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Aidan Burley, the Tory MP who bought a Nazi uniform for a friend to wear at a stag party, is presumably relieved by the conclusions of a report by Lord Gold, a Tory peer who was asked by the party to look into the affair. He concluded Mr Burley “is not a bad man, still less a racist or an anti-Semite” but he is stupid.

Football: A game in search of its soul

The post-Hillsborough plan for the national game has failed to create a brighter, safer future for football. That will only occur if the Premiership clubs' dominance is curbed. By Glenn Moore

War in the Balkans: Briefings - Nato spokesman accused of exaggeration by French

SPONTANEOUS LAUGHTER rippled through the room as journalists listened to Nato's daily press briefing. They had just heard Jamie Shea, the Nato spokesman, say that the bombing of Yugoslavia brought nothing but relief to Kosovo's oppressed Albanians. One woman, he told them, on hearing Nato jet engines overhead, said she thought it was "the sound of angels".

War In The Balkans: News Conferences - Daily rhetoric of a reluctant star

SPONTANEOUS LAUGHTER rippled through the room as journalists listened to Nato's daily press briefing. They had just heard Jamie Shea, the Nato spokesman, say that the bombing of Yugoslavia brought nothing but relief to Kosovo's oppressed Albanians. One woman, he told them, on hearing Nato jet engines overhead, said she thought it was "the sound of angels".

Media: Are you being served?

A show that mixes hard news, satire and comedy is the latest innovation in Radio 5 Live's Sunday morning slot. But not everyone is convinced. By Richard Cook

People and Business: Spin doctor's day out

THE HORSES took second place to a fascinating confrontation yesterday between Charlie Whelan, Chancellor Gordon Brown's former press adviser, and Ben Wegg-Prosser, the disturbingly youthful-looking former personal adviser to Peter Mandelson. It was Mr Mandelson, of course, who was forced to resign as trade secretary due to a leak about a certain home in Notting Hill, London, which he blamed on his political rival Mr Brown.

Letter: Media wars

Sir: I was amused to read Charlie Whelan's advice on how to woo the Tory press (Media, 16 March). Fledgling spin-doctors should resist taking his advice. Charlie failed to influence political coverage to Gordon Brown's long-term advantage because of his cynical attitude to the truth.

Media: Staggeringly masculine

The New Statesman may have gone soft under New Labour, but it's still a male clique.

Treasury footie fans kick off pounds 45m clubs boost

BRITAIN'S FOOTBALL clubs will receive a pounds 45m boost from the Treasury next year as a result of measures in the Budget.

Budget 1999: Red Gordon and the Iron Chancellor sit happily together

"REDISTRIBUTION BY stealth" is a phrase that entered the Treasury lexicon in the run-up to the Budget. Although the slogan was not intended for public use, it will enter the political bloodstream.

Soundbites, hypocrisy and the truth about the tax burden

A weak opposition making preposterous claims does not mean this is a trivial political issue

The News Quiz

1) "It would have been more of a shock if he had been sober." So said a member of airport staff after a man was arrested at Heathrow for being drunk and incapable. About whom did he say it?

Mandelson des. res. up for sale

PETER MANDELSON is to sell the pounds 750,000 house in west London's fashionable Notting Hill that led to his downfall as a cabinet minister last month.

Captain Moonlight: Brilliant, Rupert! Super, fantastic, Rosie!

t HELLO there! Well, as you can imagine, the telephones have been going absolutely mad here all week! And no prizes for guessing why: yes, that's right, nearly every call posed the same simple question: "Captain, what on earth is this bold and brassy `British Way' that William Hague is banging on about and how can I follow it?" It's a good question, isn't it? And, of course, the Captain can help. Let me give you my Top 10 pointers for following the British Way. 1) Always wear your baseball cap with the peak facing the front. 2) On a sunny day, greet everyone you meet with the traditional saying, "Warm enough for you?", then raise both eyebrows and wink. 3) On a rainy day, greet everyone with the traditional saying, "Lovely weather for ducks!", again raising the eyebrows, but replacing the wink with a sigh. 4) Mostly, though, it is safer to whistle. If in doubt, apologise. 5) Let your Yorkshire pudding mix stand for at least two hours. 6) Never chew a boiled sweet. 7) Always wear a tie with your anorak. 8) Cycle through morning mists to Holy Communion on the pavement. 9) Hum while home improving. 10) Vote New Labour. Thank you.

Mandy told to declare that loan

PETER MANDELSON has been told by the new Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards that he should declare his pounds 373,000 loan from Geoffrey Robinson in the House of Commons Register of Members' Interests, writes Rachel Sylvester.

This Student Life: This time we mean business

No more parties. No more booze. Exams are looming and the students are panicking. By Cayte Williams: Spring Term, Week 2 at the Manchester Student House
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick