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Home 2011 August

Thursday, 4 August 2011

  • Leading article: A lever that the Chancellor would be unwise to pull
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    The macroeconomic justification for reducing marginal tax rates on high incomes is a familiar one. It is argued that such tax cuts pay for themselves because they end up bringing in more revenue than higher rates. But the evidence base supporting the...

  • Leading article: Uncomfortable truths for a stubborn Chancellor
    Thursday, 4 August 2011

    An analysis from the International Monetary Fund (another organisation whose economic judgement Mr Osborne has lauded in the past) issued a similar warning this week. The IMF has forecast growth for this year of just 1.5 per cent. It also recommends ...

  • Letters: Perspectives on Sharia law in Britain
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    These 'zones' are a deliberate provocation The ever-readable Christina Patterson in "Two legal systems, and two choices. Which do we want?" (3 August), conflates the issues of "Sharia courts, or Sharia law, or Sharia 'zones' " in a manner which d...

  • Leading article: The case against criminalisation
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    The decriminalisation of drugs for personal use would tackle the problem from the other end. Instead of choking off supply it addresses demand. Trading in drugs would remain a criminal offence, but users would be offered help rather than threatened w...

  • Leading article: Demagoguery, not democracy
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    This is a bogus notion. In a civilised society, important issues are decided after diligent research, considered debate and the careful weighing up of arguments and counter arguments. That is what we elect our MPs to do. Of course those signing e-pet...

  • Andrew Rosthorn: In the shadow of the Dirty Thirty, a worried community seeks action
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    News, however, of losing its billion-pound Mox nuclear fuel reprocessing plant as a result of a Japanese earthquake and tsunami is seen as less shocking than being the scene of the world's first accidental nuclear fire in 1957. But the work of the va...

  • John Kampfner: If we want to punch above our weight, we'll have to pay for it
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    What they do not appreciate is a mismatch between rhetoric and reality. When Tony Blair was massaging the truth on the road to Iraq, he was also committing forces into action without being properly prepared. David Cameron promised to take a more sobe...

  • Rhodri Marsden: Loving your smartphone is only human
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    If you've answered yes to these three questions, then you're probably one of the 3 million or so British adults who, according to an Ofcom survey, class themselves as smartphone addicts. Reluctant to switch them off in cinemas or theatres, compelled ...

  • Letters: Perspectives on the Arab Spring
    Thursday, 4 August 2011

    Not everyone hates the Muslim Brotherhood Robert Fisk's coverage of the "Arab Spring" has been characteristically accurate and insightful thus far. However I must take issue with some of the claims in his article "Egypt's revolutionary youth are ...

  • Leading article: A new nation's democratic test
    Thursday, 4 August 2011

    Mr Mubarak is the first Arab leader overthrown by his own people to face justice – an undeniably momentous event not just for Egypt but for the whole of the Middle East. The trial was not orchestrated by the West (as in Iraq) and the ex-president was...

  • Tom Chatfield: Two cheers for Twitter and its democratic potential
    Thursday, 4 August 2011

    These waters have got muddier almost by the day. Is Wikileaks a force for truth and justice – or a quasi-terrorist organisation? Are Google and Facebook benign giants – or data-hungry profiteers? Is a free press a precious national asset – or a worse...

  • Andy Martin: Cambridge is the place for Joey Barton
    Thursday, 4 August 2011

    Now, as he is being squeezed out by Newcastle United, he has turned to philosophy for support. On Twitter, he has recruited a Premiership team of attackers and defenders, including Nietzsche, Goethe, Virgil, Proust, Norman Mailer, and the well-known ...

  • Leading article: Palestinian state of mind
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    Israel and the United States insist that Palestinian statehood should come through a bilateral peace deal. Yet that road is blocked. While a UN recognition would be symbolic (coming, as it would, from the General Assembly and not the Security Council...

  • Sophie Heawood: Is my newborn ready to face living to 100?
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    This terrifies me, because people in my family already live far too long and do everything far too slowly. My late grandfather was born in the 19th century; my cousins have some really groovy anecdotes about the dissolution of the monasteries; I'm en...

  • Nigel Morris: Commonsense policy leads into a political minefield
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    As a backbencher, David Cameron supported calls for the UN to consider legalising drugs and the establishment of heroin "shooting galleries". But there was no such suggestion in last year's Tory manifesto.Ed Miliband swiftly distanced himself from hi...

  • Sean O'Grady: Changes to top-rate tax are symbolic, not seismic
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    The "boost" to the economy as a whole would be rather greater, as that money gets into the shops and starts to circulate. Even then, and assuming it was all spent rather than saved, the effect is relatively modest; probably less than £5bn in an econo...

  • Nicholas Lezard: Radio 4: the station for Today, and forever
    Friday, 5 August 2011

    There are one or two explanations. Radio 4's current and previous controllers made the wise decision not to fiddle about with its formula. Schedules have remained largely the same, and its basic, blindingly simple idea – intelligent talk, or funny ta...

  • Leading article: Still deeper
    Thursday, 4 August 2011

    The ecological impact of hydraulic fracturing – which involves shooting jets of water to fracture shale rock and dislodge gas – is still unknown. The French government is concerned enough to have banned it. Yet our own Government has thrown its arms ...

  • Leading article: Hindrance not help
    Thursday, 4 August 2011

    Ms Villiers' suggestion is, of course, ridiculous. As keen as these Tyneside workers are to keep their positions, they are most unlikely to up sticks and move to Mumbai to do so. But, at least, one might argue, a minister is standing up for the princ...

  • Robin Scott-Elliot: An offensive term? Well, it's worse than Pom
    Thursday, 4 August 2011

    He has been called much worse than a "useless Jock" – he got an opprobrious battering via Twitter at Wimbledon this summer. A press box colleague (an Englishman who lives in Scotland) tried to defend Murray (a Scotsman who lives in England) and found...

  • Hermione Eyre: Fabergé eggs: exquisite and completely naff
    Thursday, 4 August 2011

    Take the Mosaic Egg of 1914, which resembles a tapestry sampler, except every stitch is made out of precious stones. A perfect Easter present for the Empress who has everything. Then there is a miniature gold Louis XV-style escritoire, for the autocr...

  • Fred Pearce: A closure that won't help the environment
    Thursday, 4 August 2011

    I grew up hating nuclear power. For four reasons. It looked unsafe in operation; its waste disposal problems looked even scarier; it was, whatever our masters claimed, linked to nuclear weapons; and I didn't want the kind of surveillance state that k...

  • Geoffrey Macnab: It's already more hyped than it was first time around
    Thursday, 4 August 2011

    Nonetheless, the re-emergence of the film is bound to cause huge excitement. It was shot in Islington, north London, and was the follow-up to Woman To Woman (1923), an international hit that the same team had made the year before. It seems that all t...

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