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.
24 March 2013 12:00 AM
It's a giveaway that senior clerics aren't much interested in lesbians, while presiding over institutions that struggle with the notion of treating women as equals
17 March 2013 12:00 AM
We all believe in a free press, don't we? But if I've learnt anything over the course of the Leveson inquiry, it's that it means different things to different people. Take the former editor of The Sun, Kelvin MacKenzie, who boasted that it meant doing what he liked and not checking sources. He used his freedom to produce an untrue front-page story which claimed that Liverpool fans urinated on police officers and picked the pockets of dying fellow supporters during the Hillsborough disaster. "The Truth", MacKenzie called it in a brazen headline.
10 March 2013 12:00 AM
On Sundays, dads up and down the land look forward to football with their kids and a lazy family lunch. It's an idyllic picture of life in 21st-century Britain, but for once I want to talk about all the men who don't have children. What's wrong with the one in five who don't become fathers?
03 March 2013 12:00 AM
If someone agrees to an intimate relationship on the basis of lies, can they really be said to have given meaningful consent to sex?
24 February 2013 12:00 AM
Hang on a minute: I know we're all guffawing over the behaviour of the jury in the trial of Vicky Pryce, but are there really grounds for assuming that something went badly wrong? Hilarious as some of their questions to the judge appeared to be, it's possible to come to a very different conclusion, namely that the system actually worked rather well.
George Galloway's Israel denial may repel the mainstream, but it further cements his reputation within his religious constituency
22 February 2013 06:03 PM
Galloway has ended up representing the nearest thing Britain has to a religious party
17 February 2013 12:00 AM
Earlier this month, a 17-year-old girl died in hospital after being brutally gang-raped in South Africa. The details are too horrible to repeat and the murder sparked public protests, even if it received less attention outside the country than the recent gang rape of a student in India. South Africa has one of the highest rates of rape in the world, with almost 150 cases reported to the police every day and many more unreported. It also had the highest rate of intimate femicide – murders of women by their partners – according to a 1999 study.
10 February 2013 12:00 AM
Thirteen years ago, a trial in Yorkshire revealed that hundreds of tons of poultry declared unfit for human consumption had entered the food chain. For several years, five men had operated a nationwide scam, selling chicken and turkey destined for pet food to butchers' shops, restaurants and supermarkets. Stomach-churning details emerged of how they'd washed the meat to get rid of mould and faeces, and soaked it in brine to remove the stench. The judge criticised the gang for targeting discount supermarkets serving poorer consumers who couldn't afford more expensive cuts of meat.
08 February 2013 07:10 PM
Frances Andrade is believed to have killed herself during the trial of Michael Brewer
03 February 2013 12:00 AM
Hillary Clinton's memoirs end in 2001, just after she was elected to the Senate and eight years before she became Barack Obama's Secretary of State. They're called Living History, but her own political career was still in the future when the Clintons left the White House for the last time. The woman who stepped down as the US's chief diplomat two days ago is living proof that Scott Fitzgerald was wrong when he said there are no second acts in American lives.
- 1 Tottenham to smash pay scale with £150,000-a-week contract in attempt to tie Gareth Bale to club
- 2 Austerity has hardened the nation's heart
- 3 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 4 Be more professional! GCHQ staff rapped as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange reveals messages that he says point to 'fit up'
- 5 Top A&E doctors warn: 'We cannot guarantee safe care for patients anymore'
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