Paul Vallely

Paul Vallely is visiting professor in Public Ethics at the University of Chester and a senior research fellow at the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Manchester. He writes on ethical, political and cultural issues. He has a fortnightly column in the Independent on Sunday and also writes for the New York Times and the Church Times. His latest book is Pope Francis – Untying the Knots. He was co-author of the report of the Commission for Africa and has chaired several development charities.

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Ukip has upbraided Godfrey Bloom for his language

Bongo Bongo Land: His Excellency the Ambassador replies

After Godfrey Bloom's outburst on foreign aid, our writer is copied in on a confidential letter to David Cameron

BLAM!

Edinburgh 2013: Blam! is set to be the Fringe's unexpected hit of the summer

At the end of Blam! the audience catapulted themselves to their feet as one and applauded wildly in a riotous standing ovation. Every festival has one totally unexpected hit and at Edinburgh 2013 it is Blam!.

Pope Francis puts people first and dogma second. Is this really the new face of Catholicism?

'Gay' was not a word which would even pass the lips of his predecessor, Benedict XVI

Hadley Fraser as Garry Kasparov in The Machine (Picture: Helen Maybanks)

Theatre Review: The Machine, Manchester Festival

When the interval arrived during The Machine I realised I had been so engrossed by the play that I had forgotten to take a single note during the first half. A play about a chess match between a man and a computer, as its author Matt Charman, had conceded beforehand, sounded almost terrifyingly dull. But this was no ordinary man. It was Garry Kasparov, the youngest world chess champion ever, who reigned unchallenged for two decades. Nor was it an ordinary machine. It was Deep Blue, then the most sophisticated chess computer the world had ever seen, which could analyse more than 500 million positions every second.

Theatre Review: The Masque of Anarchy, Manchester Festival

One of the little touches of genius about this year’s Manchester International Festival has been the imaginative choice of venues with which the artistic director Alex Poots has given extra resonance to the works being staged. Perhaps the best example of this was Maxine Peake’s bravura performance of The Masque of Anarchy, the long poem which Percy Byshe Shelley wrote in indignation against the Peterloo Massacre of 1819.

John Tavener at Bridgewater Hall as part of Manchester International Festival

Classical review: John Tavener, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester International Festival

Very occasionally a performance is so special that the audience feels reluctant to shatter the moment which hangs in the air between them and the musicians with something as profane as applause. So it was at the concert of music by Sir John Tavener at the Manchester International Festival which contained no fewer than three world premieres by the great man as he approaches his 70th birthday.

The Old Woman, Manchester International Festival

Theatre review: The Old Woman, Manchester International Festival

It would help if you read Daniil Kharms’ short story before you go to see The Old Woman which opened this year’s biennial Manchester International Festival. It would help. But not a lot.

Hidden horrors: Media coverage of the Oxford trial has focused unfairly on race and religion

The Oxford child sex abuse case shows how the media talks in stereotypes but misses the big picture

Muslim community activists are not given enough credit for challenging distorted notions of masculinity

(Top row) Akhtar Dogar, Anjum Dogar, Kamar Jamil; (Bottom row) Assad Hussain, Bassam Karrar, Mohammed Karrar and Zeeshan Ahmed

The Oxford child sex abuse verdict highlights a cultural problem, but not a specifically Muslim one

Parallels between the Oxford case and last year’s case in Rochdale raise some difficult questions. But the issues are much more complex than they seem

May 1977: Thatcher waves a mascot after speaking at the Conservative Women’s conference

How Margaret Thatcher built the myth of The Iron Lady

Saviour of the nation from post-war decadence, or heartless milk-snatcher who destroyed heavy industry and decimated whole communities? Paul Vallely sifts the reputation from the reality

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Day In a Page

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Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

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BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
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My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
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Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
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The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
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Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
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Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world