Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson is a political blogger and commentator who edits the award winning Mark Thompson's Blog

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A Strong Song Tows Us: the Life of Basil Bunting by Richard Burton, book review

Captivating tale of the 'conchie' who became a cult poet

Teather: Something ‘did break for me’ when party backed benefits cap

Clegg will hope Sarah Teather's is an isolated case

It won't be so easily dismissed if any other sitting MPs walk away

Mercer is another urgent reminder - we need a recall law. And soon

How can we trust in politics when discredited MPs are allowed to keep their seats?

The Book of My Lives, By Aleksandar Hemon

These beguiling essays show how, from Sarajevo to Chicago, a gifted exile told his story

Adam Afriyie has a personal fortune of between £50m and £100m

Don't celebrate Adam Afriyie just because the Windsor MP has a ‘clean’ expenses record

To do so sets a dangerous precedent whereby the politicians who can afford their own expenses get credit for being wealthy. Most MPs have a legitimate right to allowances.

Disunited: Ed Miliband, cannot test the patience of Ed Balls, behind, for too long

Why Labour won't win in 2015

How can Ed Miliband's party reconcile the fact that they are "against the cuts" but would have to enforce austerity if they were elected? They can't - and it will cost them

Golden oldies? David Cameron favours the elderly because they're the ones who vote

We're in danger of entering a vicious cycle in which the disaffected young don't vote, leaving politicians to favour the old at their cost

Books: Nostalgia for a lost Europe

Thursday Book: MICROCOSMS BY CLAUDIO MAGRIS, TRANSLATED BY IAIN HALLIDAY, HARVILL, pounds 13

Letter: BBC drama is alive and well

In the understandable passion he expresses about the scheduling of Food for Ravens ("Halt the agonising death of BBC drama", 16 November) Brian Cox overlooks one important fact. BBC Wales decided to commission this production solely for the benefit of viewers in Wales, after it had been offered to the network, and rejected, at script stage 12 months ago. There was no betrayal of promise or principle in this - everyone involved in the project knew that they were making it just for the audience in Wales.
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Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone