Matthew Norman

Press Awards Columnist of the Year 2008, the political commentator Matthew Norman also writes The Independent’s media diary.

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Nigel Farage has urged supporters to buy Mike Read's Ukip Calypso song and push it up to the No 1 spot

Mike Read’s Ukip calypso is mesmerisingly atrocious — but it's not racist

If it seems a peculiar musical form for a pre-2014 election campaign anthem, well, isn’t that the central point about Ukip?

Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea

Sol Campbell's transfer to the Tories could be what the Conservatives need to defend millionaires from the dreaded ‘mansion tax’

Campbell is following a venerable tradition of sporting heroes turned politicians

The Prime Minister insisted he wanted the debates to happen, but he argued that it was unfair to include Nigel Farage at the expense of the Green Party

Sorry Dave — TV debates might be scary but so is being Prime Minister, so just get on with it

However wounding the encounters might be, Cameron will only make things worse if he tries to avoid them

Alan Johnson is set for a frontline role in the next general election

Alan Johnson’s lack of leadership ambition is inexcusable

There is nothing charming about a gifted, hugely popular politican preferring the sidelines

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen

Keane and Pietersen reveal the ego-fuelled fight for truth in sport

Neither are able to understand a simple lesson — a genius will get away with being a seething cauldron of egomania only for as long as the genius endures

Jeremy Clarkson has been escorted out of Argentina along with the rest of the Top Gear cast and crew after angering locals with a Falklands War number plate

Divorce for Freud and Murdoch, a brush with death for Clarkson – what kind of curse has befallen the Chipping Norton set?

Do you believe in coincidence? I wouldn’t ordinarily begin with a metaphysical inquiry, but after an utterly calamitous weekend for the Chipping Norton Set there seems no escaping it.

Norovirus the food poisoning bug that causes violent stomach flu

A flu pandemic could decide next year’s election

If anything is to break the four-party politics deadlock, it could well be the NHS.

Mark Reckless, a Tory MP, has announced he is defecting to Ukip

Could Brooks Newmark and Mark Reckless have timed things any better?

Ed Miliband can breathe easier than he deserves to this week

Chuka Umunna was elected MP for Streatham in 2010

Could flirty Chuka Umunna be worth a punt for Labour’s top job?

We might finally be warming to the man known as “the British Obama”

One second Cameron cries for the Union, the next he’s joined the Poor Little Englanders

We now know that when the Cameron lachrymals are activated… reverse the meaning of his next sentence

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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes