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Home 2012 September

Monday, 24 September 2012

  • Greenhouses are fertile ground in fight for equality
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    But now, thanks to a far-sighted piece of legislation which came into force four months ago, affording women equal rights at workingmen's clubs, the entire character of horticultural shows – and particularly where the prizes are going – is changing. ...

  • 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 ...

  • Fill the productivity gap and the growth will follow
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    For the past century, the underlying growth rate of the UK has been around 2.25 per cent a year, a rate of course affected by wars and recessions but evening out over the years. Growth has been driven mostly by increasing productivity and participati...

  • Not quite the justice you might be thinking, your Majesty
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    She knew, for example, that this man, who came to Britain on a student visa, and worked for a while as a bouncer in a strip club, and thought Britain was “a paradise, where you could do anything you wanted”, found ways to make sure he did. She knew t...

  • The BBC's apology to the Queen over Frank Gardner shows us where privacy and monarchy collide
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    The apology was warranted, we are told, because Frank Gardner, the journalist who broke the story, was passing on the content of a private conversation with her majesty. And it’s true that journalists owe their sources protection: if they agree to sp...

  • Can Clegg exploit the gap in the market?
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    How did Britain get so good at cycling? It all came down to sweaty shorts. Dave Brailsford, the inspirational performance director of British cycling, understood that tiny improvements in many areas – what he called “the aggregation of marginal gains...

  • We're condemned by our DNA to betray our classes’ worst traits
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    As a pleb, I’m dismayed not to have experienced the full umbrage owed to me during the Andrew Mitchell “plebgate”. Perhaps it’s down to my poor education, or the fact that I subsisted for most of the 1980s on complex carbs fried in Stork SB – often s...

  • Why islanders are feeling shirty over Kate Middleton's costume gaffe in the Solomon Islands
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    The visit was intended to celebrate the culture of Solomons, an archipelago where more than half a million people live, most of them descendants of people who arrived there in the Stone Age. To the horror of their hosts, instead of coming to the stat...

  • I’m sorry – so that’s all right then
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    They’ve discussed it with their team and worked out the likely impact on public opinion and then make a sterile statement such as: “With regard to the film taken secretly in my office, in which I took part in a ceremony during which I drink the blood...

  • Catalan Independence: Can cash-strapped Spain afford the most-treasured jewel in its crown?
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    Around 1.5 million people were thought to have filled the streets of the Catalan capital last earlier this month. Independentistes poured in from around the region, creating a sea of yellow and red up and down the famous boulevards. The strength of ...

  • As Welsh reality show The Valleys debuts, this time MTV’s arrogance might just cost them
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    If you're a fan of Desperate Scousewives, The Only Way is Essex or Geordie Shore then MTV have a real treat lined up for you tonight. Whether it's binge drinking, fighting, cleavage or six-packs you're after, The Valleys promises to serve it up in ab...

  • Thorpe Park to breathalyse drunk students
    Metro Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    Metro reported that the 62mph speeds of The Swarm will purge the students' systems, according to research by neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis.As this week has seen a 250 per cent rise in on-ride vomiting, a park spokesman said: "By putting them on ...

  • Big bosses less likely to suffer heart attack
    Daily Mail Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    The study, carried out by Harvard University, looked at almost 150 bosses and their cortisol levels.Researchers said the findings were true for all ages, gender and ethnic backgrounds, suggesting leadership levels are a strong determining factor in ...

  • Let's touch base on this office jargon
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    Right. In case you’re not an office worker yourself I just said I might be opening myself up to criticism here but I want to try take a high and wide view of office jargon to see why so many office workers use it these days... and I’m very excited.Of...

  • BBC to Queen: We're so sorry, ma'am!
    BBC News Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    It's not just any old apology too. It's an unreserved one. The BBC website reports: "Frank Gardner told listeners on BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the Queen had expressed her own concerns over the Abu Hamza affair to the previous Labour governme...

  • Abu Hamza: The Queen's annoyed but what happens next?
    BBC News Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    But what happens next? Quite a lot, actually: "Department of Justice officials will begin talking to their London counterparts in the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice about how the men will be handed over Typically, an extradition happens with...

  • Winckler's Wacky World:The Big Flush
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    The future of drink-drivingIn what's claimed as a world first, the Tullibardine distillery in Perthshire has linked up with a spin-off company from Napier University in Edinburgh to turn whisky "leftovers" into fuel for vehicles. fish ...

