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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Are you a believer? Lucille Ball in the 1940s

Stuff I've Been Reading, By Nick Hornby: Book review

From North Korea to Lucille Ball, this collection has both charm and smugness

Mixed message: Lily Allen's new video

Real debate vs striking a pose

There's nothing new in celebrities 'speaking out' about controversial issues. But how, asks Terence Blacker, did their half-formed views start to replace real debate?

Hope rather than experience: Young fame-seekers queue for TV talent show auditions

The lost generation: The kids brought up to feel as if they're failing - from school to TV shows like The Apprentice and The X Factor

Privilege, it seems, is not all it’s cracked up to be. As depression besets middle-class youth,  where’s society going wrong?

Your face will soon be scanned by Tesco: How adverts are about to become discriminating

At first glance, the Sugar screen-camera might seem a harmless form of surveillance

Comedian Jo Brand on Have I Got News For You

On Have I Got News For You, what could be safer than a risqué joke about Prince Harry?

The show represents the new establishment, and too often it picks easy targets

Justin Welby wants credit unions to provide an alternative to payday lenders but he says it will take a decade

Action man: Give Justin Welby an issue and he will speak out

He fights the wrongdoings of the payday loaners and now the Big Six – what next?

Burbo Bank off shore wind farm in the mouth of the River Mersey

Terence Blacker: Don’t want a wind farm near you? Well, good luck stopping it

Enthusiasm for wind farms is propelled by financial rewards, not by idealism

Sex Box

Terence Blacker: Sex Box is titillation that masquerades as serious television

We are being invited to take Channel 4's new idea far too seriously

The developers’ charter spells doom for our green spaces

This plan shows the government’s view of landscape as a commodity

The gospel according to Bono? Take credit for the good, and shrug off the bad

The pop star offers a perfect summation of modern morality with his tax affairs

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Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own