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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.”

The FSA identified six key factors in the failure of RBS, most significantly its weak capital position and over-reliance on risky short-term funding in wholesale markets

FSA admits inadequacy in dealing with failing banks

Political pressure from senior Labour politicians – including the now shadow Chancellor Ed Balls – was partly responsible for the failure to regulate the Royal Bank of Scotland in the years leading to the banking crash, a critical report concluded yesterday.

Ed Balls said in 2006 that nothing should put at risk a light-touch regulatory regime

Labour was behind failure to regulate RBS, FSA report says

Pressure from last government was partly responsible for hands-off approach, review claims

Leading article: A petition – and a pardon – that should be granted

The e-petition has become that rare thing: a popular government initiative. The latest one calls for the computer pioneer and decoder Alan Turing to be pardoned and have his gross-indecency conviction quashed. The former may be simpler than the latter.

Leading article: Time to lay the ghosts of Labour's economic past

When the Opposition might expect a double-digit poll lead, Labour is barely ahead
David Cameron

Andrew Grice: Plenty of talk about cracking down on lobbying – but still there's no action

The political parties may talk tough – but they are happy to take the lobbyists' money

BBC's Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson

Matthew Norman on Monday: Pity poor old Clarkson, his mind is simply not in top gear

Sorry to you all if what follows seems even more nonsensical than usual, and riven by inexplicable lapses in ... Where the hell were we? Ah yes. Apologies but, as The Mail on Sunday reported, "There were growing concerns yesterday about Jeremy Clarkson's state of mind," and truth be told I haven't had a wink for fretting about him. Perhaps it's the lack of sleep, but after a long and sensationally undistinguished career observing the media, I can't remember a more heinous case of persecution for a harmless Wildean thrust.

The Sketch: High-pitched Cameron flustered by Labour's farmyard noises

Yesterday I worried the Sketch was a bit lofty about the House of Commons' economic debate. The Labour front bench was arguing in sign language, the signs were rude, and the Sketch shuddered, perhaps a little delicately. The signs got ruder yesterday, if Tory reports are true.

Let Not the Waves of the Sea, By Simon Stephenson

I interviewed Simon Stephenson for the British Medical Journal in 2003. Recently qualified as a medical doctor, he had just made a short film, but what impressed me most were his unpublished short stories. It would have taken a catastrophe to crush his irrepressible joie de vivre.

Ed Miliband declares 'new centre ground'

Ed Miliband has declared a "new centre ground" in politics after Tony Blair warned that the Labour Party should not lurch to the left.

Video: Miliband: 'The Blair-Brown era is over'

Labour leader Ed Miliband says the era of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown is "ancient history".

Gordon Brown earns £62,000 for a speech

Gordon Brown has earned hundreds of thousands of pounds from speeches and a book deal since leaving Downing Street, according to the register of MPs' interests.

Finance planning role for Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown has landed a plum job at the World Economic Forum (WEF), the influential network of businessmen, politicians, economists and academics that holds its annual meeting in Davos.

Letter from the editor: Facing the public

There are dangers associated with meeting your public. Just ask Nick Clegg or Gordon Brown: there’s a Mrs Duffy waiting everywhere to handbag you.

Gordon Brown's nemesis turns fire on Clegg in full view of media

Yesterday was supposed to be a "good news" day for Nick Clegg as he announced the Government's £450m regional growth fund to safeguard 100,000 jobs.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?