It is widely agreed that 9/11 had a silver lining: that frightening day prodded us into thinking about religion, into taking it seriously. It nudged us away from our embarrassed evasion and forced us to admit that religion is a huge cultural and political force, even in Britain. It helped to bury the myth that gradual secularisation was making religion less important each year, something that sophisticated people could safely ignore or sneer at.
When the Criminal Records Bureau says you’re a violent criminal, it’s not easy to put the record straight. Recently, I decided to volunteer with The Samaritans. It won’t surprise you to hear I found out a good deal about myself in the process. What might surprise you is that what I found out was that I was a violent criminal.
The revelation came after I’d sent off my details for what is know as an ‘enhanced disclosure’ check by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).
From the US elections in November, the American left will be largely absent. Americans voters will choose between the forces of moderate conservatism, headed by President Barack Obama, and the forces of radicalism, led by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Obama and most of his fellow Democrats are conservatives in two senses. To begin with, most of their policy agenda originated on the right, not the left.
The news, when it emerged this summer, had an air of inevitability: women for the first time are scoring higher on IQ tests than men. Girls have long been doing better than boys in GCSEs and today they make up the majority of university students. When they graduate, they’re more likely than men to find work and an increasing number are now the family breadwinners. The word ‘pursewhipped’ — referring to men being in financial thrall to women — is slowly entering the English language, and with it the understanding that this is not about equality.