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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Theresa May, the Home Secretary

Theresa May's threat to broadcast freedom is staggering

Leaked letter shows that the Home Secretary was planning TV censorship

Isis threatens Palmyra, the ancient city that stands for both empire and resistance

The art and architecture express something which speaks to us centuries later

Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha arrive to N10 Downing street in London

Human rights are at risk under our new Conservative Government

Some classes of people living in the UK will no longer be able to use the legislation

Joyce Carol Oates is among 150 writers to protest that the award decision was ‘neither clear nor inarguable’

Charlie Hebdo's PEN Freedom of Expression Courage Award is well deserved

Those who oppose the award have fallen for a false narrative of universal Muslim victimhood

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

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Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine