Andreas Whittam Smith

Andreas Whittam Smith was a financial journalist until 1985 when he led the team that founded The Independent. The paper’s first editor (1986-1994), he has subsequently been the president of the British Board of Film Classification (1998-2002) and chairman of the Financial Ombudsman Service (1998-2003). He is currently First Church Estates Commissioner responsible for £5bn of the Church's investments, and chairman of the Children's Mutual.

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While politicians bicker over self-serving definitions of poverty, a simple measure of ‘need’ is being overlooked

The obvious place to start is with the consumption of food

Food bank operators report that people in low-paid work are turning up during their lunch breaks seeking help

Why the priests are right to take on our Government over welfare

It will be a long haul. Wage rises will go on lagging behind price rises

No government can serve its citizens properly while outsourcing on the scale that this one does. It’s time the practice stopped

For too long, the political parties have believed that public service is bad

An independent Scotland would not need to share currency with the rest of the United Kingdom

Alex Salmond could do worse than look to Ireland in the 1920s

The row of men in suits that may come to define the Coalition

This was a moment that demonstrated in vivid detail why the Conservative Party has trouble attracting women voters

Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, who recently issued a warning about the risk of deflation

So you thought the economic recovery was under way? Well, I’ve got a word of warning for you – deflation

As prices keep falling, so customers think about waiting before buying

Flooded fields around the River Tone seen from Windmill Hill, Somerset. Some parts of England have suffered the wettest January since records began

On the Somerset floods, our inbox tells you all you need to know

Three Independent letter writers covered the issue superbly

The disturbing parallels between Syria's civil war and Spain in the 1930s

Britons are joining in a foreign war just as they did 80 years ago

The HS2 project is bitterly opposed by some MPs

Employ disadvantaged people to build HS2

I would like to see this project follow the French example, but go much further with it

What’s worrying is that Nigel Farage realised the problem before our Prime Minister

The plight of Syria's refugees transcends party politics. What’s worrying is that Nigel Farage realised that before our Prime Minister

Mr Cameron, unlike Ukip's leader, is a prisoner of strict party discipline

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