Ian Birrell

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

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Crisis stations: The 'Newsnight' blunder is the latest in a series of self-inflicted wounds

Epic blunder, but we must not let the BBC self-destruct

The Director General has stepped down, but the broadcaster needs yet more radical surgery

Michael Mates will challenge for the post of commissioner in Hampshire

At last! Commissioners will restore public trust in the police by devolving power and are long overdue

Lamentable leadership and the influence of unions have held back the men in uniform for too long. Now you can vote and exert some control over their actions

Climate of fear: A 'Panorama' exposé has heightened alarm about abuse

Killing kindness with red tape

Human warmth is at the heart of relationships between vulnerable people and their carers. But heightened fears about abuse mean simple friendship is increasingly viewed with suspicion

Cameron must modernise, not appease the reactionaries

David Cameron needs to remind people who he is – a compassionate and modern conservative.

Is Chris Grayling a liberal in disguise?

For all the froth, fury, and indignant nonsense of our lock 'em up culture, the Coalition's quiet penal reforms are progressive and reassuring

Ian Birrell: The Lib Dems don't need a new leader. They need a point

Searching for cheap populist policies and silent on issues long held sacred, what do they stand for now?

Ian Birrell: Cameron must now embrace the spirit of the Games

The Olympics should inspire the PM to be bold – and to return to the themes of the Big Society

Ian Birrell: It's not just the bad apples – it's our rotten society's attitudes

The assaults at Winterbourne View were horrific. But just as shocking were the systematic failures of one protective authority after another to stop them

Ian Birrell: More people? We should be celebrating

Ignore the misanthropes. Population growth is a sign of economic success

Ian Birrell: A £13bn boost to the economy? I don't think so

Far from generating growth, big sporting events such as the Olympic Games tend to do the very opposite

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Day In a Page

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
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week