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Home 2012 November

Saturday, 3 November 2012

  • Editorial: Only total transparency will do, Prime Minister
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    On the face of it, the texts published yesterday do not tell anyone anything that is not already known: that David Cameron and Mrs Brooks were friends who enjoyed the sort of cheerful banter that friends typically enjoy. Nor does Mrs Brooks's lavish...

  • Editorial: High hopes to sober realism
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    As it happens, Governor Romney, with his Rushmore-ready looks, his wholesome family and his personal wealth, has played a textbook campaign, turning sharply to the centre after the primaries. He seized the chance afforded by the first TV debate to tu...

  • The joyous power of bawling out the boss
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    Not that these shadowy assailants pose less of a threat to women. I know a woman in her late forties who was invited to a PowerPoint presentation about the reorganisation of her office. It took her several minutes to establish that her post no longer...

  • The man who saved the Union: Lib Dem Michael Moore is Westminster's answer to James Bond
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    He should be better known, because he is the person behind the most remarkable phenomenon of the year, the Discomfiting of Alex Salmond, first minister of Scotland.It was Moore, I understand, who persuaded David Cameron of the wisdom of conceding tha...

  • The boondoggling race to the White House
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    In a speech made in 1936, President Roosevelt offered the nation a surprising strategy for the toughest of economic times: "If we can 'boondoggle' ourselves out of this depression, that word is going to be enshrined in the hearts of the American peop...

  • In space, no can hear you lip-synch
    Saturday, 3 November 2012

    Then mildly-erotic-dancer-turned-kind-of-opera star Sarah Brightman announced she was paying $35m to go up into orbit, where she planned to stage a one-woman production of The Pirates of Penzance.While I would have to concede that these are both acts...

  • Letters: Endless wait at the UK borders
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    My husband is one such case. We have been awaiting the outcome of our settlement (marriage) visa for several months. Meanwhile, he cannot work, and is unable to leave the country – for example, to visit his elderly mother for Christmas. Thousands of...

  • The Obama I know
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    It is March 2009. The futures of General Motors and Chrysler are at stake. Battered by the economy and their own mistakes, they need billions of dollars in federal money to survive. Those inside the administration are sharply divided. Outside, many p...

  • Bonfire Night is our annual celebration of folk justice and this year's Fawkes is Lance Armstrong
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    But to come back to Kent. In the past, Edenbridge has burned Wayne Rooney, Cherie Blair, Gordon Brown and Katie Price, a list that mainly begs the question “Why?”, since all those individuals have been more or less rehabilitated following whatever tr...

  • The Case of the Swedish weapons in Syria
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    On page 294, he meets a doomed German soldier in the Middle East, a “tall, handsome young officer” who has disgraced his Prussian honour by having an affair with a girl who claimed she was 18 when in fact she was only 16.And oddly – for books often c...

  • The Tories are emasculating the Equality and Human Rights Commission
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    Baroness Onora O’Neill, 71, has replaced Trevor Phillips as chair. Phillips was not as effective or dynamic as he needed to be, but he did understand how discrimination damaged individuals and society. O’Neill is a thoughtful philosopher, a former he...

  • Could a refurb of parliament mean a revolution for democracy?
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    As a tourism magnet protected by UNESCO at least, Charles Barry’s gothic masterpiece on the banks of the Thames is in rude health, but its incumbents are singularly failing to ignite the interest of those who pay for and elect them.Polling data from ...

  • Man-eating leopard on the loose: It's eaten 15 so far
    CNN Sunday, 4 November 2012

    Maheshwor Dhakal says that the taste of human blood can be almost addictive for leopards "Since human blood has more salt than animal blood, once wild animals get the taste of salty blood they do not like other animals like deer."All the recorded vic...

  • Movember: The 10 Best Moustaches in History
    Flavourwire Sunday, 4 November 2012

    Classics include the Old West lawman Wyatt Earp, whose moustache "impresses both in length and thickness" and Friedrick Nietzsche, whose wonky, disordered moustache belied a terrifyingly ordered mind. Perusers of the gallery will also note that there...

  • Chris Rock's message for white voters: Obama is not-so-secretly caucasian
    Slate Sunday, 4 November 2012

    Rock has made his campaign video as a direct appeal to white voters who, polls indicate, "are supporting Mitt Romney to the exclusion of logic or common sense". To those voters, Rock says, have you considered that Barack Obama may in fact be the whit...

  • Surrogate Pregnancies: Making babies for cash
    New York Times Sunday, 4 November 2012

    Susan Straight of Riverside, California has written a fascinating and very human piece for the New York Times about the experiences of surrogate mothers in her community. "Until last summer, I hadn't realized the way she pulls through is surrogacy," ...

  • IoS letters, emails & online postings (4 November 2012)
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    As for linking Gove's announcement to the Savile scandal, Jimmy Savile was not able to serially sexually abuse children because of a failure by social workers, but because so many who could have stopped him turned a blind eye. A Unicef report in 200...

  • Europe is the glass jaw of the Tory party. It has taken a hit
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    Defeats like that damage a prime minister's authority in Britain and his credibility in Europe. Perception is as important in leadership as substance, as I know only too well. It takes a spurious optimism to claim that Thursday's screaming headlines ...

  • Whatever the weather, the US cries wolf
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    The problem is that the country's mountain ranges run north-south. What the US needs is an east-west mountain chain, an American version of the Alps or the Hindu Kush. Hurricane Sandy, affected by the more than usually warm air in the western Atlanti...

  • Welcome to my eight wonders of the world
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    The new seven are Chichen Itza, the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, the Colosseum, Petra, and the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio. As the only remaining Ancient Wonder of the World, the Pyramids of Giza were given an honorary ...

  • It's love, not convention, that makes a family
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    Conventional families have been in the news lately, thanks to Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions minister. He made a speech in which he lamented the fact that, by the age of 15, almost half of all teenagers no longer share a house with both par...

  • The Pink List opens doors and minds
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    The phone call in 2011 from The Independent on Sunday said that I was on the list and asked for a photo and a few words. It wasn't until the next day that another call told me I was top of The Pink List, and to expect a car to take me to the BBC, as ...

  • At heart, we're still a nation of puritans
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    There is no getting away from this dislike of the substantial proportion of the nation's citizenry currently being raised at the State's expense, for its tocsin clangs through practically every forum of public debate. Party affiliations are no check...

  • You can't run a fair society from the Gents'
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    Now he's been criticised by the first female head of the Home Office, the kind of person who very rarely speaks out, for excluding women from top government posts. Dame Helen Ghosh, who left her job as permanent secretary last month to run the Natio...

  • Why The Pink List is a cut above
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    Over the past decade, we seem to have become fixated by them. Lists are used to measure historical, cultural and social milestones in easy-to-understand shorthand. Even the BBC asks us to vote on the greatest books, movies, poems, engineering and sci...

  • Tom Hodgkinson: How allotments could save us £23bn
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    So it was with great joy and relief that I read a recent pamphlet from the New Economics Foundation, a sort of eco-think-tank, called "National Gardening Leave", which argues not for more work, but for less. With the appealing subtitle, "Why Britain ...

  • Whether it's The Master or The Hobbit, pity those purists who care more about format than film
    Saturday, 3 November 2012

    What was being dramatised here was a sensibility. Or, more to the point, the possession of a sensibility refined enough to find this an affront to one's connoisseurship. What was a relief for me and, I suspect, quite a few other people present, was a...

  • If Ed Sheeran gets a Mobo nomination, it's high time to kill them off
    Saturday, 3 November 2012

    "Music of Black Origin". What on Earth does that mean? It's certainly hard to know, when previous winners have included white chanteuses like Jessie J and Joss Stone, who learned her trade on the mean streets of Paignton. Surely The Rolling Stones, w...

  • Rebecca Tyrrel: Every day, each family member chooses a task from the Romney 'chore wheel'
    Saturday, 3 November 2012

    These Romneylympics, not to be confused with the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games Mitt oversaw, are held each July at one of the Republican candidates more bijou residences. He, wife Ann, their five sons and daughters-in-law and so many grandchildren...

  • The Emperor's New Clothes (04/11/12)
    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    Ah, but it's not the dogs, goes the prevailing wisdom from pets' corner. It's the owners. Irresponsible, you see. Never got their doggies trained. Never took them to classes so they could learn, at the bark of their owners' voices, to obey the comma...

  • Editorial: Another reason to celebrate the NHS
    Saturday, 3 November 2012

    The Government's decision last year to lift the cap on what trusts could earn from private patients – which in most cases had been below 2 per cent – to 49 per cent fuelled anxiety.The reality is very different from what many people imagine. Rather t...

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Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine