D J Taylor

David John Taylor is a British critic, novelist and biographer.

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Onwards march: Students are being asked to focus on employment rather than intellectual developmen

Hey, teaching inspector, leave those kids alone

Teenagers are not being well served by a system that was meant to open doors for them

Bunter was a straightforward comic turn

The changing shape of fat as a cultural signifier - we’re all Billy Bunter now

‘Tubby’ used to be a comedy stalwart. But now that a quarter of the world’s population is obese, society will have to adjust its view of fat people

Death of the doorstop: Politicians no longer lend themselves to huge biographies, unlike Margaret Thatcher

The decline and fall of the political biography

They are not what they used to be, partly because today’s MPs have less to write about

Hard-won beauty: Carlos Acosta with Zenaida Yanowsky

Ballet star Carlos Acosta can rage, but we are all slaves to the machines

He has warned that young dancers are too easily distracted by hi-tech entertainment. Is this an ‘oldie’ rant or are we going soft in the head (and legs)?

Humber art: Hull needs to bridge the cultural gap between that represented by Philip Larkin and its ‘ordinary’ residents

Congratulations to Hull, 2017 City of Culture

Now we should all let them get on with it unscrutinised (after reading this, obviously). Just don’t mention Larkin 

The bigger the bomb, the bigger the bully

Orwell was as right about arms technology as he was about everything else. Plus, sex sells, and live TV's condition is 'serious but stable'

Why the poor wear flashier trainers

The affluent give lectures on frugality while knowing nothing of the misery of deprivation. Plus: Paul Raymond, and obliging stereotypes

Ed Miliband is up against a sense of entitlement

Labour has no ideology to offer disaffected voters. Plus, the England football team also fail to inspire, and the case for censorship

Micahel Gove means well, but just doesn't get it

Educational reforms mean nothing if the kids skip class. Plus, Nancy Dell'Olio on feminism, and death metal disappointment

Shirker or striver? Most of us are neither

Let's hear it for the majority, who do their best and then go home. Plus, business people should stick to business, and poetic bad behaviour
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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
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there