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Thursday, 14 June 2012

  • Justin Byam Shaw: Why do we knight civil servants, bankers and rock stars?
    Thursday, 14 June 2012

    Many people think the Honours List is just a bit of fun. I know some recipients of knighthoods who dismiss them with amusement and mock-modest comments of the type: “It doesn’t mean much to me but it’s such a thrill for Lady [insert name of wife].” B...

  • Leading article: The future of the euro is hanging in the balance
    Friday, 15 June 2012

    There are three likely outcomes tomorrow. One is that a coalition can be formed behind Antonis Samaras's centre-right New Democracy party, in which case the unpopular austerity programme that unlocks financial support from the EU and the IMF continue...

  • E Jane Dickson: A goldfish government that can't recall anything
    Friday, 15 June 2012

    We've had the "Did I say that? Really?" U-turns on policy. We've had the "Oops, where did I leave my daughter?" moment. But the brain-fog hit crisis point at Leveson ( "Coulson? Splendid chap! Tell me again what he did...") and descended into a panto...

  • Leading article: An embarrassing day for the Prime Minister
    Friday, 15 June 2012

    The Chancellor meant to convey that everyone in the UK was "in this together" as the Government grappled with the consequences of recession, but, to judge by Mrs Brooks's text, the people who were in it together were the members of the elite social c...

  • Leading article: Only politics can hope to resolve Syria's problems
    Thursday, 14 June 2012

    The two situations are very different, but they have one element in common. For both, the only hope of a lasting solution lies in a giant leap forward: in Europe, to a genuine economic, and therefore political, union; in Syria – and by extension most...

  • Leading article: In praise of the green movement
    Friday, 15 June 2012

    Rachel Carson's passionate polemic against the damage pesticides were doing to America's wildlife did far more than highlight an outrage against nature, although it certainly both did that and brought the outrage to an end. It also awoke, for the fir...

  • Alice Jones: I don't see why the Royal Mail should get a pat on the back for simply doing its job
    Friday, 15 June 2012

    I say sometimes, of course, because this week one sorting office decided to stop delivering to a certain mildly mossy street in Doncaster on wet days after a postman slipped and fell over there.Now the valiant souls have made a pledge: to keep up the...

  • Donald MacInnes: When offal is used as a tool of repression
    Friday, 15 June 2012

    Barnum realised something had to change, as it was becoming increasingly difficult to explain why he was disappearing into a tent with an elephant and a bucket of buns. His third contribution was to invent the phrase: "There is no such thing as ba...

  • Simon Kelner: Does a ribbon on the lapel compromise its wearer?
    Friday, 15 June 2012

    He articulated the point that the bestowing of titles on public figures who already have everything in the way of money, power and social advantage is outdated, antithetical to a modern democracy, and actually demeans us as a society. On this point...

  • Lisa Markwell: It's worth it to spare the torment of a 'no hair day'
    Friday, 15 June 2012

    Will the heat in Ukraine affect the tufts of recent growth? Is the fact that it appears to be a bit blonde a sign from whence it came? I need details. Others may scoff at such a trivial matter but it is not trivial at all to those who are losing ...

  • Letters: Don't you see the irony here?
    Friday, 15 June 2012

    To put it more simply, this show is there to make us think about our expectations and assumptions about visual art, which, naturally, are all over the place. They're hoping that, if everything works out, we might see the light and finally be able to ...

  • Leading article: Another throw of the monetary dice
    Friday, 15 June 2012

    It would be a mistake, however, to expect too much. Given that the scheme will be voluntary, there is no guarantee either that banks will participate, or that they will find businesses to which they can pass on the benefits. There has, after all, bee...

  • Owen Jones: Working-class Toryism is dying and it's taking the party with it
    Friday, 15 June 2012

    A stunning admission, I thought at the time: but this gravy train for the rich also happens to be the most successful electoral machine on earth. At the turn of the 20th century, many on the left thought that extending the franchise to working-class ...

