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Home 2011 February

Friday, 4 February 2011

  • Leading article: The Big Society will never be built on the cheap
    Saturday, 5 February 2011

    Yet it would be wrong to dismiss, as some have, the Big Society as a smokescreen for spending cuts and the privatisation of local services. At the heart of the Big Society there is a perfectly respectable and progressive idea: to encourage civic enga...

  • Neal Ascherson: Every revolution has its rules. Ignore them and the fire will burn out
    Saturday, 5 February 2011

    Seen from above, this gigantic event resembles the surges of nature, rather than of human history. Sometimes the masses slowly pour forward and then halt in a dense, dark mass: the gravel and seaweed rushed up a beach by the storm and then dumped as ...

  • Leading article: Beware the collapse of the planet's lungs
    Friday, 4 February 2011

    But then came the drought of 2010. As a new research paper published in the journal Science today reveals, last year's drought was even more severe than 2005. So Brazil has experienced two "once in a century" climatic events in a decade. Unsurprising...

  • Alastair Beach: Journalists were stabbed, beaten or intimidated
    Saturday, 5 February 2011

    There was no roughing up or good cop-bad cop routines. On the contrary – crisps, tea biscuits and cheap Cleopatra cigarettes were handed out by soldiers including a smiling 23-year-old called Mohammad, who explained how he had picked up his stutterin...

  • Letters: Marriage benefits
    Saturday, 5 February 2011

    Same-sex couples want to have the same status as married couples. Surely the solution is to extend the civil partnership scheme to any two people who wish to enter into such an agreement. The partnership could provide certain tax advantages, allow a ...

  • Alice Jones: You're not doing yourself – or your husband – any favours
    Saturday, 5 February 2011

    To say that Sally Bercow, the wife of the Speaker, John Bercow, is unafraid of the glare of publicity is an understatement. She basks in it like a sun-starved Brit on a long weekend in Marbella. She's given interviews divulging a past littered with o...

  • Leading article: Exodus from a neglected American city
    Saturday, 5 February 2011

    Last year's count showed a decline of almost 30 per cent to 344,000, meaning that New Orleans no longer ranks among the 50 largest US cities. The sad fact, however, is that this most idiosyncratic and beloved of American cities was in decline long be...

  • Victoria Summerley: How to make drama out of bereavement
    Saturday, 5 February 2011

    I had been a lifelong Archers fan, so my vehement reaction surprised even myself. But not only was it annoying that the one character I did not find irritating was being got rid of (another hallmark of the true Archers fan is that you rather like Nig...

  • Harriet Walker: Another excuse for being fat: it's all my culture's fault
    Saturday, 5 February 2011

    From the plump and deliciously rounded milkmaids of yesteryear to our own Marilyn substitute Diana Dors, from Boudicca to Barbara Windsor, the British female has never been sylph-like, nor is she meant to be. Our national dish is meat and potatoes; w...

  • Jed Horne: Yes, our city has become smaller – but it has also found a surplus of spirit
    Saturday, 5 February 2011

    The questions bristle with political and economic implications, which in a city like New Orleans inevitably provoke twinges of racial anxiety. Had the city's élites, as accused, toyed with post-disaster recovery strategies in ways to keep the low-inc...

  • Fawaz A Gerges: Egypt's generals seek ways to ease Mubarak out with his dignity intact
    Saturday, 5 February 2011

    On Thursday, Mr Suleiman invited the Muslim Brotherhood to negotiations with the army and the opposition. This was critical since the Muslim Brotherhood – the oldest and largest Islamist organisation in Egypt that has influenced the many faces of pol...

  • Paul Vallely: How monocultural does the Prime Minister want us to be?
    Saturday, 5 February 2011

    It is the critique of these so-called "muscular liberals" that David Cameron has adopted in his surprisingly hardline speech. The shift began after the traumatic terrorist attacks of 9/11. Many of those who like to think of themselves as liberals the...

  • Letters: Perspectives on the price of oil
    Friday, 4 February 2011

    Green technology arrives too slowly The message from Hamish McRae ("Let's get real: cheap oil is never coming back", 2 February) can never be made strongly enough or often enough. Oil prices will continue, with minor fluctuations, to rise inexora...

  • Leading article: Miliband speaking up for a betrayed generation
    Friday, 4 February 2011

    The generation which shaped the modern world grew up in an era in which, as the then prime minister Harold Macmillan put it, people had "never had it so good". So it proved. Average incomes soared, life expectancy rose, infant mortality rates plummet...

  • Fawaz Gerges: Army holds the fate of Mubarak in its hands – and he knows it
    Friday, 4 February 2011

    The regime's base is extremely shallow in comparison to the opposition, which represents an overwhelming majority of the population. The regime has alienated most of the rising social and political classes: centrists and democrats, leftists, national...

  • John Rentoul: Pedantrys
    Saturday, 5 February 2011

  • Leading article: Reverse gear
    Saturday, 5 February 2011

    Must things play out this way? Top Gear should grow up. The Mexican government, and any other state that finds itself on the receiving end of such pathetic humour, should rise above it. And the BBC should not go through the charade of apologising for...

  • Leading article: Wide world
    Friday, 4 February 2011

    But we are all getting fatter, the latest statistics show. The rate of increase in average body mass index measurements for British men is second only to that for our fat friends in the United States. No wonder we need wider stretchers in our ambulan...

  • Carlos Peres: Unthinkably, wild fires are breaking out in rainforests
    Friday, 4 February 2011

    These severe shortages were probably driven by interacting, large-scale climatic events, with the warming of the Atlantic – which also drives hurricanes affecting the Caribbean and south-eastern United States – increasingly outweighing the drying eff...

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