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We’re coming to Bournemouth a week on Tuesday, for our next iDebate. Our panellists will contest the motion, “Political chaos on 8 May would be good for British democracy.” If you haven’t been to one of our iDebates – and we’ve so far staged them in Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh and Leeds – the debating teams slug it out, the audience gets to challenge them, and afterwards we lay on free drinks for the crowd. This iDebate is staged for students (uni or college), who seem to have been forgotten in the election. The venue is Talbot Heath School, doors open 5.30pm, kick-off 6pm. You can apply for the 300 free tickets at ind.pn/idebatebournemouth.
The panel will feature i and Independent journalists Oliver Wright, Jane Merrick, Simon O'Hagan, Steve Richards and Hannah Fearn. Get your tickets now
Today’s cover story is shocking: a new book by Martin Fletcher, a Bradford City fan who in 1985 survived the club’s stadium disaster and lost his family, claims that eight other fires broke out at businesses owned by, or associated with, Bradford’s then chairman. It is impossible to draw firm conclusions from the finding – indeed, Mr Fletcher avoids doing so. Thirty years after the fire, and 20 years after the death of ex-chairman Stafford Heginbotham, we have no means to examine primary evidence afresh, and Mr Heginbotham has no chance to explain.
Yesterday we brought you advance news of Labour’s manifesto promise to balance the books. Today it’s a heads-up on the Conservatives’ plan to give 1.3 million council tenants the right to buy, compelling authorities to sell off the most expensive social housing to fund new development.
“You’ve decided who you’re backing then?” asks Peter Beck. Bexhill i reader Robert Sharkey, meanwhile, levels the accusing finger: “No doubt who the i supports. The dodgy Conservatives and Rupert Murdoch! Get real!” Regular correspondent Mr Sharkey won’t mind me disagreeing in forthright terms once I’ve finished spluttering into my tea: codswallop.
Something a bit different today from the politics dominating this week. The piece of television I’m looking forward to more than any other this year is the BBC’s new wildlife blockbuster Shark. As well as being compelling entertainment, this series from the Natural History Unit will be truly important TV, the impact of which could be felt for years to come.
This shameless obstruction from Downing Street is an insult to our intelligence
A breathtaking story on today’s cover: Greater Manchester is to become the first English region to run its own NHS and care system, taking control of a £6bn-a-year budget, integrating health and social care. The scale, speed, and radical potential are astonishing. The consequences are unguessable.
So two former Foreign Secretaries get caught showing a bit of ankle at the first flutter of yuan. First, Jack Straw, who has been busy working “under the radar”, promising to wield influence with discretion for £5,000 a day. What about transparency and accountability? He told the fictitious Chinese firm there had been speculation he might go to the House of Lords, where “I’ll be able to help you more”. So much for the peerage, Jack.
I’m overwhelmed by the response to the last couple of letters. It took me hours last night to go through the latest tranche, about 600. Please keep them coming! We learn most from your correspondence: email@example.com. We don’t want to meddle with i’s formula, so the challenge is how can we fit a few more of the things you want into the same size paper, without messing up what you already like through unnecessary changes. Here are some of your latest ideas:
I’m sorry to write to you with unwelcome – if, for some, not entirely unexpected – news. I wanted to let you know in advance that next week, on Monday, the price of your edition of i will rise by 10 pence, to 40p.
Exclusive: Ms Sturgeon wants to build a 'progressive alliance' capable of propelling Ed Miliband into 10 Downing Street in May
Sturgeon’s SNP is predicted to win most of Scotland’s Westminster seats
Cheeringly, 77 per cent have expressed an intention to vote
Amid hundreds of your letters about fashion, staples, grammar, the layout of puzzles, new recipes, a political fact-check service, science, better football coverage “especially about Leicester City” (Mick Gordon), rogue Americanisms, more news, unusual sports, a dating service, extra world news, and cartoons – all in response to last Friday’s Letter from the Editor asking what you like and dislike about i – an ugly front has opened against i’s Weather page. A major system is working its way around the page 44 region, with very strong winds showing no sign of abating... OK, I’ll stop.