The Crisis at Index on Censorship

31 March 2014 17:13
Demonstration Outside Houses Of Parliament As MPs Debate Lobbying Bill

Index on Censorship, once home to the most important defenders of free speech in Britain, is falling apart. Seventeen full-time staff members in place when Kirsty Hughes, a former European… Continue reading


The state is the worst wicked stepmother of all

31 March 2014 16:22
Cinderella in tears, flanked by her two step-sisters. (Image: Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

What a fantastically stupid idea, I thought, reading the paper this morning.  ‘Parents who fail to show love and affection towards their children could be sent to prison for up… Continue reading


Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton, 2016? God help us all.

31 March 2014 15:58
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush Speaks To Long Island Association Event

Connoisseurs of hinge-moments – those instants at which a country’s future changes – have long-appreciated the 1994 Florida gubernatorial election. Jeb Bush lost. Meanwhile, across the country, his elder brother… Continue reading


Monty Python’s dancing circus

31 March 2014 10:02
The Pythons haven't started rehearsing yet because they don't want to 'peak too early', says Michael Palin.

For those who are worried that five men in their 70s might struggle to bring the kind of energy befitting a sell-out show at the O2, have no fear. The… Continue reading


Would prisoners kill for Carol Ann Duffy?

30 March 2014 11:34
Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. Would prisoners kill for her wry, pungent volumes? Image: Getty

It is of course shocking that the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling should ban prisoners from receiving books sent by their friends and relatives. We might all agree with author Philip… Continue reading


From time to time it is necessary to execute a government minister to encourage the others. This is one such moment.

30 March 2014 11:04
Consumers Feel The Pinch With Christmas Around The Corner

Hanging. Shooting. Beheading. Defenestration. Take your pick. It doesn’t matter which method you choose but the government minister who told The Guardian’s Nick Watt that “of course” there would be a deal to be… Continue reading


Gay marriage is a triumph for our arrogant political class

29 March 2014 14:55
Peter McGraith and David Cabreza married shortly after midnight at Islington Town Hall. Photo: Rob Stothard/Getty Images

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


Televising theatre and opera will not attract new audiences. It will repel them

28 March 2014 16:52
Zvetelina Vassileva (Desdemona) and Johan Botha (Otello) in San Francisco Opera's 2009 production of Otello. Photo: Lance Iversen, The Chronicle

Always try to get the worst seats for the opera. Upper circle. Foyer. Toilet. The nearest bus stop. The further back the better. You’ll regret it if you don’t. There… Continue reading


An infuriated cat, a ‘missing’ nose that isn’t – it’s screwball comedy in the courtroom

28 March 2014 14:25
Palmer Murder Trial

The jury at Max Clifford’s trial have had a tough time of it trying not to get the giggles, as his alleged victims wrangle with medical experts over what constitutes… Continue reading


Surely we should have called our new flagship HMS Margaret Thatcher?

28 March 2014 13:00
A section of HMS Queen Elizabeth II being towed up the Clyde. (Image Getty)

It’s great news that this summer will see the launch of Britain’s biggest-ever warship, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, built on the Clyde and weighing 65,000 tons. This beast will be… Continue reading


Boris should call a referendum

27 March 2014 17:45
London's mayor Boris Johnson delivers a

Everyone can see that the West has no idea what to do about Russian power in the Ukraine. Britain, in particular, is at the margins. It is time for the… Continue reading


Finally, after 118 years, The Daily Mail masters irony

27 March 2014 16:10
Ed Miliband Contacts The Owners Of The Mail Newspaper Titles

The Daily Mail has been holding habitués of the corridors of power to account for so long, it has decided that it deserves a corridor of its own. The Editors… Continue reading


Hampstead and Kilburn – it would be a disgrace if the Lib Dems don’t back Maajid Nawaz to the hilt

27 March 2014 14:41
Maajid Nawaz deserves support. If the Lib Dems won't provide it then the Tories must.

In the past 30 years British English has received a number of loan words from Arabic, words which would have meant very little to our young grandparents but are now… Continue reading


Arise, Kermit, Freefrog of the City of London

27 March 2014 13:35
(Photo: Councilman Adam Richardson and Alderman Matthew Richardson presenting Mr. Kermit T. Frog with his ceremonial Key.)

Move over Dick Whittington and his cat, the City of London has a new folklore hero. Yesterday Kermit the Frog was made Honorary Bridge Master of Tower Bridge. Mr S… Continue reading


Alex Salmond is not a Nazi. He’s not even a Fascist.

27 March 2014 11:50
Alex Salmond Speaks At Scottish Independence March And Rally

Every so often you come across an article so bizarre it forces you to re-examine long-held certainties on a subject about which you happen to be tolerably well-informed. This year… Continue reading


Nick vs Nigel debate: The room spun

26 March 2014 21:54
Andrew Mitchell, Danny Alexander and Patrick O'Flynn spinning for their parties.

Nick Clegg had been given the night off babysitting; but, after the poll verdict on tonight’s EU debate with Nigel Farage, he may wish he’d stayed at home with the… Continue reading


It is not surprising that the polls on Scottish independence are tightening…

26 March 2014 11:53

There are some pollsters who believe nothing has changed since 2011. All the storm and blast, bluff and bluster about Scottish independence has had no impact at all. The settled… Continue reading


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

26 March 2014 10:21
Mark Field MP, who launched the Conservatives for Managed Migration group today. Photo: BBC.

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


Cocks-in-socks: charity has become exhibitionism

26 March 2014 9:21
The digital-age male is a sad thing. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The digital-age male is a pathetic creature. Shorn of all his old manly attributes, he has to puff himself up. He does this, as Clive Martin on Vice magazine pointed… Continue reading


FGM is a shaming indictment of multiculturalism and mass-immigration

25 March 2014 15:05
Soham Trial Nears Conclusion

A number of interesting things have happened recently: The Law Society has provided legal guidance to ensure that Muslims in Britain can have their wills judged according to Sharia. BBC… Continue reading


Don’t knock ‘benevolent sexism’ – it makes us happy

25 March 2014 14:00
Couple talking over drinks

The American-led Left has a new fixation: ‘benevolent sexism’. Recent examples found here, here and here. According to one definition: ‘Ambivalent or benevolent sexism usually originates in an idealization of… Continue reading


Tony Hall’s new vision for BBC Arts: waffle, stale buns and chief execs

25 March 2014 13:48
Tony Hall, the BBC director-general

I can’t remember the last time I turned to the BBC for cultural guidance. That’s not to say that the BBC doesn’t provide an extremely valuable public service on the… Continue reading


Ed Miliband’s sympathy for ‘needy’ Gove

25 March 2014 13:30
Image: Getty

Congratulations to Sarah Vine. Last night the Mail columnist achieved the almost impossible feat of getting the leader of the Labour Party to defend his party’s favourite pantomime villain: Michael… Continue reading


How local government is threatening Oxford University’s competitiveness

25 March 2014 10:30
The New Term Begins For Students At Oxford University

The press love a bit of Oxbridge competition, but Oxford is embroiled in a far older and more ruthless rivalry: town vs. gown. It was in a dispute between the… Continue reading


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

24 March 2014 18:16
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)

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