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Melanie McDonagh rssMelanie_McDonagh

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

Image: Getty

Is it time for ‘nose-peg Toryism’?

24 July 2014 16:24

Before the election in 2005, the magnificently grand Polly Toynbee made a generous offer to Guardian readers reluctant to vote for Tony Blair after Iraq. ‘There is much to be… Continue reading

44 Comments
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We’re more likely to get assisted suicide with a Labour government

20 July 2014 13:36

A doctor friend told me the other day that when he was taking a patient through her care programme plan – it’s now required for elderly and terminally ill patients… Continue reading

47 Comments
Gilbert and George have not engaged in equal-opportunity blasphemy.  Not by a long shot. (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Gilbert and George have lost their bottom over the burka

17 July 2014 12:52

Let’s brood, shall we, on the following report in the Evening Standard about an exciting new departure by the winsome duo, Gilbert and George, on the back of their new… Continue reading

15 Comments
Image: Getty

There aren’t enough normal people in Cabinet – male or female

13 July 2014 14:02

Well, it’s looking good for Esther, Liz and Priti, isn’t it? The one handle most of us have by now got on the reshuffle is that it’s one for the… Continue reading

61 Comments
George Carey. Image: Getty

George Carey’s thoughtless contribution to the ‘assisted dying’ debate

12 July 2014 13:15

Well, I think nobody really assumed that George Carey was the brightest button on the bench of bishops but the old bumbler has still managed to put a rocket into… Continue reading

54 Comments
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If you want social mobility, teach kids at the bottom end to write thank you letters

11 July 2014 11:34

Last week’s readers tea party at The Spectator was a delight. You always suppose that the people you’re writing for are interested, intelligent and nice….and there you go: they are.… Continue reading

19 Comments
Soham Trial Nears Conclusion

How should we describe ‘assisted dying’?

7 July 2014 15:40

There is, I realise, no perfect, neutral way of describing ‘assisted dying’, the substance of Lord Falconer’s bill which comes up for its second reading on 18th July. ‘Right to… Continue reading

61 Comments
Question Time Underway In Canberra

Tony Abbott fights the good fight for aborigines’ rights

27 June 2014 9:54

The status of aborigines in Australia has, to be frank, hardly crossed my radar until now. But that was before I met Tanya Hosch, a representative of the community who’s… Continue reading

12 Comments
Peter Robinson - serving at the pleasure of Her Majesty. (PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)

Political euphemism, Ulster-style

23 June 2014 15:38

There was such a cherishable quote from DUP leader Peter Robinson on the occasion of the Queen’s visit to his old stamping ground, Coleraine Prison, I feel it shouldn’t go… Continue reading

2 Comments
John Liu, scourge of car alarms in New York City.

Car alarms are anti-social and should be banned

20 June 2014 9:12

4.06 am, that’s what it was when I was woken up. Last time this week I think it was a bit after three. And by the same bloody car alarm. The… Continue reading

43 Comments
SYRIA-CONFLICT-ALEPPO

We need to know much more about ISIS’s ‘British’ jihadists

19 June 2014 13:15

The social media exchanges of British jihadis in Syria and Iraq, as just revealed, are perfectly riveting, don’t you think? Fancy worrying about things like where to leave your luggage… Continue reading

111 Comments
p12-NHS-inside

DNR notices: A matter of life and death

18 June 2014 13:51

It was Janet Tracey’s family who brought about a change in the law regarding Do Not Resuscitate notices on patient’s notes in hospital. Thanks to their efforts, hospitals will now… Continue reading

16 Comments
Mark Bonney, Canon Treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral, holds the cathedral's copy of Magna Carta. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

‘Britishness’ debate: can you do Magna Carta without also doing God?

17 June 2014 16:02

Was anyone terribly surprised by the Social Attitudes Survey published today suggesting that most people thought that, in order to be British, you should be able to speak English? Some… Continue reading

46 Comments
Concern Grows Over Trojan Horse Inquiry At Birmingham Schools

Britain needs ‘Church schools’ and ‘faith schools’

10 June 2014 17:52

Following Freddy Gray’s piece yesterday about the pundits’ efforts to exploit the ‘Trojan Horse’ affair in order discredit ‘faith’ schools, I thought you might be interested in the statement below,… Continue reading

260 Comments
Peter Robinson deserves applause for his stance on religious expression. AFP PHOTO / POOL / WILL OLIVER

Let Evangelical Protestants be Evangelical Protestants

29 May 2014 10:07

Pastor James McConnell of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in Belfast has gone and done it. He declared in a sermon that: “Islam is heathen, Islam is satanic, Islam is a doctrine… Continue reading

71 Comments
BRITAIN-ATTACKS-TRIAL-FARRIGHT

Racism is on the rise, apparently. What do we mean by ‘racism’?

28 May 2014 18:12

Well, how worried should we be about racism? The British Social Attitudes Survey says 3 in 10 Brits describe themselves as “a little “ or “a lot” prejudiced against people… Continue reading

286 Comments
Mark Ferguson facing off against Cynthia Rahming on the BBC's Queen's Baton Relay

Now the BBC is censoring the word ‘girl’ – it really is in a different world

25 May 2014 18:03

It’s beyond parody, isn’t it? Mark Beaumont, a BBC presenter, has made a documentary about the Commonwealth Games and during the course of it he was filmed grappling with a judo… Continue reading

55 Comments
Premier League and theFA Facilities Fund Launch

Is Richard Scudamore allowed private opinions? Apparently not.

21 May 2014 14:19

There is, you know, quite a bit to be said for having a personal email account for getting stuff off your chest, such as comparing a former girlfriend to a… Continue reading

50 Comments
Miliband

Ed Miliband’s position on immigration doesn’t inspire confidence

16 May 2014 16:25

listen to ‘Ed Miliband on the World at One’ on Audioboo What did he say? Did Ed M really admit that the Labour Party didn’t realise that immigration would have… Continue reading

158 Comments
Prime Minister David Cameron Speaks About The NHS

David Cameron’s sacred cows exposed by Freakonomics

16 May 2014 13:30

There’s an interesting bit in the first chapter of Think Like a Freak, (Allen Lane, £12.99), from the Freakonomics duo, Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner in which the… Continue reading

24 Comments
Activists Protest Kosher Slaughter

It’s not acceptable to pass off halal food without telling us

8 May 2014 13:53

    It matters; it really does, if meat from animals conscious when killed is being passed off on us by stealth by supermarkets, schools and restaurants. It wouldn’t be… Continue reading

134 Comments
The abduction of 230-odd girls by Boko Haram is an appalling crime that has exposed the true character of the Nigerian government: useless and corrupt. (PHILIP OJISUA/AFP/Getty Images)

Boko Haram proves the Nigerian government to be corrupt and useless

6 May 2014 12:29

You know, the more we hear about the uselessness of the Nigerian government in dealing with the abduction – the rape, in the original sense of the word – by… Continue reading

42 Comments
Conservatives, Labour And Lib Dems Agree A Deal On Press Reform

The secret life of the leader writer

30 April 2014 14:47

The latest series of Andrew Rawnsley’s ‘Leader Conference’ on Radio 4 starts tonight…keenly awaited obviously. But having been on the programme a couple of times – though not, funnily, since… Continue reading

3 Comments
Pope Francis: Getty Images

Did the pope say ‘inequality is the root of all social evil’?

30 April 2014 10:52

The following blog from a Catholic commentator about the Pope’s controversial tweet suggesting that “inequality is the root of social evil” puts the row about it on Twitter into context.… Continue reading

5 Comments
Pope John Paul II And Pope John XXIII Are Declared Saints During A Vatican Mass

A day of four popes: John Paul II and John XXIII canonised

27 April 2014 19:30

To have one pope canonise another is remarkable; to have two popes canonise two popes (well, one was looking on but you see what I mean) is a marvel. These… Continue reading

34 Comments