Elvis: in the ghetto,
but not a Gypsy
A magazine for British school students on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller history is packed with cant and misinformation.
The real choice: public or private squalor
After Darzi, patients are still treated as poor supplicants or truculent consumers prone to outbursts of violence.
I don’t want any more ‘patient choice’!
The Darzi review’s focus on empowering patients reveals the UK government’s lack of vision for health, and its degraded vision of citizens.
|Wednesday 2 July 2008|
Obama: wind of change or feeble breeze?
Kirk Leech reports from Miami and Washington DC on how the Democrats are parasitical on Republican disarray.
Black Watch: porn for the theatregoing classes
Why the London literati is lapping up a play about sexist, smoking, foul-mouthed British squaddies in Iraq.
Paying the price for inflating property
No wonder a house price fall can cause such alarm when Britain has so much economic, political and cultural capital tied up in paper assets.
|Thursday 3 July 2008|
Why it’s time to demolish Robin Hood Gardens
The co-author of a new architectural manifesto says tearing down the brutalist housing estate is fully in the spirit of modernism.
The World Wide Web is nothing like a brain
Contrary to what Wired argues, there is a world of difference between super-powerful computers and human thought.
The fag end of advocacy research
On closer inspection, claims that England's smoking ban has led to a steep fall in heart attacks quickly turn to ash.
The crazy world of England’s smoking ban
It’s built on anti-pub prejudice, junk science and petty authoritarianism. So one year on, why do so few people see the ban as a blow to our freedom?
|Friday 4 July 2008|
66p? That’s too high a price for the Queen
Saving money is not the big reason why the British monarchy should be abolished. Read Mick Hume’s column in The Times.
The trash Khan of history
By swapping Ghengis Khan’s remarkable history for sanitised fiction, Mongol proves massively underwhelming.
Spain finally shakes off the ‘bottler’ tag
Spain's victory in Euro 2008 means that only England, Holland and Portugal now languish in The Perennial Underachievers’ Club.
Middle-class murder: so much more palatable
Why are so many murder dramas set in posh areas? Because TV execs think only the well-to-do have interesting reasons for killing each other.
Why both sides are wrong in the race debate
In his new book, Kenan Malik slams those who are turning the divisive politics of identity into a natural feature of the human condition.
|Monday 7 July 2008|
GM: it’s safe, but it’s not a saviour
Denis Murphy, a leading British expert on biotech, says GM food is very beneficial – but it won’t solve the food price crisis.
Food price rises: are biofuels to blame?
Forget crops-for-energy. The politics of protectionism and environmentalism are far bigger culprits in the global food crisis.
Why facts won’t demolish the conspiracy theories
A report on the collapse of Tower 7 will not shut up 9/11 Truthers: their theories spring from a culture of mistrust, suspicion and ‘agency panic’.
|Tuesday 8 July 2008|
G8 summit: a global displacement activity
Western governments’ desire to globalise big issues - from poverty to climate change - is an attempt to escape real responsibility for policymaking.
The BMA: censorious, busybody killjoys
The British Medical Association’s demand for the censorship of ‘smoking imagery’ suggests doctors fancy themselves as the new priests.
Knife crime panic nears crisis point
As British society retreats behind an anti-stab vest, the risk of being paralysed by fear grows far faster than the risk of being stabbed.
|Wednesday 9 July 2008|
Is the info highway turning into the M25?
A report on last night’s lively spiked debate on the internet crunch. PLUS: Exclusive new stats on the ‘bandwidth famine’.
Why Britain cannot find a Wimbledon champion
A tennis coach and player looks at why Brits are the eternal losers of the international tennis scene.
Sweden: the myth of a cuddly liberal democracy
Osama bin Laden is on record saying he would never bomb Sweden – so why is it introducing one of the most draconian anti-terror laws in Europe?
|Thursday 10 July 2008|
Battle for China: the ballad of Qu Yuan
The clash between Chinese officials and radicals over whether an ancient poet was a patriot or dissenter is about more than literary heritage.
Jesse Helms and the crisis of the GOP
The death of the racist former Republican Senator on the Fourth of July shed some light on the deeper crisis afflicting the Grand Old Party.
After that by-election, what now for liberty?
As a result of a whispering witch-hunt and his own inability to defend freedom, David Davis’s experiment failed. spiked takes over.
|Friday 11 July 2008|
Where’s Dr Who when you need him?
It’s hardly surprising that some imagine UFOs in our age of Unsubstaniated Frightening Occurrences. Read Mick Hume’s column in The Times (London).
Jeremy Clarkson: because he’s worth it
He may caricature greens as cabbage-eating lesbians, but Clarkson says what people think. And the Beeb is right to pay him handsomely.
Forget sportsmanship - it’s all about winning
Andy Murray was too aggressive, surly, hairy and charmless for British sports writers. They prefer polite losers like Tim Henman.
Is it ethical to work in a leisure centre?
The truth about our post-American world
Fareed Zakaria’s twists and turns in his hot new political book mirror the deep disarray running through the Washington Beltway.
|Monday 14 July 2008|
Belfast: a tale of two cities
Rebranding Orange parades as ‘Orangefest’ and scrubbing murals off the walls cannot disguise the divisions that still exist in Belfast.
If you can’t inspire them, bribe them
In offering iPods to people who vote, the New Labour government is taking its cue from the Fidel Castro School of Public Engagement.
Dwain Chambers: sport’s last great hope?
Anyone who cares about sport should cheer the British runner’s attempt to beat the moralising bureaucrats and compete at Beijing 2008.
|Tuesday 15 July 2008|
Who demolished the housing industry?
The UK’s housebuilders are laying off thousands of staff while millions struggle to buy a home - all thanks to the anti-growth lobby.
A naked return for puritanism
A row in Australia over an art magazine cover shows that our leaders are less at ease with child nudity than the prudish Victorians were.
The rise of China — threat or opportunity?
From Green fears to Cold War fantasies, the West’s own cultural confusion explains why it cannot make its mind up about China.
|Wednesday 16 July 2008|
Nothing Romantic about environmentalists
The great nineteenth-century English poets waxed lyrical about nature, but they still believed in humanity - unlike today’s eco-pessimists.
Uncovered: the elite’s view of white America
Many writers fear that the masses are too dumb to ‘get’ the New Yorker’s satirical front page picture. Trouble is, Obama agrees with them.
The real ‘depression’ is in political outlook
Today’s economic problems ought to be more manageable than past capitalist recessions, were it not for the crisis of leadership in the West.
|Thursday 17 July 2008|
When it comes to farming, big is beautiful
BBC2’s new series, Jimmy Doherty's Farming Heroes, provides some jaw-dropping examples of the wonders of modern agriculture.
Sudan: an indictment of liberal intervention
Prosecuting President Omar al-Bashir for genocide might make Westerners feel good, but it will only exacerbate the conflict in Darfur.
Rule 13: You don’t have to love your maternity leave
Month after month bonding with baby can be tiring and stressful. But dumping more of the burden on to men is no solution.
|Friday 18 July 2008|
Free Ronaldo! (and good riddance)
He’s hardly in chains, but a footballer on £120,000 a week should be as free to leave his job as any other ‘wage slave’. Read Mick Hume’s column in The Times (London).
Knowing your place in football’s pecking order
After the transfer of wonderkid John Bostock to Spurs, spiked’s resident Crystal Palace ‘sufferer’ has to face facts.
Hollyoaks and the madness of the TV nutter
Mentally ill people are very rarely dangerous - so why do soap operas so often portray them as homicidal maniacs?
Today, environmentalists like Guardian columnist George Monbiot are adding a gloss of ‘scientific truth’ to elite prejudices and fears.
|Monday 21 July 2008|
Cigarettes and celluloid: a dubious link
The anti-smoking lobby’s claim that puffing on the big screen encourages kids to do likewise is as fictional as anything Hollywood has produced.
Wall-E: what a waste of space
Pixar’s latest box-office smash, a cute cartoon that depicts humans as greedy fatsos, robotically recycles the anti-consumerist message.
The rise and rise of Climate Blasphemy
Today’s Ofcom ruling on The Great Global Warming Swindle strengthens the censorious forcefield around climate change experts.
|Tuesday 22 July 2008|
Donkey Punch and the Fall of Man
‘Kevin and Perry’ meets ‘Salo’ in this new Britflick, a perverse middle-class fantasy about morally slack twentysomethings on holiday in Spain.
My night of joy with the Godfather of Gloom
Poet of pessimism? No way - Leonard Cohen’s first London gig in 15 years proves that his witty, heartfelt misery is as uplifting as ever.
Fannie, Freddie and the ‘economics of fear’
The troubles at America’s big, folksy-named mortgage providers are a symptom of today's wider anxiety about the future of society.
|Wednesday 23 July 2008|
The camera never lies – but it exaggerates
A recently published series of ‘haunting pictures’ showing Beijing as a polluted, Mad Max-style dystopia were not all that they seemed.
Climate hysteria goes the ‘full monty’
BBC2's Burn Up, a big-budget, transatlantic TV drama from the pen of Simon Beaufoy which airs tonight, is tedious, scarcely believable eco-porn.
Who’s dressing up Karadzic?
