The Independent | Archive
Home 2012 September

Sunday, 9 September 2012

  • George Osborne is running out of friends, and fast
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    "On one side there is the IMF, the OECD, the credit rating agencies, the bond markets, the European Commission, the Confederation of British Industry, the Institute of Directors, the British Chambers of Commerce, the Governor of the Bank of England, ...

  • Editorial: We must use the Games' success to change Britain
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    Without risk of hyperbole we can surely say that the Games, taken together, have helped this country to see itself in a new and better light, while the Paralympics have profoundly altered most people's very understanding of the term disability, the o...

  • Broadcasters must seize on this surge in interest
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    Nerves are funny things. Did the excitement and the adrenaline of the last week help to clear a blockage or open a new pathway? Could the Paralympic sports I tried, the wheelchair tennis and basketball which worked muscles I didn't know existed, have...

  • Desmond Tutu had a point. Why shouldn't "playground bullies" face the ICC for leading us into needless wars?
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    The cast includes EastEnders' Amanda Drew, the talented black actor Rhashan Stone and Linda Bassett, who told me she was a big fan of The Independent and this column. In one memorable exchange, women of a certain age talk about the dangers posed by S...

  • Editorial: Discord will not help solve this case
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    At the same time, the French clearly feel irritated both by the pressure coming from the other side of the Channel and from the army of reporters camped out in Annecy, whose presence, some feel, is a distraction, adding only to a swirl of speculative...

  • These remarkable Paralympic Games have taught all of us plenty about people with disabilities
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    One of the great things was how the Games challenged people's perceptions about what it means to be disabled. This is what I think the Paralympics has taught us:* Disabled people can be elite athletes and not just piano tuners, box assemblers, benefi...

  • The Eds can work it out and get it straight, or say good night
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    Since then, reports, which have not been denied, have identified policy on banking as one source of disagreement between Ed Miliband and Ed Balls, with Balls more concerned to preserve the City of London's global advantage in financial services. Thes...

  • The whale - so special, and scarcely understood
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    In Iris Murdoch's strange, Booker-prize winning novel of 1978, The Sea, The Sea, the protagonist, Charles Arrowby's cousin James informs him: "The sea is not all that clean …. Did you know that dolphins sometimes commit suicide by leaping onto the la...

  • Editorial: A magical summer
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    Yet now, as the glorious spectacle draws to a close, we can begin to appreciate the less tangible lasting benefits of the Games. Was it worth £9bn of the British people's money? Well, how can you put a price on the national pride and confidence in st...

  • Democracy 2015: An update
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    The age range of the respondents has been wide, from students to retired people and their occupations similarly varied, from nurses to engineers. A number of students have said that they want to promote the ideas through their university newspapers. ...

  • Letters: Tragedy of our disappearing bees
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    Rachel Carson would be horrified – our bees and insect-eating birds become scarcer year by year and there is overwhelming evidence pointing to neonicotinoid pesticides as a major cause, but the UK government's “Advisory Committee on Pesticides” has d...

  • Letters: Don't subject yet more people to flight-path misery
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    Why, when planes take off and land east/west, is it thought reasonable to have additional capacity sited east or west of the most densely populated part of the country, ensuring the maximum disturbance to the maximum number of people?Jane Eades(wo...

  • Letters: Don't subject yet more people to flight-path misery
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    It is not often that I agree with Boris Johnson (report, 4 September), but anyone making decisions about whether to increase the capacity of Heathrow should have to spend at least a year living under the flight path. Why, when planes take off and lan...

  • Now we can see the showbiz misery memoir for the fraud it is
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    It will be difficult, for example, to consider bravery – and self-pity – in quite the same way. Reading this weekend an extract from the memoirs of Pamela Stephenson, the New Zealand comedian and shrink, I found myself wondering whether real courage ...

  • An unhappy marriage: union influence may cost Labour election chances
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    Here we go again. Union leaders have one chance a year to set the news agenda. They chose once more to place the focus on the threat of further strikes. Many other worthy issues are under discussion at their gathering in Brighton, but they have allow...

  • The French aren’t callous, just different
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    Today’s Daily Mail headline offers a hint of the fairly widespread British indignation at the perceived disconnect between our two nations: “Story of the brutal murders of British family driving in the Alps buried by the French press.”Having suggeste...

  • Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: The perils of playing peacemaker
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    Virginia says...Playing the role of the peacemaker is precarious.  It’s as if you’re walking a tightrope between the two antagonists, and either one has only to shake a bit their end and you can easily fall off. My feeling is that you should extricat...

  • Nick Robinson: I underestimated Boris
    BBC Monday, 10 September 2012

    Now Robinson is changing his tune. Boris is a threat to Cameron. His decision to criticise the reshuffle confirmed the mayor's position as distinctly and dangerously off-message.Now "everything he says and does...will be seen through the prism of his...

  • Will John Lewis dare to lead by example?
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    A living wage increases the wealth of poor people without recourse to the law, and by taking those people out of benefits reduces the burden on the rest of us. There is no evidence that it stymies employment, and over the past few years it has taken ...

  • Rushdie: the fatwa and me
    New Yorker Monday, 10 September 2012

    He needed to choose a new name “pretty pronto,” and then talk to his bank manager and get the bank to agree to accept checks signed with the false name, so that he could pay for things without being identified. The new name was also for the benefit ...

  • Losing the War on Drugs
    New Internationalist Monday, 10 September 2012

    The "supposed  remedy" of armed confrontation with drug cartels is "at least 100 times worse than the supposed ills of consumption". In Juárez, a trafficking hotspot, the war on drugs has led to "extreme criminality" and made it impossible for many c...

  • Why women don’t need cosmetic surgery
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    Though operations amongst men are on the rise, last year’s statistics show 90% of cosmetic procedures are performed on women. And in a world where Cheryl Cole’s itty bitty proportions are headline news, it’s easy to see how you’d be tempted to try a ...

  • A reputation Marr-ed
    Sunday Mirror Monday, 10 September 2012

    The Sunday Mirror printed pictures of the 53-year-old BBC political editor kissing a women (not his wife) on Saturday night by a fence outside a bar in Fitzrovia.He has since claimed the embrace was a drunken farewell with a colleague, and said his w...

  • Independent Voices: What's new
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    When we started working up the ideas that would become Independent Voices, we had two things we wanted to address: the general unsuitability of newspaper websites to show comment journalism in a form that was properly digital, and the gap between how...

  • Rihanna kissed Chris Brown at MTV Awards
    Jezebel Monday, 10 September 2012

    They're still "good friends," and it's been rumored throughout the summer that they've been canoodling in on her yacht in St. Tropez. This is particularly unsurprising because of Ri-Ri's turn on Oprah's Next Chapter, where she sort of defended Brown ...

  • Sport has real value in our lives: it separates the genuine from the phoney
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    We will all have our favourite moments from this summer, whether they be individual moments of triumph that illuminated a bigger picture – the victories of Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis that portrayed Britain as a wonderful, polyglot nation – or simple,...

  • Republicans turn to the White
    The Guardian Monday, 10 September 2012

    To win, Romney needs 61% of the white vote from a white turnout of 74%. That's some target. John McCain got just 55% in 2008.In search of that total Romney has embraced campaign messages that play to the prejudices of the "angry white guy" demographi...

  • Who's afraid of Vagina Wolf?
    Daily Beast Monday, 10 September 2012

    It could be that she learned the wrong lesson from The Beauty Myth’s success. Generalizing from her own preoccupations, she was able, in that book, to tell a story with wide and enduring resonance. Perhaps the experience led her to overestimate the v...

  • Gaza: looming catastrophe
    The Guardian Monday, 10 September 2012

    Our prescription to avert this looming but avoidable catastrophe is simple. While the UN has condemned the rockets many times, we continue to demand a lifting of the blockade, which is costing the international community hundreds of millions of doll...

  • Instead of passing the torch, it'll be passing the park
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    For the audience and the athletes the closing ceremony last night was the end of the affair, but for an anonymous army, it's just the beginning. Over the next six weeks, 5,000 Locog contractors will be advancing on the Olympic Park to "commence overl...

  • Wheels of Change
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    Stanford's mother was a wheelchair user and his childhood was "blighted" by taunts and misplaced pity. The sight of these Paralympians , however, has dissolved the "artificial boundaries between non-disabled and disabled people" that gave rise to suc...

  • Jeremy Hunt and privatisation are no recipe for saving the NHS - but try telling the Blairites that
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    Here is a man who, throughout the Murdoch scandal, proved an instinctive champion of corporate power. A pamphlet he co-authored in 2005, Direct Democracy: An Agenda for a New Model Party, called for the NHS to be denationalised and replaced with a na...

  • March of the digital door-knockers
    Monday, 10 September 2012

    How nice! But the post wasn't by or even endorsed by anyone I know: it was an advert for the Mormon Church placed in my feed (where I don't remember ever seeing advertising) as part of an online mission of such scale it would be the envy of its most ...

  • Is the Church finally facing up to its failings?
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    One has to admire the courage of these children – now adults – who have come forward to report such crimes. They should, I hope, be galvanised by the Church’s response as it now seeks to deal with the mess it made of child protection.Three new arrest...

  • Omnisplendid Shappsy’s false start
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    Whether Shappsy also deserves instant disqualification with which to smash David Laws’ record for briefest Cabinet tenure, the avalanche of newly exposed naughtiness is enough to bury a less resilient chap. Google banning his family’s internet firms ...

  • Editorial: It's not too late for Midnight's Children
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    The answer in this case is India's continuing sensitivities over the complex subject matter, which sank a BBC attempt to turn the book into a TV series two decades ago, and mean that the film still lacks an Indian distributor.Writer's note. If you ha...

  • Ban private schools now!
    Huffington Post UK Sunday, 9 September 2012

    Private schools are a blight on our society; they are divisive and corrosive. Here in the UK, we don't like to talk about such schools or discuss their excessive power and influence. It's one of the biggest taboos in British politics; the educational...

  • Why daddy matters
    New York Times Sunday, 9 September 2012

    Think of epigenetics as having ushered in a new age of sexual equality, in which both sexes have to worry about threats to which women once felt uniquely exposed. The well-being of the children used to be the sole responsibility of their mothers. Now...

  • How Cameron flunked the reshuffle
    The Observer Sunday, 9 September 2012

    How far Mr Cameron has travelled from those balmy days when his aides would hand out tree saplings at news conferences and he would promise to lead "the greenest government ever". I am also old enough to remember when he wanted to "hug a hoodie". I c...

  • IoS letters, emails & online postings (9 September 2012)
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    Aviation already accounts for about 13 per cent of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions. If allowed to continue unchecked, aviation growth will make it impossible for the UK to meet its target of reducing emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. Recent resear...

  • Conventions over, now the serious business begins
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    However, conventions, even the most flawlessly orchestrated ones, don't win elections. As a lobbyist put it to me in Tampa, using a sporting analogy, conventions are all-star games, flashy frolics in which the best players in the leagues strut their ...

  • Season of mists and new polyester skirts
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    Tonight's Paralympics closing ceremony really signifies the official start of the end. During the Games, we've had a reprieve from the pelting rain, which started the moment we planted out our courgettes and finished about a minute before the Olympic...

  • Cumberbatch ‑ the last of his kind?
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    The "gentleman" has been getting a bad press for upwards of 70 years. Simon Raven's essay in mock sociology The English Gentleman (1961) saw him as a wholly anachronistic figure, vainly trying to maintain a hold on civilised values while sniped at by...

  • If you want a good review, write it yourself
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    It's one of the factors, I suspect, behind the revelation that a handful of authors have been resorting to "sock puppetry": using made-up identities to post favourable comments about their work and to disparage rivals. A crime writer called R J Ello...

  • I pig out every other day, and the weight falls off
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    I started doing it in France, where it was much easier as food tastes good there. On my "fast" days, I can have 600 calories. In France, I would have wonderful watermelon or heavenly white peaches. Back in England, things are not quite so satisfying...

  • What that Nokia ad was really about
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    It was a PR nightmare. The launch was supposed to arrest the dramatic decline of Nokia, once the world's biggest mobile phone maker, whose share of the market has plummeted thanks to the launch of the iPhone. Instead, the firm's advertising gurus ri...

  • Save us from these Big Idea Tories
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    The idea that bankrupt Britain can be galvanised by sanctioning thousands of new home extensions is so daft it's touching. David Cameron erroneously believes that the British building industry is being held back by restrictive planning laws which, i...

  • What is Cameron's problem with women?
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    The reshuffle showed David Cameron's blind spot. Despite his promise to increase the number of women in government, the proportion remains a lowly one in six – half the number of the previous Labour government. Cabinet women were far more likely tha...

  • Neglect of the mentally ill is the great scandal of our times. Are we prepared to pay for the solution?
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    Slaughter of innocent victims on a mass scale for no apparent reason, whether it takes place in the US, Norway or Britain, invariably attracts massive coverage, though usually of a crude and superficial kind. Stereotypes are reinforced by the hundred...

  • Tom Hodgkinson: ‘Waggling our hands in the air felt right’
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    I was reminded of Burton's wise words recently at a festival called Shambala. For here was Merry Old England in action. Around 10,000 people gathered in a field by a wood and lake for a weekend of medieval fun. There were bonfires, fairground rides, ...

  • The Emperor's New Clothes (09/09/12)
    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    It's not the patriotism that's the problem. I'm the first person to well up at the opening bars of "Jerusalem", and get all quivery-lipped about those blue remembered hills whenever Elgar comes on. But the point about being British, and feeling prid...

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