Voices

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
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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