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Saturday, 19 February 2011

  • Leading article: Cameron's shaky grip
    Sunday, 20 February 2011

    Needless to say, the ability to admit a mistake and to reverse a foolish policy ought to be a strength in a politician. Caroline Spelman, the Secretary of State for Rural Affairs, did as well as she could last week in ditching the plan to sell off pu...

  • Leading article: Britain has no business arming repressive regimes
    Saturday, 19 February 2011

    This sums up perfectly the moral blindness of Britain's official attitude towards arms exports. Early on Thursday, Bahraini security forces fired on unarmed protesters in the capital, Manama. The ferocious assault – with tear gas, rubber bullets and ...

  • How, over nearly eight decades of thinking and writing, Eric Hobsbawm tried to change the world
    Sunday, 20 February 2011

    If Marxism is the answer, what is the question?When I worked at the Foreign Office many moons ago, one of the more venerated research analysts explained to me why his job was impossible. "It is not the job of political science to predict the future,"...

  • A soldier writes from Afghanistan
    Sunday, 20 February 2011

    I feel the need to speak up. We cannot just lie down and take a beating round after round from the Government. How can we be focused on fighting a war when we have to worry about redundancies and allowances being taken away? Would you carry on fighti...

  • Gordon Brown: We risk wasting an entire generation
    Sunday, 20 February 2011

    Two-thirds of Egypt's population is under 30, and these young people make up 90 per cent of the country's unemployed. Youth unemployment has hit 30 per cent in Tunisia. It is even higher, 45 per cent, in Algeria. By 2020, there will be an estimated 5...

  • Letters: The Big Society and libraries
    Saturday, 19 February 2011

    Their primary function is to provide information and to help users find material they need. Classification systems may be "easy peasy," but that's only part of selecting, storing and finding information, in print and – increasingly important – non-pr...

  • Leading article: Cameron plays the populist card
    Saturday, 19 February 2011

    First, the ruling under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) that a blanket ban on voting for prisoners should be reconsidered. David Cameron, who said last year that the thought of giving prisoners the vote made him "physically sick", enco...

  • Lindsey Hilsum: Equality on the frontline is the only way
    Saturday, 19 February 2011

    The story unfolded around us – the exhilaration of the throng, the promise of a new era, the complexity of a people's revolt which had brought in a military government. Emotionally, historically, intellectually, televisually, it had everything. I twe...

  • IoS letters, emails & online postings (20 February 2011)
    Sunday, 20 February 2011

    More than 14 years later, nothing seems to have changed. Have nurses become more callous and cruel? Is the system wrong? Is it a combination of factors? Wards should be designed so that a nurse is sitting in the middle of the ward in full view of all...

  • Tom Hodgkinson: 'I rejected usury, then it rejected me'
    Sunday, 20 February 2011

    This has not always been easy. Five years ago, I rejected usury. I discovered that usury, or lending money at interest, was considered sinful in medieval Europe, as well as in patriarchal times. It is still considered sinful by Islam today. This is b...

  • Sophie Heawood: Thin one day, a bump the next. How glamorous!
    Sunday, 20 February 2011

    Our celebrity media are currently going so wild for these paparazzi snaps that it's as if we've all turned into David Attenborough, peering in to investigate the gestation period of the adult human female "First Picture of Victoria Beckham's Bump!" s...

  • David Randall: Modern Turkey would rather not hear about its sultan of swing
    Sunday, 20 February 2011

    The Magnificent Century is based on the 16th-century ruler Suleiman, and shows him swigging wine and taking energetic R&R in his harem. This has not gone down well with religious conservatives and those swept up in the current fashion for idealis...

  • Paul Vallely: The Bookless Child and the Postcode Lottery
    Sunday, 20 February 2011

    It was striking that seven out of the 10 top authors in the Most Borrowed list write for children. At the top, as ever, was the potboiler adult thriller writer James Patterson, with a staggering two million loans, compared with a mere 37,422 for the ...

  • Leading article: Small fry
    Saturday, 19 February 2011

    That's the message from Villy Christensen, of the University of British Columbia, who says that our appetite for large fish is leading to an imbalance in marine ecosystems. While we deplete the oceans of bigger predatory species such as cod, tuna, sw...

  • John Rentoul: Round Objects
    Sunday, 20 February 2011

  • Melanie McDonagh: The real route to popularity – if you want to get ahead, get a cat
    Sunday, 20 February 2011

    Larry follows a line of feline inmates of No 10, from Humphrey of blessed memory, who walked into Downing Street uninvited and was given a home by Margaret Thatcher then retained by John Major, to Ramsay MacDonald's Rufus of England, a good mouser wh...

  • Matthew Bell: The IoS Diary (20/02/11)
    Sunday, 20 February 2011

    Happy birthday to Gordon Brown, who turns 60 today. And how does the ex-PM plan to mark the big day? He has already got off to a cracking start, by penning a piece for the IoS. Then, I can reveal, he will be spending the day at home with his so...

  • DJ Taylor: Debo and her muckers continue to thrive
    Sunday, 20 February 2011

    The Duchess was there to supply reminiscences of her father, Lord Redesdale, who became the magazine's deputy general manager in 1904, and while a certain amount of familiarity attended the proceedings – the Duchess is referred to as "Debo" these day...

  • Katy Guest: Rant & Rave (20/02/11)
    Sunday, 20 February 2011

    I am something of a stranger to the art of hair straightening. So I was surprised to learn just how popular this occult practice is. According to Mintel, one in three women own straighteners, one in four refuse to go out without using them, and one i...

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