Terence Blacker

The writer and broadcaster Terence Blacker contributes a twice-weekly column on a wide range of social, cultural and environmental issues. He is the author of four novels, of prize-winning fiction for children, and has written a highly praised biography of the brilliant reprobate Willie Donaldson.

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Pippa and Kate Middleton

The New Year Dishonours list: Recognition for those who did their worst

There has been no shortage this year of nauseating figures in public life

We aren’t proper friends – so do I really owe you a Christmas card?

Sending rushed missives to distant acquaintances says nothing about friendship

Square eyes, warped souls: In every sense screens are playing a bigger part in British lives

No other country buys as much online, but does our digital dependency comes at the price of everyday fulfilment?

Terence Blacker at home with his baffling 20-page bill

Terence Blacker: The day my power supplier gave me a £5,914 electric shock

The Independent’s columnist is mystified by the arrival of a 20-page utility bill from E.ON Energy

‘Play safe and always avoid risk’ is a sad lesson to teach our children

Kids these days have an exaggerated faith in formal qualifications over practical experience. What's wrong with them?

From the Pope's new Twitter account: Anyone know if it’s a mortal sin to end a tweet with OMG?

Through a quirk of predictive text, our writer is able to anticipate the pope's first batch of holy tweets

The greenbelt has untold social and, yes, economic benefits. We shouldn't need reminding

The think-of-the-kids banner always heralds some unwise and unpopular Government policy, proposals to build on the greenbelt are no exception

Kweku Adoboli outside Southwark Crown Court yesterday

The downfall of UBS trader Kweku Adoboli is another morality tale from the City. But have we learnt anything from the Great Crash?

We ought to have spurned the grabby ethic of the City - but did the opposite

Civility breaks out on a rail journey to hell

It seems that some of the Olympic good humour lingers on, even for commuters

Oldsters are wrong to fire shots at their offspring

An email from a grandfather bitterly disappointed in his children has reignited the young vs. old debate, and Philip Roth is showing his lighter side

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Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
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