A former editor of The Independent on Sunday, Janet Street-Porter is now the paper’s editor-at-large. As a journalist and broadcaster she has had an innovative and groundbreaking career in television, creating programmes for the BBC, Channel 4 and LWT, for which she has won a Bafta and the Prix Italia. She is also vice president of the Rambler’s Association.
17 July 2011 12:00 AM
Gosh, I'm pleased I've never made Rebekah Brooks' Christmas card list. I'm proud I wasn't one of the ladies invited to Sarah Brown's slumber parties at Chequers.
10 July 2011 12:00 AM
According to Mr Cameron, "we have all been in this together – the press, the politicians and leaders of all (political) parties". The sight of the Prime Minister under attack for his cosy relationships with newspaper owners and tabloid editors should not distract us from the unpalatable truth that there's another player in the hacking scandal – ordinary members of the public. It might not be popular to say so, but we are equally complicit, as readers and purchasers of the News of the World.
03 July 2011 12:00 AM
I've never had much time for the self-important utterances of our Speaker's wife, but when Sally Bercow failed to find much sympathy for struggling retailers on Twitter, she hit on an uncomfortable truth. According to Sally, it was "sad" that household names such as Habitat and Focus were in trouble, but not really that tragic as she never shopped at any of them. She trashed chocolate retailer Thorntons (closing 120 stores) as a "yucky-tasting rip-off", and described Carpetright (shutting up to 50 stores) as "overrated". Even Jane Norman (shedding 30 stores) got a lashing for flogging "clothes for skinny minnies".
26 June 2011 12:00 AM
Don't you love the way alleged socialists and the community-minded middle classes justify their biggest act of hypocrisy – claiming that they want better education for all, while paying through the nose to send their offspring to private schools? Marcus Brigstocke, a pleasant enough comedian, has been doing a bit of hand wringing, telling this paper last week, "I have ethical problems with it [my choice] but... I think this is the best environment for them". Rich people always use the feeblest excuses to justify paying to segregate their children from the rest.
19 June 2011 12:00 AM
I can't think of any job tougher than being a parent in modern Britain, and I've edited this newspaper, walked the length of Britain, climbed Kilimanjaro and regularly mouth off on live television. Parents are our unsung heroes, but you'd never guess. Week in and week out they get criticised – told they're not as good as previous generations.
12 June 2011 12:00 AM
Tomorrow night on BBC2, viewers will see a 71-year-old man die in a clinic run by the non-profit organisation Dignitas in Switzerland. Sir Terry Pratchett's film follows motor neurone disease sufferer Peter Smedley, who has taken the decision to end his life.
05 June 2011 12:00 AM
The fallout from the BBC's Panorama shown last Monday about torture and bullying at Winterbourne View care home, was depressingly predictable. The public, medical experts, social commentators and politicians were shocked and upset. The images were reminiscent of the Abu Ghraib photos of US soldiers maltreating prisoners in Iraq – but this was taking place in a purpose-built new facility in Bristol, where it costs £3,500 a week to "care" for mentally challenged patients who have committed no crime. The reaction was immediate: 13 members of staff were suspended, and the police launched inquiries into possible illegal behaviour. Distressed relatives removed family members, and the head of the private company who ran the facility offered apologies. The regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), admitted there had been "a misjudgement", an understatement, considering it had inspected the place regularly and found nothing wrong.
29 May 2011 12:00 AM
David Cameron wants us to give more to charity – an admirable goal most of us would endorse. Last week he talked of "nudging" the public into giving more by pressing a donation key at cash machines, or by "rounding up" the total when we pay a bill. Critics say that Dave's Big Society is doomed, but I'm not so cynical.
22 May 2011 12:00 AM
My goodness, is there something in the water? Open a newspaper, turn on the radio or the television and it's impossible to avoid middle-aged, successful men caught with their pants down. From sportsmen, actors and politicians to bankers – what a motley gang of cheating, lying, deceiving cads. Maria Shriver discovers Arnie Schwarzenegger has not only sired a lovechild with their housekeeper, but the timing couldn't have been more insulting: the little boy is almost the same age as her own son. Her adulterous husband hadn't even bothered to leave the family compound for his extra-curricular activities.
15 May 2011 12:00 AM
Truly, we live in the age of the ego. I exist, therefore I am important and newsworthy. How to reconcile worries about privacy with the tidal wave of personal data churned out on Twitter and social media? Surely, one cancels out the other. Some of those whingeing that gagging orders and superinjunctions have resulted in innocent people being slandered – Jemima Khan, for example – spend hours daily babbling opinions using exactly the same media.
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