In her only print interview, Jacqui Smith tells Matthew d’Ancona that her proposal for the detention of terror suspects does not undermine Magna Carta, that she is ‘frustrated’ by Lord Goldsmith, and that the ‘West Midlands housewife’ is a better judge of the threat than MPsIn a government stuffed with malfunctioning robots, nervous wrecks and preening Fauntleroys, Jacqui Smith shows every sign of being a fully paid-up member of the human race.
Reihan Salam says that most Republicans have no idea how much the American social landscape has changed. They should learn from Obama’s Google-like appealBritain’s Conservatives might be plotting a triumphant return to power but America’s Republicans are in a state of utter collapse. And it’s not just because the tide is turning after two terms of George W. Bush. For better or for worse, the Cameron Conservatives have adapted to a more culturally liberal, urban, diverse society.
When Leo McKinstry objected to his neighbours’ plan to build two blocks of flats, he quickly discovered the limits of ‘community empowerment’ under New LabourThere is an increasingly Orwellian tone about the language of the Labour government. The Ministry of Truth, the state propaganda machine in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, would have been only too pleased with the doublethink of the fashionable mantra ‘together in diversity’, endlessly repeated to justify the destructive creed of multiculturalism, or the inanity of the advertising slogan ‘the People’s Post Office’, launched at the very time when a mass cull of local post offices is underway against the wishes of the people.
A week or so back, my two-year-old daughter said to me, apropos of nothing: ‘You have been sad since you lost Jesus.’ I didn’t really know what to do, so I looked at her open-mouthed for a bit and then fixed myself a stiff drink. Best not to get involved, I reckon. Later — again, out of the blue — she told me with great happiness that she was ‘covered with the blood of Jesus’, at which point I wondered if I should have a quiet word with her Sunday school teacher, or maybe her Gran, who is a fairly muscular born-again evangelical monkey and from whom this whacko stuff may have emanated.
Henry Sands meets a group of ‘Emos’ — ‘emotional’, black-clad teenagers — who claim to hate his mother for what she wrote about them in the Daily Mail. But they’re not very scaryI was walking through Hyde Park with a friend on Saturday when I noticed some people dressed in black gathering on the other side of Round Pond. At first I thought it might be a school trip having a picnic, but the eclectic mix of young teenagers — many of them with their parents — and peculiarly dressed older people suggested otherwise.
Claire Fox says that plans to ‘denormalise’ smoking by removing cigarettes from display infantilises adults and imposes upon us a dubious official version of what is ‘normal’Has your personal life been ‘denormalised’ yet? Mine is about to be, and believe me it’s not pleasant. The health ministries in Scotland and Westminster have just announced plans to make a perfectly legal habit seem as abnormal as possible.