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Home 2012 November

Sunday, 4 November 2012

  • Editorial: Multinationals must pay their share of UK taxes
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    Take Starbucks, for example. The Seattle-based coffee chain has paid just £8.6m in British corporation tax over 14 years, and none at all for the past three, despite turnover estimated at £3bn. The company says that an over-aggressive expansion stra...

  • 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: When medicine can no longer help
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    In some ways, it beggars belief that what is no more than basic common decency has to be defined as a right. Given the number of complaints from relatives and others about not being informed, let alone consulted, before a patient is placed on the "L...

  • The sun is setting on the old energy debate. What will the new dawn look like?
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    But it is a risky strategy. Many of those who defend wind power from attacks by Nimbies and rightwing Tories are ardent opponents of nuclear power, for example. The three trade associations clearly risk losing core supporters by this temporary poolin...

  • Editorial: The risk of a new Southern Cross
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    The post-mortem on Southern Cross blamed its risky financial model, with its assumptions about property values and leases not borne out in practice. But the finances of most major care-home owners still rely on very complex structures and loan arran...

  • 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...

  • Letters: Students turn into consumers
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    Three moments during my last bout of marking university exams before I retired a decade ago still remain with me. The first was the comment by a colleague that he could not afford to mark to the standard I felt was appropriate because poor student f...

  • Never trust a Tory: Liberal Democrats make their feelings clear as by-election approaches in Corby
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    One day, she informed him that she was going to have a 4ft-high fence put up to separate their properties, but when built, it turned out to be more like a 7ft one. For more than a year now, there has been a notice on display, put up by her furious ne...

  • Sketch: Getting to the bottom of Starbucks' tax arrangements is a study in exasperation
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    The first problem was that HMRC does not discuss individual taxpayers, if a global giant with 600 outlets in Britain alone, can  be so described, meaning that Committee chairman Labour’s Margaret Hodge took to referring it  as “the company we are not...

  • We need nothing less than a revolution to make the EU serve democracy and working people again
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    Labour is rightly championing a living wage, even though it is being too timid about it: for example, it suggests that the Government should only take on contractors paying a decent wage. But No 10 had a surprising objection: “it’s not clear that wou...

  • Where materialism now rules, ‘Marxist morality’ might not find a place
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    The contrast between the United States and China could hardly be starker and tells us something about the much-heralded contest between the two countries for the leading global role.Whatever one thinks of the electoral process across the Atlantic, Ba...

  • The slow work of grieving in a headlong world
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    It tends to be sunny and colourful, full of tender smiles, with a catchy soundtrack and perhaps a few heart-tugging one-liners. We are so used to it that the real thing, when it appears in public, can be something of a shock. It is too uncompromising...

  • A heckled comedian can answer back. But for actors the show must go on - as Sir Peter Hall knows
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    For comedians, it’s just par for the course. People feel like they’re helping out by joining in, and the look of glee on the face of someone demolished by a heckler-squashing maestro (stand-up comedian Daniel Kitson is the king of this) makes everyon...

  • If you ask new book contains everything you'll ever need to know about Downton Abbey
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    What The Characters Are Least Likely To Say, More’s The Pity:Bates: It’s a fair cop. I did it!Anna: I saw him!’O’Brien: Whoever it was, it wasn’t Thomas! Lord Grantham: To hell with the status quo.Anna: Iron your own shoelaces, Lady Mary, you lazy bi...

  • Reflections on not running the New York Marathon
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    Six months of marathon training prepares for you most eventualities. But there was nothing I could say to console Kulib Abbas as he stared at his daughter's room that had been ripped from its house and dumped on the beach nearly a mile away. Sifting ...

  • Why do Bond villains need facial scars?
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    I’m referring to the scene where Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem, suddenly removes his dental face implant to reveal a disfigured mouth and missing teeth. It’s implied that although Silva was always a bit dodgy, it took a facial disfigurement to...

  • Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: To divorce or not to divorce?
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    Virginia says...You’re not frightened of the first move. It’s the last move that scares you. You're frightened of saying: “It’s over!” You’re frightened of, suddenly, finding yourself alone and in a flat with two small children. And you’re right to b...

  • What Movember says about the British national character and our craving for authority
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    The charity was founded in 2003 and has come a long way from its birthplace, a pub on the outskirts of Melbourne. Last year, 254 000 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas raised over £22 million in the UK, while a total of 660 208 registrants from over 20 different ...

  • Are you man enough to go vegan?
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    Admittedly, veganism has been given a bad name over the years, it’s very mention conjuring up images of pale hirsute hippies who zip about on their bikes to spread the love. I remember the only vegan on my course (and quite probably in the whole univ...

  • How can it be that a disabled man needs to go on hunger strike just to get heard by Atos?
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    When I hear the words 'hunger strike' I certainly don't think of first-world, Western countries like Wales, towards the end of 2012.Yet today, as I type this article while sipping a hot cup of tea, there is a man in his thirties on hunger strike in W...

  • Third party candidates mean there's more to this election than Romney or Obama
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    The Commission on Presidential Debates stipulates that candidates must consistently be polling at least 15 per cent to take part, meaning that no other candidates were allowed to challenge Romney and Obama. This, despite a clear majority of Americans...

  • Should Prime Minister David Cameron be forced to reveal all his text correspondence with Rebekah Brooks?
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    What's going on?As our reporter Martin Hickman - author of Dial M for Murdoch - writes this morning: "David Cameron will come under fresh pressure this week to reveal the content of "salacious" messages between him and Rebekah Brooks. The Prime Minis...

  • Dragons make for an uncomfortable drive
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    There are also Sat-navs, although I haven't quite got to grips with those yet. At present, my husband stands in for a Tomtom and I only have to ask him which lane I should be in every five minutes. I have also changed – I used to be perfectly confide...

  • The lost art of making plans - and sticking to them
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    This is going to show my age, but I remember the days when you’d organise a time to meet up with someone, agree on a time and place, and then – you won’t believe this bit – actually have to turn up as planned. Old school, I know. There were no last m...

  • Why are they trending? #toryname, Obama and Romney, #election2012, America, Ohio, Nadine Dorries
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    @Caitlinmoran tweets: "Today, @heawood is live-Tweeting the Fox News coverage of the US election, so you don't have to watch it."@IndyWorld tweets:"An unshaven, down-on-his-luck voter from Canton is the one Obama and Romney have been fighting over." ...

  • Bloomberg was right, Sandy focuses the mind on climate change
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    This is New York, remember, where they really thought they were masters of the universe. Extreme weather can make believers of us all and at the very least it can make us believe in climate change. I dare say there are many thousands of New Yorkers w...

  • Pervy Verizon employee shares customer's nude pics
    Gawker Monday, 5 November 2012

    Josh Stuart made illegal copies of the steamy pictures he found, then gloated over them with at least one other employee.He was caught out when a male customer entered the store and overheard Stuart perving.Shop-worker Stuart then shared his haul wit...

  • Toddler mauled to death by dogs after mother dangled him over the zoo railings
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    It has been reported that the boy fell 3-4 metres into the dog enclosure, and was attacked by the pack.When the boy fell, zookeepers called off some of the dogs, and seven of them immediately went to a back building. Officials say three more eventual...

  • All white on the night for Romney
    Slate Monday, 5 November 2012

    According to the latest Washington Post-ABC News national tracking poll, Romney claims 60 per cent of white votes to Obama's 37 per cent - an advantage of 23 points."What is it with these white men?", asks Scocca. "What are they seeing that ordinary ...

  • Apple hides latest apology to Samsung
    Gizmodo Monday, 5 November 2012

    TheNextWeb reports that Apple has infused its page with Javascript that ensures users have to scroll through a barrage of Apple product ads to reach the apology.Gizmodo points out if "you were forced to run a public apology you didn’t agree with to o...

  • VIDEO: Gwen Stefani goes Native (American) in controversial video
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    In the video the No Doubt lead vocalist, born in California, wears Native American garb and sings while bound to a wall at gunpoint."Looking Hot" was pulled after just one day live on No Doubt's video feeds after the Native American community and oth...

  • Man mauled to death cleaning grizzly bear enclosure
    Bozeman Daily Chronicle Monday, 5 November 2012

    The bears were kept by Animals of Montana, a casting service that provides exotic animals for photo-shoots and films.Authorities were called to the centre on Sunday morning at 10:24 a.m. and the sheriff's office reported shortly after that a man, ori...

  • National School Meals Week: My daughter Martha Payne showed that if you feed children well at school, they perform better in class
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    Writing a note to inform Martha’s class teacher that her blog had gone viral overnight, was the unexpected consequence of supporting her desire to write every day about her school dinner. It seems she couldn’t have picked a more emotive topic. Everyo...

  • Editorial: A pro-Europe voice that will be missed
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    While all this is as it should be, too little attention has been paid to the collateral damage. Not only is Rotherham losing an effective MP, and a doughty campaigner against racism, but Westminster is losing one of its most impassioned and articul...

  • It was the Governor wot lost it for Mitt, moans Murdoch
    Monday, 5 November 2012

    Some lay down markers for rigged voting machines in Ohio and other electoral fraud, and some pre-emptively moan that it was Superstorm Sandy wot won it for the Marxist Manchurian from Mombassa, but no one was quicker out of the traps than Rupert Murd...

  • 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 ...

  • 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...

  • Get to the point
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