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Advertising is like a faulty shower, ITV chairman Archie Norman once said, and the Downton Abbey broadcaster today showed again that is the case.

Postal workers begin clearing strike backlog

Postal workers today began clearing a huge backlog of millions of items of mail as the latest wave of strikes ended, with little sign of any fresh moves to break a deadlocked ro over jobs, pay and modernisation.

Andrew Grice: Just as Mandelson was finally winning over his party...

After Lord Mandelson wowed last month's Labour conference, Tony Blair sent him a text in which he jokingly asked whether the party had been won over by the Business Secretary or whether it was the other way round.

Tories would privatise Royal Mail, says Clarke

Shadow business secretary Kenneth Clarke said the Conservatives would privatise the Royal Mail if it wins the next general election.

Mail pickets say they have no choice

Workers joining picket lines early today insisted they had been forced into taking action.

Post strike begins after talks collapse

After last-ditch talks between the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Royal Mail failed last night, a 48-hour nationwide postal strike was due to begin at midnight. The action comes amid a row over pay, conditions and Royal Mail's modernisation plans.

Post strikes to go ahead as hopes collapse

National strikes by postal workers will go ahead tomorrow and Friday after hopes of reaching a last-minute deal collapsed.

Mark Steel: Royal Mail is to blame for our broken society (obviously)

We can already see the 'modernisation' the Government wants from posties

Recruits vital to keep mail moving, say bosses

A Royal Mail boss said today that a 30,000-strong recruitment blitz was not designed to "break" a union as last-ditch talks aimed at preventing this week's crippling strikes went ahead.

Royal Mail will hire 30,000 extra workers to beat strike

Temporary Christmas staff will be brought in early to deal with planned stoppages

'Golden generation' tag annoys Lampard

Midfielder eager for squad to deserve moniker originally delivered by Adam Crozier

Royal Mail bosses got £10m bonuses for 'efficiency drive'

The measures that have angered workers into strike vote brought executives multimillion pound rewards

Postal workers vote on national strike

Small businesses count cost as huge backlog of mail builds up in sorting offices

Royal Mail warns of pay freeze

The Royal Mail today became the latest company to warn its workers that they face a pay freeze this year because of the recession.

Commons in uproar over Mail sell-off

<i>Independent</i> survey finds opposition from all parties to Royal Mail privatisation

Leading article: The Royal Mail will not survive without reform

Those who argue that the status quo is sustainable are deluding themselves
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried