23 Jan 2010

23 January 2010

23 Jan 2010

23 January 2010

Featured articles

Claire Berlinski
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Dealing with the aftershocks

By chance, my father and I were together when we heard the news. We had both just flown to Washington DC - he from Paris, I from Istanbul - to care for my grandmother, who¹d had a heart attack. Before the words "major earthquake in Haiti" came over the car radio, we were already under the impression that we were living through a serious family emergency.  But after those words filtered through, the family emergency became far, far more serious.

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Dealing with the aftershocks
Ferdinand Mount
David Cameron should honour his marriage vow

Labour’s Green Paper on families makes it clear that the party is opposed to promoting marriage. Ferdinand Mount says it’s crucial that the Tories don’t waver, but stick to their promise of a financial incentiveWhat, if anything, should David Cameron promise in order to shore up family life in general and marriage in particular? Would some sort of tax incentive help to improve social outcomes and make people happier? Or is this a retro dead end, at once patronising and impractical and prohibitively expensive? Doesn’t Cameron’s self-confessed slip-up when explaining his commitment show how devilishly tricky and unrewarding the whole business is? He can at least claim to be the first party leader to have dared put the question on the agenda.

David Cameron should  honour his marriage vow
Lloyd Evans
Balls’s god delusion

Ed Balls has had enough. He’s finally decided to haul in Britain’s absentee fathers and teach them a thing or two about parenthood. ‘All the evidence,’ says the Families minister, ‘is if fathers are properly engaged and involved, then they stay, they’re supportive to their children, they do all the things which lead to better child outcomes.’ Balls has fallen victim to two whopping fallacies here.

Balls’s god delusion
Rod Liddle
Would a terrorist really post a warning on Twitter?

This following is definitely in bad taste, isn’t it? I don’t always have a working moral compass when it comes to black humour, but I think this is just the wrong side of the line. Although I’m not sure.A disc jockey from Revolution Radio, in Manchester, played the song ‘Jump’, by Van Halen, as police attempted to coax a suicidal woman down from a nearby motorway bridge. The DJ, Steve Penk, had been inundated by complaints from motorists held up on the road while the police went about their delicate counselling work.

Would a terrorist really  post a warning on Twitter?
Ross Clark
China’s new political model

There has been one thing missing from the debate between Google and the People’s Republic of China. The decommunisation of the world was not supposed to happen this way. Countries which dismantled their systems of oppression and fear were supposed to prosper economically; while any who declined to do so would remain in economic permafrost. Instead, it is becoming increasingly clear that the former communist country which has prospered most in the past 20 years has been the one which crushed its revolution beneath the wheels of tanks.

China’s new  political model
Patrick Allitt
America the Miserable

Patrick Allitt says that the infuriating but reassuring can-do spirit that once defined the United States is finally dying out. But what will we all do when it’s gone?The first time I went to America, in 1977, I couldn’t believe how cheerful, peppy and purposeful everyone was. The late seventies were bad years by American standards, the Jimmy Carter era of stagflation and malaise, but to someone coming out of Jim Callaghan’s Britain the place seemed almost insanely upbeat.

America  the Miserable
Richard Villar
Haiti: a week after the earthquake

On Tuesday morning I looked down at the elderly woman lying in the corner of a hotel car park and suspected that my efforts would be futile. She was in a serious condition and obvious pain: intestinal paralysis caused by a broken pelvis and shoulder, the result of being trapped under tons of rubble. Her treatment should have been simple: not surgery necessarily, just careful nursing. But in Port-au-Prince, the hospitals are barely functioning.

Haiti: a week after the earthquake
Stephen Pollard
Why do we kowtow to the MCB?

Last week, the Department for Communities and Local Government announced that it was lifting its ban on Whitehall contact with the Muslim Council of Britain, the self-proclaimed umbrella group of British Muslims.Quite apart from the tactical mistake of such a move — far from being an ally in the fight against extremism, the MCB is part of the problem — the group’s return to the Whitehall fold is a story of breathtaking cynicism and mind-boggling incompetence.

Why do we kowtow  to the MCB?
Jacob Heilbrunn
Meet the fantastic Mr Fox

Only a year ago the American right was in a state of cataleptic shock as the Democrats won the House of Representatives, the Senate and the presidency. Conservatism looked as though it was headed for the skids, while the left celebrated its startling comeback. No longer. A populist right-wing revolt against big-government liberalism has sent Obama’s poll ratings plummeting and left the Democrats fearing a battering in the midterm 2010 elections.

Meet the  fantastic Mr Fox
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