Unfettered freedom: the basis of the Good Society
ESSAY: Both the political elite and its critics believe there is a conflict between rights and responsibilities. They could not be more wrong.
|Tuesday 4 May 2010|
The ‘fresh face’ of the new elite
With his demos-dodging rise to political fame, Nick Clegg personifies the new breed of professional politician.
Tackling the ‘madness of the majority’
Today’s campaign for proportional representation echoes the 19th-century elitists who also wanted PR.
The day the political oligarchy stood exposed
‘Bigotgate’ is the most telling moment of the election, capturing the unspoken clash of values and attitudes between the rulers and the ruled.
|Wednesday 5 May 2010|
After the Iron Curtain, the Cultural Curtain
The political class’s attacks on climate-change-denying, homophobic Eastern Europeans is dividing Europe anew.
You can’t blame Brown for everything
There are two problems with Brown-bashing: it’s immature and it’s making Emily Hill feel sorry for the PM.
Public health and the obsession with behaviour
ESSAY: Recent thinking on health policy has been driven by two myths: that bad health is caused by bad habits, and that government can promote good health by changing our behaviour.
The fossilisation of Rock The Vote
Youth turnout campaigns have been virtually wound up because they no longer trust that young people will vote ‘sensibly’.
The abstentionist elephant in the room
No one wants to talk about the problem of turnout this time — perhaps because they no longer care if millions of ‘bigots’ and proles don’t vote.
|Thursday 6 May 2010|
The hypocrisy of Arizona bashing
If the Grand Canyon state’s immigration laws seem authoritarian, wait till you see what the Democrats are proposing.
The Greek crisis and the blame game
Greece’s woes have revealed a Euro-elite more interested in blame-shifting than tackling the economic crisis.
On Thailand, what would Trotsky say?
If the Thai Red Shirts want real change, they could do with reading History of the Russian Revolution.
The trouble with ‘anti-capitalism’
ELECTION ESSAY: contemporary so-called ‘anti-capitalism’ – which is underpinned by a powerful misanthropy – is the main barrier to progress today.
Why today’s election really is momentous...
...not because it has offered us any big or inspiring ideas, but because it has confirmed the rise and rise of a new political oligarchy.
|Friday 7 May 2010|
Glee: camp, fun, won’t change the world
Finally a high school show that makes a song-and-dance out of Big Issues with sarcasm and lightheartedness.
Yesss... we finished fourth from bottom!
Drawing at Sheffield Wednesday may not warrant an open-top bus parade, but it sure as hell felt like it should.
What I did on polling day
Frank Furedi, Mick Hume, Michael Fitzpatrick and others give their first impressions of a changeable and chaotic election.
The message of the polls: ‘We don’t agree with Nick’
There were many losers in the election, but none more so than the cultural elite who backed Clegg. They’ve been shockingly exposed.
|Monday 10 May 2010|
The General Election that nobody won
Let Rob Lyons take you on a guided tour of the election results and what they reveal about modern Britain.
The delusions of the electoral reform lobby
spiked likes the idea of proportional representation, but we want nothing to do with today’s elitist campaign for it.
Bad bigots and good bigots: politics after the election
Gillian Duffy was written off as a ‘bigot’ by the same liberal elite that sanctions bigotry and hatred towards its political opponents.
|Tuesday 11 May 2010|
Who’s afraid of teenage lads’ mags?
The Danny Dyer controversy is based on a view of working-class youth as easily brainwashed monkeys.
For Google, privacy just doesn’t compute
Google’s blasé attitude towards people’s private lives reflects a broader cultural indifference to privacy.
Après Brown, le deluge?
Nobody should be sorry to see Brown go – but the elitist cliques now trying to carve up power In The National Interest would be even worse for politics.
|Wednesday 12 May 2010|
The low Horizons of modern society
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is bad, but it is not a warning from nature about mankind's hubris.
The slapstick side to Islamic terrorism
Chris Morris’s depiction of jihadists as dunces who hate slags and Maccy D’s is scarily accurate.
Ten myths about Gordon Brown
Hold on. Brown can’t just slink out of office without a final challenge to the idea that he was unspun, decisive and principled.
If you really want ‘new politics’, step forward
The shake-up of Britain’s political system represents an opportunity for pushing new, exciting ideas into the public realm.
|Thursday 13 May 2010|
Five-a-day won’t keep the doctor away
The idea that eating fruit and veg can help to ward off cancer is repeated over and over again. Despite not being true.
After thoughtcrime, now we have tweetcrime
The conviction of a Twitter user for posting a joke about a bomb shows how insanely paranoid officialdom has become.
‘Yes we Lacan’: the revolt of philosophy students
Patrick Hayes talks to the Middlesex students who have occupied their university in defence of knowledge for its own sake.
‘For trusting my daughter, I was treated as a criminal’
What’s the punishment for leaving your kids in a shopping mall for one hour? For one mum, it was probation, parenting classes, and shame.
|Friday 14 May 2010|
Junior Apprentice: taking yoof seriously
Watching young people being forced to account for themselves in the boardroom was strangely exhilarating.
Premier League: a
The last day of the Premier League season: No upsets. No banana skins. No tears. No entertainment.
The real reason the bishop likes migrants
Archbishop Rowan Williams is ‘pro-immigration’ only in the sense that he hopes the arrival of foreigners will remind Britain of its core values.
|Monday 17 May 2010|
The humanist case against euthanasia
If you’re opposed to legalising a ‘right to die’, people assume you must be a religious crank. But not all of us are.
Keep quiet... there might be aliens listening
Stephen Hawking’s warning to avoid contact with extra-terrestrial life reveals his pessimism towards humanity.
Why Greece matters
The economic turmoil in southern Europe shows that, far from going away, the global financial crisis has entered a dangerous new phase.
|Tuesday 18 May 2010|
Money, money, money...it isn’t funny
The BBC’s adaptation of Martin Amis’s classic 1984 novel has none of the book’s zing, insight or fast satire.
In defence of the right to tittle-tattle
Lord Triesman’s punishment for something he said behind closed doors shows that privacy counts for sweet FA today.
Their politics and ours
We definitely need a ‘new politics’ today - but don’t expect it to come from the technocratic, ideology-free Liberal-Conservative government.
|Wednesday 19 May 2010|
Who made the BNP into free-speech martyrs?
It is only because liberal activists have ditched the cause of freedom that the far right can claim it as its own.
a shallow Enlightenment
Of course people should be free to say ‘I shit on Muhammad’. But here’s a question: why are they so keen to say it?
Defend the Republic! Ban the burqa!
When so few European women wear the full veil, why are governments falling over themselves to ban it? It’s pseudo-libertarian grandstanding.
|Thursday 20 May 2010|
Turning clinicians into state apparatchiks
A survey asking medical staff to rate the coolness of leaders like Hitler was naff – but so is the entire ‘leadership agenda’.
Squeezing the joy out of ketchup
Heinz’s decision to change its ketchup recipe after 40 years is a sign of our health-obsessed, killjoy times.
Want to travel abroad? Computer says ‘No’
If Nick Clegg is serious about having a bonfire of repressive laws, he might want to chuck on the e-Borders scheme.
This ‘brave’ coalition is more like a cowardly cabal
‘People power’? Pull the other one. The UK government’s reforms signal the desperation of the new elites to insulate themselves from us.
|Friday 21 May 2010|
Taking refuge in a mythologised 1980s
Packed with clichés and simplistic politics, the BBC’s Eighties season revealed why liberals love that decade.
Why the daggers are out for Lord Triesman
Since when did ‘wrecking England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup’ become a treasonable offence?
Take your kids to the park, and leave them there
A New York writer has caused a storm by encouraging parents to leave their kids in parks tomorrow. She tells spiked why she’s doing it.
|Monday 24 May 2010|
The decline and fall of the British boozer
Beset by smoking bans, economic crisis and social disapproval, it's a wonder any pubs survive at all.
Why Mrs Europe is bashing the bankers
Angela Merkel’s unilateral decision to ban ‘short selling’ shows how deluded and divided the political class is.
We must stop saying ‘The science demands...’
Top climate-change expert Mike Hulme tells spiked it is a scandal that scientific claims are increasingly usurping politics and morality.
|Tuesday 25 May 2010|
Why the EU will thrive on Greece’s troubles
Merkel says the Union is in trouble, but this is pure fearmongering designed to make people toe the line.
Censorship is not the answer to health scares
The only way to challenge the pseudoscience of Andrew Wakefield and others is to have more debate, not less.
A showtrial of children for being naughty
The conviction of two boys for attempted rape is not only a travesty of justice – it also exposes society’s screwed-up attitude towards childhood.
|Wednesday 26 May 2010|
An eruption of fear and irrationalism
As more facts come to light, we can finally see how crazy it was to shut UK airspace in response to the Icelandic volcano.
Prohibition, one binge drinker at a time
Britain may have a new government, but when it comes to drinking, we can expect another round of clampdowns.
Don’t arrest Brian Haw, but don’t idolise him either
The gathering of homeless conspiracy theorists in Parliament Square isn’t a protest – it’s a public nervous breakdown.
Why there is Bugger All solidarity for BA strikers
The isolation and marginalisation of the doughty British Airways cabin crew looks like a sign of wider problems ahead for resisting cuts.
|Thursday 27 May 2010|
Welcome to the Jose Mourinho show
The Special One may be spectacularly narcissistic but, as his all-conquering Inter side showed, he’s entitled to be.
Appealing to our
inner teenage boy
US import Spartacus: Blood and Sand makes Up Pompeii! look like a work of serious classical scholarship.
Why the Lib-Cons are so keen on austerity
Unable to remake or reboot Britain’s economy for the twenty-first century, our leaders can only cut – and even then, they’re too timid.
|Friday 28 May 2010|
An engaging tale, packed with myths
Christian Salmon’s book rightly notes the increasing use of narrative in modern life, but his ‘anti-capitalist’ instincts get in the way of understanding why.
A ‘theory of everything’ that explains nothing
The author of The Spirit Level Delusion explains why Britain’s chattering classes were so wrong to embrace The Spirit Level and its argument that all of society’s problems are caused by inequality.
A gold standard for breast cancer treatment
In this extract from his memoirs, breast-cancer expert Professor Michael Baum shows how a new technology allowed the mysteries of an ancient artefact to be revealed and provided a cost-effective medical treatment.
The unreliability of memory
In his latest novel, the mostly hopeful story of a dying man trying to make sense of his life, Paul Auster ditches his usual formalism in favour of creating engaging characters.
Bring on the locusts!
Clive Hamilton’s depressing new book makes explicit the Biblical idea that underpins environmentalism: that human beings shall be punished by floods and fire for their hubris.
People who eat ‘junk food’ aren’t junkies
The idea that the food industry has turned us into fat, helpless beings desperate for our next fast-food fix is based on a degraded view of human beings.
Comedian Mark Thomas’s ‘People’s Manifesto’ confirms that no one is more suspicious and disdainful of the masses today than the worn-out, disillusioned rump of the radical left.
Providing myths and fables to the Godless
Far from rubbishing the Gospels, Philip Pullman brilliantly re-explores them, revisiting a question that has haunted thinkers since at least the fifth century: are Jesus and Christ two separate entities?
The pseudo-radical war on economic growth
The ‘Sarkozy report’ on the problems with using GDP as a measure of progress reveals an elite incapable of seeing the link between economic growth and improved human welfare.