Simon Jenkins's Blog

January 27, 2015

Today’s Facebook suspension shows how vulnerable digital information is – penetrable by hackers, governments or subject to random failures

OMG Facebook is down! Down too went Instagram. It was just for an hour this morning, but the tweets screamed “Do I have to talk to someone real?”

In a manner of speaking, yes. Despite the hackers of Lizard Squad claiming credit, it is now clear that an outage at Facebook’s HQ was responsible. But the confusion was understandable after Lizard Squad had in rec...

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Published on January 27, 2015 02:57

January 22, 2015

Quantitative easing will simply bury money in commercial bank vaults, when it is cash in circulation that’s desperately needed

Live blog: Thursday’s developments in the eurozone

At last the euro’s lords and masters have accepted that something must be done about their zone’s lamentable growth. They will unleash a massive bond-buying programme totalling a reported €1tn. The former BBC economic pundit Stephanie Flanders told the world it was “Santa Claus time”; the European Central Bank (ECB) h...

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Published on January 22, 2015 03:19

January 21, 2015

The longer we wait for the inquiry, the less we care about the outcome. Such reports should be immediate and quick, whatever the risks of unfairness

The best war inquiry was into the Charge of the Light Brigade. It was conducted by the poet Alfred Tennyson in eight weeks, and reached a one-line conclusion, “Someone had blunder’d.” It has never been bettered.

Everyone knows who blundered in Iraq. It was Tony Blair. Mild interest may still attach to the question, why? But no one is sitting in an...

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Published on January 21, 2015 11:22

January 20, 2015

The Sun’s Page 3 was about as arousing as an ankle at a Victorian dance. It has outlived its editorial purpose. Yet sex still sells

The Sun calls time on topless models after 44 years

So it’s farewell nipples. They are to vanish – from the Sun’s Page 3. So they will remain online, except in the Daily Star, except in a hundred magazines and a thousand “tasteful” fashion shoots. So what next?

Children are already pixelated. What about female (and male) bottoms, singers’ crotch shots, David Beckh...

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Published on January 20, 2015 04:02

January 14, 2015

The nation surely deserves a party of the left – and a real choice when it goes to the polls

There is the moment in an election campaign when I crave a choice, not an echo. That moment is now. For starters, I want a real Labour party. I know what the Tories are about. I have watched them at it for years. But against them the nation surely deserves a party of what is conventionally called the left. Where is it?

The new politics suggests we focus not on policies but on groups, tribes, interests....

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Published on January 14, 2015 11:41

January 13, 2015

Drug companies and critically ill patients cannot be left to dictate how the NHS allocates its scarce resources

Another NHS chicken comes squawking home to roost. Cancer drugs are effectively free at the point of use, so the relevant government agency, Nice, must ration which ones it licenses for prescription.

This rules out the most expensive and least cost-effective. Along comes politics in the form of David Cameron at the last election, pledging a separate “Cancer Drugs Fund” (CDF) to pay fo...

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Published on January 13, 2015 01:20

January 7, 2015

Terrorists can kill and maim, but they cannot topple governments. We must not hand them victory by treating this massacre as an act of war

Why does it happen? Whenever a political outrage is committed, the sensible question is to ask: what does its perpetrator want? What reaction does he seek, and what does he not seek?

Continue reading...
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Published on January 07, 2015 06:36 • 1 view

January 6, 2015

Rationing supply of care by payment may offend tradition, but rationing by chaos is cruel

NHS A&E crisis worst ever, new figures show: Politics Live blog

Politicians have gone mad. The NHS is to be rescued with £2bn from the banks (Tories), with £2.5bn from cigarettes (Labour), with £1.5bn from London mansions (Labour), with the same £1.5bn for Scottish nurses (Scottish Labour) or with £8bn “from the proceeds of growth” (the Lib Dems). Or it can always be res...

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Published on January 06, 2015 02:19 • 1 view

January 1, 2015

Creative types have the confidence to take risks. And they understand that money isn’t everything

Anthony Ward Thomas, of Ward Thomas Removals, has a problem that he shares with the public. After a life spent turning a man with a van into a multimillion-pound firm, he finds his children are not interested in taking over. “They have different interests,” he says. He is sad, but agrees “there should be no divine right that they get the business”. They should make their own way in the world....

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Published on January 01, 2015 08:10 • 2 views

December 30, 2014

The best way to honour the right-to-die campaigner would be for MPs to push through Lord Falconer’s dignity in dying bill

Poll: Should assisted dying for the terminally ill be legalised

The life and death by starvation of the right-to-die campaigner, Debbie Purdy, should be celebrated by the Commons passing the House of Lords’ “dignity in dying” bill forthwith. An overwhelming majority of the public – 60-70% – wants it. The weight of legal and ethical opinion wants it. Eighty of the great an...

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Published on December 30, 2014 02:47 • 1 view

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