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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The Nato campaign to support Libyans who wanted to oust Gaddafi failed to plan for the aftermath

Toppling despots is the easy bit, as the PM should know by now

Ed Miliband was right to highlight the irresponsibility of unseating Gaddafi without a plan for afterwards

Ashya King arriving at the Proton Therapy Centre in Prague in September

Ashya King: The summer of hate experienced by the hospital that treated him shames us all

One letter sent to staff at Southampton General Hospital expressed the hope that the doctor's own children would get cancer and die

Depending on which media outlet you believe, Ed Miliband has either already lost the general election, or very much hasn't

General Election 2015: Is this the campaign off to a good start? Hell, no!

Demands for politicians to show their true selves are likely to have the opposite effect

Clifford is already serving an eight-year jail sentence for indecent assault

Keith Vaz has got it wrong - protecting men should not be the aim of rape laws

I don't doubt it is unpleasant to be wrongly accused of rape but such events are rare

Red Cross health workers in Liberia

Inequality remains the real killer in Africa - as the Ebola outbreak has shown

Images of listless patients, lying on mats in makeshift clinics, play into a false narrative of inevitability

Half Life: Women in India are expected to keep themselves out of harm’s way

India is in denial about its rape culture - but then so are we

The banning of a documentary about a horrific attack on a young woman in Delhi has terrible echoes elsewhere

The shrine of Iman al-Mahdi, Karbala. He is expected to return at the end of time

Jihadi John: Why are so many from Britain giving up everything to join a terrorist organisation that tortures and kills?

The appeal of Isis lies in its messianic belief that the final victory for Muslims is imminent

Michael Adebolajo killed Fusilier Lee Rigby outside Woolwich Barracks in May last year

Why are so many young men inured to violence?

After he fell out with his parents, Ziamani was radicalised in only 12 weeks

Ed Miliband is smeared because of his determination to finish the Leveson process

If Ed Miliband is useless, why are some newspapers so bothered by him?

As prime minister, the Labour leader would revisit self-regulation, and that terrifies the right-wing press

The investigation into Rotherham Council last year concluded that 1,400 children had suffered sexual exploitation between 1997 and 2013 (Getty/PA)

Male power and a sense of impunity is at the heart of all child abuse rings

Rotherham is high on Ukip's target list, and it has tried to make political capital out of the scandal

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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions