“I want a Britain that’s fairer, Sarah”

Olly of the Onions has nicely précised yesterday’s final televised debate between the UK’s three presidential contenders: Mr Nicholas Clegg Esq., some airbrushed Tory toff and a dour presbyterian Scot with an almost total lack of people skills. Given that David Cameron blethered from a script like a right-wing robot, and prime-minister-for-the-next-week-and-a-bit Gordon Brown spent much […]

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Psychopaths in uniform (and Blair Peach remembered)

In 1979 I was a 15-year-old youth in my final year at a sink school in Charlton, a working class district of south east London. The UK was at the time in economic and political meltdown, and I and my fellow students prepared to move directly from school to dole queue. Even ignorant teens could […]

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The power of indecision

Gareth Williams recounts an overheard conversation on a London bus this morning between a group of secondary school students, and comments favourably on the teenagers’ well-informed debate and level of political understanding. This report given by Gareth is indeed encouraging. By way of contrast, the ‘debate’ among establishment politicians is entertaining, but in a perverse […]

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Happy birthday Hubble!

Hubble Space Telescope (source: NASA) The Hubble telescope is 20 today, hip hip hooray! Despite all the jokes about Hubble’s dodgy eyesight, and the astronomical cost of putting right the telescope’s defects, this orbiting camera with its eye on cosmos is arguably the most successful scientific experiment in history when it comes to research results […]

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Copenhagen pledges don’t add up

The general consensus on last December’s UN climate change summit in Copenhagen seems to be that the event was a political farce, and failed to meet its original objectives. That may be so, but the bleary-eyed summit participants did at the very last moment succeed in cobbling together a document that contains a number of […]

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Does nature abhor a vegan child?

The Guardian‘s leading parenting and family life writer Joanna Moorhead asks whether veganism is safe for children. And with the following standfirst her column this week gets off to a bad start: “A cruelty-free diet may be healthy for adults, but parents should be aware of the risks for their children” Quoting paediatric dietician Helen […]

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Ten Hail Marys and a dozen Our Fathers should do the trick

His Holy Splendiferousness Pope Benedict XVI has called on Roman Catholics to “do penance” for their sins against the little children. Pontiffs and their minions may be masters at rewriting history, but they have never seemed entirely comfortable with the here and now. It will take more than PR advisors and retired Vatican diplomats to […]

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Cold winters in Europe – a solar link?

Recent cold winters in Europe are often cited by those ignorant of climate science as proof that global warming either doesn’t exist, or, if it does, it is an insignificant issue linked to natural changes in solar activity. This is wrong on a whole number of levels. Statistically speaking, the significance of a few icy […]

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Is Mars still wet?

A few weeks following a fascinating report of thick deposits of water ice detected in small, permanently shaded craters on the moon, a potentially much bigger story about liquid water on Mars has begun to trickle out of the news agencies. Evidence of water still flowing on Mars? (source: HiRISE/NASA Ames) The latest news follows […]

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Greenfield coup attempt fails

She was ungraciously sacked, trawled through her media contacts book and complained bitterly to all who would listen, posed and pouted for the cameras, consulted lawyers, and cobbled together a ragbag army of supporters to stage a coup against her former employers. I’m talking here about Baroness Professor Susan Greenfield, “midwife” to the Furedi cult-dominated […]

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