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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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

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