Don’t let EastEnders grind you down
Read Mick Hume in The Times (London) on why a 50-year-old Alan Sillitoe novel is far superior to today's grimy TV soaps.
The Countdown to the end
With Des O’Connor and Carol Vorderman departing, the end is nigh for Channel 4’s words and numbers quiz.
Boxing: a life less ordinary
Saturday's welterweight title fight exemplified the joy and brutality of the sport - and why it must not be banned.
How the politics of lifestyle imprisons communities
A fascinating new book argues that Americans are forming separatist ‘lifestyle tribes’. How did this happen – and how can it be challenged?
|Monday 4 August 2008|
Barry George: a victim of emotional tyranny?
The fate of Barry George shows that the sort of public mourning unleashed by Jill Dando’s death has a dark, vengeful side.
Hadrian still speaks to us, but not about Iraq
The British Museum’s new exhibition is fascinating in its own right - so let's stop trying to make it so achingly now.
Starbucks and the socialism of fools
Commentators’ glee at the closure of 700 coffee shops, and the loss of more than 12,000 jobs, exposes the inhumanity of anti-globalisation.
|Tuesday 5 August 2008|
A green light to attack the Red Dragon
Yesterday’s massacre of Chinese police officers highlights the dangers behind the international politicisation of the Olympics.
Censorship online: who needs evidence?
A new UK parliamentary report says the internet must be regulated to protect children - even though there’s no proof they are being harmed.
The privatisation of politics
New Labour’s power struggle looks like medieval-style infighting between courtly cliques, from which we peasants are excluded.
|Wednesday 6 August 2008|
Kingsnorth: a camp of uncritical conformity
The ‘climate campers’ pose as radical – yet their disdain for consumerism and love of sustainability makes them little different to Gordon Brown.
Man on Wire: living life on a tightrope
A new heist-style docudrama about a Frenchman who crossed a tightrope between the Twin Towers is a spellbinding tribute to risky living.
Don’t blame parents for ‘cotton-wool kids’
Today is Playday, a celebration of children’s ‘right to play’ - and an ideal time to have a kickabout with the culture of fear that imprisons our kids.
|Thursday 7 August 2008|
Another fat-headed exercise
Read Mick Hume in The Times (London) on why he refused to let his child be weighed by the UK government’s health police.
What not to wear... drink, eat or say
Alongside the election and the credit crunch, the endless policing of personal behaviour should be a Big Story in America.
The BBFC is scarier than The Dark Knight
The killjoy, censorious politicians calling on the BBFC to give the scary new Batman film a 15 certificate should grow some cojones.
Sillitoe: still smokin’ after all these years
Fifty years on, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning – a tale of boozing, womanising, resilience and aspiration – seems more uplifting than ever.
|Friday 8 August 2008|
Is it ethical to boycott Beijing?
Our ethical columnist discusses the Beijing Olympics
Putting the ‘I’ into
The arrest of four Free Tibet protesters in Beijing shows that Tibet still fulfills the fantasies of posh, disillusioned Westerners.
spiked’s Top 10 Olympic moments
The Games have thrown up scores of incredible performances, political spats and glorious characters. Here's our pick of the best.
There is only one ‘Olympic value’: win, win, win
The assault on China even for its ‘gold medal culture’ exposes the mad mix of moral disdain and moral relativism behind China-bashing.
|Monday 11 August 2008|
Even capitalism’s fan club is losing faith
Why have free marketeers joined greens and ‘anti-capitalists’ in arguing that economic growth is a bad thing?
Fear is no way to defend the right to bear arms
The push for new laws to allow guns on campus is built on the same irrational panic that fuels the campaign for gun controls.
Georgia: the messy truth behind the morality tale
The black-and-white reading of the horrific violence in South Ossetia overlooks the role of the ‘war on terror’ in destabilising the region.
|Tuesday 12 August 2008|
Children, forward to the Glorious Green Future!
Kids are being re-educated to become moaning little Maoists forcing their ignorant mums and dads to ‘go green’.
From food to sex: defend spontaneity
Whether we’re drinking or fornicating, why are we always being told to ‘stop, think, proceed with caution’?
Spell it like it is
The idea that we shuold except student’s spelling misstakes as merely ‘variant spellings’ speaks to the denigration of Trooth in education.
|Wednesday 13 August 2008|
Sun, sea, sand and snobbery
Ignore the shrill headlines about badly-behaved British tourists: the overwhelming majority have a great time overseas.
‘Our Maddie’ makes a media comeback
The silly-season resurrection of the McCann tragedy shows that this was always a cynical, elite-scripted drama.
Rwanda: obscuring the truth about the genocide
Far from being radical, the attacks on France for its role in the 1994 war are designed to whitewash Western intervention more broadly.
|Thursday 14 August 2008|
Kicking against the plastic pricks
Why are some men getting stiff with rage over the sale of women’s sex toys in Sweden’s state-run pharmacies?
Medicine: the good, the bad and the ugly
A report on the lively, frequently passionate debate about medicine organised by spiked and Wellcome Collection.
The Olympics: playing political games
The sporting festival has long been viewed through the political mood of the moment, from the age of empire to the politics of fear today.
|Friday 15 August 2008|
A festival of pre-emptive grovelling
The threat to artistic freedom comes not from Islamists but from an invertebrate cultural elite: read Mick Hume in The Times.
A disgusting example of ‘junk television’
BBC3 has given us yet another helping of mechanically-generated TV designed to scare us about what we eat.
Forget diving, and let the real games begin
The first week of the Olympics is little more than a series of warm-up exercises before the real thing: track and field.
Who’s afraid of corporate shills?
A new book on scary shills whitewashes the intellectual failures of the left, and shirks the task of putting forward a political alternative.
|Monday 18 August 2008|
The myth of a plucky republic
After Georgia: Far from ‘defending democracy’, Saakashvili and his backers have robbed Georgians of any real say over their fate.
NATO, but not as they know it
After Georgia: The crisis in the Caucasus reveals the West’s Cold War-era peace-keeping alliance as a force of instability and division today.
Why the West can’t kick its Cold War habit
After Georgia: In an era of juvenile diplomacy and patternless foreign policy, Cold War talk can easily become Hot War horrors.
|Tuesday 19 August 2008|
The ping pong and the passion
Ignore the ignoramuses who say table tennis isn’t a real Olympic sport and behold Wang Hao: the greatest Olympian of 2008.
Blaming affluence for crime? That’s a bit rich
David Lammy’s ‘explanation’ for the teenage stabbings in London is a pointed attack on aspiration and prosperity.
Against all booze bans
The author of a report launched today calls for an end to the state control of public drinking. PLUS: Exclusive extract from a new study on the pub.
|Wednesday 20 August 2008|
Seeing through this
Spanish athletes have been slated for mocking the Chinese. So why is it okay for Free Tibet activists to peddle slitty-eyed prejudices?
The mad ranting of our next king
With his over-emotional, fact-lite insistence that GM is ‘destroying everything!’, Charles echoes his unfortunate ancestor George III.
The British government is exploiting the odious Gary Glitter to smash freedom of movement and hector governments in the Third World.
|Thursday 21 August 2008|
The rise and rise of 'anti-design'
Designers who focus on producing only meek and sustainable things are denying their own creativity and impact on the world.
Drive this careless law off the statute books
A law that criminalises death by careless driving is New Labour’s ‘Dangerous Dogs moment’: desperate, crude, illiberal.
Outrunning sport’s witch-finder generals
Christine Ohuruogu’s gold medal in the Olympic 400m is a victory over grey-faced, doping-obsessed bureaucrats.
There’s another word for ‘water neutrality’: death
The demand that we should be ‘water wise’ shines a light on what lies behind the politics of environmentalism: shame at our existence.
|Friday 22 August 2008|
Why I am rabid about Rabbie
Ignore Jeremy Paxman’s attack on Robert Burns for being sentimental. The Scottish Bard was a fine, humanist poet.
What makes a great Olympian?
Michael Phelps’ medal haul is nothing to be sniffed at, but there’s more to greatness than the quantity of golds.
Forget the Games, here
come the gee-gees
With no nationalism, and sportsmen too tired to blab in interviews, horse-racing beats Beijing hands down.
Is it ethical to take fat kids into care?
Why obese children are a heavy burden for Gaia to bear - and why they must be kept away from their resource-guzzling parents.
From insurgency to identity
Like a magician wriggling free from a straitjacket, Sinn Fein ditched universalism and reinvented itself as a party of victimhood.
|Tuesday 26 August 2008|
Raising a glass to public spiritedness
Yesterday’s ‘provocation picnic’ in Hyde Park was a protest against officialdom’s bizarre bans on public boozing.
Humans are more important than animals
When it comes to using animals in research, the only moral judgement should be: does it benefit humankind?
‘We must break the limits of previous generations’
The creator of the world's first rotating skyscraper talks to spiked about changing the Dubai skyline and challenging post-9/11 gloom.
|Wednesday 27 August 2008|
Obama’s Democrats: as Conventional as ever
Guy Rundle reports from Denver on why the party is ignoring the working class: anything else would mean backing up the rhetoric with real change.
After Beijing: can only dictatorships dazzle?
What Beijing’s opening ceremony and London’s handover ceremony reveal about China and Britain. PLUS: Londoners gear up for 2012.
The shame of Salman Rushdie’s secular fatwa
In using England's archaic libel laws to have books pulped, the former free speech martyr puts himself in the same camp as censorious mullahs.
|Thursday 28 August 2008|
And the gold for cynicism goes to…
With the Games over, British bigwigs can return to other sports, like moaning about 2012 and sneering about football.
Who does Jerry Springer think he is?
It was a bit much to watch the creator of hundreds of TV victims posing as an ersatz ‘Holocaust victim’ on BBC1.
Is it ethical to use toilet paper?
Our ethical columnist explains the proper way to wipe away the damage we inflict on the planet.
Russia’s first ‘Western-style’ war
Far from the Russian Bear reasserting its Great Power, its foreign policy, like Britain and America’s, is uncertain and erratic.
The politics of recognition
Attacks on Russia for recognising breakaway regions in Georgia are riddled with hypocrisy: Moscow is playing a game invented by the West.
|Friday 29 August 2008|
China: waking from its ‘Beijing Coma’
Ma Jian’s gripping novel about Tiananmen Square, told from the point of view of a comatose, injured protester, vividly captures the years of slow-motion blackout that followed the government crackdown in 1989.
Changing the meaning of ‘change’
Charles Leadbeater tries to convince a sceptical Martyn Perks about the positive powers of 'we think' and how unleashing the creative potential of ambitious individuals could potentially overhaul society.
Philip Bobbitt: you’re either with him or against him
Terror and Consent has been hailed as a profound treatise on terrorism. In truth, it rehashes the paranoia and authoritarianism of the ‘war on terror’ and writes off anyone who dares to disagree with its thesis.
The end of food? Don’t swallow it
Paul Roberts launches some astute attacks on the system of global food production. But in the end, his partial criticisms and doom-laden outlook leave him choking on pessimism.
The dialectic of wearing an iPod
Michael Bull argues that the wearing of iPods signals the emergence of a new self, one that is cut off from 'chilly' urban landscapes. Perhaps. But that is not the whole story.
Robert Reich has written a fairly sophisticated critique of contemporary capitalism. Yet he manages to twist his assault on big business into a demand that the masses should accept a cut in their living standards.
The revolting world of middle-class prejudice
In deriding mass party politics, attacking mums who use disposable nappies and slagging off thick cab drivers, a new ‘protesters’ handbook’ is about as rebellious as the newspaper that published it: the Guardian.
The real Kafka, warts,
porn, whores and all
Excavating Kafka, a brilliant work of iconoclasm by James Hawes, picks apart the trendy morbid myths surrounding Franz Kafka, and allows us to behold the man – the real man – and appreciate his works anew.
Dare to be moral
Susan Neiman’s fascinating new book, a guide to morality for grown-up idealists, reminds us of the importance of human reason in resolving the age-old philosophical tension between what ‘is’ and what ‘ought to be’.
The authorities have lied, and I am not glad
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick, author of 1987’s The Truth About the AIDS Panic, says it is a shame that AIDS insiders did not expose the myths and opportunism of the AIDS industry earlier. But still, better late than never.