Joan Smith

Known for her human rights activism and writing on subjects such as atheism and feminism, Joan Smith is a columnist, critic and novelist. An Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society and a regular contributor to BBC radio, she has written five detective novels, two of which have been filmed by the BBC.

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Does Miliband have an image problem?

Actually, Ed Miliband never said he was 'weird'

The public has been softened up to believe any old nonsense about the Labour leader
Innocents’ tears: A mother yesterday mourns her son killed by an Israeli tank shell in Gaza

In modern warfare, it's the civilians who suffer most of all

From MH17 to Gaza, there's no distinction between soldiers and non-combatants caught in the crossfire
Harman has said her gender affected her employment

Gordon Brown could have had a woman as deputy PM. He bottled it

When he had the chance to appoint Harriet Harman, his fine words failed to match his actions
Public disgrace: Andy Coulson’s conviction is just the latest case of how power can be perverted

Will the press ever be able to restore public confidence?

The trials of Andy Coulson and Rolf Harris reveal a celebrity-obsessed culture in which we are all complicit
Andy Coulson arrives for sentencing at the Old Bailey court house in London

Andy Coulson has been sentenced, now it's time to implement Leveson’s recommendations

We need a proper independent and effective press regulator that actually works

The 'World in Action' team making a program about the pirate radio ship Caroline, filmed on board in 1967

Jimmy Savile's crimes are rooted in pirate radio

John Peel was allowed to run a 'schoolgirl of the year' competition on his late night show
Andy Coulson, left, has been found guilty of conspiracy to hack phones, while Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charlie were cleared of all charges

After Coulson, now is the time for robust self-regulation along Leveson lines

A criminal culture at the News of the World has finally been exposed

Two Iraqi girls in a temporary camp near the Kurdish region on Friday

The Iraq invasion was wrong, but this time we must get involved

A keenness to denounce Tony Blair and George Bush is parochial and does nothing to help those in need
One world: The only way we can prevent future scandals is for all state schools to teach all children regardless of faith

Religion is no reason to let the ill-qualified become teachers

The Trojan Horse row shows how state education has become a dog's breakfast of different types of schools
Charles' comments have reignited debate about the British monarchy

Can Prince Charles get laws changed? They won't say

This makes a mockery of the idea that the UK is a democracy based on equal rights
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A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried