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

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future