Anything ‘sustainable’ is not worth having
Frank Furedi challenges the cult of sustainability and restraint that is growing in response to the economic recession.
Fighting for the right to mammograms
Why are American women, doctors and politicians outraged over proposals to limit painful and stressful breast screenings?
‘Professors should not be police informants’
Valerie Hartwich spoke to the angry academics who are taking a stand against stringent new visa rules for foreigners wishing to study in Britain.
|Wednesday 2 December 2009|
A place where nobody knows your name
As Britain’s dark, smoky, friendly pubs close down, the anti-pub - the JD Wetherspoon - is taking their place.
The problem is not us. It’s you
John Bercow’s attack on Heat-reading, ‘under-informed’ voters shows that he doesn’t understand the crisis of politics.
Dubai’s Sheikhy foundations
A freelance writer in Dubai says snobbery about its wacky buildings is a poor substitute for serious debate about its economy.
A Sodom and Gomorrah for secular miserabilists
Dubai’s crisis has been cheered by Western observers, for whom the ‘ecocidal’ Gulf state is a symbol of everything rancid about modernity.
|Thursday 3 December 2009|
Whatever happened to the class struggle?
There are two things all progressives should demand in this era of recession: more freedom and more prosperity.
Why animal-free meat is a good idea
As scientists get closer to creating tasty, nutritious in vitro meat, let’s not turn this into another food scare.
A bizarre declaration of war-and-withdrawal
In sending an invading force of 30,000 and admitting the war is unwinnable, Obama’s Afghan policy is as dangerously unhinged as Bush’s was.
|Friday 4 December 2009|
Arsenal: pretty, but no good in a fight
If Wenger’s men play football the ‘right way’, to cite all those footie pundits, then how come they keep losing big matches?
A Disgraceful view of mankind
It has high artistic aspirations, but the movie version of Disgrace has a shallow view of both apartheid and humanity.
‘These rocks are here for me, waiting for the drill’
Free-marketeers idolise Ayn Rand because they far prefer her imaginary, heroic capitalists to the snivelling, mendacious capitalist class of today.
|Monday 7 December 2009|
Why Climategate won't stop climate-change alarmism
Those UEA scientists indulged in dodgy academic activity, but they did not invent the politics of global warming.
Why the Climategate controversy matters…
The leaked emails suggest that Projection and Anecdote are the key planks of the science of global warming.
Treating human beings as little more than carbon
As the Copenhagen summit starts, the rise of eco-Malthusianism shows the anti-human, future-fearing essence of climate-change alarmism.
|Tuesday 8 December 2009|
Privacy is not a royal privilege
The queen has no right to stop the press from publishing paparazzi shots of her family or to create no-photo zones.
This is not class war – it’s a schoolyard spat
New Labour’s childish toff-baiting owes more to a deterministic identity politics than to class conflict.
In defence of Katie Price
That’s enough w**k about bankers’ bonuses
A tax on bonuses will not alter the bigger problem of inflated City banks being expected to fill the hole where the economy should be.
|Wednesday 9 December 2009|
Why designers should take more risks
Michael Wolff, the designer who irritated Thatcher and helped rebrand Labour, talks about being creative during a recession.
Smart meters? A dumb idea
A mini-computer that nags you about your energy use and allows suppliers to remote-control your freezer? No thanks.
If you’re 16, you’re a potential abuser
With 127,000 children added to the vetting database annually, one young volunteer explains why being 16 is not so sweet.
We need honest debate, not a bureaucratic inquiry
We wouldn’t need another bloody inquiry into Iraq if there had been some serious moral and political discussion about the war.
|Thursday 10 December 2009|
Banning ‘dangerous’ poems in British schools
An examination board’s ban on Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Education for Leisure’ is a stab in the back for liberal education.
Same fears, different name?
Maurizio Morabito uncovers a 1974 CIA report showing that the ‘scientific consensus’ then was that the world was cooling.
Turn the clock back to 1875? No thanks
The crazy, progress-stalling carbon cuts being proposed at Copenhagen just aren’t going to happen – and it’s a good thing too.
|Friday 11 December 2009|
How to Twitter a tragedy
SLIDESHOW: Truth-seeking, Viagra ads and bad-taste jokes all played their part in tweets about the Russian nightclub fire.
The sad decline of David Attenborough
How can someone who once commissioned The Ascent of Man now churn out such human-hating parables?
Sex, violence and
A punch-up between a semi-naked manager and his star striker is part and parcel of footballers’ Xmas parties.
The nanny state turns nasty
From smoking bans to sin taxes, Scotland has proved itself a willing victim for the nanny state’s angrier successor: the bully state
|Monday 14 December 2009|
Children’s literature as primal therapy
Where The Wild Things Are is the perfect kids’ story for our child-centred, adult-doubting, wisdom-lite times.
America’s screwed-up attitude to expertise
While so-called experts pore over Tiger Woods’ sex life, candidates for high office play up their ordinariness.
Still absurd, insulting and authoritarian
Two key campaigners against Britain’s vetting database argue that Ed Balls’ ‘u-turn’ isn’t nearly enough: the vetting regime must be dismantled.
|Tuesday 15 December 2009|
‘We need a planetary one-child policy’
Malthusianism is so widespread that greens can now openly sing the praises of China’s population authoritarianism.
