Ian Birrell

Ian Birrell is a former Deputy Editor of The Independent and co-founder of Africa Express

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Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a campaign visit to Chris Sedgeman Scaffolding in Penzance

General Election 2015: With not long to go, all the main parties need to up their game

Is it too much to ask that the leading lights might throw off their shackles, and project a positive reason to vote for them?

Hillary Clinton has everything going for her – except presidential promise

Given her lack of authenticity and campaigning record, is she really the best candidate?

Nigel Farage's party is seen as disreputable

Ukip is wilting in the heat of election battle — but perhaps the damage is done

Farage's crass brand of dog-whistle politics has shamefully found an echo in all three mainstream parties

Ed Miliband and David Cameron

Cameron and Miliband should have faith in their bolder policies

Parties must rise to election challenge

The current rate of construction is at its lowest since the 1920s; indicators suggest the best way out of the housing crisis is to build - and keep building

How to end the housing crisis: forget sentimentality and build on the green belt

Since the Coalition came to power, the average cost of a home in London has surged from £329,133 to almost half a million pounds

Immigration as a vote-winner: The two fastest-growing parties are positive about it

Is it coincidence the two have a positive outlook on this issue, by contrast with pessimism and hostility heard elsewhere in our political discourse?

Isis militants process down a street in the coastal city of Sirte in Libya this week; the group has heralded Libya as its ‘strategic gateway’ to attack Europe

With hindsight, was it wrong for the West to support the overthrow of Gaddafi?

British foreign policy should be biased on the side of democracy and human rights

The HSBC tax evasion files are just the tip of a probable mountain of tax avoidance hidden in tax havens around the world

All hail our select committees: asking the questions that public wants answers to

From Murdoch to HSBC bosses, a litany of controversial figures have now been put on the spot

Migrants are rescued off the coast of Sicily by Italian Coast Guards on Wednesday; 5,302 migrants have arrived from Libya since January

What would you do if Isis was approaching, and safety was only 70 miles across the sea?

Britain likes to pose as a force for decency in the world, but it's permitting hundreds of desperate people to needlessly die

It will be a miracle if this ceasefire lasts – and even if it does, Putin comes out on top

We must hope it does, but Putin, having provoked the war, emerges undoubted winner if it does

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Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence