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Home 2012 September

Sunday, 23 September 2012

  • Editorial: Take a breath of smoky Swiss air
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    Typical Swiss independent-mindedness? There is perhaps something to be respected in that, but presumably they will come around in the end. They were latecomers to votes for women, too.

  • Editorial: Tax and the thinking Liberal Democrats
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    We believe their example deserves to be highlighted far more often than it is, not only because it demonstrates the possibility of being simultaneously wealthy and decent, and not only because such individuals help to give the lie to the inevitabilit...

  • Editorial: Libya’s power battle is not over
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    Almost a year after the death of Muammur Gaddafi, however, it is clear that much still has to be done to complete the transition. While the conflict that removed Gaddafi from power was mercifully short – compared with the civil war that continues in ...

  • Editorial: 'What's the point?' Truth and justice
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    Today's exclusive report raises serious doubts about that inquiry even as it was set up. Jack Straw had promised in opposition to look again at the Hillsborough disaster. When he became Home Secretary, he – or, if he prefers, his officials – took ju...

  • Clegg's apology hands the leadership to Cable
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    Nick Clegg responded as he had warned the PM that he would. He withdrew Liberal Democrat support for the changes to constituency boundaries that would have given the Conservatives an advantage. It was politics as gangland tit-for-tat killing. Like t...

  • Afghanistan: We have to see it through till 2014
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    But to leave the connotation aside, the intention is clear: we should bring an end to our operations in Afghanistan as soon as possible, and certainly before the scheduled and publicly announced date of the end of 2014. Both the Defence Secretary and...

  • We all have nipples. Get over it
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    In the 21st century, no matter how much money you spend, how expensive your lawyers, pictures can never be suppressed, banned, wiped or eliminated. They exist in cyberspace until the next even hotter story comes along. The Duchess made two big mistak...

  • Can Barack Obama win again? Yes he can!
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    The morning after was glorious, too, and here at the stadium of the Potomac Nationals, the franchise's minor league affiliate in suburban Virginia, the visitor was FDR's distant successor. Fêting him were some 12,000 exuberant supporters, not a few o...

  • A family snap makes a moment last a lifetime
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    Mary Soames is the last surviving child of Winston Churchill: in the portrait she's seated centre, every inch the family matriarch, waving her arm to the camera in distinctly Winstonian fashion. Around her are ranged her colourful and interesting fam...

  • Any Lib Dems who care to look at the figures will see the rich are paying their fair share
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    And once again, Messrs Clegg and Cable have decided that attacking “the rich” is the best way to do this. Not a bad idea, actually, if it’s only image you are concerned about. There is no doubt the Tories do suffer electorally from being identified b...

  • Down Under, they've forgotten the difference between the Brownites and the Blairites
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    Meanwhile, in Australia, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been accused by the opposition leader, Tony Abbott, of engaging in “class war” with middle earners. Yesterday, Mr Abbott named the political adviser who is supposedly masterminding this strate...

  • If you ask me...want to know the truth about Jesus? Let his wife tell you
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    “But, of course, being of womankind, I did stretch it to go round everybody and as I was scraping the burnt bits from the bottom of the pan, for this was to be mine own supper, I overheard the peoples sayeth to Jesus: ‘You have worketh a miracle!’, a...

  • The perks of a life of Crimewatch
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    It’s like the Scooby-Doo Mystery of property stories. Who is the mysterious owner of the 1908 Notting Hill townhouse bought for £950,000 in 1993 and sold for £35m this week? Could it be Simon Cowell, the multi-millionaire media mogul with a host of p...

  • Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: My elderly mum is driving me mad
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    Virginia says...As I’ve often said, it takes two to create a bullying situation. One to do the bullying, the other to comply. So a bully must be stood up to. Now, firstly I know it’s extremely difficult to stand up to a mother, simply because she’s y...

  • Can’t we dress up a bit less and make ’em laugh a bit more?
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    As the awards season expands to take up almost half the year, I’ve decided to pay attention only at the beginning (Sunday night’s TV Emmys) and the end (next year’s Oscars). This is partly because I can only stay engaged in a few complex-shoe-meets-b...

  • Andrew Mitchell isn't the only Tory for whom this saga bodes ill. David Cameron is rightly worried too
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    None the less, this seemingly trivial saga is dangerous not just for Mitchell but for Cameron, too. Partly this is because I guess Mitchell did utter the word “plebs”, or at least fears he might have done. If he had not, he would have made an unequiv...

  • Kanye West stars in two sex tapes
    TMZ Monday, 24 September 2012

    "And we're talking constant action. Seriously, the guy takes no breaks. It's incredible. Almost Sting-like."This bro-like backslapping couldn't be further from the leering disapproval that tends to greet tapes in which the star is a female celebrity....

  • Today everyone wants to defend Salman Rushdie. It was not always like that
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    The problem in looking at history through this lens, however, is that it often glosses over divisions which plagued each side at the time. Not all conservatives were supporters of empire for example. Some opposed it vociferously. Nor in reality was t...

  • The badger cull: Should we just eat them instead?
    Press Association Monday, 24 September 2012

    The former star of TV's Two Fat Ladies said she enjoyed eating badgers when she was younger. But her comments were put Under Pressure by badger campaigner Brian May.Although badgers have recently come under scrutiny amid fears they may spread tubercu...

  • Boris Johnson says: in the national interest, save Nick Clegg!
    Daily Telegraph Monday, 24 September 2012

    He goes on to say that, were it not for Clegg, key government reforms in education and welfare simply couldn't happen. And he saves his chief reason for last. Here's Number 20: "And above all, amigos, it is thanks to Nick Clegg that we are not curren...

  • Antisemitism among friends: It's not acceptable to let it slide
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    It was the Nazi salute that grabbed my attention as I lowered down into a deep knee bend at a recent Pilates class. The middle-aged mum next to me stopped short of shouting Heil Hitler as she jutted her arm out in front of her and joked that our grou...

  • Nick Clegg's "ask the bank of mum and dad" house deposit plan assumes we all have rich parents
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    Clegg’s aides say that there are 250,000 households in Britain where someone has a pension pot worth around £40,000, the minimum sum that would be needed to take advantage of the scheme. But the average pension pot is in fact £26,000. In other words,...

  • Winckler's Wacky World: Skinny dipping record
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    The real Project XAccording to the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, riot police had to be called in after a teenager's Facebook event resulted in thousands of revelers descending on the small suburban town of Haren (pop. 18,000). businessinsider.comThe ...

  • Oh me, oh my, this was a concert with a difference
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (a knowingly grandiose title) have no deal with a record label, and have hardly ever, to my knowledge, appeared on mainstream British TV. Yet, at the weekend, their world tour came to London with a concert at th...

  • Prison's forgotten victims: The other side to the story
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    The emotional, physical and social impacts on a child of a parent's imprisonment are immense. When it is a mother being separated from a child, the problems are indeed often amplified hugely. But it is important to remember that statistics detailing ...

  • Sorry Homeland, but it should have been another Mad Men year at the Emmys
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    Not so. Season five featured (in reverse order of greatness), Megan's cringy-yet-sexy birthday dance, Harry Crane's Hare Krishna conversion, Don 'n' Joan's deep n meaningful, Don's homicidal dream sequence, Roger getting into acid, and everything - b...

  • Andrew Mitchell, gate-gate, and what a ridiculous row over the word 'pleb' reveals about Britain
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    The grand question of today appears to concern whether or not Mitchell used the word “pleb” in his excoriation of a Downing Street police officer last week. Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Matt d’Ancona, among the best connected of professional West...

  • Krokodil: The drug which gives you a one-year life expectancy
    Vice Monday, 24 September 2012

    Users can experience horrendous withdrawal symptoms, including seizures, a 40-degree temperature, vomiting, losing teeth and rotting gums, if they are lucky enough to survive.Russia has more heroin users than any other country in the world – up to tw...

  • What a lot of things I've learnt at 2012's weddings
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    Now to reflect on what I've discovered about being a guest at the nuptials of 2012. I have learnt that… despite what a certain husband would have you believe, one's wedding outfit is one's own responsibility. If someone says they are taking their stu...

  • Call me Captain, and Catch Me If You Can
    Daily Telegraph Monday, 24 September 2012

    He was stopped at Turin Airport wearing a pilot's uniform and using forged ID cards under the name Pilot Andrea Sirlo. He also set up Facebook and Twitter accounts - with flight attendant friends to boot.He's now been charged with attempting to threa...

  • Oh my Cod! Fish in decline
    The New York Times Monday, 24 September 2012

    "Most of the cod being caught are sexually immature, and the rest are just entering maturity. As for the great flood of eggs from older fish — as many as nine million in a single spawning — they have vanished. In other words, we have fished our wa...

  • Begone, Potter! JK Rowling leaves Hogwarts
    The Daily Express Monday, 24 September 2012

    "She herself once said it might be easier to issue her first post-Harry work under a pseudonym so that people could judge it without any burden of expectations."Her vast success presents a series of literary problems, adds Edge. "Merely by adopting a...

  • Emmys 2012 Highlights
    People Magazine Monday, 24 September 2012

    Jimmy Kimmel's Short & Sweet Opener"Awards show openers aren't usually known for their brevity, but Kimmel kept his monologue short and sweet. 'Let's not forget, in a way, all of you are winners tonight, but in a much more literal way, most of yo...

  • Homophobia in the Church: Why I would break the law in support of LGBT people
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    Institutional homophobia refers to the many ways in which governments, businesses, educational, religious and professional organisations systematically discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or identity. One of the ways in which the Church o...

  • Letters: Chief Whip's clash with police
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    Graham ShimellNorwichIt seems that Andrew Mitchell MP, educated at Rugby School, exemplifies the "Flashman" tradition, not that of its great reformer Dr Thomas Arnold.Robert Sutherland SmithLondon N2Not sure there will be complete comprehension about...

  • The Sketch: In true Liberal style, Clegg got a very polite grilling
    Monday, 24 September 2012

    The party is now In Office, with all its standard trappings: a security ring of steel round the conference centre, real live ministers and unmistakeable rumblings about leadership.Nick Clegg was his usual disarming self, of course, in a question-and-...

  • Matthew Norman on Monday: DJ Mike Read, the future of Ukip
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    No one in a post-war government had as usefully qualifying a pre-political career as Danny Alexander, the chief secretary to the Treasury whose previous role as the Cairngorm National Park press officer inbues him with a heightened understanding of h...

  • Where’s the ‘freedom’ in the freedom to abuse?
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    As do those European nations which have collectively agreed that Holocaust denial is an offence, that minorities should be protected from hate speech, that individuals have the right to privacy and legal protection against libel, that big businesses ...

  • Come on you local councillors. Resist these cuts!
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    Last week, I spoke to several Labour councillors in Southampton. Although they felt they had managed the first round of cuts without inflicting excessive hardship – indeed, they have offered to reverse pay cuts imposed by the previous Tory administra...

  • Make that call: Why it's time for office workers to pick up the phone again
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    Offices were noisier places in those days. They were performance spaces. Typewriters clacked and dinged, phones rang, fax machines pleaded, while the biggest personalities built their phone conversations into extravagant one-man shows, often for the ...

  • The real tragedy of ‘Gove-Levels’: they won’t help students prepare for study or for life
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    The new English Baccalaureate Certificates (EBCs) announced by Michael Gove this week have two much-trumpeted objectives. One is to make exams ‘harder’, so as to restore faith in a set of tests that many commentators (including the Education Secretar...

  • #Muslimrage: What happens when a hashtag backfires...
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    Instead of a slanging match between religious views, ramping up the recent tension and breeding more hatred and extremist reactions, a multitude of moderate voices came together to gently laugh, make jokes and basically just take the mick. Here's the...

  • Tulisa reveals she was sexually assaulted as a teen
    Digital Spy Sunday, 23 September 2012

    In a section of her autobiography Honest: My Story so Far, extracted in The Sun today, she recalls the assault. "When I came round again, I was in a bedroom and my so-called friend was on top of me, having sex with me...I couldn't even move, let alon...

  • New Yorker magazine's Conservative History of the US
    New Yorker Sunday, 23 September 2012

    Did Paul Revere ride to warn the British "that they weren't going to be taking away our arms", as Sarah Palin claimed? Was the Jamestown colony the first socialist venture? And did African Americans fight in the Civil war to keep themselves enslaved?...

  • I don't believe Mitchell called them "plebs"
    The Telegraph Sunday, 23 September 2012


  • Mitt Romney's Tax Return
    National Journal Sunday, 23 September 2012

    As reporters sift through the details of his 2011 return, some interesting details are emerging, says the National Journal: "Mitt Romney paid the Internal Revenue Service somewhere in the ballpark of $250,000 more than he legally needed to last year,...

  • IoS letters, emails & online postings (23 September 2012)
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    Many industrial structures – Cornwall's tin mines, Hadrian's coast-to-coast, 13ft wall, Ribblehead rail viaduct – form an important part of the heritage we now venerate. How feeble that Owen Paterson, the new Environment Secretary, is quoted as sayi...

  • J K Rowling and the Publishers' Moan
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    Well, we all know what happened next. Harry Potter waved his wand, and now J K Rowling is worth a billion dollars. On Thursday, she will publish her first novel for adults, and yet another chapter in an extraordinary life will begin. But for all the...

  • Keep calm and carry on tolerating
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    Consider the great paradox of faith – and some of faith's detractors – here in our glorious liberal democracy. Tell a Muslim – a certain kind of Muslim, anyway – that his God is a subject for satire and he will quite possibly firebomb your publisher...

  • Mitchell must go. Then we can discuss policing
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    Andrew Mitchell, the Conservative chief whip, admits he was rude, but denies using the words "moron" and "fucking plebs". The two officers stand by their story, which is all the more damaging because it fits into the narrative of a Cabinet stuffed w...

  • Help me, please: I'm a stranger in Mummyland
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    Yesterday, I had a day off and was looking forward to settling down to a new video game in which I play a sniper, shooting my way through about 1,000 Germans an hour. If my kids wander in, I have to stop as the German-killing is quite graphic. In th...

  • Romney and the royals? They all know better
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    A century-and-a-half after Hard Times was published, Mitt Romney, the Bounderby of his era, is revealed as showing similarly dismissive contempt for the exaggerated expectations of the poorer half of the American population at a $50,000-a-plate dinne...

  • Charlie Richardson - not a Prince of darkness, just a bully
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    One minute the media are reporting in tones of sombre horror the murder of two policewomen and grenade-and-gun lawlessness on the streets of Manchester; the next, the BBC is recalling how Richardson gave his victims a clean shirt to go home in, as if...

  • Embrace error – it makes us human
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    On Sunday evening I had an argument about Coldplay with Victoria. I explained that nothing on earth would make me watch Coldplay at the Paralympics closing ceremony, and that, in fact,I found it hard to like anyone who likes Coldplay. Liking Coldplay...

  • Rant & Rave (23/09/12)
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    This season we will mostly be wearing see-through dresses, leather peaked caps and stiletto trainers, according to reporters on the front line of New York Fashion Week. This will be great news for those who have come straight from a future-themed n...

  • The Emperor's New Clothes (23/09/12)
    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    Poor Nick. On the eve of a tricky autumn conference too, with his poll ratings zooming down faster than a seagull swooping on a plate of chips on Brighton beach. We know when a politician has committed an indelible gaffe: think of Neil Kinnock falli...

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