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Thursday, 13 September 2012

  • We have the truth, now we need justice for the 96
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    In Liverpool, there have been people who saw people die at close quarters, in unimaginable circumstances and have been walking round for 23 years hearing that in some way they were to blame for what happened. It's hard to understand the psychologica...

  • 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...

  • 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 ...

  • 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...

  • This is not the first time the police have got it terribly wrong on rape.
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    Let’s be clear: Mr Coleman-Farrow wasn’t just a bit incompetent. He didn’t make a scattering of daft mistakes. Not only did he not bother investigating the cases properly, but he actually falsified information to pretend that he had done. He faked co...

  • This week's big questions: Is Islamism a threat? And should we fear Romney or Boris?
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    There are small extremist Islamist groups that want to attack the West, but since 9/11 we have often exaggerated the dangers they pose. Most Islamist parties are focused on domestic politics, and if they are anti-Western it is largely because the Uni...

  • The French journalists spying on Kate Middleton ought to be wary of vengeful British comrades
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    Since then the magazine’s official Twitter feed has put out a few boastful messages about “un buzz mondial” it has set off, and drab photographs of journalists waiting to speak to the magazine’s editor.My advice to Ms Pieau would be to refrain from m...

  • If you ask me: I once rode roughshod over Christians. Never again!
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    In the end, and being a man not of his word, Clegg actually substituted “some people” for “bigot”, and you know what? I don’t blame him. Who wants to ride roughshod over Christians? I once did, and it was not pleasant, as they are just so wriggly. In...

  • Boning up is the best way to learn history
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    The site of a medieval church in Leicester, now a car park, has been dug up in search of Richard’s remains. In the past few days, a skeleton has been discovered which shows signs of violent death, exactly as reported by contemporary chroniclers. Inte...

  • People with mental health history should be allowed to serve on a jury
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    As the law stands, a respected head teacher with a history of depression would not be allowed to sit on the same jury. Neither would a Macmillen nurse with bipolar disorder controlled by medication, nor would a retired, recovered anorexic.Make sense?...

  • Have we finally grown out of novels that ‘zip along’? I hope so
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home sees a recovering-depressive called Joe and his traumatised, war-correspondent wife having their French holiday invaded by an anorexic stranger called Kitty, who likes walking around naked. Does that blow up your skirt?Wi...

  • Democracy 2015: where our supporters come from
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    The greatest concentration of respondents is in London and the South East of the United Kingdom. People from all over the capital have taken to the campaign enthusiastically, with particularly high numbers of responses from the southeast of the city....

  • Errors and Omissions: A wrong turn in Columbia
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    That was the opening of a news story published on Tuesday. Palpably desperate to grab the reader’s attention, it falls into at least two difficulties. Towards the end, the grammar goes awry: “… can move towards … or shift alarmingly …” fails to conve...

  • A Political Life: Even with the Tories in disarray, don’t expect Boris to waltz in just like that
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    You only have to talk to individual Tories for half a minute to know that many are harbouring a latent rage that could break out at any moment. Some think it despicable that George Osborne played such a role in the reshuffle, promoting friends, denig...

  • The violation of Kate Middleton: what this furore tells us about who we've become
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    I don’t often feel much sympathy for the Duchess of Cambridge. You won’t find me wringing my hands at how exhausting her schedule must be, at how taxing it probably is being that smiley all the time, how damn hard life is when you’re expected to be c...

  • Thatcher's "boot boys": When the unholy trinity of police, press and government took root
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    When the report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel this week revealed the extent of the cover-up operated by the South Yorkshire force, Labour former home secretary Jack Straw asserted that Thatcher’s support for the police (almost her first actio...

  • We British are not suddenly such a lovely people on account of all our medals
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    No sooner, anyway, had we poured into the streets for yet another orgy of national self-congratulation – not just on the abundance of Olympic medals we’d sweated for and won, and the crowning glory of Andy Murray’s marvellous victory at Flushing Mead...

  • Even a £300m house comes with a bongo-playing bloke in the basement
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    Nor, it seems, would anyone else, given that the property has been on sale for several months and hasn’t shifted. I imagine people have been put off by the address: 2-8a Rutland Gate. That a implies a b. And that b implies a basement flat with a blok...

  • How not to be a feminist
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    The UK Feminista course, by marketing itself as a “UK Summer school” plays into the current idea that to be a feminist you must first learn how to be one. The press release is peppered with exciting words like “tactics” that make it sound like you h...

  • Gluttonous for gluten
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    With a quarter of all adults currently classified as obese and a dramatic increase of obesity related diseases from diabetes to hypertension, Professor Stephenson, a spokesman for The Royal Medical Colleges believes, “Obesity is a much bigger problem...

  • Manifesto for a new Mercury Music Prize
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    The nominations are always led by a couple of big names, immediate favourites whose record sales and public profile are in a different universe to the experimental indie, folk and jazz bands who cling on to the bottom of the list. It is those artists...

  • Gadget litter: it's the greed of tech companies that fills our drawers with outdated plugs
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    With every passing month we are introduced to new methods of communicating with our mobile devices, thanks to the power of WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G/4G networks. We can even power our devices through inductive charging Technologies, just look at the lat...

  • Forget Kate's topless pics, these royals are the real rebels
    Independent Voices Friday, 14 September 2012

    Prince Harry’s Nazi outingClarence House were forced to issue a statement in 2005 in response to Prince Harry sporting a Nazi costume to a party. It read: “Prince Harry has apologised for any offence or embarrassment he has caused. He realises it was...

  • Why Osborne’s dash for gas is not all it is cracked up to be
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    The Chancellor of the Exchequer has put himself firmly in this camp. The Energy Bill currently going through Parliament and recent battles within the Coalition over the role of gas show how these views are pushing UK energy policy further towards ano...

  • French Closer pics of topless Kate Middleton are just vulgaire
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    This morning there’s another set of pictures of the princess doing the rounds. This time they are long lens, grainy photos taken without her permission on a private holiday, where she was sunbathing topless.  We’ve seen all sorts of nude royal body p...

  • Tell it like it is, Nick. There are bigots everywhere
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    Anyway, I was accused of insensitivity to mental health issues, which – in the atmosphere of heightened understanding of disability – was not terribly clever. In fact, I was called “an idiot” by one correspondent. Of course, my intention was to hurl ...

  • Why is breast cancer awareness made so sexy?
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    Apparently, “the sexy shot of Mel and her husband was taken to raise awareness of charity CoppaFeel! ahead of Breast Cancer Awareness month.” I’m not even sure quite where to start with pointing out everything that is cringeworthy about this statemen...

  • Do you have to be black to play Obama?
    Slate Friday, 14 September 2012

    So it's no idle speculation to wonder how the replacement of Fred Armisen (Venezuelan-German-Japanese-American) with Jay Pharoah (African-America) as SNL's go-to Obama impersonator will play nationwide."The more interesting question than how accurate...

  • France prints topless Kate pics
    The Independent Friday, 14 September 2012

    The French edition of Closer magazine is expected to publish long lens shots of the Duchess of Cambridge, taken while she was sunbathing topless beside a private swimming pool, on holiday in Provence.The Duke and Duchess are currently in Malaysia. Ye...

  • Mitt Romney is no film critic
    New York Times Friday, 14 September 2012

    In The New York Times today, Timothy Egan writes "Romney's craven attack was fundamentally dishonest, riddled with errors, and premised on notions that a kook would harbour. His response was no more accurate than the film."

  • Letters: Despite Hillsborough, police cover-ups go on
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    The media are still every bit as enthusiastic about endorsing the police's denigration of those who die as they were then. Look at the cheerful dissemination of the untruths told by the police about Harry Stanley, Jean Charles de Menezes, Ian Tomlin...

  • Anas Sarwar, Alex Salmond, and how the Olympics fan the flames of independence in Scotland
    Friday, 14 September 2012

    Labour's deputy leader in Scotland, Anas Sarwar, has written to Alex Salmond protesting that "Scots cheered on the whole of TeamGB, and Scotland should not be denied the chance to celebrate the success of Jessica Ennis or Mo Farah". But Scotland's Fi...

  • 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...

  • 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 ...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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