Lib-Cons: following New Labour’s diet
Andrew Lansley’s health vouchers scheme exposes the coalition’s view of the masses as unhealthy and a bit thick.
Vince Cable: hoist by his own hype
Cable’s threat to topple the coalition government is in keeping with his cut-off, petit-bourgeois outlook.
The icy grip of the politics of fear
The snow crisis of December 2010: what a striking snapshot of the chasm that separates the warming-obsessed elite from the rest of us.
|Wednesday 5 January 2011|
Kick ‘corporate skills’ out of the academy
When even English Lit students get marks for work experience, you know universities have been colonised by the market.
Doing the terrorists’ dirty work for them
Nathalie Rothschild reports from Sweden where lawmakers are exploiting people’s fears to curtail liberty.
Can the police solve a murder on Facebook?
The media circus surrounding the Joanna Yeates case reveals what can happen when a murder inquiry gets mixed up with a PR campaign.
|Thursday 6 January 2011|
Real politics is not an online exercise
In trying to connect with the public via the web, the Lib-Cons have only exposed how utterly cut-off they are.
Australia: flooded by gloomy reporters
For all the disaster porn about a Biblical-style flood, Queenslanders have demonstrated real resilience.
How humankind was liberated from localism
The eco-worriers promoting a Mao-style return to local energy and food production overlook how destructive ‘local living’ has traditionally been.
|Friday 7 January 2011|
A kind of Eat, Pray, Love for men
Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours combines gorno (that arm-hacking scene) with a tale of spiritual awakening aimed at blokes.
The joy of wallowing in musical misery
Kicking off his new music column, Patrick West sticks up for the cathartic power of self-pitying songs.
The mad overanalysis of Downton Abbey
The media need to calm down. People like this period drama because it’s Through the Keyhole with costumes.
Now even clowns are spied on by the state
In modern-day Britain, a man in a comedy suit can’t even blow up balloons for children without first being okayed by the authorities.
|Monday 10 January 2011|
Bad drama is better than message-led drama
Yes, the EastEnders cot-death baby-swap plotline is crass, but we don’t need ‘expert groups’ vetting scripts.
A dysfunctional moment in American history
Whatever comes of the blame game around the Arizona shooting, we need a more rational political discourse.
Falsely accusing the Tea Party of murder
Liberal commentators’ rush to blame the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords on heated political rhetoric exposes their censoriousness and intolerance.
|Tuesday 11 January 2011|
Scrapping ‘libel tourism’ is not enough
Nick Clegg’s proposals are welcome. But to protect free speech we need to gag England’s libel laws completely.
Produce more food not fewer people
It is not rising population levels that lead to food-price crises - it is economic underdevelopment.
The EU vs Hungary: the clash of the censors
EU officials are only concerned about Hungary’s new media law because it is explicitly moralistic. Brussels prefers technocratic censorship.
|Wednesday 12 January 2011|
The myth of an American ‘gun culture’
Why the constitutional enshrinement of guns as a check on tyranny really terrifies the liberal elite.
Abuse and neglect are not the norm
The main problems faced by social workers today are caused by society’s suspicion of the adult-child relationship.
It’s no surprise to see a police agent go green
The bizarre tale of PC Mark Kennedy reveals some unflattering home truths about both the British state and the eco-protest movement.
|Thursday 13 January 2011|
Let teachers get on with teaching
Politicians need to understand that the sole role of a school ought to be to transmit knowledge to the young.
Let’s make it easier to take the abortion pill
BPAS’ chief executive explains why she is taking the UK Department of Health to court over early medical abortion.
The definitive guide to modern-day Malthusians
With the human population heading towards seven billion, spiked challenges the miserabilists who say this is a Very Bad Thing.
|Friday 14 January 2011|
Premature gloating just isn’t cricket
A message to the England cricket team: save the open-top bus parades for when you really achieve something.
The simple wonder of childbirth
Channel 4’s sweet and soppy One Born Every Minute provides a joyous riposte to the procreation police.
A therapeutic perversion of the ideal of tolerance
Making people feel good about their lifestyle choices is not what Enlightenment thinkers had in mind when they argued for moral autonomy.
|Monday 17 January 2011|
A war in search of a raison d'être.
The revelation that British troops are in Afghanistan simply to ‘keep busy’ exposes the surrealism of a disastrous war.
Less about saving lives than feeling superior
The UK-based attempt to abolish the death penalty in the US reeks of American Revolution-era condescension.
New Labour: the new Lib Dems?
Confusion over the meaning of Labour’s victory in Oldham confirms the need for some new signposts to the muddled UK political map.
|Tuesday 18 January 2011|
A tedious dollop of eco‑propaganda
Unlike its earlier exhibits, the Science Museum’s new climate-change exhibition neither inspires nor educates.
The therapist’s couch has replaced the pulpit
A new report on women’s mental health shows that religious groups now talk more about psychology than sinning.
Tunisians don’t need advice from the Twittering classes
The inspiring uprising springs from people’s aspiration for real freedom, not from Western Wikileakers revealing ‘the truth’ to Africans.
|Wednesday 19 January 2011|
A legal assault on the power of the demos
The problem with the European Court of Human Rights is that it restricts our ability to hold the state to account.
The anti-democratic impulses of the ECHR
The European Court of Human Rights has become a ravening monster overriding the rights of individual states.
