State of Play: Old media vs the world
In Kevin Macdonald’s thriller, investigative journalism saves The Truth from corrupt politics and the blogosphere.
Never mind the bollocks: he’s as Keane as ever
Roy Keane is back, as boss of Ipswich Town. Yet while he was a no-nonsense player, is he a bottler in the dug-out?
How the bottle gets the Best of you
BBC2’s Best: His Mother’s Son was a poignant tale about how alcoholism can ruin the lives of the most unlikely people.
The ‘credit crunch’: another Great Depression?
To understand the current economic crisis, we need to look beyond the obsession with finance to the deeper structural problems of capitalism.
|Tuesday 5 May 2009|
Avian history repeated as porcine farce
The swine flu scaremongers have no shame: four years ago they were making exactly the same wild claims about bird flu.
Putting Mexico in an isolation unit
Tessa Mayes reports from Mexico City on the country’s transformation into a diseased, pariah state.
What swine flu reveals about the culture of fear
Essay: As health officials tell us ‘all of humanity is under threat’, Frank Furedi provides a guide to today’s various species of scaremonger.
|Wednesday 6 May 2009|
Brain dysfunction did not cause the recession
Ahead of a major conference, The Battle for the Economy, Stuart Derbyshire declares war on ‘behavioural economics’.
Why we should smash this intellectual forcefield
Jacqui Smith’s desire to protect Britons from extremist foreigners is patronising, impractical and illiberal.
Where have all the
The ongoing collapse of the New Labour government confirms that the crisis of political leadership is even deeper than the economic one.
|Thursday 7 May 2009|
New Labour plays its last card
Media-friendly, gimmicky and pointless: New Labour’s ID cards scheme provides a fitting testament to its time in office.
Getting to the root of the economic crisis
Blaming bankers glosses over long-term economic decline, says a speaker at the upcoming Battle for the Economy.
SATs: testing children is not ‘child abuse’
Exams are an important means of assessment. But New Labour has turned them into a tool to micro-manage schools.
‘Why Al Gore is too chicken to debate me’
Christopher Monckton, the Third Viscount of Brenchley and well-known climate change sceptic, tells spiked he was censored by Gore.
|Friday 8 May 2009|
Euro-kitsch, fame and growing up
Sounds Like Teen Spirit is an uplifting documentary about young starlets singing their hearts out for their countries.
It’s time to count out the Hitman’s career
Ricky Hatton’s devastating defeat in Las Vegas last weekend should be his last time between the ropes.
After the fatwa, the free speech wars
As the Rushdie affair shows, if you invite the state to define the boundaries of acceptable speech, it will limit you as well as your opponents.
|Monday 11 May 2009|
‘Whatever next: fat babies? Fat fetuses?’
A nutrition expert slams the academics who think parents should stop saying ‘puppy fat’ and instead say ‘obese’.
Asking questions is
not an ‘Inquisition’
When Michael Fitzpatrick criticised the Autism File he was branded a ‘backwoods doctor’ who should shut up. Why?
Turning Gurkhas into a new ‘Victim Race’
The bizarre Battle of the Excluded Gurkha, led by Joanna Lumley, sheds light on the crisis of meaning in today’s Tory and Labour parties.
|Tuesday 12 May 2009|
The Vatican has a few demons of its own
The church’s sensitivity to the new Dan Brown movie, Angels and Demons, reveals a lack of faith in its own message.
Swine flu conspiracy theories go viral
Tessa Mayes reports from Mexico on how the government’s reaction to the outbreak is seen as evidence of political intrigue.
James Corden: fat luvvie
Obesity is cool, exotic and iconoclastic – as long as you’re famous rather than poor.
MPs’ expenses: what price democracy?
When politicians’ claims for the cost of a bath plug can knock the recession out of the headlines, politics is in danger of going down the gurgler.
|Wednesday 13 May 2009|
All you need is ‘love handles’
Forget the hype about an ‘obesity epidemic’: the research shows carrying a little extra weight is harmless.
Britain’s strange, silent strangulation of liberty
The organiser of Freedom Summer explains why defending civil society from the state has never been more important.
The Hague: a tool of ‘legal vengeance’
ESSAY: The ICTY’s Kafkaesque decision to bump up a prisoners’ sentence by 12 years shows that it is nothing like a proper court of law.
|Thursday 14 May 2009|
Paying politicians is good for democracy
Forget the expenses scandal: politics was far more rotten when only the privileged few could afford to be MPs.
Mia Farrow: dieting for the cause
A narcissistic ‘hunger strike’ for Darfur is getting far more attention than protests without celebrity endorsement.
Economic crisis: it's only the end of the beginning
While there has been much speculation about ‘green shoots’ of recovery, it is how we shape the economy after the recession that really matters.
|Friday 15 May 2009|
Star Trek: to boldy go and revive a franchise
JJ Abrams’ film looks fantastic thanks to modern special effects, while retaining the moral core of Gene Roddenberry’s original.
Picking fights is just as human as taking flight
This week’s Horizon programme on violence showed that even pacifists can get a kick out of a punch-up.
Why outraged Chelsea fans should ref off
Chelsea fans might be angry, and pundits critical, but for everyone else referee Tom Henning Ovrebo is a hero.
James Lovelock’s deification of Earth
The persistence of the notion that ‘Gaia’ is a living organism with its own interests exposes the mystical, anti-human streak in environmentalism.
|Monday 18 May 2009|
Give us something worth voting for
Sadhvi Sharma reports from Bombay on the gimmicks and threats that were used to get people voting in the elections.
