15/11/2003
15 Nov 2003

15 November 2003

15 Nov 2003

15 November 2003

Featured articles

Features
David Prycejones
The dangers of Fisking

In the www arena where the world speaks invisibly to itself, a new word has appeared: ‘fisking’, meaning the selection of evidence solely in order to bolster preconceptions and prejudices. Just as cardigans or mackintoshes are named after an inventive individual, so fisking derives from the work of Robert Fisk, the Middle East correspondent of the Independent, stationed these many years in Beirut.

The dangers of Fisking
Fraser Nelson
Scotland is sick

Scotland spends more per capita on the NHS than England does, but by next year it will have Europe’s lowest life expectancy, says Fraser NelsonImagine a British National Health Service flowing with French or German levels of funding. This dream, we are promised, will soon be delivered in return for higher taxes. But for the impatient, there is a solution: visit Scotland. For some time now, NHS Scotland has been living in Tony Blair’s promised land, enjoying European levels of health spending.

Scotland is sick
Christopher Sandford
Sympathy for the vicar

Christopher Sandford says that Keith Richards — 60 next month — is a secret conservative: he eats shepherd’s pie, loves his mum and even goes to churchHe doesn’t exactly look like your average squire, Keith Richards, with his piratical swagger and a complexion that’s been compared to old cat litter. But Keith, who turns 60 next month, is emerging as one of the most shockingly normal, and English, of rock stars, as well as one of the most self-aware.

Sympathy for the vicar
Angela Ellisjones
Victim culture began in 1880

Hardly a week goes by without the news that some criminal has pocketed an enormous sum from suing someone in an action which arises from the criminal’s wrongdoing. The government has sought to clamp down on this practice by inserting into the Criminal Justice Bill a clause that will prevent criminals from suing their victims for injuries they have incurred in the course of their crimes. This is a belated move in the right direction.

Victim culture began in 1880
Paul Robinson
Identity crisis

Bossy-boots Blunkett’s plans must be resisted, says Paul Robinson, who has acquired five new cards in recent months, and it’s been a pain in the pocket for himI recently had my fingerprints taken for an identity card. If our autocratic Home Secretary, David Blunkett, gets his way, this will in the next decade or so become a universal rite of passage. Mr Blunkett has made it clear that he considers the issue of ID cards a ‘defining moment’ in Britain’s future.

Identity crisis
Peter Oborne
Hail to the Chief

George Bush needs to be pictured with the Queen to impress voters in the forthcoming presidential election, but, says Peter Oborne, next week’s state visit by the Commander-in-Chief is causing chaosIt is obvious why Tony Blair agreed that next week’s visit to Britain by George Bush was a good idea. It was suggested in the aftermath of the invasion of Afghanistan. The Blair–Bush relationship was at its strongest, and the transatlantic alliance at its most formidable: the Iraq war yet to come.

Hail to the Chief
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