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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How to build a saint: Pope Francis is elevating two recent predecessors today - so what does it take to be canonised?

A life of virtue helps. And a miracle or two. Finally, though, the Vatican might be swayed by low politics. Paul Vallely explores the unheavenly business of sainthood
Sir Alex Ferguson’s genius kept us at the top for far longer than should have been the case

Moyes sacking: He is the fall guy for Glazers’ policy

The departed manager had many faults and had to go, writes United season-ticket holder Paul Vallely, but the crisis at Old Trafford stems from 2005’s disgraceful leveraged buyout

The church has lost its way on the road to gay marriage

Since Victorian times, when marrying for love became commonplace, this weekend’s change has been inevitable

No contest: Russian flags show how people of Sevastopol will vote in today’s referendum

Ukraine crisis: Is the West trying to upset the Russians?

This is not the Cold War. Ukraine should not be forced to take sides, but the EU and US are behaving provocatively on Moscow's doorstep

Pope Francis - the first year: Is the rebel too good to be true?

He is cleaning up the Vatican bank. He thinks the Catholic Church should worry less about homosexuality and more about the poor. He has ruffled feathers - but, asks his biographer Paul Vallely, is he as radical as he seems?

Part of the process: Former IRA member John Downey

Northern Ireland: The responses, not the IRA amnesties, damage peace

The slow running peace process in Northern Ireland has not been helped by the posturing on all sides after the IRA amnesty revelations

The vicious schism between Sunni and Shia has been poisoning Islam for 1,400 years - and it's getting worse

Tracing the current conflict in Syria back to the year 632, when the Prophet Mohamed died

Determined: Danny Bond, seen here in 2001, eventually decided to starve himself to death

Child euthanasia: Too hard to live, too young to die

The decision in Belgium to allow euthanasia for sick children raises questions about the fitness of young people to make life-and-death decisions, and about medical ethics

A scene from 'The Prince of the Pagodas'
Still Freakish ... but increasingly common weather is causing problems around the world, like in the Somerset Levels

Prince Charles is right about climate change

Ignoring global warming and its causes is a comforting path for politicians paralysed by self-interest and the consolations of denial

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?