Dongtan: the eco-city that never was
China’s first big eco-city has been put on hold, not because it was too ambitious, but because it wasn’t ambitious enough.
Who’s really to blame for Big Brother?
The reality TV show was a product, rather than the cause, of the collapse of standards and the death of privacy.
This is not only the end of the Kennedy dynasty
Yes, Ted’s death represents the end of the line for ‘America’s royals’, but it also exposes the ideology-shaped hole in the Democratic Party.
|Wednesday 2 September 2009|
How about a Celtic-Rangers rebellion?
A Celtic fan invites Rangers fans to join him in taking a stand against the authoritarian policing of Scottish football.
BANNED: women who look too young
The ASA’s censorship of an ad featuring a 23-year-old who ‘looks underage’ takes petty prudishness to a new low.
The junk science behind the war on junk food
Rob Lyons is not convinced by Cancer Research UK’s justification for why it effectively outlawed fast-food outlets in a new building in London.
|Thursday 3 September 2009|
Big trouble in ‘Little Cairo’
The UK government’s neverending, evidence-lite assault on smokers threatens to bankrupt London’s shisha bars.
This was a cock-up, not a conspiracy
The real story of the Megrahi affair is not the duplicity of the British government, but its utter cluelessness.
Call this a recovery?
Even if UK capitalism avoids a full-scale depression, the danger is that the no/low-growth economy becomes the New Normal.
|Friday 4 September 2009|
Tackling rugby union’s superiority complex
From Bloodgate to cocaine abuse, the sport of posh boys and coppers can no longer claim the moral high ground.
Escapism is unsustainable
Home, about a family’s futile attempt at dropping out, defies easy conclusions about the ‘destructiveness’ of modernity.
Anti-consumerist tracts: so many to choose from!
A new book embodies the intellectual flimsiness and elitist disdain for the masses that courses through the veins of today’s anti-shopping lobby.
|Monday 7 September 2009|
Blaming the public for social work’s problems
Social workers took a lot of flak after the Baby P case, but a government campaign to recruit more is hypocritical.
The myth of Afghan terrorism
Contrary to Gordon Brown’s claims, no Afghan has been involved in the terror attacks of the past 10 years.
Afghanistan: the dangers of a risk-averse war
In continually advertising their fear of suffering casualties on the battlefield, Britain’s rulers are unwittingly strengthening their enemies’ hand.
|Tuesday 8 September 2009|
Assisted suicide: the real slippery slope
A court case in Montana suggests that once you give the ‘right to die’ to terminally ill people, others will want it, too.
Why we shouldn’t create pain-free animals
A proposal to genetically modify farm animals so that they don’t feel pain is practically and morally misguided.
‘We need a supernatural being to punish eco-sinners’
The flurry of commentary in response to Lord May’s speech on climate change revealed greens’ authoritarian desire to chastise ungreen heretics.
|Wednesday 9 September 2009|
Keep teachers’ personal lives private
Teachers should resist the General Teaching Council’s new code of conduct telling them how to behave outside of work.
Cycling: the Battle of the Panics
Children should be allowed to ride to school, not to prevent obesity or global warming, but simply because cycling is fun.
Brown and out in
London and Libya
The Libyan debacle has sunk Labour to depths of absurdity and impotence that even some of us Brown-haters find hard to comprehend.
|Thursday 10 September 2009|
Obama: No one’s too cool for school
The true lesson of Obama’s contentious schools address was that he connects with the kids, but lacks a vision for education.
A transparent attempt at social engineering
The initiative to re-design pub glasses to stop them being used as weapons overhypes the problem and the solution.
The tyranny of expertise
Experts now shut debate down rather than providing Enlightenment.
|Friday 11 September 2009|
Could England actually win the World Cup?
The depressing cycle of over-inflated expectations and dashed hopes has started again. Will England fans never learn?
A TV postcard from Dublin
Forget about the Lisbon Treaty vote and the economic crisis, the burning topic in Ireland is the new Late Late Show host.
