Times Opinion today | Scientology, Eric Sykes, the God particle & the BBC


Eric Sykes was one of those giants of comedy who, away from the TV screen, looked smaller than life,” says The Times

We won’t have a female boss at Barclays, says Camilla Cavendish, because successful mothering isn’t counted as a plus


Scientology is weird, but aren’t all religions? asks David Aaronovitch. And as for circumcision…

State-backed Big Science has been vindicated with the discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, The Times says


“We’ll flog arms or drugs or extortionate insurance or dodgy derivatives to anyone with a chequebook,” says Matthew Parris. “Britain plays dirty. We always have.”

General Sir Peter Wall, head of the Army, says a new Reserve force will maintain our military strength as five battalions are axed


Rape charges will no longer be left to lie where the guilty party has already been jailed for murder, says Keir Starmer, QC, Director of Public Prosecutions

The Times says George Entwistle, the new Director-General of the BBC, is a safe choice – but he must stop the BBC swamping the media environment

(Times Opinion, Thursday July 05, 2012)

Times Opinion today | bad bankers, science is the answer, drug cheats & Hawk-Eye

Bad bankers

“This is not a PR disaster. It’s a disaster,” says Daniel Finkelstein of the Libor-rigging scandal. He offers a little advice to the banks

Barclays could now lead the change for a better banking sector – as drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline did in pharmaceuticals, says David Wighton

The Times says the departure of Bob Diamond and Marcus Agius “must usher in a new culture of probity…intelligent risk-taking rather than excess driven by a desire for short-term profit”.

Higgs boson discovered!

But the search for the UK’s growth particle continues. Could science provide the answer? Alice Thomson thinks so


“It is not just tennis that seems intent on humiliating its officials,” Thunders Ross Clark on Hawk-Eye technology in tennis and the “military-style” reviews system in cricket

The Times says the British Olympic Association should seek longer bans for drug cheats

Russian money

Britain should ask more questions about the oligarchs flowing into London from the old Soviet Union, says Russian activist Alexey Navalny


We should celebrate thus week’s election in Libya, The Times says

Times Opinion today | Diamond Bob, Islam and human rights, the beautiful game

Goodbye, Diamond Bob

Bankers who spent £44,000 on wine at the Michelin-starred Pétrus restaurant broke Bob Diamond’s “no jerks” rule. This rule can be extended to all walks of life, says Rachel Sylvester

And the £291 million fine for Barclays pales in comparison to its £3 billion profits. The bank should have been fined no less than £1 billion, says David Davis, the chair of the 20120 Future of Banking Commission

“It is hard to overstate the scandalousness of the bank’s behaviour or its significance for the wider economy,” says The Times


“This would effectively be in/out/shake-it-all-about,” says a confused Hugo Rifkind of a three-part referendum on EU membership

Middle East

Islam and human rights are not mutually exclusive,” says Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish journalist, praising Turkey’s aggressive stance on Assad’s Syria


Football “is not merely a tribal experience but an aesthetic one, too,” says Matthew Syed, in praise of Spain

The Times has been investigating the “export” of damaged children from care homes in London and the South East to cheaper homes in the North West and West Midlands. The Times says this is an “outrage”

Nasa’s new Orion spacecraft brings back memories from the race to the moon

(Times Opinion, Tuesday July 3, 2012)

Times Opinion today | Bob Diamond should go, Obamacare, Bomber Command, beard tax

Barclays and Bob

Diamond should go, says The Times

Banks must be split apart, says Nigel Lawson, the former Chancellor


“I will never see Arnold Schwarzenegger and not think of a brown condom stuffed with walnuts,” says Philip Collins of the “underrated” Clive James

The authorities have taxed “wealth, numbers of female servants, hearths, watches, dogs and salt…beards, beehives, basements, hats, birth, marriage and death…nothing tears a society apart faster than the perception of a tax burden unshared,” says Ben Macintyre.

The memorial to the men of Bomber Command is long overdue, The Times says

The trench warfare that is Obamacare will rumble on, The Times says

Syrian blogger Fares Chamseddine thinks Syrian rebels will welcome Turkey’s sabre-rattling

Ed Miliband’s poll bounce and confidence boost makes it game on for the 2015 election, says Anushka Asthana

(Times Opinion, Friday June 29, 2012)

Times Opinion today | F1 in London, Lords reform, immigration & a dead badger

Formula One on the streets of London? Cars hurtling past Big Ben? Yes please – the benefits would outweigh the costs (and the disruption), says The Times

on Immigration

Our ageing population mustn’t have an overbearing influence on the wishes of the young, says David Aaronovitch – for example, the young are more liberal about immigration

“We have imported feudal societies into our midst but ignored the people trapped inside them,” Camilla Cavendish says

on Lords reform

“Surely, concentrating into the hands of three party leaders the power to appoint hundreds of legislators in the next-door chamber is a degree of patronage unprecedented anywhere in the democratic world?” says Laura Sandys, MP on House of Lords reform

Still, voters just aren’t interested in this at the moment, and it’s not as if the Government has little else to do, The Times says


Somewhere high above the Congo, Matthew Parris weeps as a badger dies

Leaves on the line – it’s a serious issue, says author Christian Wolmar. They caused one train to slide along helplessly for two miles

Children with terminal illnesses are being failed when their childhoods end, The Times says

(Times Opinion, Thursday June 28, 2012)

Times Opinion today | McGuinness and the Queen, austerity pain, non-doms & Donald Trump’s hair

The Troubles

Rosemary Bennett, who lived in Belfast in the 1970s, is horrified at the prospect of former IRA commander Martin McGuinness shaking hands with the Queen today

But The Times believes that “without Mr McGuinness there would probably be no peace”

In it together

Austerity pain might equal vote-winning gain for the Conservatives because we tend not to regret tough decisions, says Daniel Finkelstein

Non-doms in Britain can bequeath their non-dom status to their children – “surely the most bizarre aspect of this tax avoidance scheme”, says Alice Thomson

The fuel duty U-turn “hardly inspires confidence in the Government’s ability to stand by the hard decisions needed to restore the public finances”, says The Times

If infrastructure investment equals economic salvation, why have things in southern Europe gone from bad to worse?” asks Stephen King


The mystery of Donald Trump’s hair, and other puzzles of science

Broadcaster Dan Snow on preserving the White Cliffs of Dover

(Times Opinion, Wednesday June 27, 2012)

Times Opinion today | welfare, Roy Hodgson, defence cuts & punishing bankers


“The Tories keep saying “work must pay” and it’s a ruse. It’s not the differential that bothers them entirely. It’s the concept. The Left will never understand how much this concept appals the Right, and the Right will often not let on, because it doesn’t want to sound like somebody with a talk show on Fox News.” Hugo Rifkind writes about welfare…

…as does The Times in a leading article examining what the limits on welfare should be


In praise of Roy Hodgson: the football wasn’t uplifting but he guided the team with great professionalism, The Times says

Liverpool College moves from the private to the public sector today. We need more of this, says Andrew Adonis, Tony Blair’s former education adviser

What is customer service? New recruits don’t have a clue, says the chairman of Poundland

Entire regiments and battalions are to be axed as part of defence reforms. David Cameron, fresh from alienating the bishops over gay marriage, now risks antagonising the generals, says Rachel Sylvester

Use the fear of jail sentences to stop banks behaving badly, says historian Niall Ferguson

The election of a president from the Muslim Brotherhood puts Egypt on the road to democracy, The Times says

(Times Opinion, Tuesday June 26, 2012)

Times Opinion today | amoral Jimmy Carr, damp e-books, dress codes & the firecrest

Jimmy Carr

He’s amoral, not immoral, says Janice Turner. And we just don’t like it when comedians turn out to be not very like us at all

Giles Coren went for dinner with him on Monday. So he can’t write about him. It’s e-books instead – they’re not waterproof, apparently


Simon Barnes, award-winning sports writer and birdwatcher, is on the trail of the firecrest


"For any stable European future you need the consent of the people, a shared conviction that it is worth making sacrifices for the idea of Europe. That consensus has shattered." Roger Boyes on the revolutionary spirit of 1989

"With less qualification than Ed Miliband, we celebrate the arrival here of the Polish plumber, the Asian computer engineer and the Slovakian chambermaid," The Times says on immigration

Culture for vultures

Hate sport? Scared of the Olympics? Worry not: it’s like “an ace culture festival with quite a nice sports gala attached”

Dress codes can be useful but not if they suppress self-expression, says Ed Smith

Give our grime kids the respect they deserve, says Radio 1 DJ Annie Nightingale

In case you forgot

England v Italy is on Sunday at 7.45pm. What are you expecting?

(Times Opinion, Saturday June 23, 2012)

Times Opinion today | too much money, too little tax, German humour & Bletchley Park

Money money money

Is £40,000 a year enough to live the good life? Not for many of us, Philip Collins finds – even though Keynes thought we’d be earning this and working 25-hour weeks by now

Forty grand certainly isn’t enough for Jimmy Carr. But now he’s been outed and has apologised, other tax avoiders should come clean, The Times says

Could Google or Tesco fix our obsolete tax system? William Rees-Mogg says “yes”


Ahead of tonight’s Germany v Greece Euro 2012 clash, German journalist Clemens Wergin advises Greeks to be more like their football team: German-flavoured

Code breaker

Ben Macintyre on the genius of one of Bletchley Park’s finest, Alan Turing: “He cycled around in a gas mask, possibly on account of hay fever, and chained his mug to a radiator to prevent anyone else using it


Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyer, Jared Genser, on freedom fighting for the prisoners of conscience

The return of O-levels: the Education Secretary’s big exams plan could score him an A…but there’s potential for an F, The Times says

Can you spell “diaphragm”? If not – CUL8R

(Times Opinion, Friday June 22, 2012)

Julian Assange | Doctors’ strike | Tony Nicklinson | tax avoidance

Assange’s escapades

Vaughan Smith posted £20,000 bail for Julian Assange before he scarpered into the Ecuadorian embassy yesterday. But Smith says he’ll still support the WikiLeaks founder even if he loses the money

The Times is less impressed: Assange’s flight is “the latest twist in a legal farce which has grown so wearisome that the temptation exists to tell the Ecuadorian Government that it can keep him”


Doctors strike today for the first time in 37 years. It is a “tantrum” of industrial action, says The Times

On the NHS, Paul Nurse, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist, wants patient information opened up for the good of research


Tony Nicklinson, whose right to die battle continues in the High Court, is being condemned to live, says Camilla Cavendish

Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Home Secretary, apologises for Labour’s record on immigration…and chastises the Tories on theirs

With the Egyptian election results due today, Ed Husain sees a storm brewing: he forecasts bloody battles between the Muslim Brotherhood and outcast generals

“Rather than mount a perfunctory legal defence, it would be more impressive to hear beneficiaries of tax avoidance try to make a moral case for their action,” we say as our tax avoidance investigation rumbles on

(The Times, Thursday June 21, 2012)

Leaders and Thunderer - Tuesday June 19, 2012

Columns - Tuesday June 19, 2012

Leaders and Thunderer | The Times, June 16, 2012

The Times says… | Leading articles and Thunderer | Friday June 15, 2012

The Times says… | Leading articles and Thunderer | Thursday June 14, 2012

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