June 2009

Brendan O’Neill Monday 1 June 2009 comments

The implosion of the political class

The expenses scandal is not A Very English Revolution. It looks more like the self-destruction of the House of Commons.

Rob Lyons Monday 1 June 2009 comments

No party has a divine right to exist

The state funding of parties would prop up the exhausted status quo and erect a barrier to political experimentation.

Mick Hume Monday 1 June 2009 comments

They’re all ‘independent’ now - but from what?

In response to the expenses scandal, even the PM wants to stand on his personal conscience rather than political principles. But we still need politics.

Helen Searls Tuesday 2 June 2009 comments

Tiller’s death: don’t blame Bill O’Reilly

Heaping ‘moral blame’ on to crass anti-abortion broadcasters dangerously blurs the distinction between words and actions.

Jennie Bristow Tuesday 2 June 2009 comments

One family’s tragedy, not a political indicator

While commemorating Dr Tiller's life and work, we should be clear about whether his murder has wider meaning for the politics of abortion.

David Perks Wednesday 3 June 2009 comments

Expel these managers from UK schools

Labour’s targets culture in schools means hefty salaries for managers and uninspiring education for kids.

Nathalie Rothschild Wednesday 3 June 2009 comments

At last, a boycott worth supporting

The UK University and College Union’s refusal to snoop on foreign students in Britain should be welcomed.

Michael Fitzpatrick Wednesday 3 June 2009 comments

An unlimited appetite for past obscenities

In the Irish elite, a voyeuristic preoccupation with clerical abuse coexists with reluctance to limit clerical influence in education and welfare.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 4 June 2009 comments

REVEALED: expenses scandal at spiked

Never mind horse manure and duck ponds - there’s an equally worrying expenses scandal in the spiked offices.

Rob Lyons Thursday 4 June 2009 comments

The man who should never have been PM

All the former Gordon Brown-nosers are now wondering ‘how did we get it so wrong?’ They should have read spiked.

Frank Furedi Thursday 4 June 2009 comments

Taking the politics of fear to a new low

Unable to inspire voters, the isolated, illiberal oligarchs of the EU are using the threat of fantasy fascism to try to force us to be pro-EU.

Patrick West Friday 5 June 2009 comments

Hey, let's all have a laugh at the past!

BBC4’s Meet the British showed us how the UK saw itself in the past, but only to snigger at our forebears’ misplaced optimism.

Rob Lyons Friday 5 June 2009 comments

Kaká: small name, big transfer fee

Yes, £56million is a lot of money, but sometimes you have to spend hard cash on the pursuit of footballing artistry.

Tim Black Friday 5 June 2009 comments

John Gray: the poster boy for misanthropy

He thinks there are too many humans and we’ve become a plague on the planet. How does he get out of bed every morning?

Brendan O’Neill Friday 5 June 2009 comments

The shame of the democracy dodgers

James Purnell, Hazel Blears and Jacqui Smith have achieved the remarkable feat of making Gordon Brown look almost principled.

Rob Lyons Monday 8 June 2009 comments

The myth of a far-right surge

The BNP won seats not because support for it has exploded, but because of the demise of the mainstream parties.

Brendan O’Neill Monday 8 June 2009 comments

The psycho-politics of a collapsing elite

The most revealing thing about the leaked Mandelson emails is the amateur psychologising of a cut-off government.

Mick Hume Monday 8 June 2009 comments

Expenses, excuses and Labour delusions

Whether Gordon Brown stays or goes, New Labour’s political crisis goes far deeper than him.

Ben Pile Tuesday 9 June 2009 comments

Greenpeace: putting trees before people

The claim that massive areas of rainforest are being cut down to make way for grazing pasture is a lot of bull dung.

Rob Lyons Tuesday 9 June 2009 comments

The fishy message of The End of the Line

Instead of guilt-tripping Western consumers about overfishing, we should invest our energy in developing aquaculture.

Sean Collins Tuesday 9 June 2009 comments

Government Motors is no substitute for General Motors

Yes, GM showed itself incapable of mass-producing decent cars and keeping people employed – but Obama’s intervention won’t turn things around.

Brendan O’Neill Wednesday 10 June 2009 comments

The Omagh ruling is bad for all of us

However outraged you were by the 1998 bombing, you should be worried by this week’s ruling against the ‘bombers’.

Nathalie Rothschild Wednesday 10 June 2009 comments

Will the Pirates stir up the debate on freedom?

The support for Sweden’s Pirate Party was partly a protest vote against the mainstream, and partly a cry for liberty.

Frank Furedi Wednesday 10 June 2009 comments

How EU bureaucrats are destroying public life

A majority of Europeans refused to take part in the EU elections not because they don’t understand the EU, but because they do.

Stuart Derbyshire Thursday 11 June 2009 comments

Is the digital age
killing compassion?

One has to marvel at the megalomania of scientists who slam all of modern culture on the basis of their tiny studies.

Tim Black Thursday 11 June 2009 comments

Committing the sin of demanding more

In their anachronistic demand for better wages, London Tube workers have struck a blow against the culture of austerity.

Brendan O’Neill Thursday 11 June 2009 comments

The hangdog dictator in Downing Street

It is the cowardice of his own party and lack of moral authority of the other parties that allows the utterly isolated Brown to stay in power.

Jerker Jansson Friday 12 June 2009 comments

Springsteen: a preacher without a religion

Jerker Jansson reports from a magic evening of rock’n’roll in Stockholm where ‘the Boss’ thawed the frozen souls of Swedes.

Patrick West Friday 12 June 2009 comments

Mitchell and Webb: third time unlucky

The third series of the comedy duo’s sketch show is too self-referential and knowing to be funny.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 12 June 2009 comments

Federer: the greatest tennis player on Earth

At a time when sporting greatness has become a devalued currency, the Swiss champion shows the way.

Rob Lyons Friday 12 June 2009 comments

What’s behind today’s epidemic of epidemics?

As the World Health Organisation declares swine flu a pandemic, a new book encourages us to be sceptical about the panicked politics of disease.

Tim Black Monday 15 June 2009 comments

‘I am not a man. I am Cantona’

With a brilliant and surreal turn from King Eric of Manchester, Ken Loach’s Looking for Eric is a film of unusual optimism.

James Woudhuysen Monday 15 June 2009 comments

Risk-taking, R&D and the recession

Contributing to the spiked/CMP debate on the future of business, an innovation expert demands real wealth creation.

Jennie Bristow Monday 15 June 2009 comments

Hands off home education!

The UK plan to clamp down on home-schooling, partly to ensure children aren’t being abused, is a serious assault on parental autonomy.

Christopher Snowdon Tuesday 16 June 2009 comments

‘Smokers are now treated like lepers’

David Goerlitz was a star of cigarette ads until he turned against Big Tobacco. Now, however, he thinks the anti-smokers have gone too far.

Patrick Hayes Tuesday 16 June 2009 comments

Keep border police out of universities

Patrick Hayes talks to the students occupying the director's office at SOAS in protest against the arrest of nine university cleaners.

Mick Hume Tuesday 16 June 2009 comments

Another Iranian revolution? If only…

Will protesters in Tehran win real change - or be used as a stage army for conservative opposition leaders who only want another palace coup?

Tara McCormack Wednesday 17 June 2009 comments

The philistines in the ivory tower

The real threat to academic freedom today comes from the collapse of belief in the worth of intellectual enquiry.

Rob Lyons Wednesday 17 June 2009 comments

The new c-word in British politics: cuts

British politicians’ utter lack of honesty about the depth of the recession will make matters worse in the long run.

Tim Black Wednesday 17 June 2009 comments

Iraq: we don’t need another inquiry

Supine, shameless politicians want a public inquiry to do what they signally failed to do six years ago: refute the case for invading Iraq.

Chris Gilligan Thursday 18 June 2009 comments

Northern Ireland: the capital of ‘race hate’?

The attacks on Romanian migrants are shocking, but they are not evidence of any widespread virulent racism.

Nathalie Rothschild Thursday 18 June 2009 comments

No longer master of the Middle East

Netanyahu’s public swipe at Obama’s Cairo speech reveals that Washington even has trouble influencing Israel today.

Emily Hill Thursday 18 June 2009 comments

Peaches: hereditary celebrity

Sir Bob used Africa to puff up his ego - his daughter just falls out of night clubs.

Frank Furedi Thursday 18 June 2009 comments

Why the state cannot save the economy

Instead of having arid debates about the state versus the market, we must create institutions and policies that can restructure the economy.

Patrick West Friday 19 June 2009 comments

Funny women need to develop some balls

If TV panel shows are confrontational and laddish, female performers should stop moaning and get stuck in.

Duleep Allirajah Friday 19 June 2009 comments

Why aren't there any decent football films?

From Sly Stallone saving Nazi penalties to Frodo Baggins running with hooligans, the beautiful game comes off badly.

Suzy Dean Friday 19 June 2009 comments

Is anywhere free from the anti-smoking lobby?

After banning smoking in our public houses, now they want to ban it in our private spaces. First up, the car.

Michael Fitzpatrick Friday 19 June 2009 comments

In praise of Engels

A new biography shows that he loved wine, women and song, and was never afraid to leap headfirst into the intellectual battles of his day.

Tim Black Monday 22 June 2009 comments

Bring me the head of Fred Goodwin

Commentators called for Goodwin’s head to be put on a spike. Now, courtesy of an EU-funded arts festival, it very nearly has been.

Mark Adnum Monday 22 June 2009 comments

What about us gays who are flamers?

The editor of a gay website lambasts those gay activists who want a ‘tolerance message’ added to Sacha Baron Cohen’s new comedy Brüno.

Rob Lyons Monday 22 June 2009 comments

Climate change horror: the UK will be like Provence

A UK government report unwittingly reveals that we should not be cutting carbon use but investing in Mediterranean-style cooling measures.

Kevin Yuill Tuesday 23 June 2009 comments

Giving the green
light to suicide

Revelations that non-terminally ill people were euthanised in Switzerland calls into question the ‘right to die’ campaign.

Basham and Luik Tuesday 23 June 2009 comments

Smoke gets in the government’s eyes

Tobacco displays do not lead young people to light up, so why on earth are UK officials banning them?

Frank Furedi Tuesday 23 June 2009 comments

People should not be punished for their beliefs

The proposal to ban British National Party members from teaching in schools is a far bigger threat to democracy than the BNP itself.

Tim Black Wednesday 24 June 2009 comments

‘This is only the beginning’

Tim Black spent the day with strikers at the Lindsey oil refinery, listening to Freddie Mercury and some heated conversation.

Brendan O’Neill Wednesday 24 June 2009 comments

Why unemployment is no longer a political issue

Thousands are being thrown on to the dole queue, yet there are no mass uprisings, no widespread strikes, no marches for jobs. Why?

Nathalie Rothschild Thursday 25 June 2009 comments

Listen to the world in Fès

PHOTO ESSAY: From African reggae to American gospel, a Moroccan festival showcases music from around the globe.

Duleep Allirajah Thursday 25 June 2009 comments

I’ve changed my mind about Twenty20 cricket

Yes it’s vulgar; yes it has drunken crowds and dancing girls; yes it simplifies cricket. But so what?

Patrick West Thursday 25 June 2009 comments

Letting Ordinary Joe loose on the nation

Radio producers think phone-in shows are democratic. In truth they’re stuffed with whiny, clichéd invective.

Mick Hume Thursday 25 June 2009 comments

They need more than sympathy for Neda

The way that the image of a dying student has become the icon of the Iranian protests suggests both strengths and weaknesses in the opposition.

Martyn Perks Friday 26 June 2009 comments

Digital Britain: welcome to the slow lane

The UK government’s report on the future of the internet and the creative industries replaces the freedom to innovate with an overwhelming impulse to regulate everything.

Gladwell: hero or zero?

One reviewer is disappointed that Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers reveals more about the author’s prejudices than it does the nature of success, while another is won over by Gladwell's emphasis on hard work.

Julian Grenier Friday 26 June 2009 comments

The kids, including the boys, are all right

Using questionable facts and tiny selections from complex research, Sue Palmer tries to convince us that twenty-first century boys are vulnerable, neglected and confused. Things aren’t as bad as she makes out.

Rob Lyons Friday 26 June 2009 comments

Puritanism disguised as science

In the past tyrannical rulers poured molten lead down the throats of offending smokers; today smokers are shunned from public buildings and forced to light up in the street. Why have puffers always been seen as a threat to society?

Nathalie Rothschild Friday 26 June 2009 comments

Travel can change the world? Get over yourself

At a time of so much doom and eco-gloom about foreign travel, Rick Steves puts an impassioned case for exploring the world. But his belief that travel is a political act means he ends up debasing both tourism and politics.

Helene Guldberg Friday 26 June 2009 comments

Restating the case for human uniqueness

A brilliant new book cuts through all the media-oriented research about ‘clever chimps’ using tools, doing maths and feeling emotions, and reminds us that, in truth, there is nothing remotely human about primates.

Neil Davenport Friday 26 June 2009 comments

China’s factory girls: nobody’s victims

At last, a book on China’s growth that doesn’t paint migrant workers as pathetic victims but rather as aspirational individuals who now have far more choices than marrying the village idiot.

Philip Hammond Friday 26 June 2009 comments

Al-Qaeda: what’s the big idea?

Faisal Devji’s new book draws some daring parallels between the outlook of militant suicide bombers and that of Western humanitarians – but it ultimately projects the author’s own search for political meaning on to the al-Qaeda network.

Jennie Bristow Friday 26 June 2009 comments

Bad mother, good book

Ayelet Waldman’s memoir about her various ‘maternal crimes’ is sometimes eye-wateringly detailed, solipsistic and infuriating – but it is also far more enlightening than the reams of mummy lit written over the past 10 years.

Frank Furedi Friday 26 June 2009 comments

The politics of the hidden agenda

Spreading conspiracy theories – stories about a world warped by evil forces – remains the pastime of marginalised groups. But conspiratorial thinking, the idea that someone, somewhere is to blame for every misfortune, has become respectable.

Anna Travis Monday 29 June 2009 comments

Ban-happy Brighton

Far from promising a wild weekend, the UK seaside town of Brighton is fast degenerating into a centre of booze-confiscating puritanism.

Andrew Calcutt Monday 29 June 2009 comments

Jacko was a product of our Wacko culture

In staying childish and obsessing over his identity, Michael Jackson was actually normal by today’s standards.

James Woudhuysen Monday 29 June 2009 comments

Let’s go back to the
moon — and beyond

As the 40th anniversary of the first manned moon landing approaches, backward attitudes here on Earth have tainted our view of lunar exploration.

Tim Black Tuesday 30 June 2009 comments

These obscenity laws should be abolished

The case of a pervy blog about Girls Aloud should alert us to the dangers of allowing the state to regulate people’s fantasies.

Basham and Luik Tuesday 30 June 2009 comments

Turning fat people into social outcasts

A new report chastising fat celebs as a bad influence is part of a worrying campaign to ‘denormalise’ chubbiness.

Wendy Kaminer Tuesday 30 June 2009 comments

In defence of the right to discriminate

The attempt to force religious groups to embrace gays and non-believers is an intolerable assault on the freedoms of religion, speech and association.