Gee Thanks, Geoffrey.

Now that the dust is just about settling in the row over The Daily Mail‘s attack on the Miliband family we might ask what the significance of these events have been. First some background. The attacks came after Ed Miliband made his conference speech wherein – according to right-wing circles – he affirmed some of the […]

Share

Strange Bedfellows on Syria.

The opposition to another war has its usual crowd of seasoned anti-war activists, from Lindsey German and John Rees to George Galloway and Tariq Ali. Yet the push for intervention has attracted a considerably broad range of opposition voices. Somewhat surprisingly Glenn Beck, Nick Griffin and Nigel Farage have all come out in opposition to any intervention in Syria albeit for […]

Share

Anjem Choudary faces arrest

Except he doesn’t. This is just another pointless and misleading headline in today’s Metro. Another nothing story to squeeze a little bit more moral panic juice out of the upsurge in anti-Muslim sentiment. Under the headline “Extremist preacher faces arrest”, the Metro goes on to report that “Muslim preacher Anjem Choudary will be arrested as […]

Share

Julie Burchill’s attack on transexuals forced me to break my own rule and complain

This article was originally written for my new website, salmanshaheen.com There comes a time in every man’s life when two of his most dearly held positions come into conflict with one another and he finds himself questioning what he had hitherto believed sacred. For as long as I can remember, I have held firm to […]

Share

On George Monbiot: Racial stereotyping is still racial stereotyping, even when it’s done by a Guardian columnist

As readers may or may not be aware, on Boxing Day the Guardian published a column by George Monbiot, lefty commentator and erstwhile Third Estate interviewee. Titled “The day my inner anarchist lost out to the bourgeois me”, the article recounts Monbiot’s encounter in an A&E department with a Traveller man seeking treatment for his […]

Share

Leveson: (Probably) not the end of the world as we know it

So, as expected, the Leveson Report is proving pretty unpopular in some circles. Most of the objections seem to centre round his lordship’s proposal that self-regulation of the press should now have “statutory underpinning”. This would mean that the way the chair and board of this body are to be chosen would be established in […]

Share

In defence of (playing) politics

Ed Miliband accuses the Tories of playing politics with the tanker drivers’ strike. The Mail accuses Miliband of playing politics with the Olympics, because of the party’s funding by the unions (IIIE has already covered the ham-fisted idiocy that is the Tories’ attempts to paint the unions as undemocratic). Guardian commenters (again, let’s not go […]

Share

Pies in the face, for and against (but mostly against)

OK, I’ll admit it. It was pretty damn funny, and it’s hard to deny that Rupert Murdoch should be somewhere near the top of anyone’s list of ‘people who richly deserve a righteous plate of shaving foam in the face’. Equally, though, it has to be said there’s something which grates about the long-awaited calling […]

Share

The curious case of George Pitcher

Yes, I know – George who? I hadn’t heard his name either until today, but until very recently he was a spin doctor for the Archbishop of Canterbury (who says the C of E doesn’t move with the times?). The Guardian suggests his departure may have something to do with Rowan Williams’ searingly anti-government New […]

Share

Drought-stricken East Africans ‘outraged’ by phone-hacking affair

Aid staff and famine-stricken Somalian refugees expressed their shock today at the News of the World phone-hacking revelations. Françoise Chevalier, 35, a nurse with Médecins Sans Frontières, whose clinics and feeding centres in Kenya and Somalia have been completely overwhelmed by the effects of the devastating drought told our correspondent she was appalled. “Steve Coogan, […]

Share