Carol Sarler

Bad publicity

Whatever calamitous infelicities David Beckham did or did not email to his publicist, few will doubt that he has lived to rue the day. Nevertheless, I’ll bet teeth that he is pointing his ruing in the wrong direction: that he is tormented by the moment he pressed ‘send’ — but not similarly kicking himself for

Down with slippery slopes!

Well, of course the Assisted Dying Bill failed. It mattered not a jot that an overwhelming majority of public opinion urged its success; it was always going to fail and the only surprising thing is that anybody is surprised. I’ll bet my teeth on a few more certainties, too. Last week the required 200,000 people

Feel the pain

There’s a passage in Willy Russell’s wonderful novel, The Wrong Boy, which could almost be funny — except, wisely, Russell doesn’t play it for laughs. The book chronicles a childhood blighted by adult misunderstanding, and describes an instance of it in which zealous ‘educationalists’ observe that the Boy’s artwork is harshly, relentlessly black: echo and

Why Weight Watchers doesn’t deserve taxpayers’ money

Porky, flabby, lardy? Obese — and morbidly so? Yup. That’s us. We knew already that two out of three of us weigh more than is healthy, and last week the scales of shame revealed further cause for dismay: Britain has more obese girls under 20 than anywhere else in the West. Something, as the hand-wringers

The need for seed

It’s a fair bet that most wives, asked to list the things they feel are jointly owned with their husbands, would tick them off in a trice: the house, the car, the furniture, the wedding gifts, Fido and Puss and that ghastly etching they both hate but it’s worth a few bob. There’s a woman

I’m sick of sponsoring you to suffer

Within waving distance of blessed solid ground, Susan Taylor lost her bid to swim the Channel — and, with it, her life. She was 34 years old, brainy and beautiful, gifted and giving; it is, indeed, a peculiarly bitter irony that it was the giving that killed her. For years she had been an avid

The mother myth

Here she comes again. Back at the top of the news, draped in the robes of the righteous, embraced by those who sanctify all things traditional: the ‘full-time mother’. As usual, she is the undeserved victim of something or other; in this instance, it’s the incoherent shake-up of the child benefit system, leading to headlines

Not in front of the children

Nobody this side of the indecently callous would wish to rain upon the parade in Machynlleth on Sunday. As it slowly wound its way through the streets towards the local church, we turned away, then watched, then turned away again from the raw faces of people who had spent six days in search and hope

Experts in suffering

It’s unwise to treat victims of tragedy as universal sages It really is no surprise to learn that Sara Payne favours restrictions to keep online pornography away from children. There cannot, after all, be a sentient adult who would not prefer our babies to spend more time with Peppa Pig than with Swedish Dolls. But

Worse than hacks

OK, we get it. We’re scum. Lowest of the low. If nothing else comes from the Leveson inquiry, at least the British public may be assured that its views of the press were right all along: as poll after poll has shown, I and my comrades in ink enjoy a social standing somewhere south of

Institutionalised brutality

Lord Winston must have known he placed a puss among the pigeons when he aired his view, a couple of weeks ago, that nurses from Eastern Europe are putting NHS patients in danger. Citing Romanians in particular, he remarked upon their limited communication skills and told the House of Lords that they had been trained

Old father time

Becoming a dad past retirement age isn’t miraculous, it’s just selfish He isn’t the first and he won’t be the last. But lack of originality was clearly the least of Donald Trelford’s concerns as he commandeered acres of Sunday newsprint to boast of the arrival of his baby son, Ben. Mr Trelford is, if you

The hangover from hell

If a drunken woman and a drunken man have sex, our legal system treats the man as a rapist. That’s wrong — and patronising Imagine, for a moment, that you’ve had a few sherries. Perhaps, even, more than a few; perhaps you have enjoyed that most pernicious of doses: the one that leaves you on

Hard labour

More women than ever are having their babies by Caesarian section. Not the old last-resort emergency type, either; the ones where mothers howl for days, to the point of peril for self or child, until mercy descends in a scalpel — life-saving, but adding to existing trauma. No. This marked increase, by as much as

The burka curtails my freedom

The great debate about the full-face Muslim veil is usually cast in terms of religious rights, says Carol Sarler. But what about my right to see who I’m talking to? So we’re all agreed then. The great burka debate has enthusiastically consumed recent weeks, even though its conclusion was never in doubt: nobody actually intends

Do you want someone like you in charge?

Why must government be ‘representative’, asks Carol Sarler. It makes no sense. We must fight back against this pernicious new orthodoxy Only a week ago, as Julia Gillard was sworn in as Prime Minister of Australia, the sheilahood could scarcely believe its luck. A woman, no less! And not just any woman, either: Miss Gillard

The shameful truth is that we love our sex crimes

In Ireland, some 2,000 adults who gave evidence of assault at the hands of Roman Catholic priests and nuns are, probably correctly, spitting tacks. The inquiry into their treatment when in children’s institutions has ruled that, although they did indeed suffer, no charges may be brought, no names shamed and, for what it’s worth, no

There is no dignity in this Alzheimer’s parade

In the week that John Suchet made his wife’s dementia public, Carol Sarler questions this revelatory trend. Is it really what the sufferers would have wanted? Her end, when it came, was beyond ghastly. Iris Murdoch, one of our doughtier literary intellects, was reduced to screaming, drooling delirium at one end of her frail body