Melanie McDonagh rssMelanie_McDonagh

Melanie McDonagh is a leaderwriter for the Evening Standard and Spectator contributor. Irish, living in London.

(Photo: Getty)

If love now rules supreme, should incest and polygamy also be legalised?

29 June 2015 10:09

The question is, says the Guardian in a report from San Francisco, whether God is actually gay, what with the gay marriage movement being on such a roll. The US… Continue reading

831 Comments
TIm Hunt.

How can University College London be taken seriously after the Tim Hunt affair?

14 June 2015 20:14

Question: which comes out worse from the Tim Hunt affair – the lynch mob on Twitter which brought him down, or University College London, which pulled the rug from under… Continue reading

451 Comments
Ali Smith wins the 2015 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction for her novel How To Be Both (Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty)

The Women’s Prize for Fiction deserves a better drink than Baileys

4 June 2015 15:03

Well, as a mere PR exercise, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, awarded last night, has done really well, what with the American woman from Diageo (owner of Baileys) causing… Continue reading

9 Comments
COLOMBIA-GAY PRIDE-PARADE

Irish Catholicism’s response to gay marriage hasn’t been totally incoherent

30 May 2015 15:33

Matthew Parris, in a characteristically elegant essay in this week’s magazine, complains about the rubbish quality of the arguments against gay marriage in the wake of the Irish Referendum; so… Continue reading

53 Comments
(Photo:  Franco Origlia/Getty)

Pope Francis is right to avoid television. It’s the dumbest medium known to man

27 May 2015 11:05

Unlike Pope Francis I can’t actually remember when I consciously gave up television and I have in fact watched it occasionally in other people’s houses on various occasions. But it was probably… Continue reading

22 Comments
IRELAND-GAY-MARRIAGE-VOTE

Ireland’s gay marriage vote was never an equal contest

24 May 2015 0:20

In more ways than one it’s impossible to be heard above the din right now in the wake of the Yes vote in Ireland on gay marriage. There’s a special… Continue reading

465 Comments
Ashers Bakery (Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty)

The ‘gay cake’ case highlights a new intolerance developing in Ireland

20 May 2015 10:12

In what sense, precisely, has a bakery in County Antrim contravened discrimination law by refusing to ice a cake with a gay marriage slogan on it? The ‘gay cake’ case does… Continue reading

664 Comments
Motcomb Street

A modern scandal in Belgravia

15 May 2015 16:22

You know, I’m not sure the new, in-by-a-squeak Tory MP for Croydon, Gavin Barwell, has quite got it right when he says that ‘London is turning into Paris’, what with… Continue reading

72 Comments
It's a brand opportunity!

A radical guide to boosting your baby’s ‘brand individuality’

14 May 2015 17:50

A Telegraph journalist, Lucy Denyer, has written about how rubbish it is that people are calling their children stupid, made-up names. (Spoiler alert: I’m anti stupid made-up names.) Trouble is, while… Continue reading

5 Comments
What's in a name? (Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty)

Princess Charlotte’s middle names will soon seem extraneous

5 May 2015 19:04

Beatrice Elizabeth Mary. Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. These are the full baptismal names of Princesses Beatrice, Princess Anne and the Queen respectively. And what use are any… Continue reading

37 Comments
hat

The police shouldn’t be expected to clamp down on wolf whistling

28 April 2015 17:32

Every morning on the way to work I pass a group of Polish builders waiting to start work on the new Design Museum. I know, it tells us a great deal… Continue reading

73 Comments
fo

Children shouldn’t be expected to receive sponsorship for child’s play

24 April 2015 16:38

Can there be anyone curmudgeonly enough to take against Save the Children’s Den Day, a heartwarming event? – actually, make that an entire week, 29 May to 6th June –… Continue reading

11 Comments
Girl power (Photo: Stefan Rousseau/Getty)

The BBC debate confirmed some unhelpful female stereotypes

17 April 2015 12:26

If I were a nicer person, I suppose I’d have been rather more moved by what the Independent called the moment that summed up last night’s leaders debate, the ‘beautiful group hug’… Continue reading

353 Comments
An explosion rocks the Syrian city of Kobane during a reported suicide car bomb attack by the militants of Islamic State (Photo: Gokhan Sahin/Getty)

The moral arguments for confronting Islamic State are increasing by the day

16 April 2015 16:51

It’s not perhaps the first thing you notice in the Labour manifesto, but one interesting commitment by the party is to establish a Global Envoy for Religious Freedom. It may… Continue reading

45 Comments
The Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, where Islamic State fighters have launched an offensive (Photo: Getty)

Don’t expect to hear anything about Islamic State during the election campaign

7 April 2015 15:50

Granted, you don’t really expect foreign policy to feature much in an election campaign – we’re not saints – but it’s still shaming the way that the biggest foreign policy… Continue reading

85 Comments
Ed Miliband Leaves His Home On The First Day Of The General Election

Why is Labour making merit out of not backing an EU referendum?

30 March 2015 12:48

Fair play to Ed Miliband for launching Labour’s business manifesto today in Bloomberg, not perhaps the party’s natural stamping ground, at least not since the prawn cocktail initiative in 1997.… Continue reading

27 Comments
Execution by guillotine in Paris during the French Revolution (Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty)

If British democracy worked, we would have had a referendum on the death penalty

27 March 2015 14:01

Nice to know, isn’t it, that public attitudes are finally catching up with MPs’? It seems, from the Social Attitudes survey, that finally, half a century after parliament suspended the… Continue reading

86 Comments
Stefano Gabbana (L) and Domenico Dolce attend a private dinner celebrating the Victoria and Albert Museum's new exhibition 'The Glamour Of Italian Fashion 1945 - 2014' at Victoria and Albert Museum on April 1, 2014 in London, England.

I’d love to buy Dolce and Gabbana just to spite Elton John

15 March 2015 23:03

Thank God for Dolce and Gabbana. Where other fashion designers play with their image like Mr Benn, the children’s character who adopts a different persona every time he changes his… Continue reading

188 Comments
Ireland's Alexis Tsipras? (Photo: Paul Faith/Getty)

Sinn Féin has begun to think of itself as the 'Irish Syriza'

9 March 2015 12:14

Imagine a party that’s a cross between the SNP, Syriza and Ukip – one that is anti-establishment and combines the self-regard of the plucky outsider with an intermittent lead in the… Continue reading

112 Comments
Rotherham Child Abuse Scandal

‘Difficult girls’ are precisely who the age of consent is supposed to protect

4 March 2015 14:10

There’s a vision of hell tucked away in the serious case review, commissioned by Maggie Blyth, independent chair of the Oxfordshire safeguarding children board. According to its reckoning some 373… Continue reading

330 Comments
Pope Francis waves to faithful and pilgrims as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his weekly audience on February 18, 2015 in Vatican City, Vatican.

Is a married clergy on Pope Francis’ agenda? I hope not

1 March 2015 16:30

Pope Francis, is, according to Cardinal Walter Kasper – a Swabian formerly responsible for ecumenism – neither a traditionalist nor a liberal – “both of which categories have become rather… Continue reading

150 Comments
(Photo: Shaun Curry/Getty)

The footprint of Britain’s immigrants – and emigrants – is important

26 February 2015 14:46

Half a million people. That’s quite a lot, isn’t it? I mean, half a million here, half a million there, why, soon you’re talking a million, which is even more… Continue reading

62 Comments
fem

The Syrian-bound schoolgirls remind us that feminism isn’t for everyone

25 February 2015 17:01

There is much to be said for Rod Liddle’s view that the fuss over the aspiring jihadi brides from the Bethnal Green Academy is getting on for preposterous and we shouldn’t,… Continue reading

141 Comments
Pope Francis says it is OK to smack your children to discipline them — as long as their dignity is maintained (Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty)

The pope is right – smacking your kids is sometimes OK

10 February 2015 13:35

One good thing has come out of the fuss over the pope’s comments about it being ok to smack your children (so long as their dignity is maintained); it has flushed out… Continue reading

356 Comments
(Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty)

Do Yazidi slaves count for less than the Jordanian pilot?

6 February 2015 16:06

There was a remarkable report on Channel 4 news last night around a film by Mehran Bozorgnia, which featured an interview with half a dozen young Yazidi women from the Iraqi… Continue reading

54 Comments