Ten years on, the public health puritans who predicted 24-hour drinking look like idiots

20 May 2015 12:29
The public health lobby were expecting Gin Lane to reappear

One of the many old temperance beliefs that linger on in the field of ‘public health’ is known as availability theory. Put simply, this theory says that if you make… Continue reading


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

20 May 2015 10:12
Ashers Bakery (Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty)

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


Steve Hilton talks Cameron, Crosby and Vincecablefreude at book launch

20 May 2015 8:13

David Cameron’s former director of strategy Steve Hilton is in town this week to promote his new book More Human. Mr S was a guest at the book launch in East… Continue reading


Dying Without Dignity: a report on end-of-life care that shames the NHS

20 May 2015 7:18
Death in the NHS is becoming a matter of routine (Image: Getty)

The name says it all. ‘Dying Without Dignity’ is the parliamentary health ombudsman’s report into over 300 complaints of the neglect of terminally ill patients by the NHS. The BBC this morning… Continue reading


Worried about your weight? Check your waistline, not the bathroom scales

19 May 2015 20:34
Jonny Wilkinson

If you’ve glanced at a newspaper in the last few months you’ll have noticed that obesity is public health enemy number one. The Guardian has a special section devoted to it… Continue reading


Jeremy Paxman: BBC licence fee can’t last

19 May 2015 17:51
Labour leader Ed Miliband and Jeremy Paxman chat during the filming of  'Cameron & Miliband ; The Battle For Number 10' on March 26, 2015 in London, England.

Although Jeremy Paxman spent several decades working for the BBC, the presenter took an opportunity at a Royal Television Society talk today to cast doubt over its future. With the BBC’s charter renewal… Continue reading


Karen Danczuk comes out in defence of Sally Bercow

19 May 2015 16:53

Of all the MPs’ wives, Karen Danczuk and Sally Bercow may have amassed the most column inches. So perhaps it’s not surprising that in the wake of Sally’s latest news, Danczuk… Continue reading


Don’t Labour tax advisers pop up in the funniest places?

19 May 2015 14:10

Remember Jolyon Maugham, the QC who had fifteen minutes of fame during the General Election campaign when he ‘advised Labour on its non-dom tax crackdown’? As the Telegraph reported at the… Continue reading


The past catches up with Downton Abbey cast

19 May 2015 12:38
Joanne Froggatt plays Anna Bates in Downton Abbey

With Downton Abbey drawing to a close after the next series, Mr S suspects that, in the interest of historical accuracy, it may be for the best that it bows out sooner… Continue reading


Women drivers could force a draconian drink-driving limit on us. Why not set a higher limit for men?

19 May 2015 12:15
Image: Getty

Drink-driving is back. Which isn’t to say it’s on the rise – quite the contrary –but it’s high on the agenda at every level of government. The Department for Transport has… Continue reading


What Afghan soldiers really think – the same as us

19 May 2015 11:36

‘The NATO Commander in Eastern Afghanistan has said that this year 54 foreign bases have already been closed…’ Last December Channel 4 aired a documentary entitled Billion Dollar Base: Deconstructing… Continue reading


Ed Miliband returns from Ibiza to face the music

19 May 2015 11:32
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband addresses supporters on April 28, 2015 in Barry, Wales.

Ed Miliband’s last-minute holiday to Ibiza was hardly the way in which the former Labour leader had envisaged spending the week after the election. Still, a week on the party… Continue reading


What should Jeremy Hunt do next to the NHS?

19 May 2015 11:19

The Tories barely talked about the NHS during the election campaign. It was an area of Labour strength, and one Ed Miliband and Andy Burnham were keen to talk about… Continue reading


Ireland’s ‘tolerant’ elite now demonise anyone who opposes gay marriage

19 May 2015 11:05
Pro-same-sex marriage campaigner Glenna Benson poses with yes badges at an event ahead of the Irish same-sex marriage referendum (Photo: Paul Faith/Getty)

If you think it’s tough being a Tory voter in 21st-century Britain, try being a ‘No’ voter in this week’s Irish referendum on gay marriage. Sure, Twitterati sneering at all… Continue reading


Horrible diseases are being ‘edited out’ of the human body

18 May 2015 22:15
A girl in Madagascar suffering from sick-cell anaemia

Some exciting news about the future of medicine was announced today. Unfortunately, you really need a degree in biochemistry – which I certainly don’t have – to understand it. But… Continue reading


Obama gets personal on Twitter. Will Cameron follow suit?

18 May 2015 18:10
President Obama And Prime Minister Cameron Meet At The White House

With an increasing number of Twitter accounts for politicians and celebrities run by staff rather than the subjects themselves, the PR-y tweets can often make for a dull read. So… Continue reading


Hormone ‘halves risk of premature birth,’ says the Mail. But its report is wildly inaccurate

18 May 2015 17:51

As a gynaecologist, I was appalled to read this story about a supposedly ‘groundbreaking’ treatment to stop premature births in the Mail (I read it on the online Mail site but… Continue reading


Lord Ashcroft travels to Russia to research his David Cameron biography

18 May 2015 17:01
Isabel Oakeshott and Lord Ashcroft travelled to Moscow to research for their biography of David Cameron (Credit: @IsabelOakeshott)

The British government’s relationship with Russia is somewhat frosty since David Cameron ordered 75 British soldiers to Ukraine earlier this year to help the country defend itself against Russia. With diplomatic relations at… Continue reading


Political institution introduces new MPs to ancient rituals

18 May 2015 16:37
Curry Houses In Brick Lane As Concerns Rise Over The New Laws Regarding Immigrant Workers Loom

While new MPs are sitting through tedious induction classes to teach them the rules of the House of Commons such as never clap in the chamber or call another member… Continue reading


Why GPs are the London cabbies of the NHS

18 May 2015 13:13
Image: Getty

GPs are the very personification of the description ‘jack of all trades, master of none’. Following so-called ‘specialist’ training, they emerge as the ultimate generalists, requiring additional input to manage any kind… Continue reading


Why do directors of comic opera encourage performers not to behave like human beings?

18 May 2015 12:25
Anna Harvey as the widow in Walton's The Bear at the Royal Academy of Music

The Royal Academy of Music’s Sir Jack Lyons Theatre is closing, whether for refurbishment or to make way for something more ambitious I don’t know. It’s a place where I… Continue reading

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Coffee Shots: Friends reunited

18 May 2015 12:13
Friends. Sort of.

What a difference a day makes. Only yesterday it seemed that the Ukip civil war was still rattling on, with Nigel Farage’s former senior advisor Raheem Kassam writing a feisty article for the Telegraph criticising… Continue reading


Labour must understand that Unite is its enemy

18 May 2015 11:26
Len McCluskey, the General Secretary of the union Unite (Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty)

Imagine you are a Labour MP or a trade union official surveying Britain this week. The following points will strike you: Labour has just lost an election it could have… Continue reading


New gene therapy for heart disease and diabetes: how will hypochondriacs react?

18 May 2015 11:12
Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 11.02.47

The drugs giant AstraZeneca (AZ) has signed a deal with heart researchers in Canada which pushes forward the project to prevent – and even reverse – heart disease and diabetes… Continue reading


Picture exclusive: James Bond crew take to the Thames to film for Spectre

17 May 2015 22:01

Forget the riveting excitement of the Labour leadership contest, Westminster was shut down on Sunday night for a different type of race. As part of filming for the new James… Continue reading