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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

  • Thanks Mum, you were so right about that tattoo
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    I've often thought about those words, not least because I'm now the mother of teenagers and would be devastated if either of them visited the tattoo parlour on the spur of the moment. I thought about it again yesterday when I saw a photograph of US r...

  • Editorial: Finally, proof of the Hillsborough cover-up
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    The findings make chilling reading. In addition to the serious failures of the public authorities, the panel also exposes a massive cover-up to protect the institutional reputation of the police. It discloses flaws, too, in the competence of the ambu...

  • I doubted this day would come. But the Hillsborough families never gave up
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    But how do you move on when you know you will never be able to calm the rage inside you? Where is there to go but a daily sense of your betrayal of those loved ones so needlessly lost?That was the enduring horror of Hillsborough that was so profoundl...

  • The provocateurs know politics and religion don't mix
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    The provocateurs, of course, know that politics and religion don’t mix in the Middle East. They are the same. Christopher Stevens, his diplomat colleagues in Benghazi, priests in Turkey and Africa, UN personnel in Afghanistan; they have all paid the ...

  • Letters: Despite Hillsborough, police cover-ups go on
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    According to the campaigning charity Inquest, since the Hillsborough disaster there have been 54 people shot dead by the police and 950 people have died in police custody. The media are still every bit as enthusiastic about endorsing the police's ...

  • Editorial: Just don't mention the Scottish play
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    That the two-auditorium St James Theatre should rise from the ashes of the burned-down Westminster Theatre is reason enough for a round of appreciative applause. More impressive still, in these penny-pinched times, is that the venture will have no pu...

  • Editorial: An unsuitable corporate match
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    Were the tie-up to go ahead, the result would certainly be vast: a sprawling conglomerate with more than 200,000 employees, selling everything from bullets to spacecraft everywhere from Brazil to Saudi Arabia. But reality is rather messier than the t...

  • Editorial: Time for an enquiry into the culture of the police
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    The past 40 years and more have been regularly punctuated by scandals involving the activities of the police. The list of cases casting doubt on the truthfulness and integrity of British forces is shamefully long, including the Birmingham Six, the Gu...

  • We're in the grip of upgrade addiction
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    That compulsion is better understood today, and particularly by the technology companies whose profit margins depend on it. The actual content of the launch of the iPhone 5 earlier this week felt almost immaterial; Apple CEO Tim Cook could have told ...

  • The outcry over Hillsborough won't stop this happening again
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    Yet what reaction did they get? Traduced in the Sun, whose editors propped up the “official line” peddled by the police, and now say that they are “ profoundly sorry”, contempt from government ministers who now offer contrition from the Dispatch Box...

  • Everyone in Britain who cares about social justice has a duty to resist this failing austerity programme
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    Since the great union battles of the 1980s – fought valiantly and lost before many of today’s workers were born – the narrative of collective, militant action on the British left has been permitted to disintegrate into one of noble but inevitable fai...

  • A spirit of daring is in the air. Let’s just hope the BBC notices
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    One has ceased to expect real edge or surprise from BBC comedy or drama. As none other than Armando Iannucci OBE argued in this week’s Bafta Lecture, the Corporation has been so bullied and hectored by politicians and the press that it has lost the c...

  • How can we learn to trust bankers again?
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    The FSA’s new managing director, Martin Wheatley, said this week that it intended to change the culture of banks so that they no longer viewed customers simply as sales targets. Mr Wheatley’s reference to “culture” is significant. For traditional reg...

  • More sinned against than sinning? Not this predatory King Lear
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    As Jonathan Pryce plays the King there's no question that that's what's being hinted about his past relationship with his two oldest daughters. After Lear has cursed Goneril he seizes her and plants a kiss directly on her lips, an aggressive gesture ...

  • USA are only now enforcing calorie counters?
    The Wall Street Journal Thursday, 13 September 2012

    Although the fast-food industry has resisted listing calories on menus, as reported in The Wall Street Journal, McDonalds are acting before the federal requirement takes effect, which will insist on labelling requirements for the fatty goods.The comp...

  • Take a bow, Sir Roger Moore. More men need to share their experience of domestic violence
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    Except something about this interview is different. Rihanna, Tina Turner and countless other women have told their sad tales of abusive relationships. But, after dredging the recesses of my memory and Google, I've been unable to find a single compara...

  • Mmm, bacon...Google Bacon
    The Hollywood Reporter Thursday, 13 September 2012

    In case you haven't heard of it, "The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" is a pub-game-cum-universal-theory-of-everything which posits that any actor in the world can be connected to Kevin Bacon via a maximum of six casting decisions. So, Marlon Brando? His...

  • Video: Winslet's winning audition
    Herald Sun Thursday, 13 September 2012

    The star of the film which won 11 Oscars back in 1997 can be seen in a screen test with Jeremy Sisto (you may remember him from the "Rollin With my Homies" scene in Clueless).She was reportedly up against Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston for the ...

  • I'm not sorry for calling out Republican gay activists
    huffingtonpost.com Thursday, 13 September 2012

    He's written a piece for the Huffington Post headlined 'Why I Called the Log Cabin Republicans "Uncle Toms"', in which he defends comparing members of the organisation which advocates LGBT rights within the Republican Party to the excessively subserv...

  • Sept 13th, 2012: What’s trending and why?
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    Prof Sid WatkinsThe former Formula 1 medical delegate, Sid Watkins, has died aged 84. He served for more than 20 years as the head of F1’s medical team and pioneered improvements in safety standards for drivers. David Coulthard (therealdcf1), the Sco...

  • Killing your pet with love
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    "My owners often shower me with tasty treats, but nowadays, I do well if I manage to get from my bed to the back door and back to my bed again. Heaving myself up onto the sofa causes agonising pain in my hips. Sometimes I spend all day lying on my be...

  • Hillsborough scars will take a long time to heal
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    These days, we hear a consistent refrain from citizens complaining about the tyranny of health and safety regulations or moaning about the overweening power of the nanny state. Well, recall the circumstances around Hillsborough in April 1989, and see...

  • The Left will dance on Maggie's grave
    Daily Mail Thursday, 13 September 2012

    "Stop and think for a moment about what these T-shirts are celebrating," he writes. "Lady Thatcher is a frail and elderly grandmother. Yes, she was a strong-willed, divisive politician — and thank heaven she was.""A more conciliatory figure would alm...

  • Sorry Kate, Gwyneth nabbed it
    People Thursday, 13 September 2012

     

  • Who is "anti-Muslim" Sam Bacile?
    The Atlantic Thursday, 13 September 2012

    In the Atlantic today, Jeffrey Goldberg says he's found some clues: "Klein told me that Bacile, the producer of the film, is not Israeli, and most likely not Jewish, as has been reported, and that the name is, in fact, a pseudonym. He said he did no...

  • A threat to child welfare, so why isn't the government listening?
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    In May 2012 she penned a paper called ‘Affordable Quality’, in which she expressed her preference for what known as the “Netherlands model” of regulation for childminders. Essentially, rather than the government monitoring individual childminders thr...

  • Letters: Lesson of Hillsborough inquiries
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    So what could be done differently? How can a process overcome defensiveness towards a "judgement" of the facts, motivating some to cover up events? Would the real events at Hillsborough have emerged had a different inquiry process been used much so...

  • Editorial: Obama must measure his response
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    The trailer for film-maker Sam Bacile's Innocence of Muslims, posted on the internet, is indeed highly inflammatory, portraying the Prophet Mohamed in gratuitously insulting terms. Even so, it need hardly be said that the activities of a few, deliber...

  • Logic points inexorably towards political union
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    Mr Barroso does, however, have some claim to being the first to really mean it; certainly he is the only one to hold the post when powerful economic forces are pushing that once far-off dream into political reality.The reason, of course, is what Geor...

  • The softly spoken diplomat who lifted the rebels' resolve
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    There is little doubt that his presence, with a small team of Western diplomats, helped buttress the morale of the opposition's National Transitional Council, suffering from doubts and divisions, and dispirited by the failure to break through the re...

  • Andy McSmith's Diary: Sepp Blatter and the Hillsborough 'savages'
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    David Cameron confirmed yesterday that Mr Patnick was one of those propagating the slander about drunken fans desecrating the dead. While his remarks were ignored, there was a protest from the former Sports minister, Denis Howell, about the way that ...

  • Not Ofqual? Not Gove? Is no one responsible for the exam fiasco?
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    The story is a familiar one. The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has made it clear that, in his view, exam grades are too generous. He wants excellence to mean excellence, although his definition of what that means is subjectively rooted in the 19...

  • As iPhone 5 launches, how long will Apple shine?
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Each revolutionised its market; and each displayed the essence of the company’s DNA: functionality, innovation and, most of all, beautiful design. Those clean lines and curves, bold and soft colours, gadgets solid yet sleek, made computing – for the ...

  • The victims of a prejudice against my city
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    At the school assembly on Monday 17 April 1989, as we remembered Philip, the hall echoed with the sobs of children trying to come to terms with their fellow pupil’s death. It took until yesterday, 23 and a half years later, to learn that Philip’s blo...

  • Body art domestic violence is never a good look
    The Independent Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    I'd been going about my week thinking that by far and away the worst tattoo I was likely to see all week was either a) the one behind the ear of a customer in my local nail bar (Playboy bunny. Brrr) or b) Rihanna's ribcage-wide figure of the Egyptian...

  • An American View on British Politics
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Mr. Greenberg says that British voters want a fundamental change in the way the economy works, but are sceptical that the electorate can have much influence. He is right so far as the current structure of British politics is concerned, but Democracy ...

  • The murder of US ambassador Christopher Stevens proves the Arab Spring was never what it seemed
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Anything that reminds American voters of 9/11 has serious political implications. Deaths of American soldiers in Afghanistan no longer have the impact they once did. But there is something shocking and new about the death of Mr Stevens, the first Ame...

  • Video: Kelvin MacKenzie's Non-apology
    YouTube Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    MacKenzie has several times prevaricated, stalled and otherwise refused to apologise for a front-page headline he ran four days after the Hillsborough tragedy in which 96 people died.Above is footage from an appearance on BBC Daily Politics in Decemb...

  • Three cheers for CCTV cameras in school toilets
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Radclyffe School in Oldham, led by the delightfully named Hardial Hayer, has installed 20 cameras in its toilets. Good idea. Bravo. Let me explain why I approve. ‘Toilets,’ by which I mean not the lockable cubicles but the area leading to them where ...

  • US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, killed
    New York Times Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    "Mr. Stevens appreciated the ironies of having to rely on security cooperation from the formerly “terrorist” Qaddafi regime when he was posted in Libya from 2007 after the U.S. restored relations with Tripoli. The regime fretted that the Americans wo...

  • Unions threats give 'Red Ed' reason to blush
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Without leaping to conclusions, this is probably why his right-hand man, shadow chancellor Ed Balls, gave the Labour Party’s annual key-note speech at the TUC Congress on Tuesday. With this year’s event particularly focused on the economy, it was an ...

  • Institutional sexism is closer to home than you think
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    We tend to associate the label ‘institutional sexism’ with big, professional organisations or public bodies – the criminal justice system, for example, or the police force; a particular company or a political party. But the entries sent in to the Eve...

  • Weasel words won't stop Ahmadinejad getting his bomb
    Melanie Phillips Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    And she concludes: "Sickeningly, faced with a deranged Judeophobic regime bent on genocide, the Jewish people finds itself at its moment of greatest danger, and despite the weasel words of support from the feeble and faithless allies on which it is f...

  • The Skateistan tragedy
    Foreign Policy Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    The photos are all the more poignant following the news that four young people involved in Skateistan's non-profit skateboarding programs were killed by the suicide bombing at NATO's ISAF headquarters in Kabul on Saturday.The book tells the story of ...

  • Philip Roth knows his own book but let's not judge Wikipedia harshly
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    This, obviously, doesn't make Tacitus a less valuable source of fact and opinion. It just means that historians have to read him – and every other source they ever use – with care. Tacitus's experiences under the imperial system coloured his views of...

  • A dog's life (and death) gives paws for thought
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Yes, with Danny Boyle's remarkable imagining of British culture and history, and with that startling sequence of the Queen being escorted to the stadium by James Bond. And there, alongside them, was Monty, a 13-year-old corgi who seemed to get as man...

  • Who’d want to be guilty of taking pride in prejudice?
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    As another friend said: “If you were actually racist, wouldn’t you avoid broadcasting it so you could potentially do some bigoted damage in court?” This week, our hypothetical conversation became real: a man (who cannot be named for legal reasons) cl...

  • Would seeing drunk footage of yourself make you change your ways?
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    This begs the question, how do you tell if it’s successful - by how many groans of shame are emitted during playback? By CCTV footage of the number of red faces exiting the clinic the following morning?But the bigger, more serious question it begs, a...

  • Why you shouldn't buy the iPhone 5
    Forbes Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    And Hof gives five reasons why everybody should just calm down, starting with:"1. It probably won't be revolutionary:  I know–blasphemy! The many leaks of what the new one will look like and the way it will work indicate the new iPhone will, of cours...

  • Romney must risk to win
    The Times Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    "What about an audacious appeal to the centre?...Mr Romney may be more Smooth Rider than Rough Rider and it is hard to imagine him in the bush with pistol in hand, but he could cast himself convincingly as a man of action.""He could say that while he...

  • Dying to Play
    The New York Times Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    "No helmet can offer much help, since the injury occurs when a fast-moving body suddenly stops or changes direction. The brain keeps moving until it collides with the inside of the skull, causing damage that can lead to chronic traumatic encephalo...

  • Spot the balls
    The Daily Telegraph Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    With regards to the 'shadow-member' in Millais's Isabella (above), Stephen Bayley writes: "I think the eagerness to find an erect penis in a painting may tell us as much about Tate Curator Dr Carla Jacobi and her enthusiasms as it does about the cove...

  • Mark Zuckerberg breaks his silence
    The Daily Beast Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    "But Zuck looked good: chuckling, energetic, and (dare we say it) a little buffer than usual. In a particularly metaphorical moment, TechCrunch CEO Michael Arrington (an old friend) asked the world’s richest 28-year-old if he still codes—and if his c...

  • Why all the Olympic fuss?
    The Guardian Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    " I saw nothing to justify the hysteria, the sobbing with joy and weeping with ecstasy, of the London media and politicians." Boris Johnson, in particular, "went berserk. He bellowed of a nation in paroxysms of joy, of orgasms on tube trains and son...

  • Real feminists believe knowledge is power
    The Guardian Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    "The radical new findings on which I report have to do with the female body and with female sexual response. The new findings are updating our understanding of female pleasure and the mind-body connection in women on many levels. Some new findings ar...

  • The point of unions is to show that defenceless people are stronger by sticking together
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Part of the problem is that union leaders are always apologising. In a typical interview on Radio 4 this week, when asked, "Aren't you threatening to disrupt the country with strikes?", Barber said no one liked strikes and he didn't like strikes and ...

  • It will take a lot more effort than this to make the welfare reform pay
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    He was cheered because he told the men and women who have run, and jumped, and pedalled, and swum, that they had produced “such joy on the sofas of Britain” that they had “probably not only inspired a generation but helped to create one as well”. He ...

  • These scary links to Alzheimer’s won’t stop us scoffing junk food
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Anyway. The latest salvo is that junk food causes Alzheimer’s. A report in New Scientist explains that some experts are even going so far as to rename the disease “Type 3 diabetes”. This is a huge story because of the recent history of Type 2 diabete...

  • How I helped Andy Murray reach his glorious peak
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Yet for this writer, the Upton Park mash-up sits atop the memorial pantheon beside Wiggo’s Tour de France, Mo’s double gold and the dénouement in the early hours of yesterday to five relaxing hours of tennis in New York. One hates to muscle in on ano...

  • Editorial: A bank without funds is no bank at all
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    The latest, much-vaunted plan for a state-backed small business bank is a case in point. The proposal – formally announced by Vince Cable yesterday – has much to recommend it. Access to finance is indeed a problem, not helped by newly stringent regul...

  • Editorial: What Britain needs is more Andy Murrays
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    British tennis is in a good place. And not just because of the Grand Slam triumph by the Olympic champion Andy Murray. This has been a summer in which British tennis players have made great strides at all levels. We now have four women in the world’s...

  • Editorial: The ugly deserve protection, too
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    But is this so? Many certainly feel that way, particularly when the animal concerned is cute or cuddly. And there is a clear logic to ensuring the survival of those species which are of demonstrable use to humankind. But where does that leave the thr...

  • Oh na na, what was Chris Brown thinking?
    The Independent Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Chris Brown, peddler of mediocre music, a man most famous for attacking Rihanna, his then girlfriend, in 2009, was pictured this week with the battered face of a "mystery woman" tattooed on his neck.Famous perpetrator of domestic violence gets image ...

  • Letters: Olympic warning to politicians
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Our banking system has been shown to be deeply dishonest, while former government ministers boast of being taxis for hire. MPs are caught fiddling their expenses and the hacking scandal has laid bare how corporate power can corrupt even our most tru...

  • The fast growing cult of Boris really ought not to be underestimated by his detractors and enemies
    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Cameron – a Prime Minister unable to take centre stage at the Paralympics closing ceremony lest the booing from irate differently abled citizens blew him trouserless into nearby Leyton allotments – spent Johnson’s stormer of a speech standing on the ...

  • Hillsborough: Will the 96 get justice at last?
    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    The expectancy is of the first proper accounting of the negligence and the inefficiency of the police and the emergency services which were so apparent to anyone who was present when a football field turned, on an afternoon of spring sunshine, into a...

  • Editorial: Is now the summer of our disinterment?
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    And then we learn, thanks to the University of Leicester's Richard Taylor, who led the dig, that the bones carry both signs of battle wounds and also of Richard's "rudely stamped" deformities. With so much encouragement, it is no wonder that the topi...

  • Collision-catchers: how helmet-cams took off
    Thursday, 13 September 2012

    Bike retailers report growing demand (75 per cent in the last year at Evans Cycles) for cameras that capture spills rather than thrills, recording evidence of bad driving. While still in the minority, video-cyclists have become numerous enough that t...

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