Prostitution: the only answer is legalisation

by Stephen Tall on January 30, 2005

[Please note: owing to the nature of the subject matter this article contains some explicit material.] If you turn to page 30 of Saturday’s Oxford Mail, there are 13 adverts for what this family newspaper euphemistically terms ‘Adult services’. Maybe (…)

Read the rest of this entry »

Oxford University – let’s make nice

by Stephen Tall on January 27, 2005

If you put the terms ‘Oxford University’ and ‘whipping boy’ into the Google search engine it returns 656 possible websites. (Well, 657 now.) This compares with an incidence of 521 hits for Harvard and 410 for Cambridge, while Keele ‘Googlewhacks’ (…)

Read the rest of this entry »

Why we shouldn’t ban smoking in public places

by Stephen Tall on January 25, 2005

As a liberal I don’t believe governments – local or national – should intrude into an individual’s lifestyle choice unless it can be proven that that choice is harming other people’s lives. The obvious retort from the health lobby, and (…)

Read the rest of this entry »

Firing the starter’s gun for the general election

by Stephen Tall on January 23, 2005

Forget the starter’s orders, the gun’s been fired. Yes, it’s official, the 2005 general election race is under way. The conventional wisdom goes like this: Labour’s cruising to a third landslide victory, the Tories haven’t got a hope, the Liberal (…)

Read the rest of this entry »

‘Yeah but, no but’ and the Great British drinking problem

by Stephen Tall on January 22, 2005

What is it about Britain that makes the term ‘drinking culture’ quite so oxymoronic? A brisk walk down through the centre of Oxford (and brisk is the advisable pace) on a Friday or Saturday night reveals the problem. Shouting, fighting, (…)

Read the rest of this entry »

After Inauguration – will it get better from here on in?

by Stephen Tall on January 20, 2005

“Americans of every party and background, Americans by choice and by birth, are bound to one another in the cause of freedom. We have known divisions, which must be healed to move forward in great purposes. And I will strive (…)

Read the rest of this entry »

Higher education funding: pulling the rabbit out of the hat

by Stephen Tall on January 17, 2005

Higher education funding will be a major campaigning issue for the Liberal Democrats at the coming general election. Charles Kennedy emphasised the party’s position in Issue 3 of the Liberal Future newsletter: “We want to scrap tuition fees in the (…)

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s time for some kick-ass liberalism

by Stephen Tall on January 15, 2005

‘How can 59,054,087 people be so dumb?’ That was the deliberately provocative front page question posed by the Daily Mirror on 3rd November, 2004, the day after the United States’ voters delivered George W. Bush his first Presidential election victory. (…)

Read the rest of this entry »

Why we should give Prince Harry a break

by Stephen Tall on January 14, 2005

President George W. Bush has a neat line in rebuttal when questioned about the cocaine-fuelled booze-haze which characterised his pre-‘Born Again’ lifestyle: “When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible.” Pity poor Prince Harry, then, forced to (…)

Read the rest of this entry »

What the papers say about us

by Stephen Tall on January 10, 2005

Monday’s Guardian Media supplement devoted yards of newsprint to worrying away at the role of journalism in public life. Are journalists more powerful than they used to be? If so, are they using their powers to do good? And to (…)

Read the rest of this entry »