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Bloggers

If the Edinburgh Fringe thinks it’s fine to give in to bigots, I might have to give up on the Edinburgh Fringe

31 July 2014 15:38
Image: Getty

When is a great international arts festival not a great international arts festival? When it can’t uphold even the most basic principles of free speech. Last night a play by an Israeli… Continue reading

11 Comments

Fifty shades of Grayling

31 July 2014 13:29
The Conservative Party Annual Conference

With the delicacy of an Israeli F-16, the Tories entered the summer campaign today with an achingly dull speech in Westminster. Something about Labour and the unions. Mud flew everywhere.… Continue reading

9 Comments

Tunes of Numpties: Scottish novelists on independence

31 July 2014 13:26
German NSA Investigation Committee Considers Typewriters Out of Data Leak Concerns As Sales Rise

There are many ways to commission fat-headed political analysis but, in my experience, by far the easiest is to ask a novelist his (or her) opinion on the great issues… Continue reading

48 Comments

Next to the great halal scandal, grouse is small beer. But which has M&S banned?

31 July 2014 10:30
Final Preparations Are Underway For The Glorious Twelfth

Last year I got my grouse at M&S. The birds, I mean. There’s a little fresh meat section in the Kensington branch round the corner from me at work, and… Continue reading

42 Comments

‘Unity at home and strength abroad’. Britain prepares for WW1 by postponing Irish home rule

30 July 2014 17:57
Morning kit inspection at a camp of the Ulster Volunteers Force, the unionist paramilitary force, at Ballywater on 12th July 1914. (Image: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

The outbreak of war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia in July 1914 forced British politicians to postpone the Amending Bill for Irish home rule. This was momentous because Nationalists and Unionists had… Continue reading

6 Comments

Time for a new, patient-driven approach to cancer screening?

30 July 2014 17:22
Image: Getty

No screening test for cancer is 100 per cent accurate. While some individuals might benefit from having an early cancer spotted, many more will have abnormalities detected that, although suggestive… Continue reading

1 Comment

2 billion reasons to take shooting seriously

30 July 2014 15:26
Image: Getty

When I told our blogs editor about an independent survey claiming that shooting was worth £2 billion to the rural economy, he didn’t believe me. ‘Are you sure it’s not £2 million,… Continue reading

25 Comments

Now that Richard Dawkins is attacking Muslims and feminists, the atheist Left suddenly discover he’s a bigot

30 July 2014 14:36
Villiers

‘Richard Dawkins, what on earth happened to you?’ asks Eleanor Robertson in the Guardian today. Ms Robertson is a ‘feminist and writer living in Sydney’. She follows to the letter… Continue reading

249 Comments

I thought I had contracted Ebola. Life doesn’t get much scarier than that

30 July 2014 14:00
(Photo: SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty)

Juba After an all-night rainstorm in Juba I woke to see the mosquito that bit me in the dark. Now, several days later, a fever returns to me like an… Continue reading

24 Comments

Lunchtime lobbying from Tristram Hunt

30 July 2014 12:29
Image: Getty

The search for a new Chairman of the BBC Trust is in utter chaos. After Mr Steerpike revealed that the job description had been altered to insert the ‘Seb Coe… Continue reading

19 Comments

Moeen Ali reminds us that sometimes sport is the only place for politics

29 July 2014 18:46
Moeen Ali. (Image: Getty)

Moeen Ali, the England cricketer, faces a possible reprimand after the International Cricket Council (ICC), the game’s governing body, censured him for wearing two wristbands, one saying ‘Save Gaza’, the other… Continue reading

114 Comments

The three parent technique is genetic modification. Will parliament confront this?

29 July 2014 16:19
DNA Testing

If I were choosing a third parent for a baby, you know, I’d be inclined to choose one of the Williams sisters — the top-notch tennis players. If you want… Continue reading

22 Comments

Ed Miliband’s ‘new politics’ update

29 July 2014 15:31
Labour Leader Ed Miliband Speech At The Science Museum

Derision met Labour when news emerged that more than half of its prospective parliamentary candidates are former special advisers, party workers, researchers, lobbyists or ex-MPs. Ed Miliband (PPE, Corpus Christi… Continue reading

34 Comments

Who cares whether English commentators like or respect Scotland?

29 July 2014 15:18
20th Commonwealth Games - Opening Ceremony

Because the Commonwealth Games are a thing and because newspapers need to fill their pages every day it is natural, even unavoidable, that they have in recent days been stuffed… Continue reading

258 Comments

The mysterious case of David Ruffley’s letter

29 July 2014 12:02
David Ruffley at a reception for MPs and MEPs at Buckingham Palace. Image: Steve Parsons/AFP/Getty Images

There is much hullaballoo this morning about how slow the Tories were to act over David Ruffley, the disgraced MP who announced last night that he will not stand for… Continue reading

9 Comments

In Iraq, ancient Christianity lies in ruins. But who cares?

28 July 2014 16:44
Iraqis holds up a banner which reads in Arabic 'We are Christians and not Nazarethans, and we are proud of our religion', during a demonstration on July 24, 2014, against the threat imposed by ISIS. (Image: SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

The Mar Behnam monastery outside Mosul, seized by ISIS just over a week ago, bears an inscription in the Turkic language of the Mongols who invaded Iraq in the 13th… Continue reading

139 Comments

Jon Snow’s view of the Middle East is biased, inaccurate and dangerous

28 July 2014 15:42
A picture taken from the southern Israeli-Gaza border shows rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, on July 19, 2014. (Image: JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

I suppose viewers of Jon Snow’s Channel 4 News don’t expect impartial journalism, any more than viewers of Fox in the States expect their political opponents to get a particularly… Continue reading

827 Comments

Paracetamol might not ease back pain – but doctors should prescribe it anyway

28 July 2014 15:31
Image: Getty

Upon seeing the headline ‘Paracetamol does not help lower back pain’, I found myself emitting a small (well – actually quite a large) sigh. The image of queues of angry… Continue reading

12 Comments

Dieting, Hong Kong style

28 July 2014 15:00
Obesity doesn't seem to be a problem in Hong Kong. (Image: PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Three weeks in to my six week stint as an English teacher in Hong Kong, I’ve been struck by how unusual it is to see a fat Chinese person. While… Continue reading

2 Comments

‘They started it!’ Joan Rivers weighs in on Gaza conflict

28 July 2014 13:44
Joan Rivers (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

With characteristic bluntness and admirable concision, Joan Rivers has offered her thoughts on the Israel-Hamas conflict: ‘Let me just tell you, if New Jersey were firing rockets into New York,… Continue reading

140 Comments

Tory ‘Old Guard’ does pastoral care

28 July 2014 13:33
Politicians In Westminster

One of the last duties Sir George Young undertook as Chief Whip before stepping down during the reshuffle was to call ministers who were in line for the chop to… Continue reading

7 Comments

Airports are hell – no wonder staycations are growing in popularity

28 July 2014 13:10
Stansted Airport. Photo: Bethany Clarke/Getty

Last week I experienced the horror of Stansted Airport. I had paid for a fast track through security to avoid the hell of standing in a queue for an hour… Continue reading

14 Comments

Someone rid us of these ridiculous trousers!

28 July 2014 12:39
willetts

I think that we have reached the peak of the red trouser craze. A well-heeled reader sends this snap (above) from Ascot this weekend. Mr S passes it on without comment…

26 Comments

Boris Johnson minces Ed ‘Image’ Miliband

28 July 2014 9:00
Ed Miliband says of politicians ‘you could find people who look less like Wallace’. Cartoon: Peter Brooks

Mr S can only commend Boris Johnson’s column in the Telegraph today. It eviscerates Ed Miliband for his hypocrisy over ‘image’ and ‘substance’. As Boris puts it: ‘Ed Miliband is… Continue reading

25 Comments

What would you ask the prime minister?

27 July 2014 14:22
pmqs

Ed Miliband has suggested that there be a public version of Prime Minister’s Questions. This courageous idea makes Mr S want Miliband to be prime minister. What would you ask… Continue reading

93 Comments