Andy McSmith's Diary: A shocking glimpse of what it took to win peace

Today being the 15th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement which brought peace to Northern Ireland, it seems as good excuse to revive anecdotes about the slightly made Secretary of State, Mo Mowlam, who did so much to make it possible while slowly dying of a malignant brain tumour.

Terence Blacker: Elizabethans we would rather forget about

The first Elizabethans had Shakespeare, we had Harold Pinter; they had Sir Walter Raleigh, we have Fred Goodwin; they had Francis Drake, we have Simon Cowell

Pyjama photo forces Netanyahu into U-turn on Gaza flotilla inquiry

Israel is expected to broaden the powers of an internal inquiry into the botched raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in May in the wake of a barrage of claims that its investigation lacks any credibility. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, appeared to cave in to domestic pressure after the committee was mocked in the Israeli media as a whitewash designed to defend the assault on 31 May that resulted in the death of nine Turkish nationals. A photograph of one 93-year-old panellist in his pyjamas looking at documents drew particular derision.

Peter Robinson: You’re on your own now and it’s going to be a difficult journey

There can be no doubt that the formidable Peter and Iris Robinson double act is finished in political terms.

Conference Diary: Do as I say...

"If I'm appointed Justice Secretary in the next Conservative administration I will end Jack Straw's serial selective and cynical trailing of government policy in the media," the shadow Justice Secretary Dominic Grieve pledged yesterday... in a speech selectively trailed by his personal spin doctor the night before it was delivered.

How pride is overcoming prejudice in Belfast

From the school you attend to the team you support – in Belfast, life is still divided along sectarian lines. But not for everyone... On the city's gay scene, Anna Leach discovers how pride is overcoming prejudice

Twelve good folk and true... or Brown's dirty dozen?

The unionists and maverick MPs who swung the vote on 42-day terror detention Labour's way

Bertie Ahern: The teflon Taoiseach who came unstuck

Bertie Ahern was untouched by the sort of scandal that has traditionally dogged Irish politics. But his mysterious financial affairs caught up with him when his secretary was forced into the spotlight. By David McKittrick

Mark Ramprakash: What I've Learnt This Week

1. A trip to Ireland to face a bogey side can bring 15 unusual minutes of fame

David McKittrick: There may soon be only one Unionist party

Paisley's party will probably be the only Unionist show in town, with devolution dependent on its assent
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links