  • Canadian man in search of Irish woman: We shouldn’t encourage creepy behaviour
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    This story about a Canadian man who has come to Ireland searching for a woman he met in Ireland last year, has been doing the rounds this week. The story goes thus… He had a brief encounter with the woman in a cafe - she was the “most beautiful Irish...

  • Chris Brown fails drug test on probation
    Sky News Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    And check out the last bit of this chunk from the Sky News report: "The R&B singer tested positive for marijuana in June in his home state of Virginia, where he is fulfilling his community service. Brown, who is midway through a five-year probati...

  • The secret to long life? Castration
    Wired Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    It has long been observed throughout the animal kingdom that females live longer than males, which has led the scientists to an interesting hypothesis: "This 'life fast, die young' effect could be mediated by testosterone, a hormone involved in teste...

  • Study shows science professors biased against females
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    The study was conducted by Yale University researchers and published online by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.According to an abstract of the study, faculty members who participated not only rated male applicants higher but also offe...

  • David Blaine is back! Tuesday, 25 September 2012 picks up the story: "A trailer for the stunt shows the 39-year-old endurance artist wearing a futuristic-looking bodysuit in between two conductors. Blaine’s last stunt was hanging upside down without a net high over New York’s Central Park ...

  • Cats are better than dogs: The Proof
    Buzzfeed Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    Buzzfeed contributor Scott Lamb has peformed an invaluable service to humanity with this video, which uses pictures and a voiceover of indisputable authority to prove what many of us have long suspected; cats are, like, way better.Will the global can...

  • Exclusive: 'News of the World computer hacker' exposed Scotland Yard mole
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    ***A POLICE “mole” who secretly infiltrated a private detective firm for Scotland Yard was exposed after he was identified by an alleged computer hacker with links to the News of the World.Former Met police officer Derek Haslam worked undercover for ...

  • The blog of maths teacher who 'groomed' Megan Stammers Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    30-year-old Jeremy Forrest used 'Jeremy Ayre' as a stage-name and a blog post at, written in May, shows signs of a troubled conscience.Under the title "You hit me just like heroin", it warns that what follows "will have to be a bi...

  • Lady Gaga: Why are we picking on her weight gain?
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    In the same week that UK papers splashed pictures of a shockingly emaciated anorexic in a bid to show that recovery is possible (not the way to do it), the same publications launched a scathing attack on a celebrity known to have a history of eating ...

  • Hook-handed hate preacher Abu Hamza is off to the US
    The Sun Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    The distinguished prose stylists in Wapping continue: "But last night the European Court of Human Rights ruled that its April decision that the men can be sent to America must stand. Hamza, 54, and the others will be booted out in days. Home Secretar...

  • Romney the parasite
    The Guardian Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    Sounding a similar note to President Obama, who said in July, to the outrage of outraged Repuiblican commentators, "If you've got a business - you didn't build that",  Monbiot argues that the vital Republican narrative of the self-made man is simply ...

  • JK Rowling wouldn't be your friend
    Gawker Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    Caity Weaver writes: "Over the course of some 9,000 words, the profile manages to make J. K. Rowling seem, not mean, exactly, but not warm either. Like a woman who accidentally wrote one of the best-selling books in history a long time ago and wis...

  • Drugs live on TV: The Ecstasy Trial
    New Statesman Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    Michael Brooks says "almost everything we hear about Ecstasy is anecdotal and subjective" and Channel 4's show is important because "it will highlight the fact that we need to get away from anecdotes about Ecstasy, whether positive or negative".The s...

  • It's not all anti-America in the Middle East
    The Washington Post Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    In Egypt, the country's most prestigious sheiks and other Islamic leaders called the protests outside the US embassy in Cairo "shameful and contrary to Islam". Numerous commentaries in the country's newspapers added to this pushback, warning against ...

  • Editorial: The reputational harm is punishment enough
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    For whatever happened at the gates of Downing Street last Wednesday evening – and we have still not heard the definitive version from both sides – it was very definitely not this benign scenario. It was a bad-tempered stand-off involving a senior pol...

  • Rhodri Marsden: Witnesssing an inadvisable act of romantic sabotage
    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    After a while the guy excused himself politely to visit the bathroom. But on returning, in a staggering breach of dating protocol, he put his index finger under her nose and said "smell this". She had little choice but to comply; she instinctively r...

  • 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-...

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