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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Tony Blair meeting troops in the port of Umm Qasr, Iraq in May, 2003

Why aren't we celebrating Tony Blair's success as the UN's Middle East peace envoy?

I just can't understand why so many people want to tarnish his peaceful reputation

Jenny Jones

Jenny Jones an extremist? Nice work, Met Police

Of course the 64-year-old Green peeresses with the potential to wield bicycle clips is a lethal enemy of the state

Phil Neville has been a regular on ‘Match of the Day’ since he retired last year

It's the great unanswerable question: what precisely are 'British values'?

If they are the same as the Coalition’s, does that mean CCTV cameras in class and lessons in bashing the poor?

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan-Smith vetoed the publication of a damning internal assessment of universal credit

Despite all evidence to the contrary, Iain Duncan Smith still insists everything is tickety-boo with his big project

His bold attempt to restrict welfare is an even bigger calamity than previously thought

Although ruling out a ‘big bang’ renationalisation, Ed Miliband said parts of the network could return to public ownership

Does Miliband really want to win the election?

You have to wonder anew whether the politician’s ungodly resilience is a sign of strength, paralysis or delusion

David Willetts defends Tory policy on tax and marriage, but emphasises need for practical solutions

David Willetts is a Tory Time Lord protecting the UK from surefire destruction

We all know about the leap year, but the leap second? It's now under threat, but our beloved science minister is here to save it

Max Clifford outside court

Max Clifford played a crucial role in the conviction of Jonathan King. Now the roles have been reversed

Plus, Louise Mensch really knows glamour when she sees it

Max Clifford remained silent when he left Southwark Crown Court

Max Clifford guilty verdict: To inflict suffering and feel no shame - that is the mystery of men like this

He bragged about earning a fortune from suppressing stories, but failed to perform that protective role for himself

The notion that Mr T directs his righteous wrath at the wrong target is wildly misdirected and it ill behoves anyone to call him demented

It took a man with both unimpeachable integrity and flawless perspective to identify The Independent as the bad guy

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Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own