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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She has not been on the blower to Wonga yet… it may only be a matter of time

When an 87-year-old woman cannot afford to fix her roof, surely it is only right for the State to step in? Even if she is the Queen

She has not been on the blower to Wonga yet… it may only be a matter of time

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

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Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor