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Newly released papers reveal a startling lack of unity in Government circles over how to respond to the 1982 Argentine invasion

Birthday party row hits Hong Kong chief

Plans to honour a senior political adviser in the former British colony have upset taxpayers, reports Stephen Vines

Arts: Shopping refugee creeps back to a warm welcome

Cheltenham Literary Festival sponsored by The Independent

The Tories: MPs get the blame for May election defeat

The Conservative rank-and-file savaged their MPs yesterday, blaming them for the May defeat. Anthony Bevins, Political Editor, says that the Blackpool debate considerably strengthens the hand of William Hague.

Cheltenham `97: Nostalgia is all the Raj

This year's festival looks back on Britain's imperial retreat from the colonies, which began over 50 years ago and heralded great changes for our national identity.

Major plans an emotional curtain-call

John Major will go to the Tories' Blackpool conference to back the new leader. Will that be useful? Yes, says Colin Brown: Mr Hague needs all the help he can get.

Eyes right for the best show of the party season

Poor Paddy. By rights, all eyes (forgive the seasonal exaggeration) should be turning to his conference sessions by the sea. It is hard, however, to escape the sense that the Liberal Democrats in Eastbourne just aren't where the action is. In spite of their electoral success in May, the Lib Dems lack bite. Tony Blair's assault on the centre has stolen many of their clothes, try though Mr Ashdown does on the page opposite to conceal the theft. Besides, if it is political fun we are after, our attention is drawn rightwards, Spainwards, SmithSquarewards. This week, whatever happens at the seaside, the main political chatter will be about the Tory party leadership.

Ballot fiasco could leave Hague floundering

William Hague's "back me or sack me" ballot on his leadership of the Tory Party is heading for a shambles, with an even less convincing endorsement than the devolution referendum in Wales.

Mandelson launches fresh attack on BBC

Labour's chief spin doctor Peter Mandelson has launched a fresh attack on BBC journalists in the wake of on-air clashes between him and broadcasters over claims that he had manipulated the media, writes Donald Mcintyre.

Whatever happened to... Radical magazines

War of Words

Ashdown enters fray over HK plot claims

Paddy Ashdown last night demanded an inquiry by a Commons select committee into allegations that Britain colluded with China in the hand-over of Hong Kong.

A final snipe at the last Governor goes wide of the mark

What has infuriated the FO mandarins is the light Dimbleby's book about Patten sheds on the secret negotiations in the 1980s

Letter: View of China

It is time for journalists to consider the US relationship with China in the late 1940s when the media and politicians were as one in proclaiming the Nationalists as the only viable government for China. The dissenting voices then, as now, were the sinologists in the State Department. Unfortunately their analysis that the Nationalists were corrupt went against the prevailing mood, their warnings were ignored and most saw their careers destroyed during the McCarthy era after being condemned as communist sympathisers.

Colonial echoes as Tung shuts out the people

Can it really be just a month since the installation of the new order in Hong Kong? The question arises because in this very short space of time a sea change has swept through the former colony's civil service which was forced kicking and screaming into a more open existence under the former Governor Chris Patten.

DICTATOR OF DEMOCRACY

Chris Patten was Hong Kong's greatest Governor as well as its last one. Raymond Whitaker welcomes Jonathan Dimbleby's study of a decent, clever man

Envoys accused of HK betrayal

Pressure is growing for a parliamentary inquiry into charges that senior politicians and diplomats colluded with Peking to prevent the development of democratic government in Hong Kong. In the former colony, supporters of the new government are rubbing their hands with glee over the row in London.
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
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Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution
peopleFilm star says he is 'not interested in making money anymore'
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
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newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Chastain during an interview in Los Angeles.
filmsOscar hopeful Jessica Chastain reveals the secret to her breakthrough success
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Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

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Life and Style
Meow! ... Again, Kim Kardashian goes for a sexy Halloween costume, wrapping her body with a latex catsuit and high heeled knee boots
fashionFrom Heidi Klum to Kim Kardashian
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Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker