Madeleine Kearns

Will Biden’s pot pardons pay off?

20 min listen

This week Freddy speaks to Madeleine Kearns, staff writer at the National Review, about President Joe Biden’s decree that cannabis possession should no longer be a federal crime. Is this a vote winner or will the decision end in disaster?

The grim reality of gender reassignment

Lisa Littman, a doctor and researcher, recently surveyed ‘detransitioners’ — people who thought they were transgender then changed their minds. The majority, 55 per cent, ‘felt that they did not receive an adequate evaluation from a doctor or mental health professional before starting transition.’ Sadly, it seems, their identity issues were more complicated than simply

How the SNP wrecked Scottish education

‘The politicians aren’t listening to us,’ an exasperated teacher tells me by phone. ‘There’s nothing left for us to do but get on with it.’ The despair felt by Scottish teachers is a notable shift from the anger I encountered in the staffroom when I trained among them five years ago. That was the year

The alarming rise of Big Dope

18 min listen

Young people are now more likely to consume marijuana than smoke tobacco. Is weed just a benign stimulant, or is Big Dope pushing a drug that could lead to a schizophrenia epidemic? Freddy Gray speaks to Madeleine Kearns, staff writer at National Review and the author of the cover piece in the new US edition

Why No. 10 should be polling ‘culture war’ issues

Notwithstanding this week’s excitement, millions of Brits are fed up discussing Brexit, Brexit and nothing but Brexit. They want to know when we’re going to address some other important issues. Issues like identity politics. And transgenderism. So-called ‘culture war’ issues. If reports are to be believed, No. 10 have been trying to find out what

The ruling on Caster Semenya is a common sense compromise

Was the Caster Semenya ruling fair? It’s an emotional case that has sparked debate across the world. Born with a disorder of sex development (DSD), the South African runner was raised female and has never thought of herself as anything else. But on Wednesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled to uphold the

Don’t tell the parents

How can we help transgender children? This is a question greatly exercising politicians and many are confused about what to do. In Scotland, children are now expected to ‘demonstrate an understanding of diversity in sexuality and gender identity’. The Scottish government supports a new classroom resource that tells primary school children that they may consider

Catholics can cope with ‘cultural appropriation’

The Met Gala is among the most iconic nights of the fashion calendar. Every year, A-list celebrities flock to New York City to attend the annual fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. There’s always a theme. This year it was, ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.’ Getting into the spirit of

‘Toxic masculinity’ is a toxic phrase

To tackle London’s murder problem, Sarah Jones, Labour Party and Croydon Central MP, told the BBC that a ‘public health approach’ is needed. This, she says, involves going into schools and teaching ‘what it is to be a man.’ Quite so. Masculinity can and ought to be taught. But is this really a job for

Robert Burns’ #MeToo moment

A year ago, I sang ‘Ye Banks and Braes’ by Robert Burns at the annual Scottish banquet at Manhattan’s University Club. Afterwards, my dinner partner, an American chap, asked me what it was about. Regret, I said. Just look at the last line. But my false lover stole my rose [virginity]. And ah! He left

Class struggle

Once one of the best in the world, Scotland’s education system has been steadily marching backwards for the past ten years. From the outside, it seems baffling: why, given that Scottish spending per pupil is among the highest in the world, are things going so wrong? From the inside, it’s far easier to understand. You

Unsafe spaces

As a child in Glasgow, I learned that sticks and stones might break my bones but words didn’t really hurt. I’m now at New York University studying journalism, where a different mantra seems to apply. Words, it turns out, might cause life-ruining emotional trauma. During my ‘Welcome Week’, for example, I was presented with a