  • Lisa Markwell: A bad-hair day is better than a no-hair day
    Friday, 15 June 2012

    This is a rare moment of sympathy across the sexes. The fact that saggy, wrinkly, overweight men attract very little negative attention – while something as innocuous as Madonna's fiftysomething breast (which appears to be relatively fit for purpose)...

  • Steve Crawshaw: Burma's long road from military state to democracy
    Friday, 15 June 2012

    For more than two decades, Aung San Suu Kyi has responded to the repression of the ruling junta – including 15 years of house arrest and an apparent assassination attempt – with a quiet insistence that justice for her country must eventually be achie...

  • Jonathon Porritt: Where's the energy to keep fighting for the planet?
    Friday, 15 June 2012

    You won't find much poetry in today's environment movement. Some would even argue that it has lost its soul, or at least the intuitive understanding of the deep links between ourselves and the natural world. When the Coalition proposed selling off th...

  • Simon Kelner: Why I don't want to shout 'I'm not on the Tube!'
    Thursday, 14 June 2012

    A spokesman for Virgin Media said that the arrival of wireless connection at selected London Underground stations was "a truly historic moment, as we connect millions of Tube passengers to the wonderful world of the Internet for the first time". Now...

  • Amol Rajan: As Clinton might have said: 'It's our society, stupid!'
    Thursday, 14 June 2012

     This week, let's ponder another Clinton phrase, which could be translated as "It's our society, stupid!", and which I was first alerted to by The Times' magnificent executive editor, Daniel Finkelstein. Mr Finkelstein is better than me at spottin...

  • Letters: Olympics peddle a 'green and pleasant' illusion
    Thursday, 14 June 2012

    In the last four decades, intensive farm management funded by the EU and supported by successive UK governments has halved the numbers of once typical farmland birds such as yellowhammers, depleted enormously the formerly vibrant populations of inver...

  • Leading article: Time to tighten up on tagging
    Thursday, 14 June 2012

    The number of curfews imposed by courts, and monitored by electronic tags, has more than doubled over the past six years. Some 10 per cent of the total probation budget is now involved with tagging. Yet research by the Inspector of Probation finds th...

  • Alicia Castro: For peace and reconciliation, we need talks on Las Malvinas
    Thursday, 14 June 2012

    Today, our President attends the meeting of the UN Decolonisation Committee, the body that specifically deals with 16 pending colonial situations, including the "Malvinas/Falkland Question". The international community – through the UN and other mult...

  • Leading article: Still a snoopers' charter, for all the concessions
    Friday, 15 June 2012

    Some increased powers are, indeed, necessary. Fraudsters, paedophiles and terrorists are too often using social media and online gaming sites to communicate with each other. Law enforcement needs to keep up. And the Government has made some concessio...

  • Jeremy Laurance: 'Plague' still has the power to terrify
    Friday, 15 June 2012

    Improved sanitation, better protection of food stores and control of the rodent population are responsible for its demise. The disease is sufficiently rare today that when infection does occur, it has the power to shock.Fortunately, its bark is worse...

  • Leading article: Jeremy Hunt may be safe, but all is not forgotten
    Thursday, 14 June 2012

    Formally concluded or not, however, the whole sordid matter will not be so easily forgotten. David Cameron's dogged blocking of an independent inquiry – despite the fact that a member of Mr Hunt's staff was acknowledged to have acted "inappropriately...

  • Ben Chu: GB's gold haul will be restricted to the athletes
    Thursday, 14 June 2012

    The state expenditure to build all those new sporting arenas has certainly been hefty, coming in at £6.8bn. But that money has been spent now. While Olympic construction probably helped to prop up the economy during the last recession the beneficial ...

  • Chris Bryant: 'Lying' is tough talk but yesterday was not the time for beating around the bush
    Thursday, 14 June 2012

    Yes, there is a big distinction between accidentally misleading Parliament and doing so intentionally. It is not uncommon for a minister to say something in the honest but mistaken belief that what he is saying is true. That is why there is a means o...

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