Simon Usborne

Simon Usborne is a features writer at The Independent and i.

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West End Boys: Neil Tennant (left) and Chris Lowe of The Pet Shop Boys are performing at the Proms

Unjust for Alan Turing, unjust for the 50,000 others: Pet Shop Boys call for mass pardon for 'gross indecency' convictions

As the Pet Shop Boys call for pardons for thousands of gay men with historic convictions for 'gross indecency', Simon Usborne finds that the repressive laws are still blighting lives today

Unjust for Turing, unjust for 50,000 others

As the Pet Shop Boys call for pardons for thousands of gay men with historic convictions for 'gross indecency', Simon Usborne finds that the repressive laws are still blighting lives today
An early colour photograph of the crater left by the biggest of the blasts beneath German positions near Messines on 14 June 1917

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: A blast that obliterated 10,000 Germans

When the British detonated 19 mines at Messines on 7 June 1917, it was the biggest man-made explosion ever seen

Weather wars at the Met Office: Is it going to be a 'barbecue summer' this year?

Adam Scaife has a tricky job: long-range forecaster at the Met Office
Humbling experience: Rosie visited Phnom Penh in Cambodia for Unicef

Simon Usborne: If nothing else, Pantani: the Accidental Death of a Cyclist will leave you with an urge to ride up a big hill

It's grand tour season, with the Giro d'Italia due to end tomorrow, three bruising weeks after it rolled out of Belfast. Next stop: Yorkshire and the Tour de France. In the meantime, my desk creaks like Boris Johnson's bike under well-timed cycling books and films.

Alan Johnson recalled how, as a child, he used to have to stuff paper in his ears at night, to keep out the cockroaches, beetles and earwigs

A stroll into the past: As his memoirs continue to garner accolades, former Home Secretary Alan Johnson retraces the steps which led to success

Few politicians come from more humble beginnings than the former Home Secretary Alan Johnson. He joins Simon Usborne for a stroll into a part of west London which has changed both radically – and not very much at all
Barely keeping a lid on it: councils are juggling bin sizes and numbers

Totally rubbish: Britain risks turning into a nation of wasters

Are you suffering from green-bin fatigue? As Britain's recycling rate looks set to fall, Simon Usborne examines why we risk turning into a nation of wasters

Street view: Simon takes a snap of the Lisbon skyline with a Nexus 5 smartphone

Tourism technology: How to enjoy a roaming holiday

This summer, data charges get cheaper for travellers within the the EU – and that means a chance to discover just how far tourism technology has come. Simon Usborne explores Lisbon with a smartphone as his guide
Pool with a view: a wall of glass means you miss nothing

Room Service: Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, Co Waterford, Ireland

Captivating jewel on the Cork coastline

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice