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We’ve all been there, wading through the endless phone menus, queues and scripted conversations

Mark Steel: So this is New Labour's legacy...

They sacrificed all to get elected and now can't get elected to anything

Minister resigns over PM's 'rule by smear'

Gordon Brown lost yet another member of his Government yesterday when the Farming minister, Jane Kennedy, quit rather than pledge loyalty to him. She called on the Prime Minister to "make way for an alternative leader".

Leading article: Unequal opportunities

If Caroline Flint MP is to be believed – and there is at least a grain of truth in what she says about the decorative position still occupied by women in politics, as in many other walks of life – women still face difficulties in making their voices heard at the top national tables on an equal footing with men. As far as participation in higher education goes, however, female inequality has become a thing of the past. How thoroughly the gender balance of this key sector has shifted is shown in a report just published by the Higher Education Policy Institute.

Bruce Anderson: Brown clings on – dithering, bloodied, but not yet broken

Gordon Brown can't make a decision – but he won't let others decide either

Battle for survival at No 10: Mandelson key to defeat of rebels

Business Secretary repays 15-year debt as he orchestrates the fightback, with Tony Blair also riding to the rescue. Brian Brady and Jane Merrick report

Beasts vs Belles: Sugar's arrival adds to women ex-ministers' complaints

He has just been given a peerage by Gordon Brown and came to the rescue of the Government in his new role as "enterprise tsar". And tonight, he will select his new apprentice from an all-woman final.

PM in crisis: Make-or-break Monday

Rebels plan new push against Brown within next 24 hours while Blears ponders Howe moment and Labour faces Euro poll meltdown

Leading article: We should stick with Brown. For now

A week truly like no other. It began, as throughout the past month, with a rack of headlines about greedy MPs; and ended with Gordon Brown standing shoulder to shoulder with D-Day veterans on the Normandy beaches. In between came the most tumultuous, tortuous and unpredictable machinations of the modern political era: the departure of six cabinet ministers; the return to the Cabinet of Peter Hain and Tessa Jowell; three peers; four women, the lowest number since the days of John Major; and the survival, just, by the skin of his polished veneers of the Prime Minister. Whew!

Joan Smith: We don't do female sacrifice any more, Prime Minister

It was a bloodbath. Last week, like a wounded warrior trying to appease vengeful gods, Gordon Brown sacrificed one woman after another in a desperate attempt to save his own skin. By Friday evening, the stench of burning female flesh rose over Westminster as Margaret Beckett and Caroline Flint were added to the pyre, joining Jacqui Smith, Hazel Blears and Beverley Hughes. The cull was drastic, reducing the number of women in the Cabinet from eight, when Tony Blair left office two years ago, to a feeble four. There are now more peers (seven) than women round the cabinet table and Brown need lose only one more to be in the same position as John Major in 1997. So much for a Prime Minister who portrays himself, morning, noon and night, as a politician committed to fairness and equal rights. I mean, pull the other one, mate.

Alan Watkins: Labour has lost all its stuffing

Punched and pummelled from all sides, there is scarcely anything left of the party

Leading article: A reshuffle that betrays the Prime Minister's weakness

Mr Brown will not be able to restore his authority by willpower alone

Brown moves deckchairs around his Cabinet table

Blairites promoted to fill the gaps left by political soulmates / Jowell and Cooper move up as PM tries to answer female critics

'Window dressing' tops female complaints

Brown and women

Brown: I’m going nowhere

On an extraordinary day when he lost six ministers, frantically reshuffled his Cabinet, took a pounding in the council elections, and stood accused of sexism by Caroline Flint, Gordon Brown says he's going nowhere

Flint knifes Brown after reshuffle chaos

Gordon Brown backed away from shifting Alistair Darling out of No. 11 today as he shook up his top team - while the resigning minister Caroline Flint berated Gordon Brown for treating her as "female window dressing''.

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Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
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A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
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Life and Style
fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
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Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
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Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
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Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
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Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
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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
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Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention