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a glamorous and ugly movie | film | race
crazy rich asians is notable not just for having the first all-asian principal cast in a hollywood movie in 25 years, but also, somewhat more unfortunately, for restoring the rom-com as a bankable blockbuster genre.the movie’s inclusive cast is being celebrated as an act of hollywood progressivism. but the heart of this film is astonishingly reactionary. just when you thought the mainstream rom-com had died a deserved death, here we have another one, and the most successful one in years. it is likely to become the second most successful rom-com ever at the us box office, behind the thematically similar my big fat greek wedding. it is based on the bestselling novel by kevin kwan. beyond its asian aesthetic, it is a staunchly old-fashioned rom-com with an utterly absurd premise. rachel chu (constance wu) is an asian-american who has been going out with her boyfriend nick young (henry golding) for more than a year. when he invites her to his home country of singapore for a friend’s wedding, she discovers that he is from one of the richest families in all of asia. the film then becomes about rachel seeking the approval of nick’s mother eleanor (the great michelle yeoh), who thinks someone of rachel’s lowly standing will ruin the family’s reputation.it’s a glitzy movie and it has all the warped morality of your average rom-com. the most popular rom-coms often feature much lying and manipulation by the main characters until their bad behaviour is forgiven by the time of...
Tags : a glamorous and ugly movie | film | race - movie ,film ,most ,rachel ,more ,asian ,most successful ,crazy rich a glamorous and ugly movie | film | race
let’s be honest about suicide | mental health
the fact that this ‘biggest killer of young men’ statistic is always wheeled out tells us a lot about what is driving the suicide-awareness movement. today’s focus on mental health is in part driven by the victim culture, and in particular the trend for cultivating victim status among young men. in our identity-obsessed age, depression, mental illness and suicide are among the only vestiges of victimhood available to men, in particular white middle-class men. it is true that men make up around 75 per cent of suicides. this fact is jumped on by men’s rights activists to push the idea that society hates men and is driving them to kill themselves. on the other side of the discussion, the idea that men are peculiarly vulnerable to suicide is used to denigrate the value of emotional resilience and independence, or what some refer to as ‘masculine values’. jordan stephens from the band rizzle kicks has launched a campaign that aims to show that ‘toxic masculinity’ lies behind male suicide, as though being a traditional ‘bloke’ might be akin to having a fatal disease. there is an odd alliance between modern feminism, which presents masculinity as a toxic condition, and mental-health advocates who seek to present young men as permanently vulnerable to self-harm.world suicide awareness day should focus on telling the truth about suicide. most young men won’t kill themselves because they are emotionally closed off. suicide has nothing to do with so-called toxic ma...
Tags : let’s be honest about suicide | mental health - suicide ,that ,about ,young ,mental ,among ,about suicide ,mental health ,kill themselves ,among young ,suicide awareness let’s be honest about suicide | mental health
now we know: the eu was lying about ireland | british politics | for europe, against the eu | ireland
anyone who is still defending the eu as the reasonable, honest side in the brexit negotiations must now admit they were wrong. it is scandalous that eu officials sought to profit politically from scaremongering about violence in ireland, as a way of weakening brexit, and yet now essentially admit that what brexiteers have long argued – that the border is a fixable problem. even taoiseach leo varadkar played the eu’s cynical game. having spent months warning that brexit would be bad for ireland, and would endanger border country, he now seems rather chirpy – he gave a speech to workers in donegal recently in which he said he is confident that brexit will happen quite swiftly.the eu cannot be trusted. it says one thing and means another. it has no qualms about stereotyping irish citizens as gunmen in waiting, ready to be propelled into a new round of violence by any kind of trading disagreement. and it lies, too. as kate hoey told spiked in july: ‘they’re forgetting that there is a border there already… and if you stand at the border you will see, every now and again, vehicles being stopped on either side.’ the idea that brexit would change everything in ireland was always a fallacy.technical, logical, sensible solutions to the irish border question have long been available, but the eu chose to ignore them in order to bash brexit. it exploited irish history and irish concerns to try to weaken british democracy. it sees nations as mere playthings in its power plays...
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tom watson’s dodgy diet advice | british politics | food | health | obesity
not that you would get those nuances from watson’s article. instead, he thinks that ‘one of the key culprits for this enormous rise in obesity and diabetes is sugar and the sugar industry’. yet it is not at all clear that we’re eating more sugar than in the past, so why are we fat now when we weren’t then? watson’s litany continues with a host of the usual suspects: ‘with all the hidden sugar, conflicting health advice, ultra-processed food and misleading packaging people who want to get healthy barely stand a chance… everywhere we go, whether to the supermarket, on the bus or listening to the radio in the car, we are bombarded with adverts for food that isn’t good for us’. maybe, just maybe, those people who ‘barely stand a chance’ could try copying you, tom? you have bravely turned the other cheek from the adverts for tempting but obesogenic snacks. the microwave is gathering dust and you’re pounding the pavements in your trainers. we could all try that, couldn’t we? and most of us have nowhere near seven stone to lose.nope, it has to be the government that needs to step in. watson is a big fan of former chancellor george osborne’s sugar tax, the main effect of which has been to ruin the flavour of almost all our most popular soft drinks. he would love to stop junk-food advertising. poor people have the worst health problems, so no doubt watson would dress up a crackdown on food businesses as an anti-poverty measure. watson’s success in cutti...
Tags : tom watson’s dodgy diet advice | british politics | food | health | obesity - that ,food ,have ,sugar ,watson’s ,health tom watson’s dodgy diet advice | british politics | food | health | obesity
why brexitphobes are crap campaigners | for europe, against the eu
anti-brexit campaigner and former financier gina miller proudly unveiled her new campaign this week, ‘end the chaos’, a website and series of events designed to challenge false claims and make people ‘more informed’ about the brexit process. apparently, we are a mass of infants who still don’t comprehend what we have done. the campaign was launched with a fancy photo shoot over the white cliffs of dover, in which miller gazed into the distance wearing a fitted suit jacket and complementing heels (tory power stance, eat your heart out). it was widely mocked on social media. yesterday, at the liberal democrat conference, she said, without a hint of irony, that it was time for anti-brexit campaigners to ‘put values before vanity’.miller is just the most well-known of a group of well-connected brexit haters who are as vain as they are inept at connecting with the public. since the brexit vote, there has been a slew of movements and political parties that have come and gone. remember renew, the democrats, spring? these new parties, set up by london-based lawyers, businessmen and media people, were not so much rejected by the electorate, as ignored entirely.
Tags : why brexitphobes are crap campaigners | for europe, against the eu - brexit ,miller ,anti brexit why brexitphobes are crap campaigners | for europe, against the eu
tom watson’s dodgy diet advice | british politics | food | health | obesity
not that you would get those nuances from watson’s article. instead, he thinks that ‘one of the key culprits for this enormous rise in obesity and diabetes is sugar and the sugar industry’. yet it is not at all clear that we’re eating more sugar than in the past, so why are we fat now when we weren’t then? watson’s litany continues with a host of the usual suspects: ‘with all the hidden sugar, conflicting health advice, ultra-processed food and misleading packaging people who want to get healthy barely stand a chance… everywhere we go, whether to the supermarket, on the bus or listening to the radio in the car, we are bombarded with adverts for food that isn’t good for us’. maybe, just maybe, those people who ‘barely stand a chance’ could try copying you, tom? you have bravely turned the other cheek from the adverts for tempting but obesogenic snacks. the microwave is gathering dust and you’re pounding the pavements in your trainers. we could all try that, couldn’t we? and most of us have nowhere near seven stone to lose.nope, it has to be the government that needs to step in. watson is a big fan of former chancellor george osborne’s sugar tax, the main effect of which has been to ruin the flavour of almost all our most popular soft drinks. he would love to stop junk-food advertising. poor people have the worst health problems, so no doubt watson would dress up a crackdown on food businesses as an anti-poverty measure. watson’s success in cutti...
Tags : tom watson’s dodgy diet advice | british politics | food | health | obesity - that ,food ,have ,sugar ,watson’s ,health tom watson’s dodgy diet advice | british politics | food | health | obesity
russian athletes: beyond redemption? | russia | sport
because these are not ordinary times. these are times in which russia is being transformed into the demiurge of world affairs, the trolling power behind brexit and trump, the military power behind the syrian catastrophe, and now, of course, the poisoning power behind unexplained deaths. therefore, to exonerate russia in the sporting arena just does not fit the broader narrative of russian evildoing. doping, remember, is meant to be the bane of sport, the source of its corruption, either turning the clean dirty, or turning the clean into victims. how can russia not be up to its neck in such nefarious activity? yes, the most recent notorious and successful examples of doping have emerged from within the private, entrepreneurial regions of the west, from ben johnson to the balco scandal. but, as one columnist asserted earlier this year, it is ‘russia [that] is acknowledged to have committed the sporting fraud of the century’.hence the response to wada’s conciliatory move has not been understanding, or a recognition that punishing a whole nation’s sportsmen and women might mean, as former russian president mikhail gorbachev put it, that ‘the innocent will be punished with the guilty’. no, it has been incredulity and outrage. beckie scott, former chair of wada’s athletes’ commission, reportedly left her role in protest over the recommendation to reinstate rusada. something called the uk anti-doping athlete commission has demanded the ban on rusada remains in place....
Tags : russian athletes: beyond redemption? | russia | sport - russia ,russian ,that ,sport ,doping ,because ,russian athletes ,power behind ,beyond redemption ,high heaven’ ,anti doping russian athletes: beyond redemption? | russia | sport
introducing… the brendan o’neill show | podcasts | politics
this sunday, the author and cultural rebel lionel shriver will be the first guest, on the first episode, of the brendan o’neill show. this is a new monthly podcast in which spiked’s editor will discuss today’s big ideas, and bad ideas, with the help of an esteemed thinker. listen to the trailer below, and be sure to subscribe!support the brendan o’neill show by becoming a regular donor to spiked. subscribe to the brendan o’neill show on itunes subscribe to the brendan o’neill show using rss
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the casual tyranny of the second-referendum set | british politics | for europe, against the eu
take the much-touted claim that there is significant and growing support for a second referendum and a backdoor remain vote. this is, in fact, incredibly tenuous. sir john curtice, britain’s top polling expert, notes that support for a second referendum across opinion polls varies significantly depending on how you phrase the question. ‘[p]olls that ask people whether the “public” should have a vote usually record a higher level of support than those that just ask whether there should be another referendum’, he writes. this is something best for britain, gina miller’s rearguard remain group, knows all too well. in april, a yougov poll it commissioned was trumpeted as proof that more people than not wanted a second referendum. the poll actually asked two questions: one asked if there should be a public vote on the final deal (which was rejected 44 per cent to 39 per cent), and the other asked if there should be a final say (which was accepted 44 per cent to 36 per cent). no prizes for guessing which one made the press release.what’s more, there has been no great shift in polling figures to suggest that leave voters are changing their minds on brexit, the key measure, surely, for whether or not a second referendum is justified. indeed, while there is, in a few polls, some support among leavers for a final say, this is largely a product, it seems, of their distrust of politicians to implement brexit properly. ‘they are more likely to back another ballot when it i...
Tags : the casual tyranny of the second-referendum set | british politics | for europe, against the eu - that ,second ,there ,vote ,referendum ,support ,second referendum ,there should ,leave voters ,support than the casual tyranny of the second-referendum set | british politics | for europe, against the eu
how ‘gender neutrality’ could screw up the next generation | education | feminism | parents and kids
in many parts of north america, the activities of the language police are backed up by formal and informal sanctions against individuals who refuse to alter their vocabulary. directives issued in 2015 by new york city’s commission on human rights state that employers and landlords who intentionally use the wrong pronouns with their non-binary employees or tenants can face fines of up to $250,000. last year, the governor of california endorsed a bill that threatens to reprimand health professionals who ‘wilfully and repeatedly’ decline to use a patient’s preferred pronouns.in places of work and in institutions of higher education, people face strong pressure and informal sanctions if they refuse to embrace a gender-neutral vocabulary. and it is increasingly common for management teams to provide employees with lists of words it is okay and not okay for them to use at their workplace.one of the most disturbing targets of linguistic policing are daycare centres and primary schools. the aim here is to socialise children into a gender-neutral culture, and to prevent them from adopting the language and values of preceding generations. as far back as 1995, a daycare centre at la trobe university in australia banned the use of around 20 words, including the gender-related terms ‘girl’ and ‘boy’, in order to further its mission of altering traditional sex roles. those who violated the code were forced to pay a fine and treated as if they had used a dirty word.language ...
Tags : how ‘gender neutrality’ could screw up the next generation | education | feminism | parents and kids - their ,gender ,that ,language ,child ,identity ,gender neutral ,‘sex assigned ,gender neutrality ,phrase ‘sex ,their child ,gender neutral culture how ‘gender neutrality’ could screw up the next generation | education | feminism | parents and kids
the crash 10 years on | economy
the financial crisis was then in full flow. governments, led by the us, stepped in to bail out banks and other businesses caught up in the recession. central banks pumped liquidity into the markets to prevent a complete financial collapse. historian adam tooze, in his book crashed, appropriately summarised that the financial crisis was met with a ‘mobilisation of state action without precedent in the history of capitalism’.the mythical rise and fall of market fundamentalismhowever, the ensuing narrative of a ‘return of the state’ after decades of neoliberalism is a fiction. when tooze went on to write that, ‘gone were the days when economic policy was about shrinking the state to set free the spontaneous order of market liberty’, he succumbed to the story, promoted ever since the reagan and thatcher years, of a triumph of the ‘free market’.that never happened. the state never withdrew from economic intervention. public spending hardly ever fell. the regulation of markets just continued to roll forward. even the famed ‘deregulation’ of financial services represented an active state policy to promote financialisation in the place of previous productive activities.the strength and durability of that ‘neoliberal’ free-market narrative derives from politics, not from economics. it is a story adhered to by a strange alliance of the old left and the old right. the old left propagated it as an explanation for the political defeats it suffered in the 1980s and ...
Tags : the crash 10 years on | economy - that ,economic ,from ,this ,change ,been ,economic thinking ,economic crises ,from politics ,free market ,financial crisis the crash 10 years on | economy
‘facebook groups are not full of hate’ | free speech | interviews | science and technology
spiked: one of the key proposals in the bill is to make moderators responsible for what is published in the groups they manage. what are the implications of this?bartlett: it is essentially the same problem: finding a small problem and inadvertently punishing lots of innocent people with the ‘solution’. so when it comes to holding moderators to account, i understand the idea, you do have facebook groups where hateful, malicious, untrue content is being shared. but if you put the responsibility for that on to a moderator, you’re going to end up landing all sorts of helpless, hapless hobbyists with the same level of legal responsibility as a newspaper editor. these groups might not even be ‘hateful’. let’s say you run a health-support group and someone goes on to your forum and starts posting nonsense. you, the busy mum, who is just running this group in her spare time, suddenly has all these legal responsibilities to work out if a post is a breach of copyright or if is it slander against somebody. so you’re going to force millions of people, ordinary, busy folk, to take on these complex legal duties without any money, knowledge or support.i have spent a lot of time researching ‘pro-anorexia’ groups, for example. these are troubling groups in lots of ways but most of them are run by young women with anorexia, who suffer from serious health conditions. with this law, these teenage girls would suddenly be responsible for all the content that is posted on their f...
Tags : ‘facebook groups are not full of hate’ | free speech | interviews | science and technology - that ,this ,groups ,these ,what ,about ,these groups ,look like ,about what ,free speech ,you’re going ‘facebook groups are not full of hate’ | free speech | interviews | science and technology
westminster’s war on the web | for europe, against the eu | free speech | podcasts | social media | sport
on this week’s spiked podcast, ella whelan, luke gittos and fraser myers discuss how the online forums bill threatens free speech, why brexit is what’s really dividing the tory party, and what the serena williams saga says about feminism’s addiction to victimhood. support the spiked podcast by becoming a regular donor. subscribe to our podcasts using rss subscribe to our podcasts on itunes
Tags : westminster’s war on the web | for europe, against the eu | free speech | podcasts | social media | sport - podcasts ,free speech ,spiked podcast westminster’s war on the web | for europe, against the eu | free speech | podcasts | social media | sport
‘facebook groups are not full of hate’ | free speech | interviews | science and technology
spiked: one of the key proposals in the bill is to make moderators responsible for what is published in the groups they manage. what are the implications of this?bartlett: it is essentially the same problem: finding a small problem and inadvertently punishing lots of innocent people with the ‘solution’. so when it comes to holding moderators to account, i understand the idea, you do have facebook groups where hateful, malicious, untrue content is being shared. but if you put the responsibility for that on to a moderator, you’re going to end up landing all sorts of helpless, hapless hobbyists with the same level of legal responsibility as a newspaper editor. these groups might not even be ‘hateful’. let’s say you run a health-support group and someone goes on to your forum and starts posting nonsense. you, the busy mum, who is just running this group in her spare time, suddenly has all these legal responsibilities to work out if a post is a breach of copyright or if is it slander against somebody. so you’re going to force millions of people, ordinary, busy folk, to take on these complex legal duties without any money, knowledge or support.i have spent a lot of time researching ‘pro-anorexia’ groups, for example. these are troubling groups in lots of ways but most of them are run by young women with anorexia, who suffer from serious health conditions. with this law, these teenage girls would suddenly be responsible for all the content that is posted on their f...
Tags : ‘facebook groups are not full of hate’ | free speech | interviews | science and technology - that ,this ,groups ,these ,what ,about ,these groups ,look like ,about what ,free speech ,you’re going ‘facebook groups are not full of hate’ | free speech | interviews | science and technology
into the valley of the fallen | arts & culture | books & essays
on 24 august this year, the socialist government of spain legislated to exhume general franco from his tomb at valle de los caídos, near madrid. the valle de los caídos basilica was built by franco as a symbol of both reconciliation and conquest and it became his tomb in 1975. his remains are now being exhumed and relocated, ostensibly to prevent franco supporters gathering, as they have done over the years, to pay respects to spain’s former dictator. in truth, the move to relocate franco’s remains is not about paramilitary displays causing disorder or resurgent militaristic catholicism, neither of which have been a threat since the failed coup of 1981; it is a chance for the socialists to posture against the hated fascist dictator, albeit posthumously enacted. this move is part of the recent trend to erase symbolic history in the us, austria and ukraine and south africa.publication of a new translation of carlos rojas’s seminal 1978 novel el valle de los caídos – the valley of the fallen – could not be timelier. written in the aftermath of franco’s death, the novel blends the turbulent and sometimes barbarous history of spain in a meditation on parallels between two eras: the last years of the bourbon monarchy, and the twilight of the francoist era. we encounter goya, court painter, talking to the king, fernando vii. rojas recounts stories from the napoleonic wars of iberia and the thoughts of the elderly goya. the other thread of the novel is the domestic lif...
Tags : into the valley of the fallen | arts & culture | books & essays - goya ,with ,that ,which ,franco ,goya’s ,both sides ,napoleon’s troops into the valley of the fallen | arts & culture | books & essays
into the valley of the fallen | arts & culture | books & essays
on 24 august this year, the socialist government of spain legislated to exhume general franco from his tomb at valle de los caídos, near madrid. the valle de los caídos basilica was built by franco as a symbol of both reconciliation and conquest and it became his tomb in 1975. his remains are now being exhumed and relocated ostensibly to prevent franco supporters gathering, as they have done over the years, to pay respects to the former dictator of spain. in truth, it is not about paramilitary displays causing disorder or resurgent militaristic catholicism, neither of which have been a threat since the failed coup of 1981; it is a chance for the socialists to posture against the hated fascist dictator, albeit posthumously enacted. this move is part of the recent trend to erase symbolic history in the us, austria and ukraine and south africa.publication of a new translation of carlos rojas’s seminal 1978 novel el valle de los caídos – valley of the fallen – could not be timelier. written in the aftermath of franco’s death, the novel blends the turbulent and sometimes barbarous history of spain in a meditation on parallels between two eras: the last years of the bourbon monarchy and the twilight of the francoist era. we encounter goya, court painter, talking to the king, fernando vii. rojas recounts stories from the napoleonic wars of iberia and the thoughts of the elderly goya. the other thread of the novel is the domestic life of sandro, a biographer of goya living...
Tags : into the valley of the fallen | arts & culture | books & essays - goya ,with ,that ,which ,franco ,were ,both sides ,napoleon’s troops into the valley of the fallen | arts & culture | books & essays
exiting the eu cult | british politics | for europe, against the eu
shakespearean snobberyaside from the needless and intrusive lefty allusions to today’s politics, with obvious and annoying references to brexit and the #metoo movement, the third series of upstart crow has been as fun as the previous two. the comedy, which stars david mitchell as william shakespeare, has as its main theme the bard’s run-ins with robert greene (played by mark heap), the university-educated wit and dramatist who forever taunts the grammar-school boy from the midlands. it’s written by ben elton, and like his other creation, blackadder, it is chiefly about snobbery and the obstacles that face the lower middle classes.so how appropriate that wednesday’s episode featured ben miller playing a character that lampoons the actor mark rylance. rylance, like derek jacobi, vanessa redgrave and others, is one of those people who believes that shakespeare did not write the plays ascribed to him. these shakespeare conspiracy theorists believe someone from such a humble background, with such a rudimentary education, could never possibly have written such works of genius – they must have been penned by sir francis bacon or the 17th earl of oxford or some other ‘posh bloke’, as the upstart crow character, bottom, would say.this is pure snobbery. yes, shakespeare’s grasp of latin was tenuous and his geography was terrible. he was also a notorious pilferer of nordic sagas and italian dramas. but all of this points precisely to a wily, crafty, modestly educated cha...
Tags : exiting the eu cult | british politics | for europe, against the eu - that ,language ,shakespeare ,this ,when ,from ,their language ,upstart crow exiting the eu cult | british politics | for europe, against the eu
why students *heart* stalin | down with campus censorship! | education | free speech
on monday, the lgbtq+ society at goldsmiths, university of london, tweeted in defence of soviet-era gulags. stalin’s forced labour camps, it said, would be an ideal mechanism for ‘dealing’ with terfs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists). far from being a brutal penal system with a high mortality rate, they were a ‘compassionate and non-violent’ form of rehabilitation, said goldsmiths lgbtq+, adding: ‘educational work was also a prominent feature of the soviet penal system. there were regular classes, book clubs, newspaper editorial teams, sports, theatre and performance groups.’ it concluded that terfs could be ‘eradicated through education’.since these bizarre tweets, goldsmiths lgbtq+ has been suspended and disaffiliated from the students’ union, (although whether its members will be sent on a diversity-awareness training day is unclear).on the one hand, it is hard to take such nonsense seriously. a key part of university for some undergraduates is the chance to talk rubbish in university debating forums, college rags or on the internet. a free and open society should be able to tolerate the young saying foolish things without taking it very seriously. in another era, it is doubtful whether this incident would make a local paper, let alone grab the attention of broadsheet editors, who then commission spreads on the ‘reality’ of gulags.yet, on the other hand, the very real hounding of radical feminists who refuse to acknowledge trans women as real b...
Tags : why students *heart* stalin | down with campus censorship! | education | free speech - goldsmiths ,from ,that ,college ,feminists ,terfs ,college campuses ,goldsmiths lgbqt ,that terfs ,goldsmiths lgbtq ,from being why students *heart* stalin | down with campus censorship! | education | free speech
crashed: no light at the end of the tunnel | books & essays | economy
yet only nine months after lehman’s collapse, the bank for international settlements, the central bankers’ central bank, had already gone further than crashed does in identifying different possible explanations. these included, among others, the claim that a protracted period of low interest rates had created the basis for asset-price bubbles to emerge in areas such as property. another argument was that a build-up of international imbalances, such as the huge us trade deficit and the chinese surplus, played an important role in destabilising markets.tooze should, of course, be free to reject such explanations in favour of those he prefers. but nowhere in crashed is there a methodical examination of the causes of the crisis. there is certainly nothing comparable to the argument put forward by phil mullan previously on spiked. for mullan, the lehman crisis was a manifestation of problems that had been brewing in western economies for several decades. writing on the 10th anniversary of the financial problems that preceded lehman, he argued that, ‘dramatic as the events of summer 2007 were, their real significance was not that they were the start of a financial crisis, but rather that they looked like the end of the protracted second act of the long depression’.for mullan, the long depression dated back to the slowdown in investment and productivity growth in the 1970s. although this initially caused a shock in the mid-1970s and early 1980s, by the end of the 1980s weste...
Tags : crashed: no light at the end of the tunnel | books & essays | economy - that ,financial ,crisis ,from ,this ,tooze ,financial crisis ,felt estranged ,subsequent events ,lehman’s collapse ,they were crashed: no light at the end of the tunnel | books & essays | economy
the eu’s shameful crusade against hungary | europe | for europe, against the eu | politics
for some time now, hungary has been the target of a witch-hunt led by an alliance of euro-federalists and cosmopolitan politicians. the aim of their propaganda campaign has been to delegitimise the hungarian government by portraying it as a xenophobic, quasi-fascist entity that threatens to undermine democracy across the continent of europe. this campaign of vilification against hungary has to some extent proved successful. hence a significant section of the european parliament voted today to punish hungary. for the first time ever, this institution has unleashed the eu disciplinary process, known as article 7, against a member state.the anti-hungary motion passed by eu parliamentarians is based on a report by a dutch parliamentarian, judith sargentini. anyone reading this report without being familiar with the real situation in hungary would indeed be horrified by the picture it paints. according to sargentini, freedom and democracy are under threat in hungary; she and others insist hungary has become a human-rights disaster area.in truth, hungary is nothing like the horror story promoted in the sargentini report. like other countries it has its share of problems, of course. some of the policies pursued by viktor orban’s government can be criticised. however, for all these problems, hungary is no less democratic and no less free than other european nation states.in line with the current political fashion, hungary stands accused of failing to respect the rights of its roma ...
Tags : the eu’s shameful crusade against hungary | europe | for europe, against the eu | politics - hungary ,this ,against ,sargentini ,problems ,roma ,european parliament ,against hungary the eu’s shameful crusade against hungary | europe | for europe, against the eu | politics
crashed: no light at the end of the tunnel | books & essays | economy
yet only nine months after lehman’s collapse, the bank for international settlements, the central bankers’ central bank, had already gone further than crashed does in identifying different possible explanations. these included, among others, the claim that a protracted period of low interest rates had created the basis for asset-price bubbles to emerge in areas such as property. another argument was that a build-up of international imbalances, such as the huge us trade deficit and the chinese surplus, played an important role in destabilising markets.tooze should, of course, be free to reject such explanations in favour of those he prefers. but nowhere in crashed is there a methodical examination of the causes of the crisis. there is certainly nothing comparable to the argument put forward by phil mullan previously on spiked. for mullan, the lehman crisis was a manifestation of problems that had been brewing in western economies for several decades. writing on the 10th anniversary of the financial problems that preceded lehman, he argued that, ‘dramatic as the events of summer 2007 were, their real significance was not that they were the start of a financial crisis, but rather that they looked like the end of the protracted second act of the long depression’.for mullan, the long depression dated back to the slowdown in investment and productivity growth in the 1970s. although this initially caused a shock in the mid-1970s and early 1980s, by the end of the 1980s weste...
Tags : crashed: no light at the end of the tunnel | books & essays | economy - that ,financial ,crisis ,from ,this ,tooze ,financial crisis ,felt estranged ,subsequent events ,lehman’s collapse ,they were crashed: no light at the end of the tunnel | books & essays | economy
crashed: no light at the end of the tunnel | books & essays | economy
yet only nine months after lehman’s collapse, the bank for international settlements, the central bankers’ central bank, had already gone further than crashed does in identifying different possible explanations. these included, among others, the claim that a protracted period of low interest rates had created the basis for asset-price bubbles to emerge in areas such as property. another argument was that a build-up of international imbalances, such as the huge us trade deficit and the chinese surplus, played an important role in destabilising markets.tooze should, of course, be free to reject such explanations in favour of those he prefers. but nowhere in crashed is there a methodical examination of the causes of the crisis. there is certainly nothing comparable to the argument put forward by phil mullan previously on spiked. for mullan, the lehman crisis was a manifestation of problems that had been brewing in western economies for several decades. writing on the 10th anniversary of the financial problems that preceded lehman, he argued that, ‘dramatic as the events of summer 2007 were, their real significance was not that they were the start of a financial crisis, but rather that they looked like the end of the protracted second act of the long depression’.for mullan, the long depression dated back to the slowdown in investment and productivity growth in the 1970s. although this initially caused a shock in the mid-1970s and early 1980s, by the end of the 1980s weste...
Tags : crashed: no light at the end of the tunnel | books & essays | economy - that ,financial ,crisis ,from ,this ,tooze ,financial crisis ,felt estranged ,subsequent events ,lehman’s collapse ,they were crashed: no light at the end of the tunnel | books & essays | economy
serena, that cartoon and the truth about bigotry | australia | race | sport
hating or mocking australians is all the rage in certain circles in the anglosphere. especially in britain, where looking down on down under has been acceptable and even fashionable for a great many years. very often, the things that britain’s cosmopolitan pseudo-liberals feel they can no longer say about the less well-educated sections of their own society – that they are vulgar and ignorant – they say about australians instead. in these pc times, when you can’t just go about calling working-class britons savages, sneering at australia sometimes becomes a substitute for that old elitist disgust for the lower orders. anti-australian bigotry is the methadone to yesteryear’s smack of insulting britain’s own proletariat.it helps, of course, that some australians are descended from british convicts: our worst people cast out to procreate in a strange land, as many elitists in the uk have seen it. these days, australia is typically fretted over for its ‘crimes’ against correct-think as defined by the new cultural elites. it is slammed for its lingering masculinity; its climate of anti-political correctness; its stubborn and huge coal industry when the rest of us are going renewable; its whiteness. ‘the ugly face of oz’, was the title of an essay in the guardian a few years back. it charged aussies with being sexist and racist. australian men are the ‘most unreconstructed’ in the world apparently. there is also a cult of ‘extreme anti-science’ and a dise...
Tags : serena, that cartoon and the truth about bigotry | australia | race | sport - that ,with ,anti ,people ,about ,australians ,anti racism ,serena cartoon ,australian bigotry ,anti australian ,down under ,anti australian bigotry serena, that cartoon and the truth about bigotry | australia | race | sport
the eu’s shameful crusade against hungary | europe | for europe, against the eu | politics
for some time now, hungary has been the target of a witch-hunt led by an alliance of euro-federalists and cosmopolitan politicians. the aim of their propaganda campaign has been to delegitimise the hungarian government by portraying it as a xenophobic, quasi-fascist entity that threatens to undermine democracy across the continent of europe. this campaign of vilification against hungary has to some extent proved successful. hence why a significant section of the european parliament voted today to punish hungary. for the first time ever, this institution has unleashed the eu disciplinary process, known as article 7, against a member state.the anti-hungary motion passed by eu parliamentarians is based on a report by a dutch parliamentarian, judith sargentini. anyone reading this report without being familiar with the real situation in hungary would indeed be horrified by the picture it paints. according to sargentini, freedom and democracy are under threat in hungary; she and others insist hungary has become a human-rights disaster area.in truth, hungary is nothing like the horror story promoted in the sargentini report. like other countries it has its share of problems, of course. some of the policies pursued by viktor orban’s government can be criticised. however, for all these problems, hungary is no less democratic and no less free than other european nation states.in line with the current political fashion, hungary stands accused of failing to respect the rights of its r...
Tags : the eu’s shameful crusade against hungary | europe | for europe, against the eu | politics - hungary ,this ,against ,sargentini ,problems ,roma ,european parliament ,against hungary the eu’s shameful crusade against hungary | europe | for europe, against the eu | politics
‘get boris?’ it’s another backdoor plan to stop brexit | british politics | for europe, against the eu
those threatening ‘civil war’ over johnson are fighting under false flags. the truly historic issue at stake here is brexit. the ‘stop boris’ campaign is another thinly disguised attempt to stop brexit, by rubbishing the leading tory politician who, for better or worse, is most prominently associated with the vote to leave the eu, albeit as a late recruit to the cause.why else would remainers have appeared so outraged by johnson comparing muslim women in burkas to letterboxes (in an article arguing against bans on the niqab), when others had made the same joke with impunity? why else would a tory remainer and former minister hysterically condemn as ‘one of the most disgusting moments in modern british politics’ johnson’s reasonable suggestion in another newspaper article that may’s chequers proposal has ‘wrapped a suicide vest around the british constitution’? are all politicians now to be banned from using any warlike or violent rhetorical imagery, from ‘bombshell’ or ‘sniping’ to ‘shoot from the hip’ or ‘stabbed in the back’, in case it might offend a victim? or is boris a special case?and why else would the sad announcement of johnson’s impending divorce trigger such a sudden and gleeful outpouring of ‘bonking boris’ stories, many apparently based on a dirty dossier compiled by theresa may’s staff around the tory leadership contest that followed the 2016 eu referendum?no, this ‘civil war’ is all about the battle over brexit a...
Tags : ‘get boris?’ it’s another backdoor plan to stop brexit | british politics | for europe, against the eu - that ,brexit ,tory ,british ,party ,would ,over brexit ,else would ,british politics ,lines that ,that will ‘get boris?’ it’s another backdoor plan to stop brexit | british politics | for europe, against the eu
it is now a thoughtcrime to criticise transgenderism | education | feminism | free speech
professors are facing calls to be sacked for holding impure thoughts. no, not in the long-forgotten past. not in saudi arabia or some other fundamentalist state or totalitarian regime. here, in the uk, in 2018. the accused – all of whom are women – would once have been burned for heresy. now their names are added to secret lists. universities are warned that they are harbouring dangerous blasphemers. the crime of these modern-day heretics is defending women’s rights. one, professor rosa freedman, an expert in human-rights law at the university of reading, has argued that biological males should not have access to women’s refuges. another, professor kathleen stock, from the university of sussex, has questioned – merely questioned – whether the category of woman should be expanded to include men who identify as women. for this, they have been accused of spreading ‘hate speech’ and have been branded a threat to the safety of students.according to a report in the times, trans-activist natacha kennedy is behind a blacklist of academics who challenge the view that biological men can be women. the now infamous list, gathered together on a closed facebook group, provides targets for transgender activists. activists can then attack these targets’ jobs by organising student boycotts or filing complaints and hate-crime reports.all the targets of kennedy’s campaign are women. it is hard to see the crusade against them as anything other than misogynistic. freedman told...
Tags : it is now a thoughtcrime to criticise transgenderism | education | feminism | free speech - women ,that ,have ,woman ,trans ,activists ,have been ,free speech ,view that ,that biological ,impure thoughts it is now a thoughtcrime to criticise transgenderism | education | feminism | free speech
#metoo and the end of redemption | feminism | film
but is it really the ‘right thing’ to try to damage the career of an ex-offender? striegel served his time nearly a decade ago. he deserves a second chance and to be allowed to move on with his life. readers of spiked will be familiar with how the presumption of innocence has been corroded in the #metoo era. what we are also witnessing is a loss of faith in redemption. this casting out of a former offender as a ‘problematic figure’ harks back to a pre-modern view of people as somehow tainted or spoiled for life by a single bad deed. to continue punishing striegel for his past would not deliver justice, but vengeance.what’s worse, you do not even have to have committed a crime to be deemed irredeemable by the judges and juries of the #metoo kangaroo court. last year, five women told the new york times that louis ck had asked them permission to take out his penis. he would then take off his clothes and masturbate in front of them. ck admitted to this. the punishment for this non-crime was swift: the premiere of his film, i love you daddy, was cancelled, the channel hosting his hit show, louis, cut all ties with him, and hbo removed all his material from its streaming services.this stalinist erasure of his oeuvre was not punishment enough for some – or at least, not permanent enough. when ck made a surprise comeback at new york’s comedy cellar a week ago, outrage ensued. ‘we try to cut men like him out of public life, but nine months later, we get a call with the...
Tags : #metoo and the end of redemption | feminism | film - with ,this ,metoo ,that ,life ,redemption ,york times #metoo and the end of redemption | feminism | film
why sweden’s populist moment matters | europe
‘a lot of people still think sweden exists, that citizenship is a legitimate idea and that national community and national culture matter. like in many western countries, sweden has an elite that has overinvested in globalism and underinvested in ordinary politics at the national level – the elite has forgotten that the only democracy we have takes place within the nation state.’arguably one of the most significant outcomes of this election is that it has opened up a debate about a hitherto taboo subject – immigration and multiculturalism.as jonathan friedman, a sweden-based american anthropologist, explains that until recently anyone who raised questions about immigration policy was shut down with the remark, ‘you are a racist’. but thanks to the growing momentum behind the sweden democrats’ campaign, many of the other parties have been forced to discuss and debate the immigration issue. at least for now, it will not be possible to de-legitimise attempts to challenge prevailing immigration and integration policies.the problem of integrationcontrary to hysterical media reports, swedish citizens, including supporters of the sweden democrats, are not hardline xenophobes and racists. they are principally concerned not with immigration, but with multiculturalism and its negative impact on community cohesion. even many immigrants and their children recognise that far more needs to be done to integrate newcomers in sweden. the policy of multiculturalism impedes such e...
Tags : why sweden’s populist moment matters | europe - sweden ,that ,have ,democrats ,with ,sweden’s ,sweden democrats ,democrats have ,populist moment ,sweden democrats’ ,21st century why sweden’s populist moment matters | europe
down with compulsory calorie-counting! | british politics | food | health
the proposal, if implemented, would mean that one of the joys of dining out – the escape from the concerns of everyday living, including issues of diet – would be lost. the government will be metaphorically tapping us on the shoulder and saying: ‘are you sure about that dessert? look at the calories!’ the aim is to induce guilt, and by extension abstinence. some in government are raising concerns about the proposal – albeit for the wrong reasons. the treasury has apparently expressed reservations. it is worried that the costs of this policy to small businesses will be prohibitive. if takeaways and cafes have to reprint their menus each time they add a new dish or change an old dish, the additional cost might lead to job losses, the treasury says. the problem here is that the treasury is implying that if the proposal were not to have economic consequences for businesses, it would be worth supporting. where is the principled questioning of this latest act of government interference in our lives?fortunately, some people are able to see that there is more to dining out than an opportunity to advance a public-health agenda. margot henderson, the chef-owner at rochelle canteen and rochelle ica in london, shares the treasury’s fears about the economic impact on small businesses, but she also made a bigger point. the government’s plan ‘sends all the wrong messages and it takes away the joy of dining to be thinking about your diet when you’re going out for a lovely l...
Tags : down with compulsory calorie-counting! | british politics | food | health - that ,about ,treasury ,businesses ,dining ,would ,small businesses down with compulsory calorie-counting! | british politics | food | health
stop using women to try to kill off brexit
for more than two years, some permanently disgruntled remainers have been trying to overturn the brexit vote. first there was blind rage: the monkeys are running the zoo, they claimed. then they tried reasoning – poor, ill-informed voters didn’t know what they were voting for, they argued. they tried bargaining – we need a say on the brexit deal in order to make sure democracy has been properly carried out, they insisted. and of course there were the threats – if we leave without a deal, the world will end.having failed to overthrow the largest democratic vote in british history with these methods, the organisers of the profoundly misnamed ‘people’s vote’ campaign are now trying a new tactic: they are using women to try to break brexit.last week, women for a people’s vote held its launch event. there were speeches from the president of for our future’s sake (or ffs, as the cool kids call it), arch remainer rachel johnson, and – you guessed it – alastair campbell’s daughter grace. the level of insight at the event was summed up by campbell jnr using a dining metaphor for brexit: ‘we should be able to change our order. it tastes like shit and this isn’t what we ordered.’ among the lies pushed by these female anti-democrats was the claim that brexit would deepen the (mythical) gender pay-gap, that almost one million women’s jobs might be negatively affected by brexit, and that brexit will mean women ‘losing protection on equal pay, maternity pay...
Tags : stop using women to try to kill off brexit - women ,brexit ,they ,that ,women’s ,british ,that brexit ,women’s rights ,people’s vote ,using women ,there were stop using women to try to kill off brexit
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