Why ‘pleb’ actually matters

So the Andrew Mitchell road-show keeps rumbling along with any signs of coming to a resolution and yet the more I read of the political exchanges and media coverage the more it seems to me that those involved in keeping this issue going have lost sight of the […]

So what has Mehdi Hasan actually learned?

Is is bravery or masochism that’s prompted Medhi Hasan to jump straight back into the fire by regaling the world with his list of “10 Things I Learned From Debating Abortion On Twitter“? Who knows for sure, but as the article is up at HuffPo I suppose the […]

How not to debate abortion

Okay, so while I was tackling Deborah Orr’s misconceived view of the abortion debate, Mehdi Hassan was stirring up a shit storm of his own at the New Statesman with an article entitled ‘Being pro-life doesn’t make me any less of a lefty‘. Maybe it does, maybe it […]

Deborah Orr and the Abortion Debate

I could, I suspect, be forgiven for being more than just a little bit irritated with Deborah Orr’s comments on the seemingly never-ending abortion debate, which she kicks off with the following observations… Oh, Lord, the right to choose. There’s no more powerful and predictable way to invite […]

Maria Miller, Abortion and ‘Common Sense’.

The current upper limit for legal elective abortions (24 weeks gestation) is back in the news, yet again, courtesy of an article by Channel 4’s Cathy Newman at the Papal Telegraph’s new ‘Wonder Woman’ blog section – and, no, having looked over the section there’s not of hint […]

DfE phonics testing: Questionable data, Questionable validity.

Last week’s release of the results of the DfE’s new phonics test for six and seven year olds was, when it hit the media, predictably a matter of choosing whether your glass was half full or half empty. The BBC, perhaps unsurprisingly, fell quickly into line with the […]

R. vs Catt – is eight years too harsh?

On Monday, as has been widely reported, a 35 year old woman from North Yorkshire, Sarah Louise Catt, was sentenced to eight years imprisonment after pleading guilty to a, thankfully, extremely rare offence under s58 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. 58. Administering drugs or using […]

Why I can’t support the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill

Most people will be aware of the aphorism that ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’, fewer will be aware of the fact that there is quite a solid body of psychological research literature which suggests that there is considerable truth in that statement. In particular, […]

A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Libel Court

Only yesterday I noticed this rather curious report in the Press Gazette… A solicitor failed in an attempt to sue a political blogger for defamation and malicious falsehood when a judge decided that the words of which he complained could not be held to refer to him. The […]

Roger Finbow… meet Barbara Streisand.

According to the Guardian, things don’t seem to going too well for Michael Gove’s flagship free schools programme in Suffolk: There are around 10,600 empty school places in Suffolk. Or, to put it another way, if 10 average-sized secondary schools were closed down, there would still be a […]