The workplace is not a playground
The way the term ‘bullying’ has spread from schools to workplaces exposes today’s low view of workers.
Resist this assault on freedom of thought
America’s new Matthew Shepard Act will punish criminals for their thoughts as well as their acts. But we should defend the freedom to hate.
|Tuesday 19 May 2009|
Mystery shoppers: snooping on the NHS
The covert monitoring of public-sector staff will damage morale, and do little to provide decent public services.
Green child spies:
snooping on adults
Recruiting children to spy on eco-unfriendly behaviour will churn out a new generation of sanctimonious busybodies.
Beware the vultures circling the Commons
With cops baying for MPs’ blood and the Queen expressing her distaste, Britain’s undemocratic forces are milking the expenses scandal.
|Wednesday 20 May 2009|
America’s ‘cash for grades’ scandal
In giving students money if they pass their exams, some American schools are polluting the spirit of education.
The neverending war on the white stuff
It is essential to human life. People once even offered it to God. So why are today’s grey-faced officials so scared of salt?
Libel law is a bogus excuse for justice
A case involving the respected science writer Simon Singh proves again that the English libel courts are no place to seek the truth.
|Thursday 21 May 2009|
Why I heckled the Prince of Wales
She’s been branded a ‘naughty girl’ for shouting ‘Abolish the monarchy!’ during Charles’s RIBA lecture. But Vicky Richardson has no regrets.
Obama and the politics of abortion
The reaction to the president’s speech at Notre Dame shows how much the debate about abortion has shifted in the United States.
Abortion rates: it’s not the economy, stupid
Many thought the new UK abortion stats, released today, would show a link between the recession and rising abortion rates. They were wrong.
|Friday 22 May 2009|
Why are so many people blank about verse?
BBC One’s Why Poetry Matters was a noble idea, but it proved to be more patronising than inspiring.
Let’s stop the sanitising of terrace culture
By criminalising ‘indecent chanting’, the authorities threaten to turn all football fans into jester-hatted consumers.
The assault on liberty
Dominic Raab has written a swashbuckling tirade against Labour’s illiberalism, but he overlooks the broader, cross-party disdain for freedom today.
|Tuesday 26 May 2009|
The question is: trust you to do what?
Politicians’ efforts to ‘restore public trust’ suggest they see the public as a passive blob to be moulded at will.
When all else fails, bash the BNP
In its phoney moral crusade to stop the British National Party, the elite has replaced politics with emotional blackmail.
Taking refuge in the rhetoric of reform
By proposing electoral reforms in response to the expenses scandal, politicians are futilely seeking an organisational solution to a political problem.
|Wednesday 27 May 2009|
Nuns on the rum
The arrest of 17 British men dressed as nuns in Crete should remind us how unmenacing laddish tourists really are.
An R&D recession
Today’s economic crisis partly springs from years and years of under-investment in research and development.
Rule 19: Your child’s Body Mass Index is nobody’s business but yours
As part of its fatwa against fat the government is measuring every schoolkids’ height and weight. It’s a waste of time – and bad for children.
|Thursday 28 May 2009|
Freud: not such a moody bastard
The Radio 4 tribute to Clement Freud showed that the BBC at least still does good radio.
Five good reasons to hate Newcastle Utd
Noel Gallagher’s right: there’s no better sight than seeing a fat, topless Geordie fan crying.
It’s a recession, Jim, but not as we know it
Western economies are suffering from a triple crisis: an acute sickness, a chronic sickness, and doctors who don’t know what they’re doing.
|Friday 29 May 2009|
Why you should care about the Oxford poetry scandal
The spat between Ruth Padel and Derek Walcott was an unappetising combo of namecalling and nitpicking that might have damaged one of the most important positions in British academia: Oxford professor of poetry.
How to preserve the future of museums
Whose Culture? - a collection of essays defending the vital importance of museums - is a welcome challenge to repatriation policies underpinned by identity politics.
Join the movement for ‘Free Range Kids’
Lenore Skenazy, branded ‘America’s Worst Mom’ after she let her nine-year-old son ride the New York subway alone, has now written a manifesto for less panicked parenting and more childhood freedom.
A welfare state of mind
Andrew Brown’s Orwell Prize-winning book about fishing in Sweden casts slivers of light on how Sweden has changed and why its welfare state model is not something to emulate.
What’s behind today’s epidemic of epidemics?
A spookily timely book, published just as the swine flu panic kicked in, does a brilliant job of exposing the social factors behind our dread of disease and encouraging healthy scepticism towards claims of ‘epidemics’.
Neither Leveller nor statist
Tristram Hunt’s intelligent biography of Friedrich Engels reveals a man who loved wine, women and song and who was never afraid to leap headfirst into the great battles of ideas of his era.
Using a meatcleaver to kill a moth
A new book on celebrities taking over the world spends so much time taking petty, heat-style potshots at Paris Hilton’s miniature dogs that it forgets to mention Bob Geldof, George Clooney, the Redgraves…
John Gray: the poster boy for misanthropy
He thinks there are far too many humans, that we are a plague on the planet and a rapacious horde, and that our desires for a better society will inevitably end in mass murder. How can such a misanthrope get out of bed every morning?
Do we need a new ‘New Deal’?
Whatever conventional wisdom tells us, it isn’t true that Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal brought the Great Depression of the 1930s to an end. However, today’s leaders could learn a thing or two from FDR’s ambitious scope.