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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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss