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Letter: Wesker and Shylock

Sir: Arnold Wesker's trenchant attack on Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice ("Shame on you, Shakespeare", 21 July) is made to look foolish by the production currently running at the National Theatre.

Young adults and the meaning of life

Should you scramble for cash, like a coke-fuelled commodities broker, or drift along like a hippie?

Leading Article: Coronation Street needs a touch of government brass

THE BRITISH, it seems, are on the move again. New research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation suggests that 30,000 of us are migrating every year from the North to the South. This mass internal movement is, in truth, probably smaller than the ones that occurred in the bleakest years of the 1930s and the 1980s, let alone those during the great agricultural depressions of the 18th and 19th centuries. But it is still a substantial movement of people and, of course, comes on top of decades of previous migrations that have made the phrase "North-South divide" part of the common currency of national debate.

Tennis: Teenager Hilton in cup call

MARK HILTON, a 17-year-old from Mickle Trafford, near Chester, jointly ranked No 26 in Britain and No 1,107 in the world with four other players, will take his place alongside Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski in the Davis Cup squad for first round of the World Group against the United States in Birmingham at Easter.

Wanted: cute puppy with helmet

IF I thought there was any point, I'd go to Crufts tomorrow and get my mother a dog. She's desperate for another one. There is, however, absolutely no point in my schlepping myself all the way to Birmingham because she wants a mongrel. Not just any old mongrel, either. If she can't have one like Boy, then she wants one like this, please, and into my hand she thrust a large, pink, greetings card saying "Happy Birthday Granny" above a picture of a sickeningly cute puppy, straight out of Lady and the Tramp, and wearing a policeman's helmet.

Regalian plans power station bid

BATTERSEA power station, the south London building immortalised by Pink Floyd's Animals album cover, could soon be home to the Coldstream Guards.


Paul Gambaccini's favourite restaurant

The Irritations of Modern Life: 23: directory enquiries

ANY DIRECTORY enquiries staff reading this, pay attention and listen up. The following numbers are all London ones: the Palace of Westminster (as in Westminster where Parliament is); Battersea Dogs' Home (an actually quite high-profile dogs home in Battersea); Buckingham Palace (where the Queen lives). I repeat: all these national landmarks are situated in the capital. So why do you always ask "Which town?" as though there might be another Palace of Westminster in, say, Grimsby or Penzance?

Obituary: Ernie Perry

FOR SOME of his contemporaries in the House of Commons, the abiding memory of Ernie Perry is standing at the entrance to the aye and no lobbies at divisions and with his broad smile coming up afterwards and saying: "I counted you in and I counted you out." Perry was enormously proud of being the first undertaker ever to become a Member of Parliament.

Words: colliflour, n.

ABSENT FROM "Books of the Year" was Ann Fadiman's delightful Ex Libris, a sassy volume on and around such matters as inscriptions on flyleaves, the merging of libraries on marriage - and the fact that all Fadiman's family are obsessive proof-readers. In restaurants, their waiter is invariably delayed by their putting the menu into proper shape, from redundant apostrophes to surreal spelling.

Obituary: Professor V. S. Griffiths

V. S. GRIFFITHS joined Battersea College of Technology in 1946 and saw it through its transformation into a College of Advanced Technology, and then its move to Guildford in 1966, when it became Surrey University. There he served as Pro Vice-Chancellor from 1968 until his retirement in 1982.

Politics: Neill Committee: Government to take sides in referendums

JACK STRAW strongly indicated yesterday that Lord Neill's call for the government of the day to remain neutral in a referendum campaign may not be implemented.

Literature: Raymond Carver

"If we're lucky, writer and reader alike, we'll finish the last line of a short story and then just sit for a minute quietly," wrote Raymond Carver. "Our body temperature will have gone up, or down, by a degree. Then, we'll collect ourselves and go on to the next thing: life. Always life."
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Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before