The former Bosnian Serb war leader has been painted as a Hitlerian monster to try to boost the moral authority of the international community.
|Thursday 24 July 2008|
Let’s give credit where credit’s due
Whether sped-up to an unreadable blur or minimised to the point of invisibility, devaluing TV end credits devalues programme-makers.
A short history of hooligan panics
Fears about knife crime, gang culture and ‘the broken society’ are today’s big news, yet they might seem vaguely familiar - read Mick Hume in The Times.
Who gives a folk about folk music?
In the run-up to a live London debate, Neil Davenport traces beardy singers’ romanticisation of the rural past and distaste for the urban present.
‘The only certain thing is the science is uncertain’
Lord Lawson on the difficulty of publishing a contrarian book on global warming and why huge cuts in CO2 emissions would be ‘madness’.
|Friday 25 July 2008|
‘Mein Kampf for the Hollyoaks generation’
The autobiography of Mark E Smith, leader of Manchester band The Fall and working-class autodidact, reveals a man not afraid to offend people in order to attack modern taboos and liberal hypocrisy.
Mythologising the past, misunderstanding the future
Robert Kagan’s hotly debated book on the return of realpolitik to international affairs paints a rosy picture of the 1990s and a nightmarish vision of our potentially China-ruled future.
The Copernicus of the diet debate?
In his immense new tome, Gary Taubes challenges the conventional wisdom that too much cholesterol is making us ill and fatty foods are making us fat. Who knows if he’ s right, but it’ s refreshing to read such heresy.
From insurgency to identity
With the deftness of a magician wriggling free from a straitjacket, Sinn Fein ditched its universalist aspirations and reinvented itself as a municipal party of victimhood. A brilliant new book takes the party to task.
Does hypocrisy have a place in politics?
David Runciman’s new book is erudite and thought-provoking. But in lambasting the cynics who are obsessed with exposing political hypocrisy it risks defending the democratic façade to state power.
The cold comforts of
Julian Barnes’ postmodern, sort-of biography on his dread of a cold ‘hospital death’ suggests that writers who cast off God in favour of evolutionary theory can end up more fearful than liberated.
Are corporate fakers taking over the world?
A new book on the evil of corporate spin ends up whitewashing the intellectual failures of the left, and propagating delusions about twenty-first century politics that are more misleading than anything put out by the shills.
Sillitoe: still smokin’ after all these years
On the fiftieth anniversary of its publication, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning – the Nottingham-set tale of boozing, womanising, resilience and aspiration – seems more uplifting than ever.
A fascinating new book argues that Americans are forming separatist ‘lifestyle tribes’, cut-off pockets of like-mindedness within towns and cities. How did this happen – and how can it be challenged?
|Monday 28 July 2008|
Cracking the whip against free speech
DEBATE: The Mosley case shows we must defend free expression for everyone - even titillating tabloid newspapers.
Mosley’s racy sex life is none of our business
DEBATE: The outcome of Mosley v News of the World is a well-deserved victory for personal freedom and privacy.
Ignore this missive from our downbeat doctors
The British Medical Journal’s insistence that people should have fewer children speaks to our misanthropic, Malthusian, baby-fearing times.
|Tuesday 29 July 2008|
What are the odds that we’re baking the planet?
Eco-campaigners claim that climate catastrophe is a virtual certainty. A little bit of maths and logic suggests otherwise.
How to be authentic in three easy steps!
The opening of a Reality TV School that teaches Big Brother wannabes to ‘be themselves’ is deliciously ironic – and telling.
The rise of Obama and fall of Brown
The Democratic presidential hopeful conquered Europe for the same reason that the New Labour prime minister lost Glasgow East.
|Wednesday 30 July 2008|
The state-sanctioned bullying of fat kids
Why is Britain opening so many ‘fat camps’? The evidence suggests they don’t work, and only make overweight children feel isolated and ashamed.
Hands off our internet connections
The UK government is demanding that service providers punish users who share files illegally. That's a threat to everyone's freedom.
Decriminalise all drugs now, but don’t celebrate them
You can’t send truncheon-wielding cops to tackle a culture in which some people prefer to ‘get off their heads’ rather than engage with reality.
|Thursday 31 July 2008|
How The Dark Knight sheds light on the world
Christopher Nolan’s second Batman movie is a brilliant piece of movie myth-making. PLUS: Graham Barnfield on Batman’s ‘kidult’ appeal.
Turning the tables on the Inquisitors
A barrister says the widespread condemnation of the court victory of a Christian registrar shows up the intolerance of today’s liberal crusaders.
Double standards are no friend of freedom
Is the concern over Chinese censorship driven by a real desire for liberty, or fury that the Chinese have blocked the words of Western experts?