Voices

Both sides know that the top rate of income tax is mainly symbolic

Labour leader Ed Miliband and shadow Chancellor Ed Balls

'Project Ed' to be relaunched –with a dose of economic reality

The Labour leader today takes the fight to Cameron in a speech focusing on a 'responsible capitalism'

Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper have agreed to 'protect their children'

John Rentoul: No one to replace Ed Miliband? Try Yvette Cooper

Cooper's politics are not mine but she would be populist on law and order, and she would be noticed

Simon Carr: Our money will be safe by the next parliament – a sort of Neverland for MPs

Sketch: Vince had a look of morose satisfaction, but with George championing it and Balls opposing it, it was no Lib Dem victory
The FSA identified six key factors in the failure of RBS, most significantly its weak capital position and over-reliance on risky short-term funding in wholesale markets

FSA admits inadequacy in dealing with failing banks

Political pressure from senior Labour politicians – including the now shadow Chancellor Ed Balls – was partly responsible for the failure to regulate the Royal Bank of Scotland in the years leading to the banking crash, a critical report concluded yesterday.

Ed Balls said in 2006 that nothing should put at risk a light-touch regulatory regime

Labour was behind failure to regulate RBS, FSA report says

Pressure from last government was partly responsible for hands-off approach, review claims

David Cameron, Tony Blair and Ed Balls showing their sensitive sides

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to...

Politicians used to show that they cared by kissing babies. Now they tell us what makes them tearful. Andy McSmith on the politics of crying

Simon Carr: Is anyone in this House old enough to remember that Napoleon chap?

Events nowadays are very large and our young leaders look like pygmies

John Rentoul: Who will say we're better off out of Europe?

If the single currency survives, it may not be long before a serious politician calls for Britain to leave the EU

The Sketch: High-pitched Cameron flustered by Labour's farmyard noises

Yesterday I worried the Sketch was a bit lofty about the House of Commons' economic debate. The Labour front bench was arguing in sign language, the signs were rude, and the Sketch shuddered, perhaps a little delicately. The signs got ruder yesterday, if Tory reports are true.

The Sketch: You wouldn't want to have this guy's stare fixed on you under a swinging lightbulb

First impressions of the Met's new Commissioner? An athletic, steady-eyed, rough-skinned sort of man. A stranger to exfoliants and facial moisturisers. Lean. Watchful. A discharged soldier who's been sleeping rough would look like Mr Hogan-Howe. He has a fixity of attention that would be unnerving were it applied to oneself under a swinging lightbulb.

Simon Carr: He's betting on tax cuts, but my money is on yet another war

Sketch: Balls is putting all his chips on red and letting the wheel spin. It's not casino banking but casino politics

Diary: A Star turn from Sally

Just on the off chance that some of you might have missed it, newly crowned national treasure Sally Bercow made her much-anticipated debut as a columnist for the Daily Star Sunday yesterday.

Ed Balls fears Alistair Darling memoirs damage

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has acknowledged that Alistair Darling's memoir of life in 11 Downing Street has handed the Conservatives an opportunity to divert attention from the economic difficulties facing the UK.

Alistair Darling to expose 'volcanic' Gordon Brown

Former Chancellor Alistair Darling will lift the lid on Gordon Brown's increasingly "brutal and volcanic" demeanour when his memoirs are published next week, according to a Labour-supporting blog.

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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
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor