Good news: if you’re gay or bisexual and under-18, conversion therapy is going to be made illegal. But it’s bad news for everyone else in the LGBTQ+ community, as  the government’s proposed ban has more holes in it than a distractingly tasty slice of Swiss cheese. Announced in this year’s Queen’s Speech, the ban will make conversion therapy illegal when it targets
In 1927, the Irish republican Michael Flannery emigrated from the quiet backroads of Tipperary to the crowded streets of New York City, swapping a life of rebellion for a humdrum career in life insurance. But the Irish American community hadn’t forgotten about the old country, and as the Troubles began in Northern Ireland, Flannery found himself at the heart
When six suitcases full of guns are discovered on an Irish dock in 1971, suspicion falls on a newly founded organisation of Irish Americans known as Noraid. For nearly 30 years, the US, British and Irish governments accused the group of being a front for the Provisional IRA and of funnelling weapons and cash from the pockets of Irish America to the coffers of the
The shockwaves from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have reached across the world – all the way beyond the Urals to the globe’s northernmost point. The Arctic Council, established in 1996 as a forum for the eight countries that sit within the Arctic Circle – Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, the US, Sweden and Russia- was in early March suspended
What defines each era? Often, historians lean on terms that point to technology: bronze, steam, carbon, silicon. So is technology a fundamental aspect of being human? On this wide-ranging Trip, the gang take on one of their biggest topics yet. Starting from the basis that technology is an application of knowledge for a practical purpose, Jeremy Gilbert, Nadia
Throughout history, countless good ideas have been side-lined or dismissed because they were put forward by women. That’s the frustration which motivates historian Katrine Marçal, who delves into her myth-busting research for a Microdose all about technology’s missed turnings. With ACFM host Nadia Idle, the author of Mother of Invention:
In late March, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation warned that the war in Ukraine risked unleashing a “hurricane of global hunger”. With climate change-induced droughts in east Africa and intense heatwaves in India, they feared that a war in Europe’s most fertile and productive region could compound the situation and lead to food shortages on an unprecedented
The British media has reached a consensus of great and groundbreaking insight: the results of last week’s assembly elections in Northern Ireland were historic. In fairness, they’re not wrong. For the first time in the region’s history, Sinn Féin, “a party that believes Northern Ireland should break away from the United Kingdom” has become the largest party
Britain’s liberal establishment can be summed up in four words: “We don’t trust you”.  This is the reason why, despite the Liberal Democrats being in coalition with an apparently ‘moderate’ Conservative leader, we never saw electoral reform of any kind after 2010. The same applies to New Labour, and the absence of either proportional representation or an
The spectre of the incel has come to dominate current discussions of hypermisogyny. Stereotypically, the image we have of the incel is a white, teenage, Reddit-reading, gamer type. But the rise of the incel is just one symptom of a wider, worrying trend of hypermisogyny, fuelled by digital platforms. In the Black British spaces I inhabit online, hypermisogyny
At the end of March, as the Treasury published the budget, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) issued its economic forecast. It made for grim reading. On growth, the OBR predicted economic expansion of 3.8% this year (healthy in normal times, less so in the aftermath of Covid) and 1.8% in 2023. On disposable incomes it was even worse, with living standards
On 28 April 2022, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Act received royal assent and became law in the United Kingdom, despite the Kill the Bill coalition organising people across the country to protest the proposed legislation, getting some of its harshest amendments thrown out. The coalition exposed the bill for what it was: the state trying to
Since its invasion of Ukraine in February, Russia’s economy has been heading towards crisis. Numerous international companies have curtailed operations in the country, while hundreds of thousands of well-educated young professionals have fled abroad, dealing a hard blow to those sectors of the economy that rely on their skills and purchasing power.  
As the political actors in Belfast, Dublin and London digest last Thursday’s Northern Ireland Assembly election, one thing they can’t complain about is a lack of fair warning. Opinion surveys may have been a wonky guide to the final outcome in several high-profile votes over the past few years, but in this case, there was no sudden shock to absorb. Every poll
This July, a 24-year-old woman in Oxford is facing trial for having an abortion. The woman ordered the abortion medication Misoprostol online and took it at home in January of last year. She’s being charged under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act (OAPA), which criminalises procuring abortion medication and inducing an abortion by any means. The charge
When mask mandates aboard US aeroplanes were dropped on 19 April, mid-flight reaction videos flooded the Internet. One from by NPR showed passengers tearing off their masks and celebrating, while their masked neighbours watched:   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by NPR (@npr) The removal of mask mandates has been similarly welcomed
A political scandal over a bhuna and a bottle of beer. Perhaps it’s fitting that something this tedious may prove to be the end of Keir Starmer’s equally colourless leadership of the Labour party. ‘Beergate’, aka the question of whether Starmer broke lockdown laws in April 2021 by eating a succulent Indian meal, is rumbling on. Monday morning saw The Times splash
On the face of it, rightwingers dominated the French presidential elections. Marine Le Pen, a far right candidate who preaches of the dangers of immigration and proposes a ban on the hijab, came closer to the presidency than ever before, although was ultimately defeated for the third time. But there was little joy to be found in her defeat: Emmanuel Macron’s
On Monday, Boris Johnson floated a bold new plan: giving housing associations tenants the chance to buy their houses. Under the plan, some 2.5 million tenants would be allowed to put housing benefits towards mortgages, using public funds to create private property. The Conservatives have long held up homeownership as the golden standard of British life.
On Monday Spain announced that Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s phone had been hacked using Pegasus spyware, in what is the first government-confirmed case of an attack against a national leader anywhere in the world. Yet this was just the latest incident in a much wider political espionage scandal that has rocked Spanish politics and once again laid bare the
In two to three months, Roe v Wade – the landmark 1973 US Supreme Court decision establishing a national right to abortion – will almost certainly be overturned. Abortion will then immediately become illegal in 23 states, with four more likely to enact a comprehensive ban soon after. Millions living in these states, especially those who can’t
On 22 April, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), a prestigious public health research institution that counts England’s chief medical officer Chris Witty as an alumnus, suspended four outsourced cleaners after they protested a racist pay gap, falsely claiming that the protesters were violent. The race scandal is the latest to hit
This week our screens will once again fill with graphs and bar charts as pundits try to make sense of local election results which are by their nature patchy and difficult to benchmark. As much as anything, the results will demonstrate the limitations of building your entire politics around electoral success. Will a good result for Labour mean Keir Starmer was
Feudalism, put simply, is a form of human servitude – a vassal provides labour and taxes in exchange for military protection, and to ‘right’ to live on (but not own) land possessed by a nobleman. While it was formally abolished in England in the 1660s, it has been going through a modern-day resurgence – namely in our capital city.  London promises
When on Monday evening Emmanuel Macron’s victory over Marine Le Pen was announced, many on this side of the Channel breathed a sigh of relief. France had just averted political catastrophe – fascism would not come to Britain’s doorstep. During the campaign, British outlets repeatedly made Eric Zemmour out to be a Trump of the French, while even rightwing
Comparisons between Keir Starmer’s Labour and its Blairite forerunner are common, not least because the current leader spends most of his waking hours courting them. Starmer has filled his top team with dusty ornaments from the long nineties, adapting both his rhetorical style and political priorities to their directives. As a result, Labour’s platform
According to the OECD, England has the most expensive publicly-funded university system in the world. Despite this, the ‘graduate dividend’ for English students – the additional lifetime earnings they can expect – is relatively small. A degree in the UK leads to extra earnings of £153k for men and £140k for women – less than the international
“I’m obsessed with the truth,” Elon Musk told a packed Vancouver audience earlier this month. For the man who labelled Vernon Unsworth – the cave diver who rescued 12 children in 2018 – “pedo guy” for having the temerity to criticise his idea of using a mini-submarine to save them, this felt like something of a stretch.  Regardless, Musk certainly
On the surface, Sunday’s French presidential election was a replay of the last. In many ways, little seems to have changed since Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen first faced off in 2017: the two candidates for one, and more importantly the opposition between a post-political technocratic vision of society and the far right as main alternative. Dig a little
Influential Tories have publicly called for Johnson to resign. With a Commons select committee set to investigate whether he deliberately misled parliament, are the walls finally closing in on the prime minister? With Michael Walker and Aaron Bastani.
April is Autism Awareness Month. I’m not autistic, but I owe a great deal to autistic activism and research, particularly sociologist Judy Singer’s coinage in 1998 of the term “neurodiverse”. Neurodiversity recategorised me along with millions of others with pathologised mental functioning; we became different rather than lesser. I have bipolar disorder,
Content note: Transphobia, ableism. Earlier this month, author JK Rowling set off another Twitter storm after posting a link to an interview with controversial psychiatrist David Bell. In the interview, Bell argued that autistic people are diagnosed with gender dysphoria at far higher rates – something Rowling described as “a medical scandal”.
Today the island of Ireland has a smaller population than it did 200 years ago. How did that happen, and what has it got to do with free market capitalism? Aaron Bastani explains how London politicians and Irish landlords exploited a crisis in the name of an ideology – in the process wrecking the lives of millions.
Just what is it good for? This time on ACFM, Jeremy Gilbert, Nadia Idle and Keir Milburn respond to the Ukraine invasion with a conversation about war. Is it an aberration, or an unavoidable product of human power struggles? Are conflicts between nations better understood as a reflection of domestic divisions? And how is war used to divert the working class from
“My name is Anna, I’m 42 years old. I have a daughter, she is 10 years old, we are from Ukraine, from Kyiv. I am looking for a sponsor in the UK under the program ‘Houses for Ukraine’. I am a positive and cheerful person, I have no bad habits.” “Hi! My name is Elena. My mum, Natalia, her dog and I, 50 are looking for a sponsor to apply for a temporary shelter in the UK.
In late March, Russian troops withdrew in defeat from northern Ukraine. They left behind grim traces of war crimes apparently committed during their occupation. In the town of Bucha, dozens of dead civilians were discovered in the streets and in mass graves. Some had their hands bound behind their backs and appeared to have been deliberately executed. What
“Stay and fight” was a mantra often heard on the Labour left in the early days of Keir Starmer’s leadership. Two years in, it rings hollow. Starmer has junked the Corbyn-continuity, party unity platform on which he was elected in favour of retro-Blairism. Hundreds of members have been unjustly expelled from the party, while tens of thousands more have been hounded
Rishi Sunak has been rocked by revelations that his wife enjoys non-dom status. Now it’s become apparent he claimed permanent residency in the US for the first seven years he was an MP, cabinet member and chancellor. How fishy will Rishi’s finances get? With Michael Walker and Barnaby Raine.
Multinational construction and mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar is offering extra pay and benefits to management staff to go to the company’s Northern Ireland factories while workers there are on strike, Novara Media can reveal. The company, which saw revenues of $51bn last year, has been in a labour dispute with workers at two of its four Northern
It’s hard to think of a tool of warfare more misunderstood than sanctions and counter-terrorism regimes. Framed as a form of bloodless humanitarian intervention, sanctions are painted as being in the interests of an oppressed population, holding “dangerous” and “repressive” regimes to account and slowing the “drive towards an arsenal of terror”.  Sanctions,
We’re reaching an eschatological tipping point, says Croatian philosopher Srećko Horvat. Can humanity turn back from the brink? Joining Eleanor Penny on NovaraFM, the author of After The Apocalypse explains how the end of the world has been normalised and commodified. What we can do to break the spell of end-times nihilism, “ruin porn”
On 7 May 2012, François Hollande narrowly defeated incumbent Nicholas Sarkozy, ending 17 years of conservative presidencies in France. A month after his win, Holland’s centre-left Parti Socialiste (PS) and its allies won an overall majority in both chambers of parliament. The stage seemed set for PS to reshape France. Ten years later, those days seem remarkably
Before the war, Sergii Sabakar taught at the National Academy of Visual Arts and Architecture in Kyiv. After fleeing the capital, he moved in with his friend Denis Pankratov, a union organiser in Lviv. These days, Sabakar, Pankratov and their flatmates, several of whom are also internal refugees, start their morning by putting on a huge pot of porridge. Once
Russia has said it will pull back troops from Kyiv to “increase trust” in peace talks. We ask Paul Rogers whether or not Ukraine should believe Russia is serious about peace. With Michael Walker and Dalia Gebrial.  
“When you hear the idea of ‘a cultural exchange’, it sounds great,” says Leticia, who came to the UK from Brazil in 2018 to work as an au pair. The reality, she discovered, was worlds away from the idea she’d been sold: that she’d be welcomed into a home as family, and have ample time and money to explore the country and take English classes.  During her time as an au
With staff and students coming together in the current University College and Union (UCU) strikes, it is clear that solidarity between the two groups is returning, despite years of marketisation wearing it down.  The last decade saw the Tories raise tuition fees to exceptional levels, forcing ‘home’ students to shoulder even larger debts, while, at the same
Like an umbrella in a hurricane. That’s the best way to describe the measures outlined by the chancellor Rishi Sunak in yesterday’s spring statement – the second most important date in his calendar after the autumn budget. First, the broader picture. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is now forecasting 3.8% growth for this year, 1.8% for 2023
On 19 March, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ratified a decision taken by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine to “temporarily suspend the activities” of 11 Ukrainian political parties, citing their alleged “links with Russia”. The decision applies to both electorally significant forces, like the Opposition Platform for Life
“This is absolutely one of those moments where we’re going to see the cost-of-living crisis driven by war.” Speaking on BBC Radio 4 just after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Tory MP Tom Tugendhat wasn’t the only commentator to make this point: findings from experts that sanctions on Russia and rising gas prices would push down UK living standards were
The war in Ukraine is at a stalemate but not stagnant. Bitter fighting continues while Russia has moved from a war of manoeuvre to one of attrition. With the war but not the violence slowing down, the question is: under what circumstances would Putin accept a peace deal? The question may be unanswerable, because Putin himself doesn’t seem to have decided.It is,
“I have the best advice for women in business,” Kim Kardashian said in a recent interview with Variety magazine. “Get your fucking ass up and work.” Kardashian’s comments elicited outrage online, the same sort neo-Thatcherite girl-boss-in-chief Molly-Mae Hague did when she proclaimed that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. But these ideas are hardly controversial.
“Hey, fellas! Could you afford $48,000 to hire these women? – because that’s what a housewife is worth”- so reads the headline of a 1970s edition of US newspaper the National Enquirer. The calculation quoted in the article takes into account the numerous jobs housewives typically fulfil – including childcarer, cleaner, chef, dishwasher, nurse
China has been considered Russia’s most important ally in its war on Ukraine. But could Xi Jinping be about to change course? Plus: P&O Ferries fire hundreds of workers, and the Telegraph are forced to apologise. With Michael Walker and Aaron Bastani
How many times do we hear the cry from the Conservative front bench that “Britain has always been a welcoming place for refugees”? Even now as it enacts policies that leave Ukrainian citizens in limbo, and denied safety and adequate protections even when they are allowed in, Tory ministers are quick to brag about how the UK has “resettled more refugees than any