Steve Richards

Established as one of the most influential political commentators in the country, Steve Richards became The Independent’s chief political commentator in 2000 having been political editor of the New Statesman. He presents Radio 4’s Week in Westminster.

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David Cameron and Ed Miliband attend the Queen's Speech on 4 June 2014

Where are the leaders who cast a spell? Neither Cameron nor Miliband have that quality

If you’re not strong, at least appear to be strong

When asked about reform in general, David Cameron insists that he is about “giving power away from the centre to the users of public services” (PA)

Reform is the watchword, right across the political spectrum. But what does it mean?

From Education to the NHS, the debate is framed in terms that are far too simplistic

Supporters of the radical left-wing party Syriza celebrate in Athens after its convincing election victory (PA)

Where does power lie? The question that ties us to Athens

The election in Greece was about power, where it lies and who wields it, voters refused to accept that control lay with the European Central Bank and Angela Merkel alone

Supporters of New Democracy wave Greek flags during Antonis Samaras pre-election speech.

Greece elections: Where does power lie? This is the question that ties the UK to Athens

Many voters have been motivated by a sense of powerlessness in both countries

John Major on his soapbox in 1992. Such an approach still counts

Do not adjust your TV. This election will be decided on the doorstep

There will be no uniform national swing but a hundred different local swings

Neil Kinnock welcomed Ed Miliband as Labour leader

Don’t mistake Ed Miliband for Neil Kinnock — he is in a far better place

The Tories are failing to win the battle of ideas, while the tide is moving increasingly in Miliband's favour

Travelers are locked out of Finsbury Park station, London, where they were directed to go as trains in and out of King's Cross have been cancelled

Our public services are in steep decline. Can we change track?

Some of the failures we've seen recently would shame a Third World country

Could the real Theresa May please stand up?

The Home Secretary is shy and lacking in overt political guile, and yet at the same time an almost certain leadership candidate

Miliband should lead the fight to make life affordable for all of us

From the poor to the middle classes, the cost of living has become a big theme

The ambition to rebalance an economy so heavily dependent on the South-east was a recurring theme of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement

Autumn Statement 2014: George Osborne is a man on a mission — I’m just not sure what it is

These are safe pledges to make before an election, but billions will still have to be cut for the Chancellor's target to be met

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Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor