Thomas Sutcliffe

i Newspaper
 
TheIPaper
The Independent around the web

Parliament The Sketch: Calculus, confusion and the question of elastic children

QUESTION: IF, as the Chancellor said in his budget statement recently, our children are 20 per cent of the population but 100 per cent of our future and if 10 per cent of our future is to benefit from new schemes to stretch intellectually able pupils, then what percentage of our population will have cause to be grateful for Mr Blunkett's announcement yesterday on Excellence in Education?

The Lawrence Report: The Sketch - Contrition in the playground

I DON'T know whether Doreen and Neville Lawrence have visited the House of Commons before but, even if not, they will scarcely need telling that their experience yesterday was not typical. Most members of the public do not sit on the floor of the chamber for one thing, but in the gallery. Most visitors will not find that virtually every speech begins with an encomium to their personal qualities of dignity and determination. Most visitors, above all, do not find that they are central figures in what amounts to a national ritual of confession and contrition. As speaker after speaker enjoined the House to read, study and inwardly digest the conclusions of the Lawrence report, they sat at the back of the chamber more like judges than honoured guests, authority vested in them by bereavement. The guilty verdict they presided over was not the one they had originally sought, but had now expanded to encompass a whole police force, if not a whole society. It was, said the Prime Minister, "a very important moment in the life of our own country".

Parliament The Sketch: On a momentous day for our island race, Blair turns up

WAS IT Tony Blair's presence in the House yesterday that was worthy of note or the absence of his absence?

The Sketch: Mask of severity cracks at legislative game show

"OPEN-MINDED though I am, masochism has never had any attractions for me," confessed Glenda Jackson, responding to an impertinent inquiry about her private appetites from Dr Stephen Ladyman.

Parliament: The Sketch: Opposition leader expends ammunition on single issue

THE PHRASE "within the last few hours" always gives a little frisson to proceedings in the House, not only by its promise of urgency but because it holds out the tantalising possibility that we are going to be told something we don't already know. Mr Hague used it to good effect in his first question to the Prime Minister yesterday, ending a list of attacks in Northern Ireland with the murder of Eamon Collins and so rather grimly injecting fresh blood into his call for a halt to the early release of terrorist prisoners.

Iraq Bombings: The Sketch - PM shows the strain in face of resounding support

MOST PEOPLE, if required to read out a 25 minute speech in front of a large and potentially sceptical crowd, wouldn't put money on their ability to make it from start to finish without a single slip of the tongue. But Tony Blair could make such a bet with fair confidence that he wouldn't lose very often. It is one of the Prime Minister's less salient talents that he hardly ever makes a fluff when he reads a statement to the House, even when he departs from the fairway of his script into the rough of scribbled addenda.
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent