Ian Birrell

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

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The Independent around the web

Churches' hostility to gay marriage only underlines their impotence

It may be low politics or high principle but the Government is right to push for this

Ms Dorries, to her credit, told Mr Wales they would not write a ‘whitewash’ report

When naive good intentions meet corrupt kleptocracy

Tagging along on an all-party trip to Equatorial Guinea, Ian Birrell saw how reality can quickly be forgotten

Man of the hour? 'Genius strategist' Lynton Crosby

Lynton Crosby is a disastrous signing for the Tories

He's been hailed as the "Wizard of Oz", but there are limits to the wizardry of the man who'll be running the Conservative election campaign.

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

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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us