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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Ed Balls can save all his Labour pals through self-sacrifice

Balls appears to be an unsackable shadow Chancellor

With insights like these, Gerald Howarth must be a shoo-in for the Most Cerebral Backbencher award

This veteran intellectual giant of the frothing right has been a delight since first being elected in 1983

Lord Rennard in 2003; he has been accused of portraying himself as the victim in the groping scandal

Attempted murder, rent boys, a slaughtered dog: I remember when the Liberal Democrats knew how to cause a scandal

One admires this gift for hot-housing tiny scandalous acorns into mighty oaks

The new JD Wetherspoon pub which has opened at the Extra Motorway Service Area at junction 2 of the M40 in Beaconsfield

A Wetherspoon’s pub on the M40? Sounds like a Bernard Manning joke…

Road safety charities say the Hope and Champion offers ‘deadly temptation’

Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) annual conference on November 4, 2013 in London

Is David Cameron's sermon on the importance of loving thy neighbour to be taken in good faith?

In practice his Government stigmatises immigrants and the poor

A 2004 painting of MP Diane Abbott which cost £11,750, by Stuart Pearson Wright

MP portraits: It’s either a hideous waste of public money – or a fitting way to immortalise our lawmakers...

In future, these works of art should be done by primary school surrealists

England's Graeme Swann (L) and Graham Onions walk from the field at the end of the days play during day three of the four day warm-up international cricket match between New Zealand XI and England

Graeme Swann has stunned his sport by quitting mid cricket series. Will he give politicians ideas?

Fingers crosses this is the birth of a thrilling new trend

‘Mission accomplished’ in Afghanistan? No, just a diversion from Catherine the Great

Cameron could not say the Afghan war has been a brutal exercise in nihilistic futility

Rupert Murdoch's love life, rather than his business, is now under scrutiny

Is it time to start feeling sorry for Rupert Murdoch?

After an uncomfortable month, the mogul was barred from his son-in-law's birthday

Poor old Princess Michael of Kent in these hard times of austerity

We can all chip in to help...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?