Max Benwell

Max Benwell is Writer and Commissioning Editor at Independent Voices.

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The Independent around the web

Blue ticks on WhatsApp: I love chatting online, but please don't let even more people know when I ignore them

The app's introduction of the "double blue tick" means that talking to people online has just become even more stressful

By saying he'll fund the NHS with a 'mansion tax' Ed Miliband is waging class warfare — and I love it

After so many unfair policies have been unloaded on the poor and vulnerable, a tax on the wealthy is long overdue

Neymar takes the ice bucket challenge

Is it fair to criticise the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?

Depsite being known among cynics as "clicktivism", or "slacktivism", over the last several years web campaigning has become a huge focus for many charities.

Should there be warning labels on alcoholic drinks?

Big black letters on packs of cigarettes tell us that smoking kills, and red traffic lights ward us off unhealthy foods, but should the same rules apply to our booze?

Do you support the new proposals for assisted dying?

The House of Lords are debating a bill on assisted dying today. The proposals are still a long way from becoming law, but if passed they will allow doctors to prescribe a lethal dose to terminally ill patients who have been judged to have less than six months left to live.

David Cameron, yesterday, at the opening of the Williams F1 facility in Oxfordshire, has been criticised for not having enough women in his Cabinet

Do you agree with positive discrimination?

With a cabinet reshuffle now scheduled in everyone's diary for tomorrow, the big question is how Cameron will try to appear more "pro-women".

Many Brits consciously tone down or 'posh up' during phone conversations

Is accentism a real problem?

There are strict laws that tackle all kinds of discrimination in the UK, but is there still an insidious form of prejudice we're missing?

Should women be allowed to wear the veil?

Is the European Court right to uphold France's ban on veils?

Today the European Court of Human Rights upheld France's ban on the full-face veil. The decision was made after a 24-year-old woman brought a case against the law to the court, claiming that it breached her right to freedom of religion and expression.

Poll: Should Tony Blair quit as Middle East peace envoy?

When Tony Blair left Number 10 in 2007 and became the UN's Middle East envoy, there were two ways of looking at it. If you were among the dwindling number of his hardline supporters, then he was continuing to fight the good fight and bring stability to the region. Or if you were in the other camp, it was one of the most ironic titles to bestow upon the co-architect of the Iraq war. 

Step away from the noodles: the best food and drink to take to festivals

With Glastonbury about to kick off, the summer of festivals is only just beginning. Once the tent and sleeping bag are packed - here's what else you should be bringing

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Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk