The euthanasia lobby is weakened by events

One of the social effects of the Covid pandemic and subsequent lockdown is that it has, for the moment, somewhat quietened the voices of the euthanasia lobby. We have heard a little less, over the course of this worrying year, about ‘the right to die’. When the death toll internationally is announced and measured daily,…

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Working life is changing

I grew up in a world where most people who had jobs worked in an office, a shop, a factory or some form of shared working location. Very few people spent the working day alone – perhaps the farmer out in his fields, or the priest saying his breviary – but even then, there was a…

Odious attitude long pre-dated Epstein

In some ways, the saga of Jeffrey Epstein and his long-term girlfriend and associate Ghislaine Maxwell is almost a morality tale for our time. Epstein, who exploited young girls for sexual purposes, flying them to various spots in America on an airplane jokingly known as ‘The Lolita Express’ is, of course, dead. It’s widely known…

Shouldn’t Marie Stopes fall too?

Back in the 1990s, I seem to remember Irish students marching in favour of abortion rights, and carrying banners with the name and number of a London clinic – that of Marie Stopes International. The Marie Stopes name was being advertised, in effect, as a symbol of a ‘feminist’ cause of freedom. This, I think,…

Is Pope a Green party man?

Does the Pope vote for a Green party? He clearly is supportive of the Green cause. I was surprised to turn on BBC radio last Monday morning and hear, at the top of the news programme, not a politician talking about the state of the country, nor a reporter analysing the tragic killing in a…

A police force’s ideal

The appalling behaviour of some of the American police which we’ve seen in recent times is, it seems, partly because of their very powerful trade unions. Derek Chauvin, the police officer who stands accused of the killing of George Floyd, had already faced at least 17 complaints of misconduct. Yet his career flourished because the…

Come spend a while in the magic that is John McGahern

In this series some of our literary collaborators will be giving suggestions for lockdown reading, books of all kinds to enlighten us and raise our spirits. This week Mary Kenny writes of John McGahern’s Amongst Women (1990), a novel of ordinary family life in provincial Ireland built around the life experiences of an embittered Republican…

On the destruction of (secular) statues…

There used to be an equestrian statue of William of Orange on Dublin’s College Green. It was ‘alternately daubed, mutilated and garlanded with orange lilies’, according to Christine Casey’s brilliant architectural study of Dublin. It survived several explosions, but finally succumbed to dynamite in 1929. King Billy’s effigy, like that of the Bristol slave-trader Edward…

Transgendering teens? Follow the science!

Among the most interesting developments in neuro-science in recent years has been the study of the human brain, which can now be examined in great detail with the progress in medical technology. The study of the adolescent brain has yielded especially fascinating results. Teenagers have been scolded for lounging in bed for hours, and neuroscience…