The real ‘chilling effect’ of Prince Charles lobbying government

Prince Charles has vowed to ‘bombard ministers with his political views’, which is no surprise. But the attempt to force publication of the future monarch’s missives has confirmed that Prince Charles’ views are such that, if they were revealed, the resulting furore would leave the monarchy ‘seriously damaged’. This is the chilling effect argument that fear of future disclosure Continue reading

Only Muslims can save the world from the Taleban

The Taleban’s attempted assassination of Malala Yousufzai, a fourteen year old school girl, is rightly winning headlines but it’s worth remembering that Malala Yousafza is only the latest of a great many victims of the Taleban’s campaign to frighten Pakistanis off educating girls. They have destroyed many schools and murdered many teachers and others as part of their campaign to Continue reading

Tobacco industry goes against own ‘common sense’ to launch brand-conscious cigarettes

Just as Imperial Tobacco is launching trendy Davidoff iD cigarettes with a cute slide mechanism that reveals specially commissioned art, so Japan Tobacco International is making the case that ‘common sense and evidence say [plain packaging] won’t work’. Cigarettes have always been about lifestyle. I’ve never smoked, but I can see how cool the Continue reading

On Iranians mistaking Onion for real news

Iran’s premier news agency went from FARS to farce over the weekend, after not only mistaking an article in satirical magazine The Onion for real news, but also plagiarising it. The article claimed a Gallup poll had found 77 percent of rural whites prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama. FARS apology is long on mitigation, highlighting how everyone (particularly British media, Continue reading