Howe attacks book on Patten's Hong Kong years

Lord Howe, the former chancellor and foreign secretary, yesterday launched a stinging attack on Chris Patten's governorship of Honk Kong, as depicted in Jonathan Dimbleby's just-published book on the handover.

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold: Rees-Mogg and Roy Strong: my neighbours from hell

The dread gogglebox? I barely watch it, busy man of letters that I am. To be frank, I find there is little space in one's busy schedule for it, particularly when one is forced to spend so much time getting to grips with all those new faces on Channel 5.

Clarke dismisses referendum call

Kenneth Clarke, the former chancellor, yesterday dismissed William Hague's call for a referendum on the outcome of the Amsterdam summit by saying that Britain was "becoming like Switzerland without the cowbells".

The bells! The bells!

Phil Johnson hears house music with a difference at the Salisbury Festival from, among others, Robert Fripp, left

PM scraps political honours for services to party loyalty

Political honours for loyalty to the party are to be ended by Tony Blair in a gesture to clean up a system which has been widely criticised as out-dated.

Drawn to the truth: Cartoons chart women's battle for equality

The cartoon dates from 1928. "The Parliament of the future", it says, under a picture of an all-female House. If only, the sisters of the Nineties might reply.

Election '97: A man used to booking his seat early

Alan Watkins in Horncastle with Sir Peter Tapsell, a Eurosceptic and an admirer of Keynes

Letter: Absence of debate on how to counter potential conflict in Europe

Sir: So France too is to hold parliamentary elections. In his television announcement, which amounted to a campaign manifesto, President Chirac made a ringing endorsement of the advantages for France of the European Union and the single currency, in the manner of those past British leaders of both main parties who campaigned for Britain accession to the Union in the Sixties:

Tories sink deeper into civil war

Clarke slams 'paranoid nonsense' on Europe as Blair gets tough over single currency

Election 1997: 'We're not all overwhelmingly desirous of becoming ministers'

The retiring member for Oswestry, John Biffen, explains to Alan Watkins that there is more to life than political ambition

Election '97: Why quality of life is poor cousin to economic growth

Rising pollution, inequality, crime and social tension are the explanations for a dramatic reduction in economic well-being in Britain since 1980, and again since 1992, according to an updated index of sustainable economic welfare to be published this week.

Portillo is holed up in the bunker as Blair finds the right range

The difference between the Conservative and Labour election machines was shown yesterday when Tony Blair spent more than two hours at a Wirral hospital while Michael Portillo, the Secretary of State for Defence, visited a private golf club at nearby Eastham.

Heath condemned as a socialist by Tory Euro-sceptics

Sir Edward Heath, the former Conservative prime minister, was yesterday urged to join New Labour by furious Tory Euro-sceptic MPs after endorsing Tony Blair's programme for the social chapter, the minimum wage, and a Scottish parliament.

Letter: Ships of state

Ships of state

CLASSICAL MUSIC: New Queen's Hall Orchestra; Barbican Hall, London

The New Queen's Hall Orchestra has spent the past five years trying out piston-valve horns, narrow-bore trombones and other items from the inventory of obsolete instruments in the hope of reviving an early 20th- century orchestral sound. While the likes of Roger Norrington have removed the varnish from Brahms and Wagner, the NQHO has focused on English romantic music, the repertoire in which their earlier namesake excelled. In a message of birthday greeting on Saturday that was itself a touch of authenticity, Sir Edward Heath recalled the playing of that original pre-war Queen's Hall Orchestra, which he had heard. In a rather more offbeat way, the presence in the band of a female clarinettist named Marie Lloyd gave another authentic twist to the sense of occasion.
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Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

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Children's books are too white, says Laureate

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Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

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Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

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Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

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Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

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Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

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