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.
25 August 2013 12:00 AM
For too long we have sent mixed messages to the dictator in Damascus
11 August 2013 12:00 AM
Tories on the right regard David Cameron as modern, but wearing shorts is not enough
04 August 2013 12:00 AM
How can we believe that men who abuse women online aren't also raping partners?
28 July 2013 12:00 AM
You wouldn't know it from the deference of the royal baby coverage, but a poll this month showed more than half of us weren't bothered
21 July 2013 12:13 AM
This country has a very poor record on the prevention of female genital mutilation. A new approach from the police could change that. But they need help
14 July 2013 12:00 AM
07 July 2013 12:00 AM
As British police swoop in six years on, Kate and Gerry McCann face weeks of press chatter
30 June 2013 12:00 AM
Whenever anyone sets about compiling a list of great figures in British history, Henry VIII is a cert. A few years ago, he was at number 40 in a BBC poll of 100 great Britons, and more recently he's played a leading role in Hilary Mantel's prize-winning historical novels. The final instalment of the trilogy will have to deal with Henry's decision to execute Mantel's hero, Thomas Cromwell, who was despatched on the same day Henry married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard. She lasted less than two years before following Cromwell to the scaffold, and I'm not remotely surprised to hear that Henry has now been diagnosed as a psychopath.
23 June 2013 12:00 AM
Had the broadcaster Stuart Hall been in any doubt that he got off lightly after admitting 14 charges of indecent assault, he would have known better by the end of last week. The 15-month sentence he was given on Monday reflected the law, and the assumptions, of the period in the 1960s and 1970s when he began abusing children and teenagers. Four days later, Jeremy Forrest, the maths teacher found guilty of abducting an under-age girl, got five and a half years in total for that offence and five more (which he admitted) of sexual activity with a child.
16 June 2013 12:00 AM
Erdogan's sneer is clear to see
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
- 1 Universities aren't working us hard enough, say undergraduates
- 2 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'