The Disappeared of Islington
I haven't looked at any of the articles (generally, they do my head in). Sound off about anything that captures your fancy in the comments.
(incorporating "World of Decency")
But even if he had been a half-Chinese ballet-loving Francophone, he would have been hated by some who should have loved him, for there isn't an American president since Eisenhower who hasn't ended up, at some point or other, being depicted by the world's cartoonists as a cowboy astride a phallic missile. It happened to Bill Clinton when he bombed Iraq; it will happen to Mr Obama when his reinforced forces in Afghanistan or Pakistan mistake a meeting of tribal elders for an unwise gathering of Taleban and al-Qaeda.
Ignore the imperatives of anti-racism and remember that to a generation raised on The West Wing Obama is the perfect candidate: hip, handsome, commanding, charismatic.
She gave him 'hot, married love', while the Republicans were stuck with the 'stiff, asexual, erratic McCain and his zombie-fied former drug addict wife'.
Even those in the European elites who do not buy the full 'America has it coming' package believe that Bush is a cowboy who doesn't understand that the postmodern way to end conflict is to compromise rather than fight.
By building him up into a great Satan, the oil man who invades countries to seize their reserves and the Christian who orders bloody crusades, they have hidden the totalitarian threats of our age from themselves and anyone who listens to them.
They, I think, are more realistic than those who manage on one day to laud the Democrat as not being a real politician, and on the next to praise him for his sensible left-trimming when seeking the party's nomination and his equally sensible centre-hugging once it was in the bag.
This in the country that has sent Big Brother, Pop Idol, Wife Swap and Location, Location, Location over the Atlantic in the other direction, while taking delivery of Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Wire.
In part I think that anti-Americanism is linked to a view of change as decline. The imagination is that dynamic capitalism, associated with the US, is destroying our authentic lives, with our own partly willing connivance. It is a continuing and - at the moment - constant narrative, uniting left and right conservatives, which will usually take in the 19th- century radical journalist William Cobbett (conveniently shorn of his anti-Semitism), and end with an expression of disgust over the Dome, the Olympics or Tesco. Just as bird flu is a disease from out of the East, runaway modernity is a scourge originating to the West.
I first met Anthony Browne, Boris Johnson's new policy director, in the newsroom of The Observer in 2002. ...
I realised my mistake when he started to rave about dentists. ...
Journalists on liberal papers didn't criticise health workers in those days and I assumed his plan to take on the dental profession would get nowhere. Wrong again. Every one of Browne's criticisms turned out to be accurate and an impressed editor organised a campaign against rip-off dentists.
A government spending watchdog has launched a special inquiry into Britain's dentists, prompted by The Observer's 'Rip-Off Dentists' campaign.
The Observer campaign, which ran in spring 2000, revealed that dentists in Britain do around £200 million of unnecessary work each year to earn more money.
After decades of erosion of personal responsibility in the public and political sphere, David Cameron may just have signalled that it is about to make a comeback.
And so it is, but I sense a fault in Browne because I have sensed it in myself. If you are not careful, you can allow yourself to become so blinded by the hypocrisies of the liberal establishment you can't see what is in front of your nose.
I awoke to an absurd discussion on the radio yesterday morning. Some chap from a northwestern accident and emergency ward was reacting to what he and many others believed were government plans to ferry young knife carriers around casualty departments as he and his colleagues attempted to patch up the victims of stabbings.
The apparent u-turn follows a scathing response to the plans from opposition parties and doctors' groups.
Donald Mackechnie, clinical vice-president of the College of Emergency Medicine, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "We certainly don't think it would be a good idea if then potential or actual perpetrators of knife crime were marched through to see these patients, who are in an extremely vulnerable state."
Mrs Smith's proposals will see young people caught carrying knives being made to go to accident and emergency wards, to see the consequences of stabbings.
No, ministers' ambitions were limited to having visits to the wards.
Even so, the doctor summoned up an unexpected expertise to say that even such less dramatic mechanisms for confronting young people with the consequences of crime had been shown (in the US, of course) not to work.
I have no idea how he knew this, but when it comes to the prevailing moral panic, we are all experts now.
Of course, it must be remembered that the program was the brainchild of a film maker, not a psychiatrist specializing in the rehabilitation of felons; therefore, the focus was on whatever theatrical value could be obtained by filming a group of hulking inmates scaring relatively young teenagers.
These randomised trials, conducted over a 25 year period in eight different jurisdictions, provide evidence that 'Scared Straight' and other 'juvenile awareness' programmes are not effective as a stand-alone crime prevention strategy. More importantly, they provide empirical evidence - under experimental conditions - that these programmes likely increase the odds that children exposed to them will commit offenses in future. Despite the variability in the type of intervention used, ranging from harsh, confrontational interactions to tours of the facility converge on the same result: an increase in criminality in the experimental group when compared to a no-treatment control. Doing nothing would have been better than exposing juveniles to the programme. Given that the seven trials used in the meta-analysis were conducted in six jurisdictions using different conceptions of the intervention underscore the high external validity of these findings.
When Saddam Hussein's Iraq invaded the Ayatollah Khomeini's Iran in 1980, Henry Kissinger looked at the two ghoulish combatants and said: "It's a pity they can't both lose."
Yet it would be hugely against the public interest if he won his case. British judges have already made our libel courts a national embarrassment. As the American human rights group Freedom House puts it, Britain has taken the lead in using "strict lopsided libel laws to punish and muzzle journalists, authors and publishers". At a great cost to free speech, "influential moneyed interests" are silencing legitimate investigations into the financing of terrorism and political corruption.
The practice of intimidating and silencing journalists and authors from other countries under British libel law has earned the UK a reputation for being the Libel Capital of the World. But such plaintiff-friendly laws are not restricted to the British Isles. Common law–based systems in Asia, for example, open the door for influential moneyed interests to gain an enormous legal advantage, at great cost to free speech. In fact, this can be seen as part of a larger global trend identified by Freedom House, in which countries are increasingly using strict lopsided libel laws to punish and muzzle journalists, authors, and publishers. Terrorist financing and corruption-related topics have often been the objects of such suits, bringing larger public-policy concerns into the equation. The pernicious and far-reaching damage caused by libel tourism makes more vocal and effective advocacy on this issue an imperative.
I see it happening almost weekly. For instance, you may remember the story about Vitol, an oil company which paid kickbacks to Saddam's henchman during the UN's oil-for-food scandal. It quickly died, not because the accusations didn't have substance - Vitol admitted its guilt in a grand larceny case before the New York courts in November - but because newspapers have been deluged with legal warnings. The law in Britain is so expensive and so weighted against the press that the media backed off.
If this judgment now extends to privacy law, I can soon see it becoming-impossible for a newspaper to report that a minister who is demanding public- sector pay restraint is claiming a small fortune in expenses, or that a politician who denounces single mothers is keeping a mistress on the side.
"I've been doing [S&M] for 45 years and ... if it hadn't been for bribery and illegal acts, this wouldn't have come out," said Mosley, who added that he had kept his activity from his wife.
The prurient hypocrisy of the News of the World is the price we have to pay for a free country.
I’ve written many times about how England’s libel laws are the last resort of the scoundrel. It’s not simply that the judiciary allowed Jonathan Aitken, Jeffrey Archer, Robert Maxwell and George Galloway to collect damages, but that they have opened the doors of their court to Saudi billionaires and Ukranian oligharchs wishing to suppress criticism.
Notably, he does not take issue with our reporting of the revelation, made in a Panorama documentary in 2006, that he is a senior activist in the clerical fascist terrorist organisation, Hamas. The BBC report disclosed that Mr Sawalha “master minded much of Hamas’ political and military strategy” and in London “is alleged to have directed funds, both for Hamas’ armed wing, and for spreading its missionary dawah”.
You may think it can’t claim for defamation because an organisation which repeats the conspiracy theories of Adolf Hitler has no reputation to lose. If you do, you don’t know the English judiciary.
I had a desk with a phone in the newsroom, though I was seldom there. The sight of grown men, and some women, filling in expenses forms, going to the pub, reading newspapers and pretending they were working was absurd. The qualities needed to succeed at the job were patience, a flair for lateral thinking and the ability to write clearly - though none of these, slightly feminine attributes was valued at all. What was admired in the newsroom was, in this order: belligerence, the knowing use of macho jargon and the ability to drink alcohol. The atmosphere that [the news editor] tried to create was that of a Royal Marines training school. And this, amazingly, was how it had always been.
The fact that the whole topic appeared to bore Aaronovitch did not endear him to the audience. "We have reached the point almost of paranoia about civil liberties ... It is, in my opinion, a paranoid fantasy," he said. The barely disguised hint that they were hanging out with the little Englanders and the green ink faction did not please the majority of those present. "You're not all being watched," he concluded, exasperated.
Cabrinovitch is said to be a well-known ne'er-do-well who has been in Montenegro and Belgrade, while Prinzip was expelled from Bosnia some years ago for taking part in a pro-Serb demonstration. Both are said to have assumed a most cynical attitude during their examination. Notwithstanding their statements that they had no accomplices, the plot is generally believed to have been prepared long beforehand and to have had extensive ramifications.