It’s the end of the world – again
Environmentalists claiming that the Copenhagen summit is ‘the last chance’ to save the planet sound like a broken record.
Turning children into Orwellian eco-spies
Frank Furedi recalls being educated through fear in Stalinist Hungary, and is disturbed that the same tactics are now used by environmentalists.
|Wednesday 16 December 2009|
Put down the coke or the rainforest gets it
Having lost the war on drugs, the UK police now want to wean young people off cocaine by flagging up its eco-impact.
In defence of the striking trolley dollies
It’s a fitting end to the Year of Surreal Industrial Relations that it has taken BA cabin crew to stand up for workers.
Which fool ever thought the Iraq War was about WMD?
The most surprising thing about Tony Blair’s ‘revelation’ that he would have deposed Saddam regardless was that so many found it shocking.
|Thursday 17 December 2009|
The victory of Greenthink on campus
James Howell thought university life would be filled with junk food, non-conformism and critical thinking. He was wrong.
Democracy takes a beating in Italy
Italian politicians are taking advantage of the attack on Silvio Berlusconi in Milan to clamp down on liberties.
Tiger, why didn’t you save the world?
At least the tabloids only expect Woods to spill the beans. The left bizarrely expects him to ‘challenge capitalism’.
What’s liberal about booing off Johnny Ball?
The jeering of a climate sceptic by supposedly liberal atheists confirms that questioning manmade climate change is the new blasphemy.
|Friday 18 December 2009|
Treat him as a golfer not as a role model
We should hammer Tiger Woods if he gets caught in a bunker, not for who he bunks up with in his private life.
Cooped-up kids? Don’t blame it on the box
BBC Four’s Hop, Skip and Jump suggested that risk-aversion is a bigger problem for kids than TV and gangs.
The spectacular discovery no one is talking about
One month ago, NASA made one of the most important discoveries of our lifetimes: water on the moon. Why aren’t we more excited about it?
|Monday 21 December 2009|
An insult to humanity
Given humankind’s ingenuity, we would have no trouble adapting to a possible rise in global temperatures.
The search for green meaning
For our confused and cut-off leaders, Copenhagen offered a chance to magic up some historic momentum.
This wasn’t realpolitik.
It was reality-politik
The idea that a PR, celebrity spectacle like Copenhagen could change the world is worse than naive – it’s ludicrous.
Hiding from the court of public opinion
Challenging Ireland’s abortion ban in the European Court of Human Rights is a poor substitute for political debate.
Why this ruling should make us cross
The decision of the European Court of Human Rights to ban crucifixes in Italian schools sets a dangerous precedent.
|Tuesday 22 December 2009|
All hail Frances Bean Cobain
How one celebrity offspring has managed to avoid the trap of trading off her parents' fame.
Rage Against The Masses
The chart victory of the preposterous RATM suggests today’s yoof might be the uncoolest generation in history.
A decade of unfreedom
Both our paper rights and our unwritten freedoms were the victims of political GBH in the Noughties.
Ten years of fear
From Y2K to the threat of a flu-induced End of Days, a variety of panics went global in the Noughties.
Noughtie but nice
There was much to celebrate in this decade: IT and medical breakthroughs and the further erosion of poverty.
A pandemic of fantasy flu
This year’s swine flu panic crowned a decade in which the gap between public-health scaremongering and reality was vast.
The decade that politics forgot
…or perhaps more accurately, the Noughties was the decade when we forgot about politics.
|Wednesday 30 December 2009|
Proud to be flesh!
A collection of articles from Mute - an arts/politics journal and website – provides some rich and rewarding insights into the political and cultural trends of the past five years.
The racism that dare not speak its name
By challenging the ‘xeno-racist’ immigration policy and practice of European states, Liz Fekete’s A Suitable Enemy makes a refreshing change from the sanctimony of official anti-racism and its tendency to bash the white working class.
The moodiness of a long-suffering tennis player
In spite of the headline-seeking, drug-taking confessions, Andre Agassi’s autobiography offers a fascinating insight into the inner life of a sporting great.
The Malthusians of Christmas past
The flint-hearted, prune-faced, carbon-obsessed bean-counters who want fewer people, especially fewer poor people, should reread A Christmas Carol.
The humbling of Philip Roth
With its angst-ridden, haughty prose and embarrassing sex scenes between a has-been actor and a lesbian, Philip Roth’s latest novel is a crime against his own oeuvre.
A pictorial paean to England’s Second City
It’s long been derided as a super-dull city where the inhabitants have irritating accents, but Birmingham was the cradle of industry and has been a hotbed of free thought.
It’s not true that children never lie
A provocative new book argues that a combination of suspicion towards adults and officialdom’s belief that children always tell the truth is creating a minefield of abuse accusations in schools.
Who killed EastEnders?
Garry Bushell’s 1,001 Reasons Why EastEnders is Pony is not only a rollicking read – it also shines a light on the metaphorical castration of working-class soap characters by BBC bigwigs who have never set foot in the EastEnd.
The inside story of America’s economic ‘firefighters’
Andrew Ross Sorkin entertainingly describes the dithering and panic at the heart of the US financial system as the 2008 banking crisis unfolded, but is too generous to those who allowed it to happen in the first place.
Why Marlowe is still the chief of detectives
Fifty years after Raymond Chandler died, we need his ‘shop-soiled’ Galahad Philip Marlowe as much as ever to put our mixed-up world to rights.