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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Ukipland - a fictional country where the old values are no longer respected and people yearn for vanished certainties

In Ukipland there's a pint waiting for Russell Brand and Nigel Farage

They like to think they're opposites but when it comes to women, I can't help thinking they'd find common ground
Novelist P D James, who died last week at the age of 94

PD James: The warm, inspirational woman I knew

She confronted moral dilemmas with seriousness and a sense of responsibility

The royal dress code can't cloak Prince Charles

Ministers are terrified of the effect on public opinion if the Prince of Wales’s letters are published
The Rosetta Lander Imaging System on the Philae Lander shows the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Rosetta mission represents the very best side of human nature

The forces of darkness are on the march. All the more reason to celebrate Philae, rationality and the march of progress
Fiona Woolf, left, ex-BBC newsreader Martyn Lewis and Lady Brittan

Child abuse inquiry: Children's lives are destroyed by this culture of disbelief

The fiasco surrounding the Woolf inquiry suggests the Home Office still doesn't grasp the size of the problem
Ched Evans has repeatedly denied he did anything wrong

A bit of contrition would help, but appallingly behaved footballers barely see a problem

As sexual violence against women increases, football's authorities should take the same sort of stand that they have on racism

Isis in Kobani: Why Turkey is allowing the town to fall

A history of appalling brutality between the Ankara government and the Kurds is the key to President Erdogan's priorities
Alan Henning’s wife, Barbara, last month appealing for the release of her husband

With Alan Henning's death, the media finally stops playing the terrorists' tune

It took the death of the British aid worker for papers not to publish images of Isis's brutality
The name Abu Qatada has become a byword for ‘crazy human rights’

When did 'human rights' become a source of shame?

It has replaced 'political correctness' as the dinner-party phrase designed to appeal to right-wing prejudice

Isis beheadings: The Hideous return of execution as a public spectacle

Clicking on a link, or even viewing a photo from before the killing, is not far removed from attending a Tudor beheading
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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent