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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Hollande, Cameron and how not to be a leader

The French President appears too relaxed, while our PM has the opposite problem

Beppe Grillo's success in the Italian election is a victory for clean hands. We should learn from it

A population fed up with corrupt and self-serving politics produced this astonishing result, and the parallels with our national situation are clear

First the Pope resigns, and now Cardinal Keith O'Brien too - The Catholic Church's leadership has been tarnished as never before in its history

A memo to the Vatican: if you may resign, you may also be forced to go.

Barely noticed, civil war is raging in Whitehall

Government ministers are riding roughshod over the civil service, and that leads to government by cock-up and a loss of morale in Whitehall

How to sell horsemeat and sub-prime loans

Trusting businesses to do the right thing is naive. From banking to the meat industry, without strong regulation, it's inevitably the consumer who loses out

Is Cameron a liar? Now for the official verdict

The deceit about paying down the national debt will have been in the script for days if not weeks

George Entwistle and Sir Jeremy Heywood demonstrate the dangers of narrow professional experience in our highest public servants

The French call it déformation professionnelle - but these blinkered men of the machine are not an exclusively Gallic phenomenon

We should not pay a penny of RBS’s fraud fine

The cost, which could rise above £300m, should come out of the bankers' bonus pool

Syria, France, and why nothing divides people quite like a common cause - especially in a crisis

Across the world, groups with common interests are failing to put aside their differences in pursuit of the common good. When will they just get on with it?

Not so much a middle way as a muddle way: the Autumn Statement was just a progress report

The Chancellor had no choice but to press on, or risk loosing face. Lucky for him, our triple A rating is safe – at least for the time being

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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all