Voices

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

John Rentoul: Clever talk costs livelihoods

Riots in Britain, earthquakes in Japan, panic in the eurozone... and capitalism is a survivor every time

Sharon Shoesmith could get £1m compensation

The former child protection boss Sharon Shoesmith is in line for compensation estimated at up to £1m after judges rejected applications to challenge a ruling that she was unfairly sacked following the Baby P tragedy.

Sharon Shoesmith in line for compensation

Former child protection boss Sharon Shoesmith is in line for compensation estimated at up to £1 million after judges rejected applications to challenge a ruling that she was unfairly sacked following the Baby P tragedy.

Kerry McCarthy: MPs should tweet more, not less

A survey published yesterday revealed that MPs spend 1,000 hours a year tweeting. That's all MPs added together, working out at a scandalous not even one whole minute per MP per day. The suggestion is that this is far too much. My response would be that it's far too little.

Coalition splits emerge over 50p top rate of tax

A Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister stoked up Coalition tensions yesterday as he ridiculed calls from the Tory Right to scrap the 50p top rate of income tax for the highest earners as "cloud cuckoo land".

Ed Balls: British jobs depend on the Greek rescue plan's success

A vital European summit. The stability of the global economy at stake. British jobs and wider economic interests hang in the balance. And neither the British Prime Minister nor the Chancellor was at the meeting. Nor do they seem to have made any effort to be there.

Blair attacks Brown's office record

Former prime minister Tony Blair has attacked the record in office of his successor Gordon Brown and warned Labour it needs to avoid any return to its traditional left-wing comfort zone if it is to have a chance of electoral success.

MPs: Gove's obsession with phonics will turn children off reading

Children's reading standards may be damaged by the Government's promotion of teaching phonics in schools, a report by an all-party group of MPs warns today. The Coalition is keen on the use of synthetic phonics – where children learn the sounds of letters rather than whole words – as the best way to improve reading standards among pupils.

Alastair Campbell reveals details of Gordon Brown- Tony Blair rift

Tony Blair's former director of communications Alastair Campbell speaks out on the ex-prime minister's fraught relationship with his chancellor Gordon Brown in the latest extract from his diaries, published by The Guardian today.

Households raid savings as incomes are squeezed

Weak consumer spending is preventing the economy from staging a sustained recovery, data released by the Office for National Statistics suggested yesterday.

The Sketch: Balls trying to turn on the charm is like an elephant trying to foxtrot

It sounded like the Labour backbencher was accusing the Prime Minister of "a New-Turn". She said that after so many New Turns, "It's hard to know which way he is facing". Always towards Disraeli, is the answer; don't confuse the man with the measures.

Ed Balls calls police over papers leak

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has called in police to investigate how personal documents left in his former Whitehall offices were leaked to the press.

Labour accuses Cameron of double standards over 'runaway dads'

David Cameron was accused of double standards after calling for fathers who abandon their families to be "stigmatised", while backing policies which could make it more costly for mothers to pursue them for financial support.

Cameron: 'We should stigmatise feckless dads'

Fathers who abandon their families should be "stigmatised" by society in the same way as drink drivers, David Cameron has said.

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas