Max Benwell

Max Benwell is a Writer and Commissioning Editor at Independent Voices.

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The Independent around the web
Miliband has taken inspiration from Ronald Reagan

Poll: Do you feel better off now than you did 4 years ago?

Workers of the UK, rejoice! For the first time in six years, wages are going up faster than the rate of inflation. With a bit more cash in our pockets, we can now spend more doing the things we love (beer and bingo, anyone?).

A pro-Russian gunman stands guard at a seized police station in the eastern Ukraine town of Slovyansk

Unidentified troops and dangerous propaganda: The latest comment on Ukraine

Over the last week, groups of unidentified pro-Russian troops have stormed several towns on the eastern frontier of Ukraine. Putin has denied any involvement in the raids, but this hasn't stopped tensions between Russia and Ukraine reaching new heights. But how likely is war? And just what is Putin up to? To help answer these questions, we've put together a round-up of the best comment pieces on the ongoing crisis.

Where are they? Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson search for strong female characters in True Detective

Season one of True Detective may be finished, but questions over its depiction of women remain

Last night's season finale of True Detective wrapped up another huge hit for HBO, but there's more than just one piece of the puzzle missing...

Bo Bergman has struggled to get to grips with the Internet

"It's gone on for too long": Elderly Swedish man orders the Internet to shut down

Bo Bergman demanded in a letter that the Internet be returned 'to the military department...before everything crumbles'

The squirrel left Margaret Bousfield with a repair bill for £7,000 after trashing her front room.

Squirrel trashes woman's home - leaving her with £7,000 repair bill

After falling down Margaret Bousfield's chimney, the furry animal wreaked havoc

Google celebrates Zora Neale Hurston's life with a doodle on their homepage.

Zora Neale Hurston celebrated in the US with a Google Doodle on her birthday

The prolific writer and activist died in poverty in 1970, but soon came to be considered one of America's greatest writers

What we can learn from the numbers Twitter and Facebook don't want us to see

Perhaps we should question social media more in 2014

David Schneider has said that more people would vote for Ed Miliband if he was better looking

Society cares too much about how politicians look, says David Schneider

The actor has said that MPs should be judged more on their policies

Seattle bus attack: Driver Dennis Echols beats up passenger who spat on him

Warning: Video contains footage that some may find disturbing

The music video for Ylvis's

'The Fox' goes viral again, this time as a Christmas light show

Jay Perkins's festive rendition of the YouTube hit has attracted over 250,000 views in just two days

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit