The Selection of Sarah: exciting or terrifying?
Guy Rundle reports from St Paul on the buzz about McCain’s promotion of creationist, gun-owner Sarah Palin.
The American Promise: more personality politics
Obama and McCain have remodelled themselves, and yet both remain hindered by low horizons and identity politics.
Please kill this ‘Obama assassination porn’
The Obama clique’s fear that their man will be killed by ‘rednecks with rifles’ reveals their almost aristocratic dislocation from the masses.
|Tuesday 2 September 2008|
Navel-gazing at the Edinburgh TV festival
We were promised a fiery debate about the role of news in the modern world... but we got news bosses bickering over technical issues.
After ‘Red Ken’, the blonde scaremonger
Having banned boozing on buses, now Boris is cynically exploiting fear of climate change. He is every bit Ken Livingstone’s heir.
British statesman? More like stuntmen
Rising tensions with Russia show that there is no crisis so bad it cannot be made worse by the self-serving intervention of a Brown or Miliband.
|Wednesday 3 September 2008|
It’s official: you can be fat and fit
Contrary to the government hysteria, being obese is not an indicator of ill-health, and it’s far from a death sentence.
Wanted for crimes against free expression
The Advertising Standards Authorities’ censuring of a movie poster exposes its elite disdain for the dumb masses.
Hurricane Gustav and the incitement to panic
US officials’ overblown reaction to Gustav shows that the politics of worst-case thinking can seriously harm community safety and solidarity.
|Thursday 4 September 2008|
New Labour’s crime- tinted spectacles
It’s a bit rich for a government that has screwed up the economy to fret about social atavism during a recession.
Alistair Darling’s split personality
Comparing the credit crunch to postwar Britain reveals little about today’s economy, but a lot about our leaders.
Jade Goody and her ‘celebrity cancer’
The respectable media are outraged by Jade’s illness-as-publicity-stunt. Yet they’re the ones who made cancer a subject for public titillation.
|Friday 5 September 2008|
Modern Guilt: Beck to the future
The ‘coolest Scientologist in music’ may be pushing 40, but his new album is an innovative return to form.
Government officials attack rape victim
Why Dame Helen Mirren is right about date rape and the law - read Mick Hume’s column this week in The Times (London).
The truth about ‘club before country’
It’s one of the great mysteries of our time: why players shine for their clubs but play like part-timers for England.
Why Metallica should never have cut their hair
Forget indie and punk and their conformist ‘anti-establishment’ views. Heavy metal is the real music of rebellion.
AIDS epidemic? It was a ‘glorious myth’
The author of 1987’s The Truth About the AIDS Panic welcomes two new whistleblowing texts on the opportunism of the AIDS industry.
|Monday 8 September 2008|
The truth about the pitbull in lipstick
She’s neither evil incarnate nor the saviour of the Republicans, but an opportunist who plays the ‘hockey mom’ lifestyle card.
Sarah Palin and the rise of tribal politics
In their reaction to Palin, Republicans and Democrats seemed to be worlds apart - and that’s because they are.
Is it ethical to support Sarah Palin?
Why our ethical columnist has no time for the gun-toting, pro-life wannabe VP.
Turning Sarah Palin into a twenty-first century witch
In our era of lifestyle politics, the PC moral crusade against Palin exposes the cosmopolitan elite’s contempt for the common people.
|Tuesday 9 September 2008|
Has spiked infiltrated Barack Obama’s party?
The internet has exposed a spiked writer’s role in determining the direction of the US election. Or has it…?
Northern Ireland: painting over the cracks
20 years ago Kevin Rooney was defacing loyalist murals. So why is he now concerned that the authorities are removing them?
Rule 14: Nobody needs a ‘Grandparents’ Charter’
The army of unpaid conscripts who look after their grandkids is growing – but they don’t need a rulebook to manage their childcare affairs.
|Wednesday 10 September 2008|
Hell hath no fury like a Eurocrat scorned
A leaked briefing reveals why officials think they lost the Irish referendum: because there’s ‘too much’ press freedom.
Environmentalism or death: that's the choice?
It’s fitting that the scaremonger Caroline Lucas has been elected first leader of the doom-obsessed Green Party.
Let’s cap this myth of overpopulation
The Balanced Migration group moans that Britain will need seven new cities to cope with an influx of immigrants. Well, let’s start building then.
|Thursday 11 September 2008|
Why I’ve got a beef with going vegetarian
After policing how we shop, holiday and dispose of waste, now environmental bigwigs want to turn us into eco-veggies.
Food prices: don’t turn a drama into a crisis
We could challenge the food crisis by calling on governments to remove the bizarre barriers to producing more food.
A Big Bang for Big Bang’s sake
Ignore those who complain that the collider experiment won’t have tangible benefits. Not every good can be measured. Plus photos.
From the politics to the economics of fear
The financial crisis and the reactions to it show that capitalism today is risk-averse and state-nursed rather than recklessly ‘neo-liberal’.
|Friday 12 September 2008|
Dump the apostrophe? Apostasy!
To allow sloppy spelling would be a cue for sloppy thinking. Read Mick Hume’s column in The Times (London).
The First Law of Soccer Self-Delusion
... is that the epithet ‘massive club’ is used by lazy journalists and desperate fans to describe success-starved teams.
The 9/11 faker: suffering as celebrity
Tania Head, who achieved fame posing as a survivor of 9/11, grasped the source of modern celebrity: victimhood.
Is it ethical to shut down power stations?
Our ethical columnist gets all misty-eyed at the thought of eco-warriors pulling the plug on Britain's power industry.
Dare to be moral
Frank Furedi welcomes a new guide to morality for ‘grown-up idealists’, which reminds us how important is human reason in shaping the future.
|Monday 15 September 2008|
The ‘Bosnian model’ is no model for Georgia
Turning sections of the Caucasus into international protectorates will not deliver anything like democracy.
RocknRolla: it’s a self-parody, innit geez?
Critics have watched Guy Ritchie’s latest gangster movie and asked: ‘Is he taking the piss?’ Er, yes, he is.
The Greenpeace activists acquitted of criminal damage are not true protesters: they are part of a new caste of agitated bourgeois insiders.
|Tuesday 16 September 2008|
Who will win the polar bear vote?
It started out as a joke, but now the question of who polar bears would vote for in the US election is getting serious.
Challenging the politics of passivity
Whether lecturing parents or exaggerating security threats, both Obama and McCain see Americans as helpless victims.
Lehman Brothers: when confidence runs out
The crisis on Wall Street shows that a risk-averse outlook - not foolish financiers - is the biggest threat to the economy.
|Wednesday 17 September 2008|
Five myths about the Wall Street crisis
Beneath the startling headlines, many of the explanations for the troubles at Lehman Brothers and AIG are sub-prime.
Turning growing up into going mad
A new campaign to tackle ‘ignorance’ about mental health issues among the young pathologises being a teenager.
Labour’s cowardly coup: the sequel
The ‘plot’ to overthrow UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown appears even more gutless than the one he staged against Tony Blair.
|Thursday 18 September 2008|
Creationism: why we need open debate
The Royal Society’s cowardly decision to force out its education director shows its inability to defend science.
The future of America: out of one, many
While a new census reveals that US whites will be a minority by 2042, a dominant cultural majority has long been lacking.
Rule 15: Not everyone you know is a latent paedophile
Allowing everyone to vet their neighbours and partners won’t save children from abuse, but it will have a poisonous effect on community life.
|Friday 19 September 2008|
Frustration: the thrill of The Chaser
Korean director Hong-Jin Na’s debut is a dark and deadly delight where the overwhelming theme is impotence.
Britishness: the last refuge
...of politicians who don’t know who we are or what they stand for. Read Mick Hume’s column in The Times (London).
You’re not big and you’re not special
Newcastle United and their fans are touted as a nation apart, but in truth they're the same as everyone else.
In praise of the ‘Nazi Channel’
UKTV History shows that commercial channels can provide enlightening programming, too.
The real Kafka, warts, whores and all
A new book smashes the myths shrouding Kafka, and allows us to appreciate his works anew.
|Monday 22 September 2008|
How the culture wars killed free expression
Christopher Shinn, the writer of new political play Now or Later, explains how campus censorship strangles debate.
A welcome break from
Despite the demise of holiday firm XL and money troubles at Alitalia, the desire to travel remains as strong as ever.
Tackling the epidemic of ‘bad science’
In his new book, Ben Goldacre takes a welcome swipe at quackery, but misses the wider abuse of science for political ends.
|Tuesday 23 September 2008|
Capitalising on climate change
The emergence of a market in carbon emission rights shows that there is big money to be made from trading in hot air.
The best foundation for the web: open debate
Tim Berners-Lee’s new group aims for a ‘free and open’ web, but the idea of ‘rating’ content would close down discussion.
Only a mug would bank on a crisis
Does the current economic turmoil really offer New Labour prime minister Gordon Brown his best hope of survival? Don’t bet on it.
|Wednesday 24 September 2008|
The moralistic myth of the ‘demon drink’
The UK government’s list of nine types of heavy drinker is based less on scientific research than puritan zeal.
Going over the top in the ‘climate war’
A recent BBC series showed how dubious scientific conclusions are weapons in the politicised debate over global warming.
Time to shoot down this anti-human outlook
While the existence of homicidal lunatics, like Finnish gunman Maati Saari, is nothing new, the wider cultural resonance of their actions is.
|Thursday 25 September 2008|
An endless diet of government intervention
Health authorities and food campaigners have pursued their pet projects by promoting scare stories about children’s health.
Turning the Holocaust into a fable
The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas is just the latest example of the Final Solution being reduced to a trite morality tale.
It’s the politics, stupid
The turmoil in the financial markets has become a real economic downturn because of the fearful and incoherent response of the political elite.
|Friday 26 September 2008|
The Golf War? Not in my name
Boo to all that Euro-ballyhoo about the Ryder Cup. Read Mick Hume’s column in The Times (London).
Why football needs its Worst Decisions Ever
Unjust refereeing decisions, such as Reading’s now infamous goal that wasn’t, are a vital part of a football fan’s life.
Why I’ve changed my mind about Piers Morgan
He used to be a sleazy hack, but the former Mirror editor’s honest interviewing style is a breath of fresh air.
The revolting world of middle class prejudice
A new ‘protesters’ handbook’ is about as rebellious as the newspaper that published it: the Guardian.
|Monday 29 September 2008|
A conference postcard: ‘Wish I weren’t here’
A reporter for the Londoner’s Diary tried to stay awake at the Miserabilist And Miliband Show at the Labour conference.
Obama v McCain: a battle to Not Lose
Despite the hype, round one of the televised presidential debates lacked vision or even a verbal punch-up.
Sarah Palin: a campaign built on female chauvinism
In her new column, Wendy Kaminer says the hockey mom has come to bury liberal feminism… and Hillary Clinton provided her with the shovel.
|Tuesday 30 September 2008|
Congress bales out
The bailout debacle exposes indirection, immaturity and indiscipline in the heart of DC.
Scapegoating the spivs
The attacks on the greed and thievery of bankers is anti-capitalism at its most shallow.
There Is (still) No Alternative
The most remarkable thing about the crisis is the absence of any serious critique of capitalism or debate about where our society is heading.