Spain: the people’s war to stub out conformism
Pinning rebellious tracts to their doors and daring the police to arrest them: behold Spanish bar-owners’ ‘insubmission’ to the smoking ban.
|Thursday 20 January 2011|
Steve Jobs’ sickness is none of our business
Just because someone is in the public eye, that doesn’t mean we get to know everything about their private lives.
The right to go berserk on air
The group campaigning for Rupert Murdoch to sack shrill ‘shock jock’ Glenn Beck is threatening free speech.
An open letter to Nick Clegg
You say you want to move away from New Labour’s hectoring of parents. So why all the child-targeted ‘early interventionism’?
Defending moral autonomy against an army of nudgers
ESSAY: Frank Furedi slams the ‘choice architects’ who bypass public debate in their zealous effort to reshape our minds and bodies.
|Friday 21 January 2011|
British television’s superiority complex
The notion that ol’ Blighty is a hotbed of quality TV is as wrongheaded as the idea that Americans are all philistines.
King Kenny has a heavy cross to bear
Dalglish’s return to Liverpool is just the latest in a series of Messianic - and mostly failed - second comings.
Who are the real ‘devils’ of the recession?
For all the blame heaped on immoral bankers, it was poor profitability in the productive industries that fed the Wall Street monster.
|Monday 24 January 2011|
Now, the therapist is the real king
The King’s Speech rewrites the story of George VI through the prism of today’s therapeutic, ‘damaged goods’ culture.
Muslims vs ‘slags’: a
clash of civilisations?
The fevered row about Muslim men ‘street grooming’ white girls suggests the political class has taken leave of reality.
The EU-surping of democracy in Ireland
Brendan O’Neill reports from Dublin on what has really rocked Irish politics: the elbowing aside of the public by Brussels bureaucrats.
|Tuesday 25 January 2011|
Why do greens keep mentioning the war?
We should all welcome The New Home Front: it reveals how nutty and mean-spirited environmentalists really are.
Sometimes, journalists should be outside the law
The liberal media’s anti-Andy Coulson campaign is further empowering the state at the expense of press freedom.
The real lessons of the MMR debacle
It was a widespread mood of anxiety and hostility to reason that allowed an insubstantial figure like Andrew Wakefield to have such an impact.
|Wednesday 26 January 2011|
A victory for women’s rights? Do me a favour
The sacking of football pundit Andy Gray is a serious blow to the right to express opinions freely in private.
The Palestine Papers: facts and fiction
Only those who unquestioningly embraced the propaganda of the ‘peace process’ could be shocked by these papers.
Israel and Palestine: more divided than ever
Daniel Ben-Ami reports from the Holy Land on the key achievement of the so-called peace process: the intensified partitioning of Arabs and Jews.
|Thursday 27 January 2011|
10 O'Clock Live: the saviour of satire?
Channel 4’s new show is flawed, but occasionally manages to rise above the usual cynical fare that passes for topical comedy.
Let’s take a mature attitude to young boozers
Laura Hall, the tabloid’s favourite binge drinker, epitomises society’s incapacity to socialise young adults.
Being bedded by a cop is not sexual assault
The female activists claiming that they were violated by undercover police are doing women’s lib no favours.
The Human Rights Act: a crime against liberty
The current debate about control orders shows how human-rights legislation actually aids the state in its attacks on our freedom.
|Friday 28 January 2011|
Basic income, low aspiration
The idea that the state should give everyone a basic income has seized the imagination of Germany’s middle class and politicians. Their enthusiasm is testament only to the poverty of their ambition.
War is the answer. Now, what was the question?
As Bob Woodward’s inside account of the Obama administration shows, America’s top brass have no real idea what they are fighting for in Afghanistan and beyond.
A curious plea for a disinterested public
Dan Hind’s clarion call for a return of the spirit of the radical political tradition rooted in English republicanism is compromised by his suspicion towards private interests.
It isn’t the sin of sloth that makes people fat
Gary Taubes’ fascinating new book cuts through the scaremongering about an ‘obesity epidemic’ and searches for more rational explanations as to why we’re getting larger.
The chasm that separates great apes from humans
Jon Cohen’s new book reminds us that, for all the claims that apes and human beings are ‘98.5 per cent the same’ in terms of genetics, there is still an unfathomable gap between us.
‘To be free is not to be myself’
Hungarian philosopher Gáspár Miklos Tamás talks to the spiked review of books about how humanity lost the skill of abstract thinking and became mired in identity.
Who’s afraid of the ‘tiger mother’?
All the non-stop commentary on Amy Chua's new book overlooks one important fact: determined ‘tiger mums’ are a response to the fact that society itself no longer pushes children to succeed.
Brighton Rock: still peerless after all these years
A new film version moves Graham Greene’s gangster story from the 1930s to the Swinging Sixties. But Pinkie Brown, anti-hero of Greene’s dark masterwork, does not need ‘updating’.
|Monday 31 January 2011|
Facebook does not make you mentally ill
Some experts now claim that social networking is turning us into a nation of nutters. It’s therapeutic drivel.
Playing politics with the Holocaust
Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity for all sorts of groups and institutions to dress up as morally virtuous.
Victory to the Egyptian people!
Everybody seems to agree that Mubarak must go, but the confused character of the revolt means nobody knows what will come after him.