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Revelling in the latest growth figures, George Osborne lifted Balls-baiting to a new plane. He was asked an unusually long list of super-friendly questions by euphoric Tory backbenchers. Ones that in the secret dreams of the MPs involved, invite the answer: “Yes. My honourable friend has absolutely hit the nail on the head with that spiffing question correctly mentioning our long-term economic plan, allowing me to lay into the Opposition, and qualifying him for early promotion.”

Anthony Hilton: Pompous and smug, Davos has lost the plot

My Week We can expect the papers next week to be filled with musings from Davos, where the business and political elite are about to have their annual shindig in the Alps, so it was particularly satisfying on Thursday to record a piece for National Public Radio in the United States on why the whole gathering had long since lost the plot.

Ed Miliband says he can save the middle class

Ed Miliband says a Labour government would champion the 'anxious middle classes'

Party strategists know they cannot rely on the 'cost of living crisis' to carry them to victory in next year's general election

A small triumph for democracy

Defence procurement has been one of the biggest machines for wasting money

MP John Hemming has been suspended from Mumsnet after he posted a transcript of Italian court proceedings which identified some of the protagonists in the case

MP John Hemming suspended from Mumsnet after flouting anonymity guidelines

It might be regarded as a happy hunting ground for the crucial female votes of Middle England but Mumsnet has again proved it can be a jungle for politicians hoping to reach out beyond the confines of Westminster.

Ed Miliband has been warned the party cannot expect to win on the basis that cuts will continue to make the Coalition unpopular

Blair ally Patrick Diamond tells Ed Miliband: cost of living will not win Labour the 2015 election

There is a common belief Labour can somehow coast to victory

Informa returns to the UK after fleeing from Gordon Brown

Informa has announced plans to move its tax domicile back to Britain after five years in Switzerland — news that will help Chancellor George Osborne’s efforts to make the UK more tax-friendly.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Nadine Dorries reveals humiliation pays, but not as much as we thought it did

More than a year after Nadine Dorries appeared on the reality show I’m a Celebrity… she has finally done what MPs are required to do, and filled in the appropriate part of the Register of Members’ Interests. Thus we learn that being humiliated in the jungle is less lucrative than we thought. According to the Register, she was paid £6,960 while she was on the show, plus £13,268 two months later for associated interviews and photo shoots, making £20,228 in all – half what the pundits guessed she had received.

The Confessions of Gordon Brown is at the White Bear Theatre

Cadres of expert advisers are about to be introduced to Whitehall: It's about time

To the public this is no more than an SW1 issue, to the Whitehall mandarins it represents an earthquake

Andy McSmith's Diary: Defenders of the vulnerable - salute the Commons’ dullest committee

In an obscure corner of the parliamentary process sits a committee called the Statutory Instruments Joint Committee.

Hamish McRae: We created a climate where the poor just got poorer – ain't that a shame?

Ecnomic View: Those in power etween 2000 and 2008 should see what their policies did to living standards

Lord O'Donnell: I warned Gordon Brown not to take Damian McBride to Downing Street from the Treasury

Former Cabinet Secretary says McBride had 'gone off the territory' even as a civil servant

Rogue male: Damian McBride was ‘a law unto himself’ according to Ed Balls

'Ed Miliband copied into smears emails...': Damian McBride's memoirs suggest Labour leader could be 'embarrassed' by Derek Draper correspondence

Ed Miliband may have been copied in to damaging emails that were at the centre of a 2009 smear campaign orchestrated by leading Labour officials, according to senior party sources.

David Cameron is increasingly making use of brief, filmed statements that avoid questions, which are masterminded by Craig Oliver, pictured

Downing Street hogs the remote control: The PM's use of tame media is annoying the big guns at Sky, ITN and the BBC

Britain's senior political television journalists are at war with Downing Street over what they see as attempts by David Cameron to bypass them and use less critical media outlets to broadcast policies to the public.

Labour leader Ed Miliband after he was pelted with eggs during a campaign visit in East Street market

Paper talk: How can Miliband turn things around?

Ed must be swivel-eyed this morning, such is the volume of advice he's been handed by the press. Most of it starts by noting the Conservatives are on an upswing, and Labour's message hasn't quite got through to voters. So what might the party leader do to turn things round? (Besides getting that egg out of his hair).

As Brown's adviser, he was associated with the so-called 'forces of hell'
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Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before