Paul Vallely

Paul Vallely is Associate Editor of The Independent where he writes on social, ethical, political and cultural issues. He writes leaders, features and has a weekly column in the Independent on Sunday. He was co-author of the report of the Commission for Africa and has chaired several development charities.

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Yellow Rattle and mixed wildflowers, flowering in meadow

Wanted: A vision for two-thirds of the UK and the chance for David Cameron to polish his tarnished green credentials

The PM has a chance to revitalise the countryside - but his recent record suggests he has other priorities

Fighter: Ex-social services head Sharon Shoesmith, who contested her dismissal

Our love of soap opera is a real killer

The collective urge to simplify events such as the Baby P case means these grim tragedies will continue to happen – and make headlines

Family first: According to the Health Secretary, care homes are ‘a last resort’ in Asian cultures

Politicians must share our shame over neglect of Britain's elderly

Jeremy Hunt is right. We need to tackle the neglect and loneliness of old people, but he is looking at the issue through rose-tinted glasses

Pope Francis is launching a Vatican spring-clean

This week his committee of eight cardinals began work on a radical reform of the scandal-hit Vatican

Pope Francis arrives for his general audience at St Peter's square

Pope Francis: Not so much a reformer as a revolutionary

The Vatican has been turned upside down, but can he ensure that his radical changes to the Church will last?

British households will be scrutinised as never before

Sex Box: Can TV ever take sex seriously and without titillation?

There is something inescapably voyeuristic about this piece of reality TV

Ice pick: Media reports declaring global cooling because of increased Arctic ice-cover, failed to mention the historic lows in previous years

Whatever happened to climate change?

Despite the overwhelming consensus among scientists, the media are letting politicians off the hook – and the deniers are taking advantage

Raising standards: hopes were high in the early days of the United Nations

The good, the bad and global inertia

The answer to disagreement at the UN is not to break international law but to keep looking for consensus. It's difficult, but not impossible

Accidental Death of an Anarchist

Review: Accidental Death of an Anarchist, The New Theatre, Dublin

There are two kinds of classic: those whose themes are so universal they speak to every age, and those which are a canvas on which any age can write its own story. Accidental Death of an Anarchist is the latter.

Bradley Manning, now known as Chelsea, was given 35 years in jail

Heroes and villains – a modern definition

Whistleblowers are vilified or intimidated while the wrongs and the wrongdoers that they expose go uninvestigated

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Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz