Arts and Entertainment

Press "Play" and stand well back: RR+P's 1981 debut is still strong stuff, with a level of energy and experiment that shames today's boho fringe.

Britain Votes: Blair sleeps easy but wakes to learn a hard lesson

TONY BLAIR retired to bed at 10.30pm on Thursday night, confident enough not to wait up for the first results in the local authority and Scottish Parliament elections. In contrast, an anxious William Hague chaired a meeting of his closest aides at 2am at Conservative Central Office.

Parliament: The Sketch: House enjoys rare breather from war

ALUN MICHAEL, taking what he must fervently hope were his last questions as Secretary of State for Wales, protested at one point about the "noise from the rabble opposite".

Obituary: Roger Troutman

ZAPP WAS one of a myriad acts who took up the funk of James Brown and George Clinton and turned it into the sophisticated R&B which dominated US urban radio stations in the Eighties. Zapp's lead singer and instrumentalist Roger Troutman was found shot dead on Sunday, apparently by his older brother Larry, who subsequently committed suicide.

Voting for Britain: Opinion poll blow alarms SNP

THE SCOTTISH National Party was in a state of shock yesterday after an opinion poll showed public support plummeting. Black propaganda, a hostile press and the war in Kosovo were all blamed by anxious party officials but the deeper suspicion is that many Scots are frightened by the prospect of independence.

The day I was named in the House

Parliament is wrong and deplorable and silly, and its activities largely a waste of time

Schools chief in sex row won't sue

CHRIS WOODHEAD said yesterday he would not go to court over newspaper claims that he had an affair with a pupil while teaching at her school.

Parliament: Schools chief clashes with MPs over style

CHRIS WOODHEAD, the Chief Inspector of Schools, was yesterday challenged by MPs about criticism that his personal style is too confrontational.

Parliament: The Sketch: Old jokes reincarnated as painfully embarrassing moments

PETER AINSWORTH, the shadow Culture Secretary, had been struck by a happy thought as he scanned the front page of The Guardian yesterday. Perhaps he shared it with his wife over the breakfast cereals, perhaps she then explained Daddy's joke to the children.

Parliament: Social Security: pounds 4m for pension payout glitch

NEARLY 400,000 benefit claimants and pensioners will be paid compensation of at least pounds 10 each for chaos caused by the breakdown of a Contributions Agency computer, the Government announced.

Parliament: The Sketch - Two men trying to pass on a narrow mountain ledge

"WOULD THE Prime Minister agree with me that this is a great day for democracy?" asked Gillian Merron, first up in Prime Minister's Questions. She was referring to the Government's White Paper on reform of the House of Lords but the more pious-minded might have felt her remark was incidentally borne out by the 15 minutes that followed, an uncharacteristically grave and courteous exchange between the party leaders. The less pious-minded might have asked for their money back. I felt a pang of sympathy for those in the public gallery, who must have felt as you do when you've set the video for The Fast Show and get back to find that you've accidentally recorded a particularly dull passage of Newsnight. This sort of thing is all very well now and then, particularly if you worry about the intellectual reputation of the Mother of Parliaments, but if you care at all about attendance figures for Westminster's most popular cabaret session you would have to hope that aberrant rationality would soon pass.

Historical Notes: Blair and Cromwell, conservative radicals

RECENT MODERNISING ambitions for Britain's constitution evoke the turbulence of 17th-century England. Although Blair's reforms do not call for royal heads to roll, his calls for "sweeping away the old establishment", the hereditary House of Lords in particular, and for the common man to take his place in a meritocratic sun, provoke comparison with the zealous Oliver Cromwell.

The Mandelson Affair: The Constituency - It's a loss for us, too, say the voters of Hartlepool

THERE HAS always been an irony in Peter Mandelson's choice of parliamentary seat. Since his election to Parliament in 1992, Labour's ultimate moderniser has represented a depressed north-eastern town whose image is the epitome of the traditional Labour Party.
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Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past