May 2009

Saga Lofgren Friday 1 May 2009 comments

State of Play: Old media vs the world

In Kevin Macdonald’s thriller, investigative journalism saves The Truth from corrupt politics and the blogosphere.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 1 May 2009 comments

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?

Patrick West Friday 1 May 2009 comments

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.

Sean Collins Friday 1 May 2009 comments

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.

Tim Black Tuesday 5 May 2009 comments

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.

Tessa Mayes Tuesday 5 May 2009 comments

Putting Mexico in an isolation unit

Tessa Mayes reports from Mexico City on the country’s transformation into a diseased, pariah state.

Frank Furedi Tuesday 5 May 2009 comments

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.

Stuart Derbyshire Wednesday 6 May 2009 comments

Brain dysfunction did not cause the recession

Ahead of a major conference, The Battle for the Economy, Stuart Derbyshire declares war on ‘behavioural economics’.

Nathalie Rothschild Wednesday 6 May 2009 comments

Why we should smash this intellectual forcefield

Jacqui Smith’s desire to protect Britons from extremist foreigners is patronising, impractical and illiberal.

Mick Hume Wednesday 6 May 2009 comments

Where have all the
history-makers gone?

The ongoing collapse of the New Labour government confirms that the crisis of political leadership is even deeper than the economic one.

Dolan Cummings Thursday 7 May 2009 comments

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.

Daniel Ben-Ami Thursday 7 May 2009 comments

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.

David Perks Thursday 7 May 2009 comments

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.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 7 May 2009 comments

‘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.

Rob Lyons Friday 8 May 2009 comments

Euro-kitsch, fame and growing up

Sounds Like Teen Spirit is an uplifting documentary about young starlets singing their hearts out for their countries.

John Dennen Friday 8 May 2009 comments

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.

Kenan Malik Friday 8 May 2009 comments

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.

Tim Black Monday 11 May 2009 comments

‘Whatever next: fat babies? Fat fetuses?’

A nutrition expert slams the academics who think parents should stop saying ‘puppy fat’ and instead say ‘obese’.

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick Monday 11 May 2009 comments

Asking questions is
not an ‘Inquisition’

When Michael Fitzpatrick criticised the Autism File he was branded a ‘backwoods doctor’ who should shut up. Why?

Brendan O’Neill Monday 11 May 2009 comments

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.

Tim Black Tuesday 12 May 2009 comments

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.

Tessa Mayes Tuesday 12 May 2009 comments

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.

Emily Hill Tuesday 12 May 2009 comments

James Corden: fat luvvie

Obesity is cool, exotic and iconoclastic – as long as you’re famous rather than poor.

Mick Hume Tuesday 12 May 2009 comments

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.

Basham and Luik Wednesday 13 May 2009 comments

All you need is ‘love handles’

Forget the hype about an ‘obesity epidemic’: the research shows carrying a little extra weight is harmless.

Josie Appleton Wednesday 13 May 2009 comments

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.

Philip Hammond Wednesday 13 May 2009 comments

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.

Tim Black Thursday 14 May 2009 comments

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.

Nathalie Rothschild Thursday 14 May 2009 comments

Mia Farrow: dieting for the cause

A narcissistic ‘hunger strike’ for Darfur is getting far more attention than protests without celebrity endorsement.

Rob Killick Thursday 14 May 2009 comments

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.

Saga Lofgren Friday 15 May 2009 comments

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.

Patrick West Friday 15 May 2009 comments

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.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 15 May 2009 comments

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.

Rob Lyons Friday 15 May 2009 comments

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.

Sadhvi Sharma Monday 18 May 2009 comments

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.

Ken McLaughlin Monday 18 May 2009 comments

The workplace is not a playground

The way the term ‘bullying’ has spread from schools to workplaces exposes today’s low view of workers.

Wendy Kaminer Monday 18 May 2009 comments

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.

Brid Hehir Tuesday 19 May 2009 comments

Mystery shoppers: snooping on the NHS

The covert monitoring of public-sector staff will damage morale, and do little to provide decent public services.

Tim Black Tuesday 19 May 2009 comments

Green child spies:
snooping on adults

Recruiting children to spy on eco-unfriendly behaviour will churn out a new generation of sanctimonious busybodies.

Brendan O’Neill Tuesday 19 May 2009 comments

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.

Alex Standish Wednesday 20 May 2009 comments

America’s ‘cash for grades’ scandal

In giving students money if they pass their exams, some American schools are polluting the spirit of education.

Rob Lyons Wednesday 20 May 2009 comments

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?

Mick Hume Wednesday 20 May 2009 comments

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.

Vicky Richardson Thursday 21 May 2009 comments

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.

Helen Searls Thursday 21 May 2009 comments

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.

Jennie Bristow Thursday 21 May 2009 comments

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.

Patrick West Friday 22 May 2009 comments

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.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 22 May 2009 comments

Let’s stop the sanitising of terrace culture

By criminalising ‘indecent chanting’, the authorities threaten to turn all football fans into jester-hatted consumers.

Tim Black Friday 22 May 2009 comments

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.

Tim Black Tuesday 26 May 2009 comments

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.

Mick Hume Tuesday 26 May 2009 comments

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.

Frank Furedi Tuesday 26 May 2009 comments

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.

Peter Smith Wednesday 27 May 2009 comments

Nuns on the rum

The arrest of 17 British men dressed as nuns in Crete should remind us how unmenacing laddish tourists really are.

James Woudhuysen Wednesday 27 May 2009 comments

An R&D recession

Today’s economic crisis partly springs from years and years of under-investment in research and development.

Jennie Bristow Wednesday 27 May 2009 comments

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.

Patrick West Thursday 28 May 2009 comments

Freud: not such a moody bastard

The Radio 4 tribute to Clement Freud showed that the BBC at least still does good radio.

Duleep Allirajah Thursday 28 May 2009 comments

Five good reasons to hate Newcastle Utd

Noel Gallagher’s right: there’s no better sight than seeing a fat, topless Geordie fan crying.

Phil Mullan Thursday 28 May 2009 comments

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.

Shirley Dent Friday 29 May 2009 comments

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.

Tiffany Jenkins Friday 29 May 2009 comments

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.

Nancy McDermott Friday 29 May 2009 comments

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.

Nathalie Rothschild Friday 29 May 2009 comments

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.

Rob Lyons Friday 29 May 2009 comments

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’.

Michael Fitzpatrick Friday 29 May 2009 comments

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.

Emily Hill Friday 29 May 2009 comments

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…

Tim Black Friday 29 May 2009 comments

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?

Sean Collins Friday 29 May 2009 comments

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.