our ethical columnist suggests that consumerism is a trick, not a treat.
‘Buy British’? A badly Soiled argument
Why should Third World farmers pay the price for the Soil Association’s ethical posturing on organic produce?
|Friday 26 October 2007|
Gaia theory: academic mysticism
James Lovelock’s Gaia theory started life as an interesting scientific hypothesis. A new book shows that it has since morphed into a mystical creed that sees Mother Earth as vulnerable and humans as wicked.
Escaping the ‘Malthusian trap’
In linking population growth in Africa with declining living standards, economist Gregory Clark presents poverty as a natural given rather than a product of manmade underdevelopment.
Clausewitz after 9/11
The Prussian master's brilliant analytical method in On War provides richer insights into the contemporary wars against terrorism than anything his glib critics have come up with.
A killer argument against assisted suicide
In exposing the euthanasia lobby’s disregard for equality before the law, and for free will itself, Neil M Gorsuch has written the most important book yet on the ‘right to die’.
Capitalism in ‘ruthless profit-making’ shock!
Far from being big, bold or original, Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine is shallow and simplistic, and reading it feels like being bored to death in a pub by refugees from the 1980s Left.
PC in the dock
Why did so many leap to the conclusion that white lacrosse players at Duke University must have been guilty of gang-raping a black woman? This disturbing book reveals how political correctness led to a disastrous rush to judgement.
After Chick Lit, welcome to ‘baby-sick lit’
The latest publishing craze – rapid-consumption novels about women trying to conceive – is not quite the literary cup of hot chocolate that was provided by Bridget Jones and the other zany singletons of the Chick Lit era.
Five books on terrorism you aren’t allowed to read
Authors whose books on terrorism have been ‘erased from the map’ by English libel actions - that is, effectively banned in the UK - tell British readers what they’re missing out on.
Is Israel the organ-grinder?
Walt and Mearsheimer are on to something when they say the invasion of Iraq was not in America’s national interest. But they’re way off the mark to claim that Israel and its agents orchestrated the war.
Ten days that shook the world
On the ninetieth anniversary, American journalist John Reed's pulsating first-hand account of the October Revolution remains a powerful antidote to our historical amnesia about what happened in Russia in 1917.
|Monday 29 October 2007|
Brown gives a whole new meaning to ‘liberty’
The British PM treats freedom as a stuffy British tradition, through which he might 'connect' with an atomised public. Thomas Jefferson he ain't.
Citizenship education: making kids conform
The UK citizenship curriculum is authoritarian, undermines independent thinking and it won't solve the problem of political disengagement.
Why is Britain so
scared of Halloween?
Concerned Christians, police with helmet-cams, greens monitoring our pumpkin waste… some scary figures will be out in force this week.
|Tuesday 30 October 2007|
‘New Labour flushed liberty down the toilet’
Chris Atkins, director of Taking Liberties, talks about freedom, fear and how the government is making us all ‘stand in the naughty corner’.
Toilets for all! A brief history of the WC
The seventh World Toilet Summit kicks off in New Delhi tomorrow, and its message is clear: people in the developing world need lavatories.
David Cameron’s demographic determinism
In claiming the UK is overpopulated by migrants, the Tory leader has shown himself to be a fully paid-up member of the New Malthusians.
|Wednesday 31 October 2007|
Pacifist-Imperialists vs the Saudis
Anti-arms protesters ask the war-mongering British government and our unelected queen to teach the Saudi king about rights and morality.
Saudi sheikhs star in
If an autocratic anachronism like King Abdullah didn’t exist, some human rights crusaders might need to invent him.