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Home 2012 September

Sunday, 30 September 2012

  • Editorial: Only the beginning of a pensions revolution
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    No one disputes that a painful crunch is coming. Fewer than half of working adults are enrolled in a pension scheme, leaving the majority looking forward to a retirement with nothing but meagre state support. Among the poorly paid, the proportion is...

  • The dangers of delayed diagnosis: why doctors are the first battle in the war against cancer
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    ***I remember the deep, precise cut across my leg, leering at me like a malevolent smile. The plastic surgeon, trying to be jocular, observed, "you're very slim, there's hardly any fat on your legs at all!" I nodded, staring into the widening gash at...

  • These 'savages' created some of history's finest art
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    Oh no, indeed, the fanatics, crazies and savages in question are the chaps who created the Islamic treasury of golden chalices and crimson rugs and silver vases and marble friezes and bronze lions and stone-paste roosters and vast, brass candlesticks...

  • Editorial: Never mind David, get behind Ed
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    In many ways, the assignment is an impossible one. Opposition leaders who come across as convincing prime ministers-in-waiting are relatively rare, and Mr Miliband is not going to look like the public's idea of a national leader until such time as h...

  • Editorial: A Rose Revolution losing its bloom
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    Since then, the country has made startling progress. What was once a mafia-run, all-but-failed state has seen crime and corruption controlled, basic public services restored and the economy boosted to more than three times its original size. No wonde...

  • Editorial: Convince us, Ed
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    Last week, Nick Clegg made a reasonable fist of his after-the-event justification of going into government with the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats, for whom working in coalition is a principle, not just an expedient, had little choice in 2010. ...

  • An era of coalitions could be upon us
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    Although conventional wisdom says it's too big an ask for Ed Miliband to lead Labour to victory in 2015 after such a terrible defeat just five years before, new times defy electoral orthodoxy.The Tories took office without winning on a historically l...

  • Wonkish? Yes, but Miliband could be PM in 2015
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    He was talking about one of Balls's most mocked soundbites, possibly one of the most misunderstood political quotations of the New Labour years. It was a line in a speech written by Balls for Gordon Brown in 1994, in which Brown, the then shadow chan...

  • Times change, but the watch keeps ticking on
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    But then another part of me is prompted to answer that I understand that bears defecate in woods and that the Pope, whether he knows it or not, finds himself heading a religious organisation called the Roman Catholic church.Today the time blinks out ...

  • Jimmy Savile: Would any jury have convicted him?
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    As a child, I was never a fan. As an adult, like pretty much everyone else, I admired him for his fund-raising and for the way he (and his staff) made sad children’s dreams come true. The bleak truth, though, according to an ITV documentary to be bro...

  • Letters: Rich or poor, we will have to pay
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    The present problem arises from the Thatcher government, which tried to kill two birds with one stone: win elections by lowering income tax and make the public sector smaller. Labour on its return to power followed the same policy, reducing income t...

  • Editorial: 24/7 Bond? Even 007 needs a break sometimes
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    From Friday, those who feel so inclined will be able to watch all 22 official Bond movies, plus the two unofficial ones, in high definition, around the clock, without even stopping for advert breaks. But who wants to? After all, the appeal of From R...

  • Cherish the grey army of volunteers – none of us would survive without their dedication
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    And this is surely good news. Yes, over-60s have fewer years of working and paying taxes ahead of them than under-fives. But on the plus side, they rarely scream, they are almost never covered in chocolate spread, and they are much more likely to giv...

  • Yes, Nigella, I recall the Great Recipe Famine of 1714
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    Everyone is at it. Nigella has a new book out which has been serialised, as have Hugh, Nigel, Gordon, Lorraine and Jamie, but if you think this is all too much, I urge you to recall the Great Recipe Famine of 1714 when, for want of recipes, much of t...

  • Balls and Miliband know talking about themselves is easy, but policy is hard. At least they've made a start
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    For all their differences, Ed Miliband and Ed Balls share a common past. They were at the heart of the campaign that returned Labour to power in 1997. Although Miliband has declared it is necessary to move on from the New Labour era, he and Balls are...

  • Winning the Ryder Cup is good. But don't mistake an amazing sporting triumph for the European ideal
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    After all, a Brussels press release put out at the start of the tournament quoted Androulla Vassiliou, the European commissioner responsible for sport: “This is the only major sporting fixture in which Europe plays as a single squad, rather than as s...

  • Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: Babysitter blues
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    Virginia says...The answer to this depends a great deal on how much you care for the child. It also depends on whether you feel that bringing up a child to feel safe and secure, at least for the first seven or eight years of its life, is one of the m...

  • 'Family Guy' creator Seth MacFarlane to host The Oscars
    The Independent Monday, 1 October 2012

    He also made his big-screen directorial debut earlier this year with Ted, starring Mila Kunis and Mark Wahlberg, which took in more than $420 million at the box office.He called the opportunity "an overwhelming privilege."As the voice of Peter Griffi...

  • Barack Obama: Has he still got it?
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    It was not unhelpful that the man he was replacing, George W Bush, would have historically low approval ratings when the following January he relinquished the keys to the Oval Office. Only less loved was Vice President Dick Cheney. On Mr Bush’s watch...

  • It's time we faced up to the failures of drone warfare
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    A newly-published study on the impact of America’s intensive use of drones in Pakistan offered an advance on the tabloid tone of much commentary in the wake of the embassy protests. But it was swamped in the news cycle. The report details the bruta...

  • Is Ed Miliband hungry enough for power? That's the real test - as his brother David knows only too well
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    Much of the advice is contradictory and clearly none of it very welcome. His patient smile and calm demeanor suggest he has no intention of being pushed this way or that by people who may or may not have his and his party’s best interests at heart.Ye...

  • Mitt Romney: Right's Mr Wrong can still win it
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    What kind of resume does this leave him? That he has dynamite personal ambition as well as striking looks would get mentions. But there is much else that makes him an interesting candidate for president. He is a Mormon who attended a Mormon universit...

  • Mikheil Saakashvili, Bidzina Ivanishvili, and why whoever wins in Georgia it's time to stop dreaming
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    On Monday, the country went to the polls. The parliament that is being elected will, after current President Mikheil Saakashvili finishes his term in 2013, select the next leader of the country, and thus this election will shape the country for years...

  • 'Damaged goods', 'slut' and 'spinster': Sexist labels against women
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    Women, it seems, are particularly at risk of being labelled, pigeonholed and conveniently packed up into small, stereotypical boxes. From critical terms like ‘slag’ and ‘slut’ to irreversible indictments like ‘damaged goods’ or more generalised terms...

  • Learn to do everything (except not waste time online)
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    I've lost quite a few hours of late – although hopefully gained some skills in the trade off – watching video tutorials for all sorts of things. But while videojug's fare is created professionally by the site, what I really love is the content upload...

  • Rochdale: Schools need to act in order to thwart sex gangs
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    Child sex abuse, it seems, is widespread in the UK. And it isn’t just girls trafficked in from abroad either – horrifying as that is. Children under the age of 16 who have lived all their lives in the UK are being abused in their own communities.  Ni...

  • California bans ‘gay repair’ therapy
    San Francisco Gate Monday, 1 October 2012

    The state's governor, Jerry Brown, had been under pressure from national lobbying organisation to sign the bill. "The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights organization, sent Brown a petition with...

  • How the Conservatives ruined social housing
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    Since coming to power in May 2010, the Coalition has gone to war on social housing and social tenants, especially in England and Wales, where the Localism Act 2011 mainly applies. Localism was sold to us by the Minister for Decentralisation, Greg Cla...

  • Christina Aguilera: I'm fat, deal with it
    Billboard Monday, 1 October 2012

    Christina Aguilera is currently promoting her fifth studio album, and image-wise, she's been through a lot of changes since her self-titled debut in 1999. In an interview with the latest issue of Billboard magazine, she tells of how she's finally ass...

  • David Blunkett on why our political class are despised
    Daily Mail Monday, 1 October 2012

    Blunkett writes today: "Faith in the traditional political process has never been lower than it is today. There is a widening chasm between voters and Westminster. The authority of Parliament has substantially declined, while trust in ministers and M...

  • We need more teen movies
    Ultra Culture Monday, 1 October 2012

    Included among the blog's many sensible diktats is, number 4: "The film should comprehend the significance of technology to today's teenagers without going completely overboard and depicting all adolescents as semi-professional hackers." and, perhaps...

  • Why are they trending? EdBalls, LincolnshireDay, #thebreakfastclub
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    Mr Balls will tell the Labour conference in Manchester today: "In difficult times, we urgently need to put something back into the economy. So with this one-off windfall from the sale of the 4G spectrum, let's cut through the dither and rhetoric and ...

  • Why the 'couples where women do more housework stay together' study isn't shocking
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    The recent Norwegian study ‘Equality in the Home’ found higher divorce rates among couples who shared housework than among those where most of the tasks were carried out by the woman. What surprises me is that so many commentators were surprised by t...

  • Liz Jones declares tattoos no longer slutty
    Daily Mail Monday, 1 October 2012

    Jones's only previous experience of tattoos was semi-permanent make up on her eyebrows. "Instead of Brooke Shields-like arcs, the dyd has quickly worn off, and I now have purple brows that are far too circular, having been moved by my facelift."She i...

  • Winckler's Wacky World: Bonnie and Clyde bonanza
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    From Russia with Puppy LoveRussia has agreed to deepen its investments in Venezuela to tap new oilfields, but that's not all; President Hugo Chavez also thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for a personal gift — a puppy. npr.orgAlligator Fun for ...

  • Jailing the man who accidentally sent a sexy message to all his contacts was ridiculous
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    It was actually decidedly tame. The 24-year-old swimming coach accidentally used BlackBerry Messenger to deliver the message to all the numbers on his phone.Unfortunately, among the recipients were two girls aged 13 and 14, which led to Craig Evans, ...

  • The penis size study: How do British men fare?
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    The average penis size for a British man is apparently 5.5in when erect. (That's just short of the size of a small ruler, if you can remember back.)Men from Africa's Republic of Congo find themselves at the top of the penile chain with an average len...

  • JK Rowling will not abandon home planet
    Daily Record Monday, 1 October 2012

    The Harry Potter author has revealed she turned down a place on Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic scheme, which is offering space tourism trips to a few lucky (and wealthy) passengers. "For a mere £2million, I could have been on the shuttle. But ...

  • What is Ed Balls thinking?
    New Statesman Monday, 1 October 2012

    Perhaps he has a plan, writes Rafael Behr: "Balls will have noticed that the Tories are not as popular with the business community as they would like to be. When that support - and the economic credibility that it brings - is up from grabs, why risk ...

  • British workers are Europe's most miserable
    The Telegraph Monday, 1 October 2012

    The results of the Impact of Depression in the Workplace in Europe Audit are in, reports the Telegraph "We are among the most likely to take time off work due to depression, and spend longer than average on sick leave - 41 days compared to the Europe...

  • Do Americans believe in welfare?
    New York Times Monday, 1 October 2012

    The "entitlements problem" as welfare spending is often referred to in Washington, is actually not a problem at all, Krugman argues. "Indeed, U.S borrowing costs are at historic lows, with investors actually willing to pay the government for the priv...

  • Editorial: Too soon for Professor Higgs
    Monday, 1 October 2012

    So when it comes to the Nobel Prize, the panel must resist the pressure. By 2013, though – with more tests run and more results gleaned – all may be different. Professor Higgs has waited decades already. What's one more year?

  • Labour's youth jobs taskforce
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    Britain is now branded with a badge of shame amongst rich nations. Young people account for 40% of this country’s jobless – higher than anywhere else in the EU and double the European average.That’s why Labour says youth unemployment needs urgent ac...

  • Letters: Licence to 'get rid of' burglars
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    David Ashton Shipbourne, Kent The debate about householder self-defence when confronted by an intruder seems to be predicated on the assumption that all intruders are burglars, and as such offer no personal threat to members of a home. But how is...

  • Wicked. Twisted. Wrong. But from Megan Stammers to Jimmy Savile these cases are not all the same
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    September has been a cruel month for susceptible and impressionable British children. Well, all months are, but as some truly bad news accreted just after kids in fresh uniforms trotted off back to school, it felt more poignant. Court judgments, an i...

  • Riot-hit communities need more than this lazy policy
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    You’d think so. But you’d be disappointed. As with the the Guardian/LSE Reading the Riots report - that might have been excused for being published so much earlier – we learned that young people lack a stake in society, and there aren’t any opportuni...

  • How the public lost its appetite for breakfast telly
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    Earlier this month, ITV launched its hapless early morning show Daybreak for effectively the third time, bursting on to the schedule with all the crackle and pop of a soggy rusk. Hosted by Lorraine Kelly and Aled Jones in a studio drenched in the col...

  • Secrecy only reflects poorly on the Church
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    No easy task. So it must be important to make sure the candidates for the Archbishop of Canterbury are at the top of their game and picked in the most representative and transparent way possible, right? Wrong.The method for choosing Dr Rowan Williams...

  • Whatever happened to the Labour Party?
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

     It was a controversial idea. The first socialist MP, Keir Hardie, had only been elected a few years ago; as he entered Parliament for the first time, a policeman eyed his working-class clothes and asked him if he was working on the roof. “No, on the...

  • Matthew Norman on Monday: Courageous Kelvin is a delicate petal
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    Even those who should know better fall into the trap. “It was my decision and my decision alone to do that front page in that way,” another Kelvin MacKenzie, pictured, once recalled, “and I made a rather serious error.”  Heaven knows how this second ...

  • Europe needs an elected president
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    Governing Europe has always been a co-operative, collaborative exercise, in which oversize coalitions of national governments slowly negotiate in a variety of languages, long into the night, in sleepy Continental towns, to solve chronically boring pr...

  • Are One Direction in crisis?
    Daily Star Sunday, 30 September 2012

    "Members of the band are struggling to keep up their goody-two-shoes image". Their management has banned the boys "from openly sleeping with fans, getting drunk or smoking in public".The lads made a sullen appearance on Alan Carr's Channel 4 talk-sho...

  • Jimmy Savile: a ‘predator’ of young girls
    The Mirror Sunday, 30 September 2012

    "Val - Who met Sir Jimmy at the BBC in 1969 when she was 15I think people need to know that there was another side to him and it was quite a dark side. He was a predator really, a predator on young girls.The first time something happened he actually ...

  • The perils of flirting at work
    Jezebel Sunday, 30 September 2012

    In Girls on Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success, Nicole Williams says "Using flirtation is just smart. If you need someone's help, use the tools available to you. It's naive to think it has no place at work."But Anna North cou...

  • Climate Change: we're (not) all going to die
    Foreign Policy Sunday, 30 September 2012

    Lomberg is no climate change denier; "Let's be clear. Global warming is real and man-made, and it needs an effective response". Media panic caused by the report fundamentally misreads its projections, which don't say 'climate change could kill 100 mi...

  • IoS letters, emails & online postings (30 September 2012)
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    Philomena Mary Lewer Morpeth, Northumberland Lynne Featherstone makes good points on equality and aid, the only issue being whether any of her Tory colleagues actually pay attention to these. I do find it odd, however, that as an MP in a London bo...

  • Clarkson, Brand, Assange: The egos have landed
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    In fact, I think I might have accidentally come up with a pitch for a reality TV programme. Britain's Got Narcissism would be a gladiatorial contest for huge egos, except it would have to be based at the Ecuadorean embassy for the foreseeable future....

  • Nepal's tragic news sent a shiver down my spine
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    The news story that woke me up was about the tragic air crash in Nepal. It sent a shiver down my spine as I'd been on that very flight, between Kathmandu and Lukla earlier in the year. Nepal is not a place for the nervous flier. On a flight from Delh...

  • J K Rowling: The Curse of the Publisher's Hype
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    Reviews of The Casual Vacancy were strictly embargoed until its publication on Thursday, and, in the absence of a book, much of the criticism focused on Rowling's politics, her refusal to give interviews, her giving too many interviews, and the embar...

  • Killers who stalk the great American highways
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    What made those days in early October 2002 so frightening was the sheer randomness of events. Parents kept their children away from school; you looked for the slightest hint of anything unusual when you stepped outside. By the time John Allen Muhamma...

  • Legacy of a gentle rose cut down in hate
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    She was happy reading, writing or painting, quietly at home, in the flat she shared with her boyfriend Rob Maltby. The rest of us would probably never have heard of her had the two of them not been, five years ago now, the victims of a brutal attack...

  • Blair had a point about the middle classes
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    One of the great unwritten laws of Fleet Street is that caps should be doffed in the presence of the recently dead, but Mr Wilby, in noticing An Unfinished Life, Dennis Kavanagh's festschrift in honour of the late Philip Gould, practically threw his...

  • Kelvin and the people of Liverpool
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    Other newspapers carried versions of the report, but Kelvin feels he has been singled out unfairly – he can't go to Liverpool, the police watch his house, he regularly receives insults and threats. It has taken an awful lot to get Kelvin to apologise...

  • American influence on the Middle East is past its peak – someone should tell them
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    The US is obviously weaker than it was between 1979, when the then Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, signed the Camp David agreement and allied Egypt with the US, and 2004/05, when it became obvious to the outside world that the Iraq war was a disaste...

  • Would life be better as a toothbrush?
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    Well, that's just life, isn't it? But yes, I see the appeal. Specifically though, a nice person's dog. The woman in the adverts who inhales deeply on the meaty Iams chunks before putting them in the bowl with your name on, rather than the woman who ...

  • The Emperor's New Clothes (30/09/12)
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    Time was when these comestibles consisted of a suitably light sponge (always the colour of ripening corn), topped off with a generous coating of icing, and maybe a half a cherry. The colour of the icing was the only variant, and when I took my sons ...

  • Rant & Rave (30/09/12)
    Sunday, 30 September 2012

    There is a name for people who don't eat meat – vegetarians; those who avoid meat and dairy – vegans; and those who eat meat, dairy and carbs with an extra helping of chips – Adam Richman from the Travel Channel's Man v Food. There's also a name f...

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