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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Women were excluded from the decision-making progress in Rotherham

Rotherham child sexual abuse scandal - the lessons: Asian women's voices go unheard

The Jay report showed the Labour Party's willingness to listen only to the male community leaders
Cost of a cure: Roche knows that patients have no other options

Priority for caregivers, not shareholders: Why campaigners support a ban on Roche's new cancer treatment

Nice had 'no option' but to reject Kadcyla at its current price
Thai immigration policemen investigate Vietnamese women who were allegedly lured into becoming surrogate mothers

Mother country: The harrowing truth behind Thai 'fertility tourism'

A surrogate Down's syndrome baby abandoned by an Australian couple, exposes the First World's double standards
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

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The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Chosen to lead the women's wing of the ruling Zanu-PF, the wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding the 90-year old
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model of a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution