Melanie McDonagh

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

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Facebook’s ‘Motherhood Challenge’ is designed for sad exhibitionists

5 February 2016 17:06

Further proof that social media is fundamentally evil comes by way of Facebook’s Motherhood Challenge. It has been doing the…

Prime Minister David Cameron Announces Free Schools Pledge

State education hypocrites aren’t new, but does Cameron really want to be one?

1 February 2016 13:58

You can expect an oddly muted response to the news that the Camerons may be sending their son Elwen to…

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Britain is losing its religion, but nobody seems that bothered

19 January 2016 16:46

This evening, if you have time and are around central London, there is an interesting lecture at the British Academy…

James McConnell and Muhammad Al Hussaini (Photo: PAcemaker)

This tale about a pastor, a priest and an imam gives me hope

8 January 2016 17:06

Pastor James McConnell is back in business as an Evangelical preacher having been found not guilty on a couple of…

Tyson Fury poses for a photograph ahead of a press conference at the Macron Stadium on November 30, 2015 in Bolton, England

Why Tyson Fury deserves to win Sports Personality of the Year

6 December 2015 18:49

We can all agree, I think, that the notion of a Sports Personality of the Year is something of an…

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Modern media makes the world smaller – and that’s no bad thing

30 November 2015 18:01

It’s not that often you get the low business of journalism put into its proper social and spiritual context but…

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Northern Ireland’s pro-choice lobby couldn’t care less about democracy

30 November 2015 14:08

Well, the High Court in Belfast has driven a coach and horses through Northern Ireland’s abortion law. The Northern Ireland…

A bus of evacuees make their way towards neighboring hospitals at Fillmore Street and Centennial Boulevard on November 27, 2015 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Are we being given the full story about the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado?

28 November 2015 9:40

There is someone obviously grotesque about making a pro-life statement by shooting three people dead, as a gunman appears to have…

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Michel Houellebecq’s vision of a France ruled by an Islamist regime is all too plausible

16 November 2015 14:12

No question about the book of the year: it’s Michel Houellebecq’s Submission (Heinemann, £18.99) in Lorin Stein’s fluent translation. It’s…

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The best way to show solidarity with Paris? Visit

14 November 2015 9:03

Well, the nice thing is that Je Suis Parisienne is a bit more chic than Je Suis Charlie when it…

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The brutality of China’s one-child policy is still shocking

31 October 2015 13:48

So, China’s Communist Party has radically modified its one-child policy in favour of a one-or-two-child policy. For most politically minded…

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Spectre: less coherent, less fun, and with a swiz of a Bond girl

22 October 2015 23:04

Quite the oddest sensation last night at the first public screening at the Odeon, Leicester Square, of the new James…

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Cameron should listen to Syrian bishops, not the Anglican ones

18 October 2015 15:21

Well, it’s something, I suppose, that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York didn’t sign that ill-advised letter last month from…

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: Getty)

The EU is sucking up to Turkey to help reduce migration – but it could seriously backfire

15 October 2015 17:10

You might have thought, mightn’t you, that a million arrivals in a year to a single European country, Germany –…

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Here’s what happens when you create a ‘safe space’ at a pro-life event

13 October 2015 11:15

You know all that stuff about ‘safe spaces’, places on university campuses where you’re not allowed to say or do…

Father Krysztof Olaf Charamsa (L), who works for a Vatican office, gives a press conference with his partner Edouard to reveal his homosexuality on October 3, 2015 in Rome.

Yes, the Pope met a gay priest — that doesn’t mean Catholic doctrine is about to change

4 October 2015 15:39

Well, the Vatican isn’t the place I know a bit if the sexual orientation of the Polish priest who’s just…

Not content with her LinkedIn furore, Charlotte Proudman has now attacked Jonathan Sumption. Image: PA

That LinkedIn photograph has served Charlotte Proudman very well, hasn’t it?

24 September 2015 15:47

Gosh, she’s done well out of notoriety, has Charlotte Proudman. After emerging from entire obscurity after outing an older male…

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It’s easy to say that Aylan Kurdi died due to our lack of compassion. But the reality is far more complicated

6 September 2015 21:00

Just a thought: what if Aylan Kurdi, the poor drowned three year old child whose picture changed Europe – we…

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Since when did opposing gay marriage make you an extremist?

5 August 2015 13:03

You know, when gay marriage legislation was going through parliament and Christian campaigners were warning about the possibility that those…

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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…

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,…

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…