Thomas Sutcliffe

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The Critical Condition: How to make a better viewer

In the second part of our week-long series on the culture of criticism, we consider what it means to be a television critic. What is the TV critic's role? What is his relationship with his subject? And what, ultimately, is his objective? By Thomas Sutcliffe

The Queen's Speech: The Sketch - Chocolate box occasion pleases the soft centre

`The peasants might have been wearing their Sunday best but they had come armed with legislative pitch-forks and were looking for blue blood'

The Sketch: Lords game of ping-pong sets the moths a-flutter

RARELY DOES the House of Lords quicken the pulse, but in the narrow passageway that leads into the press gallery, in which journalists wait while prayers are conducted, there was a moth's flutter of excitable cliches yesterday. "Scorched earth," whispered one voice; "Uncharted waters" hissed another. I wondered for a moment whether this was my first encounter with rumour buzzing through the corridors of power, but the pinched aperture in question hardly qualifies for such a grand description and the most powerful person present was probably the clerk. Still, the bathos of the shortfall could be taken as appropriate because this whisper of anticipation had been provoked by the prospect of yet another debate on the European Parliamentary Elections Bill, a confrontation which is either Democracy's siege of the Alamo or the last silly indulgence of an indefensible anachronism, depending on your point of view.

Sexy: Labour's new buzzword

IT IS one of the oldest tricks in the editor's book: spice up a dull cover line with the word "sex".

The Sketch: An awful lot of beef over pork barrels, Bills and bananas

A FEW DAYS ago, the House of Commons was assured that the armed forces were doing their bit to chew Britain out of the beef crisis. At barracks throughout the land, members were told, British beef was on the menu and steady progress was being made ethnically to cleanse the outsourcing of pork products.
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Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot