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1. "The BBC is generally as pogonophobic as the late-lamented Albanian dictator, Enver Hoxha."

e) Jeremy Paxman

Siobhan Benita, an independent candidate running for the post of the Mayor of London

Mary Ann Sieghart: We need more independents to break the parties' stranglehold

Fed up with all three main parties? Fancy a bold, clever, sensible independent candidate to represent your city? That's what Londoners are being offered on Thursday, but the political and media establishments are doing their best to crush her. We have a 20th-century political system failing to cope with 21st-century politics.

'Good at the gags': Boris Johnson

Diary: Boris is having the last laugh in Mayoral race

David Cameron is running the risk of making himself more enemies on the Tory right than he needs. He caused considerable offence yesterday when he told Douglas Carswell – a popular MP despite his near-anarchist opposition to big government – to get a sense of humour. Carswell's offence was to ask a question which implied that ministers were letting themselves be run by the civil service. He later said: "I can do gags, but I reckon most people voted for me because they want change, not a comedian."

Margaret Thatcher became the first female British Prime Minister at the end of the seventies

Amol Rajan: The Thatcher home dream has become a nightmare

There was crude electoral logic as well as moral force in Margaret Thatcher's pursuit of a "property-owning democracy". The phrase was, in fact, coined by Noel Skelton, a Tory MP of the interwar years. He felt, as Thatcher did decades later, that pride in home-ownership would infuse the working-class with conservative values, so deterring them from socialism.

Benita could have been one of Whitehall's youngest mandarins but quit her civil service job to run for mayor

Steve Richards: The false allure of mavericks like Siobhan Benita and George Galloway

Smaller parties and Independents are part of an anti-politics culture - not the solution to it

Simon Carr: The recess was over – and the Commons returned with a roar

The Sketch: What's this? George Galloway promising to bear true allegiance to her Majesty the Queen?

Leading article: The centre cannot hold

A significant change has occurred since the Budget. From the undeclared granny tax, to the silliness over pasties, to the unnecessary panic over petrol, no single one of the Government's stumbles was momentous in itself. Taken together, however, they have for the first time raised questions as to the competence rather than the politics of the Conservative leadership.

Junior environment Minister, Richard Benyon

Diary: Millionaire MP's hosepipe mystery will run and run

When the public are being subjected to an inconvenience like a hosepipe ban, there is nothing to beat a tabloid story proving that there is one law for ministers another for the rest of us. So one can imagine the delight in the news room of The People when their reporter returned from a visit to Englefield House, the £125m, 20,000-acre spread that is home to the Tory MP and junior environment Minister, Richard Benyon, having seen water gushing from a garden hose.

Ed Miliband was set to speak to health professionals and union activists at a planned protest against NHS reforms in Hull

Labour would govern for the whole country says Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband said Labour would govern for the whole country "not just for the wealthy few" as he launched Labour's English local elections campaign.

Flying in the polls: the latest figures put Jean-Luc Mélenchon third

Surprise surge for hard left could scramble French election results

Three weeks from the first round of voting, a surge in support for the hard-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon threatens to scramble forecasts for the French presidential elections.

Harriet Walker: Wanna be an MP? Pretend to be a cat

Tales from the water cooler: That Galloway triumphed is a strange and unsettling thing, seeing as he is completely bonkers
He says: 'By the grace of God we have won the most sensational victory in British political history.'

George Galloway: The political rebel with a cause

Indefatigable in the pursuit of his causes, formidable in taking on his many opponents, he has ridden the political roller coaster for 25 years. And now he’s back as an MP after a sensational by-election victory

Labour attempts to pick up pieces after shock Galloway victory

Ed Miliband today vowed that the Labour Party would ‘learn lessons’ from its shock defeat to Respect in the Bradford West by-election, while shadow chancellor Ed Balls defended his leader against criticisms in the wake of the result.

Zelda Curtis: Activist who championed the rights of the elderly

Zelda Curtis was no follower of fashion.

Coogan: 'Neither the police nor the Government were willing to hold those responsible accountable for unlawful acts'

Coogan: Determined to show depths press can sink

Steve Coogan and Paul Gascoigne are among the latest people to have settled claims for damages over phone-hacking, the High Court has heard.

Howard Jacobson: A question neither I – nor anyone – could answer

It was impossible not to think you were never more than the thickness of one person’s skin away from torment

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Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style