Ian Birrell

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

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Some protests suit Blair more than others

Now the coup threatens to boost extremists, and sends a terrible message worldwide

Patients expect to be in safe hands when they go to hospital

Worshipping the NHS costs lives

This toxic institution, believed to be the envy of the world, has been poisoned by individuals' self-promotion at the expense of the sick

This isn’t ending world hunger. It’s just a sham

Ministers and their mates in the swollen aid industry came up with something cynical

When democracy has blood on its hands

The International Criminal Court was designed for those monsters accused of the world's worst crimes, but democracy has some unexpected consequences

Corrupt, ineffective and hypocritical: Britain should give less aid, not more

It is hard to take seriously South Africa's outrage over Britain's withdrawal of aid

We subsidise firms that keep workers in poverty

The Conservatives should back a Living Wage for workers. It would show they cared about ordinary people, while cutting some of the ground beneath Labour

All we can agree on is that welfare’s in a state

Our complex, wasteful system benefits the rich while the needy are left to struggle with bureaucracy

Protesters in London demand that Sir David Nicholson go

Sir David Nicholson: The man they couldn't hang

The decision to back the NHS chief is morally wrong, and has lost the coalition a rare opportunity to gain trust on health

David Cameron needs to stand up for what he really believes in after Eastleigh humiliation

Eastleigh was a humiliation for the Tories. It was so disastrous that party spokespeople were not even pretending there were silver linings in their dark clouds of despair.

From Banks to the 'big six' energy companies - more capitalism, not less of it, is the answer

As the world is getting more prosperous, the Western share of wealth is declining. It's a new world order and we must get used to it

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A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments