The Chelsea Manning bombshell: be careful what you fall for

Imagine you´re Bradley Manning, the whistle-blowing soldier with worldwide fame, a hero to many and an enemy of the state to those in the highest echelons of power. You´ve spent over three years awaiting trial in an army prison, with conditions described as ´cruel, inhumane and degrading´. You have been denied visits, shackled and made […]

10 ways you can save the world

How can I make a positive difference in the world? Where do I start? Which of the overwhelming number of urgent global issues should I focus my attention on first? These are questions most of us have asked ourselves at some point. But although being an active citizen can sometimes feel hopeless, just remember: you […]

The real problem with that Rolling Stone cover

In the wake of public outrage over the Boston bomb suspect´s Rolling Stone cover, aren´t we forgetting people used to be innocent until proven guilty? “He was a charming kid with a bright future. But no-one saw the pain he was hiding or the monster he would become.” So begins Rolling Stone magazine´s controversial portrait […]

Land of the real-life Robin Hood: proof that direct democracy works for all

This was first published in Salon and an edited version with hyperlinks can be read on their website here. EDIT: This was later ripped off by a writer calling herself Jade Small. Just pointing out I wrote it first. With virtually no police, crime, or unemployment, the Spanish town of Marinaleda has gained celebrity status […]

Catch-22: How Spain´s tax laws are unfit for purpose

Spanish tax laws are changing- and it´s about time. If Rajoy is serious about easing unemployment, he needs to stimulate growth through a complete system overhaul  Every day, my neighbour Alfredo sits under the fig tree outside the village bar, cutting off the plastic from used electricity cables with care and attention. They pay 1.50eu […]

“La Matanza”, Spain: is killing our own food the only way to eat ethically?

Just 40 kilometres inland from the hotels and souvenir shops of the Costa del Sol lies the Genal Valley, where tiny white villages forgotten by the march of time cling to pine-fringed mountains. These picturesque pueblos blancos, their crumbling houses brightened by red geraniums, are a quaint reminder of a rustic bygone age. Here, self-sufficiency […]

Our approach to paedophilia and sexual offences isn´t working- responses

Last week I had an article on paedophilia (or pedophilia, if you are on the other side of the pond) published in Salon, a digital magazine based in the USA. Since then, I have received many emails from readers who felt that the article resonated with them. Some confided heartbreaking stories of abuse and thanked […]

Eco-tourism: Ronda and the Genal Valley

Dubbed ´the city of dreams´, the famous hilltop fortress of Ronda is the third most visited city in Southern Spain, and by far the most spectacular. The largest of the celebrated pueblos blancos, Ronda is known for the architectural wonder that is the El Tajo bridge, which straddles a 300ft gorge and offers panoramic views […]

Blood money? Shock revelations and media half truths on South African mine violence

Last month, violence erupted at a South African platinum mine when at least 13 men were wounded by security guards who fired rubber bullets and hacked at workers with machetes, allegedly to end a confrontation between two rival unions. Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) is the world´s largest platinum producer, located in the Rustenburg area 70 […]

5 reasons to be glad you´re single this Valentine´s day

It´s Valentine´s Day again folks, a time of year when I always spare a thought for those lonely lovelorn singles who have to endure being bombarded with images of cupids,  red roses and vomit-inducing teddy bears – making them feel like they failed somehow. I say let´s reclaim the day and celebrate singledom- and freedom-  […]

An alternative list of things you should have learned by the age of 30

In 1997, an article listing 30 things women ´should have and should know by the age of 30´ was published in Glamour magazine. ´The List´ struck a chord with thousands of women and was an internet sensation, and its ongoing popularity sees it published 15 years later as a book, complete with commentary from iconic […]

5 reasons to be globally cheerful on ´Blue Monday´

According to a rather dubious equation, today is Blue Monday: the most depressing day of the year. The glitter baubles are back in the attic, the new years resolutions are out of the window, it´s dark when you go to work and darker when you return, and while the waistline may have increased, the bank […]

Boyfriends and Beatings: the grim world of sexual exploitation in the UK

An award-winning article from May 2004, sadly as relevant today as it was then…. A year ago this month, The Sexual Offences Act came into force, strengthening legislation on crimes such as pimping, grooming and buying sex. With new measures to protect vulnerable young people from sexual exploitation, has this made any difference to the […]

Upmarket tourism in Andalusia: Los Castaños hotel, Cartajima

Sophie McAdam discovers an irresistible blend of old and new where you can discover fine wine, mouthwatering food and sumptious decor…all in the heart of hidden rural Spain. Los Castaños is a sophisticated boutique hotel located just twenty minutes drive from the picturesque town of Ronda. This romantic hilltop fortress is one of the most […]

Rio+20 summit: Ecocidal, shameful and downright criminal

In the years to come- assuming our species survives the inevitable fallout- the epic failure of last week’s crucial Rio+20 summit may well go down in history as the worst crime against the natural world mankind has ever committed. The UN conference on sustainable development, held in Rio de Janeiro, had the catchy slogan ‘The […]

A disappointing festival, even with MGMT headlining: SOS 4.8 in Murcia,Spain review 2011

What do you look for in a festival? For me,  SOS 4.8 in Spain seemed like the cream of the festival crop. ‘Music, Art and Voices’ is the SOS 4.8 slogan, and in addition to music it boasted contemporary exhibitions, interactive workshops and conferences on dance culture and history. With MGMT headlining, performances by White […]

Social media and social movements: a positive sign for the future?

It’s 1am and there is a stranger asleep on my sofa, rucksack at his side, snoring gently. Six hours earlier I’d been standing in Manchester bus station, scanning the crowd for a face I’d only seen in a few blurred photographs. Until now, Ashley Drew and I hadn’t even spoken on the phone. All I […]

You have the right to remain silent: the war on our civil liberties

When Jacqueline Maitland was arrested at a peaceful protest against ID cards this year, it was at the behest of the Home Office. Bundled into a police car and locked in a cell, her fingerprints were taken, along with a DNA sample she was given no explanation for. Her associate Charlie was not allowed to […]

Curioser and Curioser….Take a trip down festival-land’s peculiar rabbit hole at The Beat-Herder, Lancashire

If you were to take a group of creative artists and music-lovers, feed them acid and ask them to brainstorm their ideas for the best festival on earth, then you might get somewhere close to imagining the wacky carnival of ‘Beats and Barminess’ that is The Beat-Herder festival. Born five years ago out of Bradford’s […]

Change-a-lujah people! Joining Rev Billy on his Shopocalypse Tour

It’s a perfectly ordinary day in a Liverpool city centre branch of Tesco. Customers clutching lunchtime snacks queue patiently in silence. Bored-looking cashiers scan sandwiches and salads on autopilot, daydreaming of clocking off and enjoying the sunshine outside. Suddenly, the store fills up with men and women wearing long green robes, making low humming noises […]

Consumed by doubt: why don´t we buy fair trade?

You’d have to be living under a rock to have never heard of Starbucks, McDonalds, Gap or Nestle, but it’s less common to hear about how and where their products are made. To mark World Fair Trade Day, Sophie McAdam looks at the effects of globalisation on workers in developing countries, and asks ultimately: Does […]

Refugees: four true stories behind asylum in the UK

June 18-24 is National Refugee Week, a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK and encourage a better understanding between communities. To mark this, I spoke to four refugees about overcoming hardship and integrating into British society.

What’s wrong with British teenagers?

In light of a report earlier this year depicting British youth as a depressive, out-of-control, failing generation, Sophie McAdam spoke to teenagers and professionals to find out where it all went wrong- and what the Government should do about it. In February, UNICEF published a report of child well-being in the world’s 21 richest countries. […]

Conscientious Objectors Stand Up: This Time, We Are The Fascist Enemy

Written in 2008. Reposted on 11 November 2015 as a show of solidarity for Jeremy Corbyn, whose pacifism is portrayed as treachery In the wake of the horrific Mumbai terror attacks, many of my Facebook friends have rushed to join thousands of others in liking the site’s ‘support our troops’ cyber groups. I have nothing […]

Big Brother is watching your child

Imagine the scene: a group of three year olds sit cross-legged on the carpet, clapping their hands and singing along merrily to ‘the little red robin’. That morning they have all painted a picture for their parents and played hopscotch in the yard outside. Suddenly, a government official marches through the door and seizes a […]

Coca-Cola: Know the facts

Coca Cola is facing legal action after a Nigerian lawyer plans to file a lawsuit to fight the corporation’s poor environmental record. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, claiming to act on behalf of 4000 local people, is accusing the world’s biggest soft drinks company of pumping untreated waste into a lagoon in the port area of Apapa. Although […]

Israeli aggressors should set their morals by their collective history

Hopefully, somewhere deep inside, every Jew of conscience knows that this was no war; that this was not G-d’s restitution of the holy land to it’s rightful owners.

The Shopocalypse is coming!!! Introducing Reverend Billy

He was brought up by religious conservatives before running away in his teens and going on to set up the anti-corporate Church of Stop Shopping. He is hated by America’s biggest multinationals, and Starbucks had him jailed after he ‘exorcised’ one too many of their cash registers. Sophie McAdam finds out what drives the man […]