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Sunday, 11 November 2012

  • Editorial: The answer for the BBC is reform, not a witch-hunt
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    In the wake of all these events it is right that the Director-General, George Entwistle, has fallen on his sword now that the flaky nature of the journalism behind this second programme shown on 2 November has been exposed, now that Lord McAlpine, u...

  • Even the City wouldn't tolerate the Director-General's £450,000 pay-off
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    After all, fund managers are used to seeing executives carry large sums out of the door. Remember the former Royal Bank of Scotland boss Fred Goodwin received as much as that £225,000 in just eight months of drawing his (reduced) pension. But times ...

  • The Archbishop-elect shows no fear of demons in pinstripe suits
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    Having decided to remain on the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards despite being named as the next Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop Welby not only turned up at yesterday’s session. He made a difference.   You couldn’t help wonder if the fi...

  • Diary: A Murdoch whose beliefs could help save the BBC
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    We want someone like the woman who warned an audience at the Edinburgh Festival three months ago that “Profit without purpose is a recipe for disaster… It is increasingly apparent that the absence of purpose – or of a moral language – within governme...

  • Letters: The BBC deserves to win through
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    We all make mistakes and I am sure the staff of Newsnight are mortified. I still regard the BBC as the most trustworthy section of the media. At least it does not deliberately lie; the red tops never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Pl...

  • Editorial: The Corporation's next DG should come from outside
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    For all the attention now focusing on the "lack of clarity" in the chain of command, the central problem – apparent in all BBC scandals of recent years – is that senior managers are so hung up on official channels and the notion of the Corporation's...

  • Why the downfall of adulterous CIA head David Petraeus is not all bad news for President Obama
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    It is at this point, perhaps, that the first warning drumrolls might have sounded. The partnership of Al and Tipper Gore – the last exemplar of all-American family values – came  to grief in the aftermath of his failure to become President. The chequ...

  • BBC scandal: The seeds of disaster lay in a bloated management structure
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    The crisis is about the way the BBC is managed, about the layers of managers too detached from the daily output, some in conveniently ill-defined jobs and all on very high levels of pay. The lop-sided dynamic between managers and the rest was only su...

  • Jeremy Paxman is wrong: Newsnight's errors were the product of shoddy journalism, not budget cuts
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    Speaking of newspapers, those of us still in the tree recycling business, whose revenues really have been cut savagely, view with amazement the moans of very well remunerated BBC personnel at the fact that the licence fee has merely been frozen – at ...

  • If you ask me...Christmas is in the air. I've already sniffed it
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    I love spending all my hard-earned money on heavily advertised, warmongering toys for boys, and pink, saccharine crap for girls. I love attending the school fair and being told: “That wasn’t Santa. It was Alexander’s dad!”I love carol singers, partic...

  • Thursdays in the Park and the undignified rise of grey sexiness
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    Asked what could explain this extraordinary and unexpected success, a spokesman for Quercus, the publisher, uttered that book trade mantra, “word of mouth”. This, being translated, means, “ haven’t got a clue”. On the face of it, the publisher’s bewi...

  • Virginia Ironside's Dilemma: Girls guide?
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    Virgina says...I do think you’re letting your imagination run away with you. It’s not surprising. When a child leaves home for university, most parents are not only miserable, but also worried sick. They worry for two reasons. First, irrationally, th...

  • After my mother's death I realised modern medicine fails to prepare us for the inevitable
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    My own experience of death is the loss of my mum when she was 55, two years after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The cancer was advanced and aggressive, bringing countless rounds of surgery, chemotherapy, clinical trials and hospital stays. W...

  • Child abuse: Rochdale MP calls for "the truth" about Sir Cyril Smith
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    Rochdale Labour MP Simon Danczuk alleged to the IoS that many people in his town had “turned a blind eye” to child abuse – and claimed that the wilful neglect may have extended to his predecessor Sir Cyril, who died in 2010.It is a bold move by a pol...

  • Don't let this feeding frenzy kill off Newsnight
    Monday, 12 November 2012

     Its discussions can certainly be as good as they get – Steve Coogan ripping into the News of the World’s Paul McMullan, unmissable in June, dumped onto the past history pile now  - was one of the high tide marks of the hacking story. But I tell you ...

  • Was heading into the celebrity jungle a good career move for Nadine Dorries?
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    What's going on?Nadine Dorries has landed. She’s in the jungle, and apparently already under strain, having to empty her toilet out by hand.The day before she flew into camp, Dorries asked on her blog: “Is it outrage back home?”She better believe it....

  • ‘Destroy the sphinx and the pyramids’, says Egyptian jihadist
    Al Arabiya Monday, 12 November 2012

    Murgan Salem al-Gohary, who served two jail sentences under former President Hosni Mubarak for inciting violence, called on Muslims to remove the ancient Egyptian relics in an interview broadcast Saturday."All Muslims are charged with applying the te...

  • Why are they trending? #BBC, Sir Rex Hunt, Girls Aloud
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    The news follows fast on the heels of George Entwistle, the former director-general of the Beeb's resignation on Saturday night. Lord Patten, the chairman of the BBC Trust, has now come under fire for approving a a £450,000 lump sum payout for Entwis...

  • There's another Bridget Jones in the diary, but no more Philip Roth
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    So no more “He had learned the worst lesson that life can teach – that it makes no sense”, and plenty more “Cigarettes: 4. Calories: 800. V v good”.It's not that I've got anything against Bridget; I worked with her (or at least her alter ego, Helen F...

  • Newsnight crisis: it is inconceivable that further heads will not roll
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    But the sidelining of Helen Boaden and her deputy Stephen Mitchell comes in the wake of a story for which they had no responsibility. Both had been "recused" from the editorial chain of command for Newsnight's disastrous Lord McAlpine story because t...

  • High life is great, providing you've got the head for it
    Monday, 12 November 2012

    I recently spent two evenings higher than usual – one was a brilliant i reader party in Millbank Tower on the Thames, the other in a bar called Vertigo 42 in London's Tower 42. On both occasions, the city rolled away beneath me, lit-up and lovely, li...

  • How to spot an extramarital affair: Those close to Petraeus saw the early signs
    The Daily Beast Monday, 12 November 2012

    "By that last year in Kabul, it was clear to all who saw them that the pair had established a close relationship," writes Barry. Signs included the couples habit of taking early morning runs together and Broadwell's "transparent admiration" for the s...

  • The ugliest shoes of all time
    New York Magazine Monday, 12 November 2012

    The usual suspects, Crocs and Uggs, are present and correct, but if you thought they were bad, you've clearly never laid eyes on Jean Paul Gaultier's high-heeled flippers or Marc Jacobs' rhinestone buckle monstrosities. And new shoes are not a new in...

  • Is methane hydrate the answer to the energy crisis? Monday, 12 November 2012

    However there are serious environmental concerns about the substance which is 20 times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere, and therefore will contribute to global warming if burned. "Any exploration activities desig...

  • The $480,000 dress : The Wizard of Oz dress is sold in a Hollywood auction
    CNN Monday, 12 November 2012

    Nonetheless, the dress, which Judy Garland made famous in the 1939 musical, has fetched $430,000 (£270,500) at auction. It was the most expensive item in a sale which also saw the purchase of the a skirt Marilyn Monroe wore in River of No Return (195...

  • Letters: How to make corporations pay up
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    Multinationals can adjust their profit or loss figures in many ways – they can easily adjust transfer prices and take profits in tax havens. They can doctor profits figures by imposing arbitrary management and royalty licence charges. In the event...

  • Editorial: Aid to India still has its place
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    If the time frame for winding up is shorter than most people had anticipated, the thrust of the Development Secretary's ruling was not unexpected. Aid to India has been a toxic topic ever since Pranab Mukherjee, now President, then Finance Minister,...

  • The next Director General will need a tough hide - and real support
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    Three separate issues confront the BBC at the moment. The first and most serious is the possibility that Jimmy Savile’s sexual predations were allowed to take place unchecked within the BBC. Were there more than rumours? Were formal complaints made t...

  • Diary: Entwistle was helped onto his sword by the brilliant John Humphrys
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    Any of Humphrys’s fellow Today presenters Evan Davis, Justin Webb or Sarah Montague would have been respectful to their director general. In 16 minutes of cross-examination by Jim Naughtie, 15-and-a-half would have gone on the questions.Mr Entwistle ...

  • If Assad goes, Hezbollah will be alone in the Levant – much to the delight of Israel
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    Today, it looks more like yet another Arab “security” institution – or insecurity institution – as it flies drones over Israel and continues to support, to the increasing condemnation of many Lebanese, the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.W...

  • The body harpies have it in for Adele. For the sake of all women, let's hope she stays strong
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    The very few who try and hold out against the image harridans seemingly lose the fight. You should see how many blogs, sites, tweets and articles swill around that pick on female names with bigger bodies than is allowed in the witch’s manual of femal...

  • Newsnight and the BBC might have screwed up, but the real victims of this are being forgotten - again
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    The psychological effects of child abuse are profound. Shock, fear and disbelief come immediately, psychologists note; in the long term come anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Abused children often start wetting the bed again; as they become...

  • Reddit diagnoses cancer in man who peed on pregnancy test
    Forbes Sunday, 11 November 2012

    CappnPoopDeck posted a rage comic of his friend's experience on social news site Reddit, complete with a sketch of a horrified male face confronted with an unwanted - and biologically impossible - pregnancy.The very first commenter on the story, whic...

  • Too close for comfort: Prime Ministers, the arms industry, and Remembrance Day
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    Nearly ten years on from the invasion, the only people who seem chuffed about the Iraq War these days are its architects and their dedicated cheerleaders. Blair’s particular cynicism lies in the fact that he frames promoting British interests in Iraq...

  • Did George Entwistle have to resign as BBC Director General after the Savile and Newsnight scandals?
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    George Entwistle last night resigned as Director General of the BBC after an episode of Newsnight incorrectly implicated former Tory minister Lord McAlpine as a paedophile.In a statement given outside New Broadcasting House Entwistle accepted that hi...

  • Priest bites off ear in unholy punch-up
    Australia News Network Sunday, 11 November 2012

    Father Thomas Henry Bryne, 80, was charged with grievous bodily harm over the incident involving his neighbour, 81-year-old Father Thomas Joseph Cameron Smith.After the fight ended, Byrne told Smith to pick something off the ground - only when Smith ...

  • IoS letters, emails & online postings (11 November 2012)
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    The Green Party believes that everyone working a full week should earn sufficient money to pay for the necessities of food, clothing, housing and transport – and that's what the Labour Party should enforce should it return to government.If the minimu...

  • Editorial: A necessary sacrifice
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    However, it is hard to ignore the BBC's impulsion to be the story rather than the messenger. By distracting public opinion from the pursuit of justice for the victims, the corporation has probably made it less likely that anyone will get to the botto...

  • Middle Eastern snakes exceed ladders for the US
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    Romney soon steered away from his initial posture of attacking Obama for "apologising for America" and failing to assert US power. He recognised that the one thing the US electorate does not want is another war in the Middle East. By beating the patr...

  • Our zombie church has a new leader. So what?
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    Admittedly the job couldn't have gone to a woman – this particular pressure group isn't up to speed with equality – but did they have to pick an Old Etonian? Even more puzzling has been the reaction, with lots of people rushing around and using words...

  • A shot at glory: President Obama's second chance
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    Yesterday, it was almost as if his trouncing of Mitt Romney four days earlier had never happened, as both sides dug in for negotiations over a deficit-reduction deal without which automatic spending cuts and tax increases will kick in at the start of...

  • 'I was a tiny part of something that really mattered'
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    The battle for the White House was looking worryingly close and I decided that what the Democrats needed was my years of experience campaigning for the British Labour Party. With all my ideas and enthusiasm, I rolled up at a huge sound studio close t...

  • Blame the establishment! (But which one?)
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    The 1970s have always been fertile ground for exposés of the covert alliances that gang up to bypass the democratic process. One of the best BBC television dramas of the past 20 years is Peter Flannery's Our Friends in the North, which sketched out a...

  • Why I won't be voting for a police commissioner
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    Lord Blair, of course, could be dismissed as a man with a personal grievance. After all, he was sacked as head of the Metropolitan Police by the man who was, in effect, the prototype elected police commissioner, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. B...

  • You don't have to copy Bradley Wiggins. There is a better way
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    Of course, there are impediments to taking up walking. One is the growth of our towns. It is said that the last man to walk every street in London was Thomas Babington Macauley. That would have been impressive even if he hadn't written all that histo...

  • David Cameron and the impossibility of modern politics
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    He could see that wild and baseless allegations were being waved around. He may even have seen some of the names, taken from the internet, on the list that Schofield handed to him, and recognised people who are gay or who have often been said to be. ...

  • Growing up in the White House: Trials, tribulations and triumphs
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    Try as their parents might to make life as normal as possible (no shirking of homework, summer camp in New Hampshire, and doing their own laundry), things are not quite as they are for most American girls. It will be a brave teenage lad who asks Mali...

  • I've discovered how to lose weight: fast
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    I watched a Horizon programme about fasting. The first three-quarters was a bit dull, on the medical benefits of fasting – about it giving your body time to repair itself. It was the last quarter, however, that got me; the idea you can have 600 calor...

  • The Emperor's New Clothes (11/11/12)
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    Floodgates duly unlocked, the past couple of decades have seen men over-emoting like actors in Bollywood musicals. And just last week came three fresh examples. First, the newly re-elected President of the United States was caught blubbing like a ...

  • The Republican Party: The death of America’s angry white man
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    And it wasn't just a defeat, it was a big one, whose dimensions were a surprise even to many Democrats: over 2 per cent in the popular vote and a crushing 332 votes to 206 in the electoral college, in what is supposed to be a 50/50 country. And this ...

  • Politicians beware! It's live TV
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    Social media has a growing role in modern politics, but television remains the key weapon in the fight for power. Over here, the Prime Minister recently signed up for Twitter, but relies on carefully chosen telly appearances to get his message across...

  • After the Pink List, the social media deluge
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    Some people were surprised that anyone could have beaten the glorious Clare Balding to number one. (Sorry, Clare. We love you, but you stopped just short of actually winning a gold medal.) Others were amused to see young reality TV stars on the list....

  • 'Routine screening would stop suffering'
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    For instance, it would be good if, every three or five years, veterans were given routine medical appointments for check-ups and to ask if they have any problems. Many servicemen and women would not want to take advantage of this, but it would be ve...

  • Harriet Walker: Karaoke is always so harmonious – at first
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    At an East End pub last week, I saw humanity come together, and then rapidly divide, over the pleasures of a simple songbook. This was no "Little Brown Jug" round the old joanna; it was Bone Thugs-n-Harmony with a backing track of Woodbine coughs – T...

  • Rant & Rave: A bad week for a naked Sienna Miller, but a good one for Adele
    Sunday, 11 November 2012

    A rumour went out last week that the artist Jonathan Yeo had made the front pages. Unfortunately, it turned out that only his painting of Sienna Miller naked was all over the papers (and more images of a naked Sienna Miller appeared in Vogue), while ...

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