Arts and Entertainment

A music documentary that oozes irritating smugness

inside back: Lights, camera, politicians

During the 1992 election, everybody deplored the fact that the campaign was wholly conducted on the virtual stump of the television screen. This time round, we've all accepted the centrality of the small screen's role, and are far more exercised by the politicians' new addiction to negative campaigning. In 2002, that in turn will have become part of the electoral furniture, and we'll all get a lot more hot and bothered about some other novelty of the hustings: the television debate between the prime ministerial candidates, perhaps, that will surely come to pass next time round.

Election '97: Candidates issued a talk challenge to clear the air

Charter 88, the constitutional reform pressure group, yesterday launched its "Democracy Day" campaign, in which voters get a chance to question parliamentary candidates at the largest public forum of its kind in a general election campaign

Letter: Peace in the East depends on the West

Sir: Alone among the British papers, you rightly highlighted in your leading article (16 September) the importance of the newly concluded Hungarian- Romanian treaty: the potential settlement of one of Europe's most thorny security issues, affecting large numbers of ethnic Hungarians, is a matter which deserves careful attention.

Ashdown says Price is right for voters

Alan Price used to provide the backing for Eric Burdon and the Animals, but today he will be providing the musical support to Paddy Ashdown in a Liberal Democrat party political broadcast.

The Boo Radleys: as not seen on TV

When I hear "Wake Up Boo!" by the Boo Radleys, I reach for my knuckleduster. The song is the musical equivalent of a big, fat Colgate smile, and after a grin like that has been smeared over every radio and TV set in the country for a few weeks, anyone would want to punch it. As for the Boo Radleys, last summer I had an almost continuous urge to trash their guitars, melt their records, wipe the smiles off their faces, and find painful hiding places for those inane, parping trumpets.

Pop Live: Billy Bragg Jazz Cafe, London

Down the Chalk Farm Road they came, veterans of the Miners' Strike and other Eighties struggles, for a night out with an old mate. In these changing times, when even the Labour Party isn't what it used to be, there is something comforting about the sight of Billy Bragg, post-punk poet of the people, alone on stage with his electric guitar.

Letter : Come back Billy Bragg, Labour can't afford to lose you

So Billy Bragg has left New Labour. Thank God for that. Now I can continue to like his records without the nagging feeling that I am covertly supporting Blair's backsliding.

A REBEL WITH A CAUSE

In the 1980s, Billy Bragg was Labour's light in the darkness, pop's champion of the Left. But now the polls predict a Labour victory, it seems that Bragg has turned his back on the party. Why?

Billy Bragg out of tune with New Labour

Billy Bragg, the socialist singer who once championed Labour's cause in the pop charts, has turned his back on the party.

New Labour loses Billy Bragg's voice

Billy Bragg, the socialist singer who once championed Labour's cause in the pop charts, has turned his back on the party, writes Cole Moreton.

Model making - at eight and three quarters

You have to start 'em young on the catwalk. Rose Rouse joins the pushy mums

FESTIVAL FEVER

As a student back in Leeds in the early '80s, this little bookworm was privileged to attend the legendary Leeds Fringe Festival. What a party! Liggers and performers outnumbered punters. Having obtained bogus press accreditation, we established ourselves in a box at the Festival's hub, the City Varieties, where nightly we entertained notables like Billy Bragg. Theatre groups, poets, gigs, pig-squealing sax breaks from busker Xero Slingsby: all presided over by the man from the council smiling bravely as his budget haemorrhaged all over the stage.

Well on the road to Hellville

"The Guildford Four are free. When will the rest of Guildford be free? More importantly, when will the United Kingdom 52 million be free?" Alan Parker - Urban Warrior, campaigning crusader for the oppressed majority (that's you), storms the airwaves tonight (9pm R1) with his third radio series, 59 Minutes of Truth.

ARTS / Outside Edge: James Bloom on the new sound of political protest

LAST THURSDAY saw the opening night of the Velvet Revolution, a nationwide tour of art and music against the Criminal Justice Bill.

Opinions: Which politician would you most like to smack?

SIMON McQUEEN, artist: Michael Portillo should be smacked around the head with a copy of the Criminal Justice Bill. I know it's not strictly relevant to him but he seems like a good person to do it to. It's fairly sad actually because I don't really know any Labour ones, apart from the geezer who's just taken over as leader - what's his name?
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Day In a Page

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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism