Jane Merrick

Jane Merrick is Political Editor of The Independent on Sunday.

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Tessa Jowell has labelled the Sure Start scheme a 'national treasure'

A Sure Start in life is essential

The first few weeks of new motherhood can be an isolating experience. Mother and baby get a knock on the door from the health visitor very early on, but these visits tail off. There are coffee mornings and breastfeeding clubs but, a lot of the time, it's just you and your baby, who seems to know more than you do about this messy business of parenthood, crying out of frustration because you keep getting it wrong.

The Conservative manifesto could include pledges to cap the number of wind farms

Britain's unpredictable weather defines the national character. It also means that onshore wind farms don't make sense

Those of us who care about the environment should give up on turbines

David Cameron knows that help with childcare costs will put a million women in the workforce
Heat Reservoir: Bewl Water at Lamberhurst, Kent, could provide a site for heat pumps

Exclusive: Renewable energy from rivers and lakes could replace gas in homes

A revolutionary system using water-sourced heat pumps is being tested on a new development

Families could pay an extra £800 a year

Childcare costs soar despite tax break

Bills have risen by a third since the coalition came to power

Many backbench Conservative MPs want Cameron to stop the party's 'obsession' with UKIP

Stop this 'near-obsession' with damaging immigration controls, say Tory MPs

David Cameron faces a revolt by his MPs this week as they form a new group calling for the Conservative Party to end its "near obsession" with immigration and attempts to "outdo" Ukip.

Forget about that glass ceiling, women should be pushing through the ‘sticky door’

That's the advice of the new deputy governor of the Bank of England, Nemat Shafik

Lib Dems viewed the Rose Garden moment as 'sick-inducing'

Cameron/Clegg Rose Garden love-in was 'sickening', says Lib Dem adviser Julia Goldsworthy

Many Liberal Democrat activists would have found the Rose Garden love-in between David Cameron and Nick Clegg “sick-inducing”, a senior Lib Dem adviser has said.

Scot free? The Yes to independence movement has focused on a grassroots campaign

Scottish independence: Alex Salmond accuses Westminster's 'daytrippers' of 'scaremongering'

With six months to go until the referendum, support for the 'Yes' campaign rising and one in 10 voters still undecided, the First Minister lays into Tory-led 'No' emissaries

Sheryl Sandberg is one of many faces backing the new #BanBossy campaign

Banning the word "bossy" is wrong

Instead of wanting to ban words, a stronger, more empowering message to girls and young women would be to embrace adversity

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Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform