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Monday, 7 January 2013

  • Lagging we may be, but India still regards us in awe
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    In dozens of conversations with family, friends and acquaintances, I received confirmation of ideas familiar to readers of this column and also a clearer picture of the enduring appeal of Britain, the imperial retreaters. On the former, let me just s...

  • Editorial: The big breakthrough is the Coalition's survival
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    For a country which, as Disraeli famously observed, "does not love coalitions", the past 31 months have been telling indeed. True, the ride has not been altogether smooth. On constitutional reform, in particular, the grown-up approach trumpeted by b...

  • If loving food is wrong, I really don't want to be right
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    That's not the only bit of diet news that runs contrary to conventional wisdom. We've also learnt we only need three minutes a week of exercise to stay fit and that fructose, the supposedly "good" sugar derived from fruits, can trigger overeating.The...

  • Editorial: Signs of trouble to come for China's new leader
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    The row began a week ago, when a New Year message to be published by Southern Weekend – a respected, liberal newspaper with a rare reputation for independence – was re-written by the regional censor. Out went the calls for "constitutional government...

  • Brian Haw: A statue would be a fitting tribute to a man of peace
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    Brian was there in the audience, wearing his trademark beanie hat festooned with badges and I thought his presence might give the evening a combustible quality. And so, all too predictably, it proved. Whenever he took exception to an assertion from t...

  • The long road to acceptance for kidnap victims of rebel fighters
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    Please donate to our appeal for child soldiers here.Emilie greets us at the entrance of her newly opened restaurant with her infant son in her arms. The 19-year-old runs a small restaurant facing a busy street in Bria in the diamond-mining area of th...

  • Editorial: A protest against progress
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    There is no sign of any early end to all this, despite the fact that in the city itself there is practically universal disapproval of the disorder. The Belfast News Letter, a unionist voice since 1737, yesterday restated its support for flying the f...

  • Whitehall farce funnier than the show in question
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    As comedy is largely a matter of taste, it inspires many opinions, but the overwhelming sense I got from my respondents was that the affronted reaction to some off-colour jokes on a TV show broadcast after the watershed was disproportionate. The syno...

  • Letters: The Tory way with rubbish
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    I have the good fortune to live in the lovely county of Buckinghamshire. The downside that all tiers of government are permanently controlled by the nasty party. However, in one of their few enlightened moments the local council recently introduced ...

  • Editorial: Do not let parents off the hook
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    All the evidence shows that children who arrive at school hungry perform less well than those who have eaten. An empty stomach can have an adverse effect not only on children's behaviour but also on their ability to learn. Those that are hungry may ...

  • What a heatwave in Australia tells us about climate change and the extreme weather of the future
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    A heatwave in Australia that started in late December has intensified and now forced the Bureau of Meteorology to reset the upper limit of its daily temperature scale, as the previous record of 50.7 centigrade degrees, set in South Australia in 1960,...

  • It might be fiction, but Britain's leaders should tune in and learn from Danish TV drama Borgen
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    The prime minister, it’s true, looks quite a lot better than ours does in crisp shirts, and nice shoes, and suits. But the prime minister, in the new series of the Danish TV drama Borgen, which started on Saturday, is learning, as our Prime Minister ...

  • Luis Suárez's handball: Cheating isn’t cheating if you don’t think it is
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    Suárez appears to have grasped how society’s rules have changed. Under the old system, if you cheated you hoped you weren’t caught. Now you don’t mind getting caught, you just announce that cheating isn’t really breaking any rules, and carry on. Foot...

  • Does a rise in borrowing mean a return to normality?
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    Ten-year gilt yields are back above 2 per cent. By any historical standards, that is extremely low: far below current inflation and probably below most expectations for inflation for the next 10 years. But last summer the rate dipped below 1.5 per ce...

  • David Bowie has gone from new to old – and what a beautiful thing it is
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    So it came as a complete surprise this morning when David Bowie released a beautiful new single called “Where Are We Now?”, with an album soon to follow, and nobody knew anything about it. That is until they played the song on the Today programme on ...

  • For too long the West has been blind to Africa's true nature. Now, we risk being left behind
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    The huge delegation highlights how Turkey, one of the world’s 20 biggest economies, has become a global player in recent years. It also underscores the importance of Africa in the emerging new world order. This is why Turkey has opened 19 embassies a...

  • Men's London Fashion Week: Welcome, boys! Now you too can be manipulated by fashion
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    “Crikey, Sandra,” one might say, “I fancied Lee so much when he walked into the bar with his deep brown eyes, holding his lovely man clutch.” Actually, no, one wouldn’t say that. It can’t be done. However, I bet there are hundreds of unclutched male ...

  • A dream that could become reality: no more child soldiers…
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    Please donate to our appeal for child soldiers here.Children have fought in wars throughout history, and deep into mythic pre-history. David was not an adult when he slew Goliath. The Children’s Crusade, in which a young boy supposedly persuaded 30,0...

  • Anonymous, 4chan, and how Cut for Bieber pushes trolling to the limit of lulz (whatever that means)
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    Plus, as a target for an internet prank, the ‘Belieber phenomenon’ seems fair game, striking as it does a high point in the commercialisation of teenage desire. The problem here – and the point at which this whole farce becomes just flat and depressi...

  • What is the future of conservatism?
    Commentary Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    Goldberg is a clear and compelling writer, as shown by his pay-off: "The vernacular of conservatism derives from a time when the country was churched and defined liberty as personal sovereignty. It needs to change to engage a country that is increasi...

  • Bowie releases first new single for 10 years, 'Where Are We Now?': The world reacts
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    And where are we now? Well the general reaction to the song, which finds Bowie in a mournful reflective mood has been slightly deranged excitement. @simonpegg tweets "Holy shit, did someone say BOWIE!! The real goblin king has returned!" The Telegrap...

  • WATCH: Oil flows wrong way in brain-twisting illusion
    Fast Company Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    But this optical illusion is more than a spot of fun. The Big Six oil companies (Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron etc) have come to be known as 'Supermajors' , and Matt Kenyon of SWAMP explained the thinking behind the installation as follows: "I spent a l...

  • Down with George Osborne's Welfare Uprating Bill!
    New Statesman Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    There are four reasons, according to Eaton: 1. "It will force even more of the poorest families to choose between heating and eating"; 2. "It will damage the economy by reducing real incomes"; 3. "Low wages aren't a reason to cut benefits"; 4. "There...

  • Why Les Misérables and Victor Hugo still matter
    Washington Post Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    For Gerson, Les Misérables resonates because Hugo's "great book is a vivid description of the workings of grace". Hugo may not have been a conventional Christian, or indeed a conventional thinker of any kind, but his deep concern was to give meaning ...

  • Chuck Hagel will initiate America's inevitable military decline
    New York Times Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    The truth, Brooks says, is that Obama wants political cover for beginning the decades-long process of reducing America's expenditure on the military. The cost of healthcare, which Americans essentially approve of because they like it, even if they ar...

  • It isn’t easy being young in the United Kingdom today
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    Lost because more and more of us are facing long term unemployment, mounting debt and declining hope of change.The ‘lost’ generation, the ‘jilted’ generation, the ‘forgotten’ generation; whatever way you want to put it, it isn’t easy being young in t...

  • Those new year gym bunnies will have hopped off by Easter
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    How many times have I forgotten my post-gym underpants? How many times have I tried to peek at the blonde guy with the amazing legs whilst needlessly tying and re-tying my laces? How many times have I fallen off the gym ball trying to do that thing w...

  • Rhodri Marsden: Things are really not going too appallingly. Sorry about that
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    I'm not generally one for getting caught up in the excitement, but it's hard not to get caught up in the excitement. In the last few days I've found myself kissing in a restaurant, initiating a comically romantic pirouette on a tube platform and skip...

  • Letters: This test won't cure the NHS
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    When I am ill I want to see "my" GP, who knows about my previous illnesses and my personal foibles. And even here, within 15 miles of Oxford, I don't have a choice of hospitals. If I need to go to the eye hospital (as I shall this Friday), only the ...

  • Editorial: And it's Hayek. Hayek to Suárez. Goal!
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    Beloved of Margaret Thatcher, Hayek took the view that the duty of the powerful to help those less powerful – for which one might read a leading Premier League team such as Liverpool and a non-League one such as Mansfield – was minimal. He would hav...

  • Will any party bust the ‘shirker’ myth?
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    Labour’s critique is an important one, but it misses a bigger point. Both Labour and the Coalition continue to operate within a rhetoric of hard-working families (good) and out-of-work benefit claimants (bad). The Opposition is only attacking the Bil...

  • It is time to stop prostrating ourselves before the NHS God
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    Yet the whole process of attempting to regulate bad practice in the NHS out of existence seems doomed to repeat the failures of the past. After all, the regulator of hospitals, the Healthcare Commission, had passed Mid-Staffs as fine, even after it h...

  • Whatever your age, there’s an anxiety that’s just for you
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    The psychotherapist Leslie Bell argues in her new book, Hard to Get, that, when they are in their twenties, women tend to feel “adrift and lost by the paradox of sexual freedom”. Heaven knows, we have all been there – that paradox of sexual freedom c...

  • Forward, say Cameron and Clegg. But to where?
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    Some of the factors that limit them are out of their control. They cannot wave a wand and cure the economies trapped in the eurozone. What happens to the US economy is not a matter for Cameron, let alone Clegg. As leaders they have only limited contr...

  • Warning! Buy art because you like it not because it might make you a profit
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    All those dark alleyways and empty car parks, all those lonely petrol stations with one unnerving truck-driver sweating over a curling sandwich: the only thing missing from the footage of my certain death was a stern policeman’s voiceover.It may be j...

  • Cheer up! We can really bolster your self-loathing!
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    And we have, yes, purposely brought it out a week into the new year, figuring it should chime nicely with your rising levels of self-loathing as you realise that, yet again, you have utterly failed to change yourself in any positive way. Or, as our c...

  • Some parents cry, I fell asleep: Les Misery of watching Les Misérables
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    Les Misérables, however, is every bit as long and arduous as the French Revolution itself. Had I been given a guillotine I would gladly have stuck my head in it, though only after finishing my bag of Revels which were delicious.I will begin by saying...

  • Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: Our dad abandoned the family. How can we forgive him?
    Monday, 7 January 2013

     Virginia Says...What I want to know is: Have you told your father how you feel? I imagine that before your mum took him back, they had some proper conversations about what had happened. Presumably he didn’t just walk back in. No doubt she explained ...

  • A gadget to suck food out of your stomach, and 5 other lazy weight loss strategies
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    Go to bed when it's darkResearchers at Ohio State University discovered that mice exposed to light at night weighed 10 per cent more than their peers after an eight-week study, despite the fact that both overlit and normally-lit mice ate the same foo...

  • Is an Alawite state Assad's Plan B?
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    In this context has come the notion of establishing something along the lines of the “Alawite State” that existed under the French Mandate of Syria, and which Bashar al-Assad’s grandfather- Suleiman al-Assad, one of the main Alawite community leaders...

  • Ignore the 50p tax rate grandstanding, its real effects are impossible to tell
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    Labour say George Osborne’s decision to abolish the tax from this April is proof of the hollowness of his “We are all in this together” refrain. The Conservatives retort that they were merely correcting a dangerous Old Labour tax that cost more than ...

  • Poll: As cigarettes go up to $20 a pack in Australia, how much would you pay?
    The Australian Monday, 7 January 2013

    The hope is that pricey cigarettes will encourage smokers to kick the harmful habit. The move will come as no surprise to Australian smokers, who already contend with some of the toughest anti-smoking laws in the world. Last year the government intro...

  • Take Me Out contestants evicted from mansion after raucous party
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    As the fifth series of Take Me Out hit our screens on Saturday, a party in Staffordshire organised for all former contestants got a little out of hand.The party, reportedly organised by two contestants, took place in a swish £1.5 million house - but ...

  • Gerard Depardieu's tax exile has turned him into a pawn for Putin
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    The Russian President himself has stage-managed Depardieu’s arrival. Footage of the pair's meeting in a Black Sea resort was broadcast Saturday on state television (complete with a mismatched bear-hug), shortly before a passport winged its way into D...

  • John Leslie on Daybreak: My 2002 trial-by-press wouldn't happen post-Leveson Monday, 7 January 2013

    Ten years later and post-Leveson, Leslie is back in the public eye and feels the time is right to speak again about his experiences. In an interview on ITV's Daybreak this morning, he told Lorraine Kelly: "Ten years ago the press were not accountable...

  • How can we prevent child abuse if we don't understand paedophilia?
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    It is broadly defined as adult sexual attraction to children and young people below the legal age of sexual consent. That means a paedophile is someone who is primarily or exclusively sexually attracted to children (although they may also be sexually...

  • Letters: The home life of a gay bishop
    Monday, 7 January 2013

    Chris Wright Madeley, Crewe Will flocks be required to blow the whistle if they suspect inappropriate levels of satisfaction in the episcopal marital bed? James Kellar Pewsey, Wiltshire So: if one is a straight man, single or married, one can be a...

  • The Sketch: Two balding blokes and the battle of the Bill
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    Iain Duncan Smith yet again reminded Liam Byrne of the post-election letter he wrote (regrets, Byrne must have a few) as outgoing Treasury chief secretary to his successor saying "I'm afraid to tell you there's no money." And he claimed that Labour ...

  • Editorial: In defence of the Liverpool Care Pathway
    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    Critics describe the LCP as an excuse to save money by withdrawing medicine from the dying, or as back-door euthanasia. There have indeed been problems – when patients and relatives have not been informed of its use, for example – and an inquiry has...

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