A blotter in Alan Johnson’s copy book

Following home secretary Alan Johnson’s public fit of pique, the best thing that the remaining members of the UK government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs could do is to tender their resignations collectively, with immediate effect. Former ACMD chair David Nutt’s reaction to his sacking was entirely justified, and in the circumstances he […]

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Government to crack down on evidence-based policymaking

Evidence-based policymaking is a bad thing. For one thing it restricts the freedom of government to react politically to media and public hysteria legitimate moral and health concerns arising from the widespread use of non-approved recreational drugs. That is the only way a rational person, whether sober or stoned, can interpret the decision last year […]

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Scientology = fraud

They can call on the alien overlords to fry their critics’ brains with galactic microwaves, or merely bully, threaten and harrass the cult’s detractors. But the ‘Church of Scientology’ can no longer sue those who declare this so-called ‘religion’ to be a sham, for a court has this morning convicted of fraud and fined the […]

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Krautrock – Wiedergeburt von Deutschland?

This was cool… The clip comes from a BBC documentary broadcast yesterday on the musical phenomenon that was/is Krautrock. I misspent my youth listening to this stuff, and it was a delight to see and hear my now aging musical heroes as they are today, still creatively pursuing their art. Krautrock may have been influential […]

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Granny Smith doesn’t matter any more

It’s a commercial enterprise as well as public service, the post; one that in recent years has undergone radical changes, what with the rise of personal and business communication via the Interwebs, and our increasing reluctance to put pen to paper. Online shopping is on the rise, but the facilitation of old-style mail order in […]

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Anti-fascist in more than name

When it comes to political campaigns, this is how to do it… There is Nothing British about the BNP. The military top brass weigh in… BBC Times Sun Guardian And let’s not forget the Daily Mail, formerly known as the Daily Heil. All are redeemable. Along with Nothing British we have Hope Not Hate – […]

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Planets … everywhere

It’s proving difficult to keep up with the many discoveries of planets outside the Milky Way. But from what we learn about our galaxy, the solar system seems a run-of-the-mill place. The latest result of observations with ground-based telescopes operated by the European Southern Observatory is a haul of 32 planets ranging in size from […]

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Will technology save us?

The ofttimes contrarian environmental scientist Jesse Ausubel was interviewed a few weeks ago for New Scientist. Here I’ve reworked the title of that piece into question form, as Ausubel’s responses to Alison George leave a few doubts in my mind. Ausubel is described by others as a “techno-optimist”, in that he has “faith” in the […]

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Market hearsay rules supreme

It’s funny how, on one day, hard data show that UK inflation has fallen to its lowest level since September 2004, and this is reflected in the further weakening of our now noddy currency against the euro. The next morning we see a huge jump in the value of sterling – by nearly two eurocents […]

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Another nail in the coffin of Britain’s absurd libel laws

Following the overturning yesterday of an injunction barring a national newspaper from reporting activities in the UK parliament, we now have the splendid news that the High Court in London has granted science journalist Simon Singh the right to appeal Justice David Eady’s imbecilic ruling earlier this year in favour of the crank British Chiropractic […]

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