A downturn in imaginative thinking
A new book’s claim that people’s psychology brings about economic downturns is both economically vulgar and politically unconvincing.
|Monday 14 September 2009|
Norman Borlaug, RIP
As spiked launches a new debate about the future of food, we mourn the man who fed the world.
Back to the 1970s?
A sudden spate of strikes in Ireland doesn’t mean we are witnessing a return to the militancy of the past.
State-enforced ‘equality’ is damaging democracy
Yes, the BNP should be free to appear on Question Time, but there’s another, harder argument to be made: it must also be free to exclude non-whites.
|Tuesday 15 September 2009|
The hard cell
Alarmist reports that seek to persuade us that mobile phones are dangerous take a selective approach to the evidence.
Are we all autistic now?
Lumping Mozart and Einstein in with those who have severe socialisation problems is no help to sufferers or science.
Getting God to do their dirty work
In seeking to use religion to force people to change their eco-unfriendly behaviour, greens are debasing both religious belief and scientific truth.
|Wednesday 16 September 2009|
Hands off my camera!
spiked joined a ‘flash mob’ where photographers stood up against anti-terror laws and defended the right to snap.
Fixing ‘Broken Britain’?
Instead of ever-earlier state interventions in family life, we need an honest debate about how to safeguard children.
Where were the vetting critics three years ago?
The politicians and children’s charities now questioning vetting regulations are the same people responsible for their creation.
|Thursday 17 September 2009|
A lunar-tick idea for London 2012
It may be visually striking, but the ‘lunar clock’ to be built for the Olympics is a monument to backwardness.
Osama bin Laden’s
The al-Qaeda frontman’s latest address to the American people wouldn’t sound out of place in mainstream US politics.
Why Thatcher defended the Berlin Wall
Secret Kremlin minutes from 1989 reveal that anti-communist Western leaders were privately terrified about the demise of the Soviet bloc.
|Friday 18 September 2009|
District 9: alien, yet all too familiar
A South African living in London finds Neill Blomkamp’s tale of an alien shanty town both compelling and uncomfortable.
Keith Floyd and the end of an era
It’s not the death of the wine-soaked celebrity chef that has been changing TV cookery shows, but the recession.
In defence of crowd incitement
In the sanitised stadia of top-flight football, provocative goal celebrations remind fans of why football rivalry is fun.
Songs of praise for The Choir
The BBC2 show demonstrates movingly that you don't need to be posh to appreciate traditional, ‘difficult’ music.
Stop this rumble in ‘the jungle’
The French should demolish the migrant slum in Calais — but only after Europe’s inhumane immigration policies have been bulldozed.
|Monday 21 September 2009|
The backward attacks on Norman Borlaug
Who could possibly think that Borlaug’s ideas for feeding millions were a bad thing? Green activists, that’s who.
Kristol’s conservatism: swansong of the West?
Irving Kristol’s neoconservative legacy was to lay the foundation for the super-patriot identity politics of George W Bush.
There’s more to parenting than egg production
Treating all women as mothers-to-be, who must conform to certain health and behaviour norms, turns us into little more than farmyard hens.
|Tuesday 22 September 2009|
Hunting the Celtic Tiger
The recession has unleashed some old prejudices about Ireland being a third-world nation built on EU handouts.
The austerity auction
Politicians are competing to see who can make the severest cuts — only because they have no broader vision for the economy.
Afghanistan: the West has defeated itself
Who needs the Taliban when Obama and the top NATO general both admit that the Western allies do not have a winnable strategy in Afghanistan?
|Wednesday 23 September 2009|
What young people think of the recession
A spiked survey of school students finds that they don’t like greedy bankers but they admire entrepreneurship.
Fifteen months for a foolish affair?
The jailing of a teacher who had a lesbian affair with a 15-year-old girl is a victory for legalism rather than justice.
Has China had a green ‘Damascene conversion’?
The sight of President Hu almost apologising to the West for his country’s vast economic growth was a revealing snapshot of our times.
|Thursday 24 September 2009|
Not anti-war so much as anti-hope
Slaughterhouse-Five, a fatalistic, despairing work, is perfect radio listening for a Sunday afternoon.
Chelsea’s transfer ban: hypocrisy on tap
For all the claims of bribery and ‘trafficking’, footballers should be free to choose their future employers like anyone else.
The myth of the smoking ban ‘miracle’
Restrictions on smoking around the world are claimed to have had a dramatic effect on heart attack rates. It's not true.
An epidemic of OCD: Obsessive Carbon Dogma
From living in virtual darkness to minutely measuring their water-use, greens’ fixation with carbon counting is verging on a mental illness.
|Friday 25 September 2009|
Giordano and Ogawa: the twin primes of fiction
An Italian and a Japanese debut author of ‘mathematical fiction’ form a perfect symmetry, locating in numbers and equations the essence of what it is to be human.
A semi-irresistible argument
It is refreshing to read Kishore Mahbubani’s unabashed defence of aspirations in the East. But his attachment to the very Western culture of fear means that his book ends on a pessimistic note after all.
How official anti-racism holds black children back
‘Institutional racism’ is the fashionable excuse for the poor educational attainment of black boys. But could the real problem be the modern culture of victimhood?
Seeking domestic legitimacy through foreign affairs
Under the presidencies of Bill Clinton, George W Bush and now Barack Obama, America has consistently pursued abroad what it lacks at home – moral authority.
The weird world of Park Slope parents
Amy Sohn’s Prospect Park West captures perfectly the bourgeois-bohemian residents and overwrought moms of Park Slope in Brooklyn, but in the end its sharp, glinting satire might leave the reader cold.
When women invaded the ivory towers
An engaging, insightful history of the women who fought for the right to be educated reminds us how acts of perseverance and rebellion can transform society.
Demystifying the ‘global ideology’
David Chandler’s new book Hollow Hegemony draws on the work of Marx and Engels to explain how the political class’s embrace of ethics and ‘global politics’ springs from their political weakness and isolation.
Keynes to the rescue?
Robert Skidelsky's latest book on Keynes gives a clear and concise account of the current economic crisis, but its faith in Keynes as the 'master' of economic debate is seriously misplaced.
Childish jibes are no substitute for serious debate
Whether it is wielded against sensible people who criticise the political exploitation of AIDS or less-than-sensible people who claim that vaccines cause autism, the accusation of ‘denialism’ is shrill, intolerant and censorious.
Let’s stand up to ‘supernanny’
Jennie Bristow’s new book is as engaging and witty as those rebellious ‘bad mum’ memoirs. But it’s far more important, both explaining and critiquing the tsunami of state meddling in family affairs.
|Monday 28 September 2009|
Legal rules are no match for compassion
The ‘clarification’ of the law on assisted suicide only casts more suspicion on those struggling with end-of-life decisions.
Why shouldn’t people work beyond their 60s?
At a time when people are living longer, healthier lives it makes no sense to have a Default Retirement Age.
It takes a village to raise a child? Not anymore
Officialdom’s demonisation of two women over their babysitting arrangements is symptomatic of today’s out-of-control child-protection industry.
|Tuesday 29 September 2009|
Circumcision: the first cut is the deepest
A proposal to remove the foreskin of every infant boy in America on health grounds is pointless, illiberal and harmful.
A blame game you can bank on
Alistair Darling’s decision to bash bankers at Labour’s party conference was predictable, misguided and dishonest.
Refighting the Culture War over Roman Polanski
The furore over his arrest is not about what happened in LA on 10 March 1977 - it’s a pathetic proxy clash between a clapped-out left and right.
|Wednesday 30 September 2009|
Brown’s inadequate parenting advice
Under Brown, New Labour’s obsession with acting in loco parentis for teens has expanded to older parents, too.
Will it be the Sun wot sinks Brown?
The Labour Party’s hate-love relationship with the tabloid newspaper speaks volumes about the demise of Labourism.
Could this be the worst-ever UK election?
With both New Labour and the Conservatives pale shadows of their former selves, the danger is that politics will be the biggest loser. Unless…