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Melanie McDonagh rssMelanie_McDonagh

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

Ed Miliband's Minister for Women is likely to be one of Harriet Harman's spiritual daughters; but that's not the only - or even the best - reason to be suspicious of the post. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Why must we have a Minister for Women?

15 April 2014 17:41

Does it make you feel better about yourself, girls, ladies, to know that if Labour’s elected, Ed Miliband will have a Secretary of State for Women, and Equalities, with Cabinet… Continue reading

72 Comments
The Funeral Takes Place Of Former Labour MP Tony Benn

If the sight of Martin McGuinness at state occasions repulses you, blame the Tory Party

11 April 2014 11:31

Well, those who get themselves worked up about the presence of Martin McGuinness around the Royal Family would not have enjoyed last night’s musical extravaganza, Ceiliuradh, for the Irish president… Continue reading

138 Comments
Operation Buzzard

Women should not fight on the frontline

10 April 2014 13:44

Writing in the Spectator Diary some time ago, the evergreen Peregrine Worsthorne, observed that one of the things about getting on was that you ended up forgetting the reason why… Continue reading

140 Comments
First State Visit Of An Irish President

An extraordinary event in the history of Anglo-Irish relations

9 April 2014 14:11

If there’s one thing a poet is good for, it’s memorable circumlocution, which is why Michael D Higgins (the D is crucial; people wouldn’t know who you were talking about… Continue reading

43 Comments
Image: Getty

How do you fix MPs’ expenses conduct? Give them more control over it.

8 April 2014 18:46

It’s not often I would, in the fashion of the late Tony Benn, pass lightly over the personalities in a row in favour of discussing what he liked to call… Continue reading

12 Comments
Caught Smoking

We get the message: smoking is bad for you. Now leave fag packets alone

3 April 2014 23:31

What form do you reckon the government’s consultation on cigarette packaging is going to take? Given that health minister Jane Ellison has said that the government’s intention is clear and… Continue reading

71 Comments
'Noah' is a thoroughly weird take on the Old Testament. [Image: PARAMOUNT PICTURES / THE KOBAL COLLECTION ]

Russell Crowe and Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Noah’ is thoroughly weird

2 April 2014 14:30

The Archbishop of Canterbury has had himself photographed with Russell Crowe, after attending the screening of Noah in which Russell C has the title role. ‘A great visit…impressive,’ he tweeted… Continue reading

8 Comments
Peter McGraith and David Cabreza married shortly after midnight at Islington Town Hall. Photo: Rob Stothard/Getty Images

Gay marriage is a triumph for our arrogant political class

29 March 2014 14:55

Well, Peter and David, John and Bernado, Sean and Sinclair are now married and the happy husbands have the further benefit of the unanimous blessing of our political class. David… Continue reading

374 Comments
Mark Field MP, who launched the Conservatives for Managed Migration group today. Photo: BBC.

‘Net migration’ is bogus. Maybe we should look at ‘net foreign migration’?

26 March 2014 10:21

Mark Field, MP for Westminster, has set up a brand new campaign group of Tory backbenchers called Managed Migration – as opposed, you might think, to the unmanaged sort we… Continue reading

25 Comments
Tonight's edition of Dispatches on Channel 4 will reveal that at least 15,500 foetal remains were incinerated by 27 NHS trusts in the last two years. (Image: Getty/PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Burning foetuses to heat hospitals: a perfect metaphor for modern Britain

24 March 2014 18:16

By way of a metaphor for the way the NHS and, come to that, the law regards foetuses, you can’t really better the reality, viz, that foetal remains from abortions… Continue reading

136 Comments
Image: Getty

What if the Crimea poll had been legitimate?

22 March 2014 17:15

Just wondering: what would we be doing now about Crimea if the referendum a week ago had been done nicely? I know it’s not a good time to ask what… Continue reading

146 Comments
David Davis delivers notification of his intention to stand down as an MP on June 18, 2008; the act that appears to have cost him a senior ministerial career. (Image: SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images)

David Davis should be in Cabinet – or at least in government

17 March 2014 10:21

Class never quite goes away as an issue for the Tories, for the simple and sufficient reason that it matters. Lately it was Michael Gove stating the obvious, that the… Continue reading

22 Comments
What would you like to see in this year's Budget?

Melanie McDonagh: What I’d like to see in the Budget

13 March 2014 14:47

Every year, I sit through the Budget, and every year there are great chunks of it that pass right over my and everyone’s head because they’re arcane and fiddly. Fabulous… Continue reading

9 Comments
UKIP Annual Spring Conference 2014

Nigel Farage keeps on about EU migration, but non-EU migration is the greater problem

10 March 2014 14:17

Last week, I spoke alongside Nigel Farage in a debate about immigration organised by the Evening Standard. It was good fun, as you’d expect, with David Lammy, Tessa Jowell and… Continue reading

88 Comments
Mel

A prenup undermines a marriage before it has even begun

25 February 2014 13:00

A friend of mine, quite a distinguished lawyer, takes the view that marriage ceased to make sense after no-fault divorces came in. What, he says sternly, is the point of… Continue reading

37 Comments
Pro-Russian protestors gathered in Sevastopol earlier today to oppose the change of government in Kiev. Former President Viktor Yanukovych, whose arrest has been sought by the new government, is understood to have fled to the Crimea. (Vasiliy BATANOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia’s restraint over Ukraine thus far has been remarkable

24 February 2014 18:12

Perhaps it’s premature to say this now that the Russian prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, has sounded off about Russian citizens in Ukraine being in danger, but it strikes me that Russia… Continue reading

36 Comments
Archbishop Vincent Nichols. Image: Getty

Did an archbishop really call for more public spending in response to food bank usage?

18 February 2014 19:33

Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, has spent an awful lot of time since his recent interview with the Telegraph clarifying just what he meant when he said that the way… Continue reading

64 Comments
Love is in the air. But don't worry: if the feeling fades, divorce has never been cheaper. (JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images)

A Valentine Day special – Britain’s cheapest ever divorce

14 February 2014 12:10

You know, when the pope went on in his recent encyclical about how the family ‘is experiencing a profound cultural crisis’ he wasn’t half right. His reflection that ‘the individualism of our… Continue reading

4 Comments
Religion may be inherently strong, but without belief it is weak. (TENGKU BAHAR/AFP/Getty Images)

The inherent strength of religion cannot mask the fragility of Christian belief in Britain

10 February 2014 10:04

Terry Eagleton, the Marxist literary critic, has been something of a hero of mine since the publication of his Reason, Faith and Revolution, a thoroughgoing demolition of the Richard Dawkins… Continue reading

45 Comments
A car is a private space. The state should not be telling people what they can and can't do in private space. (Ed Jones/AFP/GettyImages)

I’m no friend of fags. But this proposed ban on smoking in cars is perilous

29 January 2014 12:57

As a child, I was not a good traveller. The mere scent of a car interior – possibly the plastic seats, maybe the closed atmosphere, probably the whiff of petrol –… Continue reading

66 Comments
Maajid Nawaz on Youth Radicalization Redefined At The 2011 Tribeca Film Festival

Liberals must rally round Maajid Nawaz

22 January 2014 9:34

Interesting, isn’t it, this rather worrying statement from the Muslim body, MQI UK on the Mohammed cartoon affair. That, you recall, began when a member of a BBC TV audience showed … Continue reading

116 Comments
All the president's women: Segolene Royal, Valerie Trierweiler and Julie Gayet. (PATRICK KOVARIK,VALERY HACHE,ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)

The messy Hollande triangle reinforces the case for marriage

20 January 2014 11:13

Well, whatever about the French press, for British papers, the Hollande affair is the gift that keeps on giving. Apparently shored up in the presidential residence in Versailles, Valerie Trierweiler… Continue reading

45 Comments
BRITIAN-NIRELAND-ABORTION

Gendercide, abortion and hypocrisy of the pro-choicers

15 January 2014 14:48

There was a lovely little ultrasound picture of a foetus to illustrate the Independent’s splash today about the incidence of sex-selective abortions in Britain. According to the paper’s analysis of… Continue reading

40 Comments
Image: GEORGES GOBET/AFP/GettyImages

Have your say on the EU

9 January 2014 14:23

The EU commission office in London was kind enough to send me this, a warmup for a ‘town-hall style meeting’ on the part of the Vice-President of the Commission, Viviane… Continue reading

99 Comments
collier

Exodus by Paul Collier – my political book of the year

1 January 2014 12:40

Paul Collier is an Oxford economist specialising in the poorest African economies, and the striking thing about his important book on migration, Exodus, is that his focus is largely on the effects… Continue reading

24 Comments