Politics seems abstract, completely removed from everyday life

Sir Michael Parkinson

Sir Michael Parkinson attacks 'youth obsession' and 'distortion standards' of modern television

An obsession with youth has "distorted the standards" of today's TV, Sir Michael Parkinson has said.

David Cameron during Prime Minister's Questions

Cameron distances himself from Lord Freud's comments over food banks

Former Work and Pensions Secretary David Blunkett condemned Lord Freud's words as inaccurate and insensitive

Turnbull: ‘a fantastic interviewer – incisive, witty and warm’

Mark Turnbull: BBC journalist who refused to let his blindness curb a glittering career

Turnbull’s meeting with Frank Sinatra at the Savoy Hotel ended up in a late-night jamming session

Shakeel Ahmad and Syed Mubarak Ahmed Crime: VAT Fraud; Owe: £19m each. Jailed for seven years in 2007 for masterminding a £37m tax fraud and then for an extra 10 years in 2010 for failing to repay money owed.

Revealed: the £675m owed by UK’s richest criminals

More than half a billion pounds owed remain unpaid, despite threat of additional jail term

Hart: he moved the NAHT to the centre stage of education politics

Sir David Hart: Influential leader of Britain's head teachers

A measure of Sir David Hart's influence in government circles can be glimpsed by the following exchange in the early days of New Labour. Tony Blair's education advisers were mulling over a potentially controversial education reform – there were murmurings about how it might be an anathema to the National Union of Teachers followed by silence. A voice, that of a senior adviser, piped up: "Ah, but what do the National Association of Head Teachers think about it?" The implication was that, if they too opposed it, it could be jettisoned to the history books.

Generous junior school children hand over an average of almost £2 a month of their pocket money to charity, poll finds

Generous junior school children hand over an average of almost £2 a month of their pocket money to charity, according to research ahead of Red Nose Day on Friday.

Poor reading skills are the most serious weakness in our education system

It should be obvious that reading skills are essential throughout education, so why has this very serious problem only just come to light?

Ken Clarke, the Justice
Secretary, will announce tomorrow that
he is increasing the amount of money raised
from offenders from £10m to £50m

Ex-Home Secretary hits out: Every offender to pay more

Lawbreakers face higher fines to fund victims' compensation

Back-to-work tsar's business has faced nine official investigations

The company belonging to the back-to-work tsar, Emma Harrison, which is being looked at by Thames Valley Police in connection with allegations of fraud by employees, has been investigated nine times since 2005 by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Government is urged to tax profits of the Big Six

One hundred leading figures are today urging the Government to tackle the predatory behaviour of big energy companies by introducing a new levy on their profits.

The Big Six energy suppliers increased their profit margins by 733 per cent in just three months last year

End energy profiteering: The rich get richer, the poor get colder

Big Six suppliers heading for bumper profits and bonuses as more than 5.5 million UK homes hit by fuel poverty

Bill Bratton: The gang-buster cop who still hankers after Scotland Yard

Why does the American former police chief, who last year was linked with the Met's top job, still manage to raise hackles in the UK? He talks to Kunal Dutta
Ms Jowell's phone was apparently targeted in 2006 when her estranged husband, David Mills, was mired in controversy over his links to former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi

News Group pay £200,00 to Tessa Jowell for NOTW hacking damages

Former Cabinet minister Tessa Jowell has accepted £200,000 in damages after her phone was targeted by the News of the World.

Matthew Norman's Media Diary

Here's a great idea for a board game
Career Services

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
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
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home