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.


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.
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