Bombay bounces back
Sadhvi Sharma reports from the streets and stations of a city that remains resilient in the face of ‘hair-raising experiences’.
Terror in Mumbai: the same old, same old
Claims that the attacks represent a new form of ‘Fourth Generation Warfare’ are infused with historical amnesia and fearmongering.
|Tuesday 2 December 2008|
Health fears go up in smoke
A year ago, Scottish health chiefs boasted that the smoking ban had cut heart-attack rates. It was a load of hot air.
Forcing Britain to sober up
The proposed ban on pub ‘happy hours’ is a metaphor for the government’s miserabilist disgust with fun.
Why we shouldn’t ban the F-word on American TV
The attempt to punish utterances of the F-word and the S-word on American TV exposes the arbitrary and patronising nature of censorship.
|Wednesday 3 December 2008|
The truth: why Down’s births have gone up
The idea that more Down’s syndrome births show that Britain has become more ‘caring’ is severely misleading.
Low-carbon Britain: a pointless distraction
The UK's new climate change plan suggests we make considerable sacrifices for little practical benefit.
An intolerable attack on all of us, the people
It is not going too far to compare the arrest of Damian Green with King Charles I’s war-provoking arrest of five members of parliament in 1642.
|Thursday 4 December 2008|
Bringing the English Civil war to life
From the Diggers’ lunacy to Cromwell’s moral emptiness, the aim of TV drama The Devil’s Whore is never less than true.
Changeling: Searching for Oscar
Something’s missing from this new film starring an award-tipped Angelina Jolie – and it’s not just a boy called Walter.
How the abuse industry is exploiting Baby P
If the killing of Baby P wasn’t awful enough, now his death is being used to institute a new era of familial fear and spying.
Is it ethical to give a goat to Africa?
False prophets in the ‘crusade against autism’
The author of Defeating Autism: A Damaging Delusion exposes the powerful quackery movement offering dodgy ‘cures’ for autism.
|Friday 5 December 2008|
This is no time to call the ‘design police’
By reorganising our lives around suspicion and the fear of crime, design can leave us feeling insecure - and less free.
How to broaden the viewer’s mind
As the BBC’s recent Horizon programme proves, challenging, thought-provoking TV just needs a little time.
From the phone-in to the moan-in
The football phone-in show has provided the ideal showcase for that most tedious of species: the professional whinger.
‘There’s a lot of rich people backing this cause’
Former Enron lawyer turned climate change sceptic Christopher Horner tells spiked that scaring people green has become big business.
|Monday 8 December 2008|
The death of Venice is greatly exaggerated
Dominic Standish reports from Venice on how residents and visitors coped with the highest floods in 20 years.
Declaring war against ‘domestic terrorism’
What Karen Matthews did to her daughter is obscene. So is the implication that such cruelty is widespread in ‘feral Britain’.
Are EU deaf or what?
The author of a new EU Phrasebook, launched in Brussels today, analyses European leaders’ utter inability to understand the word ‘No’.
|Tuesday 9 December 2008|
Porkie pies about the dioxin threat
The recall of Irish pork products exposes the opportunism and hysteria of Ireland and Britain’s food standards bodies.
Class hatred at Stansted Airport
Posh Plane Stupid insists that it is not picking on poor people. So why is it so madly obsessed with cheap flights?
Memo to Obama-crush liberals: he’s just not that into you
Now that he’s lined up a conservative cabinet, Obama’s supporters are in disbelief and denial.
|Wednesday 10 December 2008|
Liberal tyranny on the World Wide Web
The champions of mandatory filtering are not Australia’s Christian Right but its PC, feministic, leftish elite.
‘Digital Natives’ take on censorious Kevin
Rudd has been rattled by the Angry Geek brigade, which has launched an online war to defend free speech.
Tear down Australia’s Great Firewall Reef
Kevin Rudd’s Labor government is pushing through a mandatory internet filtering system that rivals China’s severe online censorship.
|Thursday 11 December 2008|
Putting the government’s ignorance on display
There's no evidence that children will be tempted to smoke by seeing cigarette packs on the shelf in their local corner shop.
Aspirational politics: dead and buried?
In the age of euthanasia, politics has become less about pursuing the Good Life than ensuring a Good Death.
A thinking man’s snuff movie
Televising an assisted suicide was perverse, but unsurprising given our culture’s obsession with the dark side of life.
Greece: it’s not all about the economy, stupid
Many see the riots as a simple response to the credit crunch. In truth they expose Greece’s deep and historic crisis of legitimacy.
|Friday 12 December 2008|
You’re no Rosa Parks, Lily
Read Mick Hume in The Times (London) on the Lily-ban’s hijack of Stansted airport protests.
Misanthropy, Hollywood style
Remixed with an eco-twist and a slice of Gore, a new version of The Day the Earth Stood Still popularises human-hating.
Thriller in Manila: a knockout movie
A new documentary about the greatest fight ever shows that Joe Frazier suffered most from Ali's verbal punches.
Twenty years on: internalising the fatwa
Kenan Malik discusses the multiculturalism, political conflict and liberal cowardice that defined the Rushdie Affair and its legacy.
|Monday 15 December 2008|
Popping the Pill in pharmacies everywhere
The Pill gives women control over their bodies, time and sex lives. Getting hold of it should be made much easier.
Jim Rose: education becomes a sideshow
The government’s review of primary education is about training children to conform to political pieties.
Rule 17: The kids don’t know it all
In Britain’s ‘new vision’ for primary education, adults are reduced to the mere flatterers of techno-savvy kids. It’s a recipe for ignorance.
|Tuesday 16 December 2008|
Honk if you support the voters of Manchester
Mancunians have struck a blow against the politics of behaviour and blackmail by shunning the congestion charge.
Welcome to the Police Academy state
The shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes reveals the chaos within the institutions of the British state.
The Crisis With No Name
Society's inability to make sense of the downturn is hampering what we really need: a major public debate about the economy.
|Wednesday 17 December 2008|
The wrong diagnosis
The ‘doctor-turned-terrorist’ has convinced many that it’s too easy for foreigners to join the NHS. In fact, it’s too hard.
Sock and awe
The global reaction to the shoe-throwing incident in Iraq is a shoe-in for the most bizarre debate of 2008.
A Middle East piece process?
On a trip to Israel and the West Bank, Mick Hume sees the ‘two-state solution’ already leading to a new partition between Israelis and Palestinians.
|Thursday 18 December 2008|
Keep ‘global issues’ out of the classroom
The author of a new book on geography teaching says the subject should not be exploited to forcefeed kids ‘values’.
Parenting: it’s not rocket science
Mums and dads should trust their own judgments more, and resist the tyranny of the new ‘science of parenting’.
Baz Luhrmann’s new ‘myth of Australia’
In presenting the artist and aborigines as natural aristocrats who rise above ‘common cruelty’, Australia turns history into a moral fable.
|Friday 19 December 2008|
Lily Allen is not my home girl
Only grey-haired music-press bores and Boris Johnson think this daughter of privilege is the spokesperson for my generation.
Why booing Eboué is no big deal
We should chill out about football fans shouting abuse at their own players: it’s only pointless pantomime.
Is this the end for the TV reviewer?
Multi-channel, multi-platform TV limits moments of shared viewing - and the need for someone to write about them.
Outwitting our inner censor
From ancient Rome to 9/11, jokes have long been a way for humans to fart in the face of conventional logic, expectation and morality.
|Monday 22 December 2008|
Christmas culture wars
Concern that Christmas is anything from too religious to too commercial exposes America’s troubled soul.
Global rivalries go green
Climate change will be a central part of government agendas in 2009 - and a rich source of diplomatic squabbles, too.
These gifts are degrading to people, not animals
Animal Aid has attacked the nauseating fashion for sending goats and dung to Africans at Christmas - but for all the wrong reasons.
|Tuesday 23 December 2008|
How to have a merry and moral Christmas
Forget ‘going ethical’ by buying overexpensive organic gifts you can’t afford. Be moral this year instead.
Twelve months of music to the ears
Across musical genres – from hip-hop to nu-folk, from rock to soul – this year was never short of tuneful delights.
A year of myths about smoking and obesity
At the fag end of 2008, two experts look back at puffed-up claims about smoking bans and the ‘obesity epidemic’.
The year that humanity became the baddie
In 2008, movie misanthropy went mainstream, but we had uplifting films about Russian scum and tightrope walkers.
2008: the year of living dangerously?
Let’s put into perspective the mad panics – from melting ice to Olympian smog – that made the news in 2008.
Who spiked rated and hated in 2008
From Delia Smith to the ‘Obamabots’, from polar bears to John Maynard Keynes, meet our heroes and villains of the year.
|Monday 29 December 2008|
If only it had stayed ‘all in his mind’
Alastair Campbell’s first novel offers an intriguing peep into New Labour’s view of the human condition: a world in which fucked-up lunatics and victims are governed by other fucked-up lunatics and victims.
‘Nudging’: the very antithesis of choice
‘Libertarian paternalism’ represents a retreat from political debate, and the rise of a base psychological agenda that wants to make us conform on green, health and lifestyle issues.
‘Sorry’ seems to be the easiest word
A new book on the politics of official apologies takes them too much at face value. These are not sincere attempts to amend past wrongs, but public performances of emotional literacy by our isolated leaders.
The problem with Pinteresque politics
The same qualities that made Harold Pinter one of the great dramatists – free association, non-sequiturs, jarring juxtapositions, unreliable recollections – also made him a bad political activist.
Why human rights are wrong
As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 60, many seem unsure whether to criticise Western governments for breaching it or to urge them to enforce it. The end result is that our understanding of rights has become degraded.
There’s more to humans than biological burps
Through vivid explorations of tears, snot, earwax and blushing, Ray Tallis’ brilliant new book shows us that ‘being human’ is not a simple stimulus-response thing – it is shaped by history, thought, time and space.
Sam Adams: the first professional revolutionary
It’s high time we reclaimed and celebrated this gleeful scheming propagandist and rabble-rouser of the first order, without whom the American Revolution might not have occurred.
Stuff white people like
They’re self-important and ironic. They love organic food, Tibet and Noam Chomsky. They loathe corporations, their parents and Fox News. Christian Lander tells Nathalie Rothschild about the rise and rise of ‘white people’.
The curious victory of Conor Cruise O’Brien
The arch revisionist of Irish history is now denounced as an intellectual eccentric. Yet his misanthropic vision governs modern Ireland; he was the Grandfather of the Peace Process.
‘Autistic children are now seen as a burden’
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick, author of Defeating Autism, talks to Helene Guldberg about how raising a child with autism can be made infinitely harder – emotionally, financially and practically – by the charlatanic ‘war on autism’.