Move over Soccer Mom — meet Ecomom
‘Eco-motherhood’, which encourages a morbid preoccupation with waste and guilt about having kids, won’t save the planet – but it might just drive you crazy.
A potted history of media deference
The ‘gentleman’s agreement’ between editors and royals about Harry’s stint in Afghanistan is not the first time the media have bowed and scraped before royalty.
The phoney war over Harry of Afghanistan
While both bombastic defenders and shrill critics of the pact of silence are firing blanks, nobody wants to debate Britain’s real Afghan war
|Tuesday 4 March 2008|
The Independent, Big Oil and me
A gossip columnist’s libel against spiked in a national newspaper unwittingly revealed a lot about contemporary politics and debate.
The student doth protest too much
Teachers should not backslap a group of teenage girls who refused to sit an exam on Shakespeare in protest against his anti-Semitism.
Clinton v Obama: the identity wars
With Hillary as ‘put-upon woman’ and Obama as ‘race victim’, the Democrat contest is all about Who You Are rather than what you believe.
|Wednesday 5 March 2008|
Why we need a Humanist Reformation
Our response to religious radicalism should not be to plea for moderation, but rather to inject some real radicalism into politics.
The myth of the Latino voting bloc
Clinton, Obama and McCain are frantically courting Hispanics - but in an era of fluid, fly-by-night politics, blocs are unpredictable.
In an era when suffering is celebrated and we all must ‘Believe the Victim’, is it any wonder people make up wild stories about wolves and Nazis?
|Thursday 6 March 2008|
The lingering death of American conservatism
In defining American conservatism against overblown enemies, William F Buckley Jr, who died last week, gave birth to a weak and disparate grouping.
A Hodge-podge approach to high culture
With Margaret Hodge slamming the Proms as too posh, and schools spoonfeeding children ‘quality culture’, it's clear New Labour doesn’t know its arts from its elbow.
Brown’s ‘Manchurian’ attack on democracy
Last night’s debate on the Lisbon Treaty finally exposed the New Labour government’s deep-seated fear of consulting the public.
|Friday 7 March 2008|
Putting the cuffs on free expression
This month's Much Ado About Nothing Moral Furore Award goes to the killjoys who kicked up a fuss over Tim Cahill’s ‘handcuffs’ goal celebration.
‘24-hour booze culture’: the sober truth
Britain’s anti-social pub closing hours and the barrage of guff about Prince Harry – read Mick Hume’s columns in The Times (London).
Colin Norris and the ‘ageing timebomb’
Was the murder of four pensioners by a British nurse a savage expression of today’s devaluation of older people’s lives?
Why shouldn’t suicide be stigmatised?
BBC1’s Surviving Suicide was poignant, but its non-judgementalism was symptomatic of today’s ambivalence about human life.
Is it ethical to home-school my kids?
Regular schools are full of anthropocentric notions of human rationality and superiority - and feral children driven mad by processed foods.
The King of ‘Climate Porn’
A new book by David King, the UK government’s former chief scientific adviser, sheds more heat than light on the global warming debate.
|Monday 10 March 2008|
Chinese workers? Let them pick up litter
The hysterical campaign against plastic bags in the West is causing massive job losses in the East, and leaving people on the scrap heap.
Why Tibetophilia won’t set Tibet free
Western pro-Tibet campaigning is driven less by a passion for freedom, than by disgust with modernity - and a view of the Chinese as ‘subhuman’.
The Chinese: from Yellow Peril to Green Peril?
The slandering of China as a sooty, smoggy ‘destroyer of the planet’ overlooks the sweeping historic benefits of Chinese growth.
|Tuesday 11 March 2008|
A ‘legal war’ would have been even worse
Five years on, the non-stop nitpicking over the legality of Iraq exposes the moral turpitude of the anti-war cynics.
Shannon: overshadowed by Our Maddie
Why hasn’t the missing working-class girl Shannon Matthews received the same attention as Madeleine McCann?
Rule 9: Concerns about older mothers are based on moralism, not medicine.
Let us challenge the ‘procreational ageism’ that labels teen mums as feckless Vicky Pollards and older mums as selfish career-obsessives.
|Wednesday 12 March 2008|
Spitzer is down, but Spitzerism remains
The Governor of New York State has been reduced to ‘Client Number 9’ in a prostitution case, but his cynical approach to politics lives on.
The Budget: a cheap excuse for politics
The narcoleptic discussion of New Labour’s financial plans should act as a wake-up call about the crisis of democratic debate.
The seven deadly personality disorders
With lust relabelled ‘sex addiction’ and gluttony turned into an ‘eating disorder’, it’s no wonder Catholics are unsure about the seven deadly sins.
|Thursday 13 March 2008|
Swearing an oath of allegiance to me
The attacks on the proposal that schoolkids should swear an oath to Queen Elizabeth II were driven more by narcissism than republicanism.
Blasphemy is dead!
Long live blasphemy!
England’s dusty, archaic and unpopular blasphemy laws look set to be abolished, but Ofcom and others are keeping their censorious spirit alive.
Food Price Crisis: the world won’t starve just yet
Prices have leapt due to growing demand, but we can feed the world if we refuse to allow irrational ideas – like environmentalism – to get in the way.
|Friday 14 March 2008|
A Cup half empty
As thrilling as last weekend's FA Cup matches were, it'll take more than pitch invasions and the absence of the Big Four to restore the magic of the cup.
In defence of Delia
Why frozen potatoes are now heresy, and New Labour’s nuclear impotence – read Mick Hume’s columns in The Times (London).
Do mention the war
'Allo 'Allo may have featured predatory homo-Germans, idiotic French resistance fighters and posturing Italians, but it mocked we Brits, too.
Escape white culture – put on the hijab!
The BBC’s White Girl was stuffed with prejudices about the scum of the earth (white working-class families) and the salt of the earth (Muslims).
Is it ethical to watch Delia Smith?
Who are the real dons of counterknowledge?
Blaming the demise of Enlightenment thinking on poo-inspecting nutritionists and one-eyed Islamists gets things the wrong way round.
|Monday 17 March 2008|
Why they still fear
‘rivers of blood’
Today’s elite shares many of the prejudices about immigration expressed by Enoch Powell in 1968. PLUS: Shirley Dent on Liam Byrne.
Bear Stearns: politicians bail out
The collapse of another bank shows the credit crunch is spreading from ‘contamination’ to ‘contagion’. Why isn’t the political class paying attention?
Using Tibet to settle scores with China
Tibetans want to be free. But they’ve been given a green light to riot by Western elements driven more by spite and envy than a love for liberty.
|Tuesday 18 March 2008|
Obesity in Australia
Waiting for Sarko
The local elections in France confirmed that Sarkozy has turned French politics into a bitter, sub-Beckettian pantomime.
By showing all sides as victims of war, Nick Broomfield’s Battle for Haditha can only find ‘common humanity’ in our ability to suffer.
Let’s challenge this diseased view of migration
The scare about Eastern European construction workers spreading STDs in Britain is infused with old and new prejudices about migrants.
|Wednesday 19 March 2008|
Cruel to Be Kind
Michael Gondry’s latest film features his usual whimsy and other-worldliness — but what he really needs is a good screenwriter.
Beijing 2008: choking on China-bashing
Claims that the great Beijing smog will possibly kill Western athletes are based more on hot air than hard facts.
Censorship built on
The global campaign to ban junk food ads is based on junk science: there's little evidence children 'eat what they watch'.
Britain: the incapacity capital of Europe
Our society is healthier and longer-living than ever before. So why are millions of Britons seen as too ill, stressed-out or unhappy to work?
|Thursday 20 March 2008|
The unhappy marriage of public and private
Why, unfortunately, the McCartney divorce circus matters – read Mick Hume’s column in The Times (London).
You only sing when there’s no music
No buzz, no hostility and no home advantage - why piped music at football grounds ruins the match.
Tears of the clowns
BBC4’s season, ‘The Curse of Comedy’, labours an old point about the depressive tendencies of comedians, but the end result has been excellent.
Why haven’t they learned the lesson of Iraq?
On the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war, spiked’s criticisms of the war and the anti-war movement have been vindicated.
|Friday 21 March 2008|
Is environmentalism a capitalist project?
A new essay shows how big business has been won round to the idea of a 'green economy' - but it's wrong to suggest they were always so keen.
|Tuesday 25 March 2008|
After that divorce, what now for privacy?
ESSAY: Heather Mills and Paul McCartney's very public spat throws up some intriguing questions about privacy, public space and liberty today.
The tragic death of Chantal Sebire
The public parading of a severely disfigured French woman who wanted the ‘right to die’ was the equivalent of a modern-day freak show.
Gordon Brown’s register of risks? Rip it up
By labelling everything from terror to flu as a ‘security threat’, the PM is nurturing a jittery nation. PLUS: Rehabilitating Western meddling.
|Wednesday 26 March 2008|
A Rumsfeldian attack on mothers-to-be
The new warning that pregnant women should avoid booze is not evidence-based – rather it springs from the relentless moralisation of pregnancy.
How the Church exploits secular uncertainty
Catholic opposition to creating hybrid embryos is a pain. But doubt about experimentation and 'playing god' is rife in secular circles, too.
London calling — and we all ought to listen
The celebrity mayor show, featuring Ken, Boris and Brian talking about bendy-buses, provides a capital snapshot of where politics is heading.
|Thursday 27 March 2008|
It’s time to red card this call for ‘respect’
We don’t need new rules to deal with player dissent on the pitch. Refs should decide when a footballer is letting off steam or losing the plot.
Are we nostalgic for the gentlemen of the IRA?
A new documentary suggests some people are misty-eyed for the ‘respectable terrorists’ of Northern Ireland over today’s tantrum-throwing jihadists.
Take away the junk or we take away your kids
Removing obese children from their family homes won’t make them any healthier, but it will undermine parental rights and wreck families.
Why there’s no mileage in ‘food miles’
At last, people are questioning the eco-parochialism of the local-food lobby. But what we need now is a loud defence of modernised food production.
This war against anger makes me see red
The powers-that-be promote happiness and demonise anger because they prefer us to be little lambs rather than assertive firebrands.
|Friday 28 March 2008|
Defending Delia from the food fanatics
The food snobs slating Delia Smith over her new convenience cookbook seem not to realise that cooks and chefs have always cheated – with very tasty results.
Who will defend processed food?
Michael Pollan’s In Defence of Food makes some salient points about our screwed-up attitude to what we eat. But in lionising ‘natural foods’, he and his ilk have contributed to today’s wild and rotten worries about what’s on our plates.
Honderich: the thinking man’s unthinking man?
Ignoring all the piss and vinegar about philosopher Ted Honderich – who has been labelled by fellow academics as rambling, bumbling, bombastic, hateful and stupid – is his book On Consciousness actually any good? Well, yes and no.
From Somalia to Iraq: the hack as collaborator
In this extract from his new book, Philip Hammond says the media-ignited fuss over Bush and Blair’s destruction in Iraq should not blind us to the fact that throughout the 1990s, and still today, journalists collaborated with Western warmongers.
Hallucinations of Empire
In a penetrating analysis head-and-shoulders above most other books on al-Qaeda, Iraq and Islamism, Olivier Roy shows that the ‘politics of chaos’, not the ‘politics of Empire’, rules the roost in the Middle East.
Alongside its classic defence of liberty, John Stuart Mill’s most famous tract issues a clarion call to the celebration of individuality and the rejection of uniformity in thought and practice. It’s a call that rings through the ages.
‘Mill is a dead white male with something to say’
Richard Reeves, author of a brilliant new biography of JS Mill, talks to Tessa Mayes about Mill’s desire to inject public debate with truth, energy and freedom and give rise to a ‘whole society of heroes’.
Man’s unending war
Michael Baum, one of Britain’s leading experts on cancer, says a new history of mankind’s battle against the disease has flashes of brilliance, but is ultimately undermined by the author’s shrillness and self-serving manipulation of the facts.
The hole at the heart
of the Democratic Party
Billionaire funders demanding cabinet jobs, clueless bloggers advising party bigwigs… the hollowed-out, ill-disciplined Democratic Party looks set to be overrun by opportunistic gatecrashers.
Untying the ‘ribbon culture’
A brilliant new book explores what the relentless rise of awareness-raising ribbons – kitsch fashion items that express the wearer’s fear of disease or empathy with victims – reveals about our morbid, narcissistic society.
|Monday 31 March 2008|
Should we stamp out ‘designer deafness’?
Sandy Starr of the Progress Educational Trust asks why the UK government is legislating against something as rare as pro-deaf embryo selection.
I’m backing Boris for London mayor
Where Ken Livingstone cynically postured against MMR, risking the health of London’s children, Boris Johnson at least defended the vaccine.
Why rising abortion rates are not a problem
Let’s welcome the fact that women take motherhood so seriously that, with the aid of abortion, they put it off till they’re ready.