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'We were exotic strangers competing for notches on the bedpost'

Letter: Wrong people in the town hall

Sir: Christian Wolmar ("The little people of Paisley", 23 August) believes the way to prevent such incidents of "small-town corruption" as are alleged in places such as Doncaster, Hackney and Renfrewshire is to implement proportional representation.

VISUAL ARTS

British Figurative Art, Flowers East, 199-205 Richmond Road, London E8 (0181-985 3333) to 21 Sept

pounds 2.3m Tory bill for faulty plastic bullets

The Conservative government spent pounds 2.3m on more than 3,500 years' supply of plastic bullets, most of which were faulty.

Sanctuary family allowed to stay

A couple and their three children who have been taking sanctuary in a church for three years were given permission last night to stay in Britain. Sunday Ogunwobi, an environmentalist, his wife, Bunmi, and their children aged four, eight and 10, were told they would not be deported to Nigeria. They sought sanctuary in the Downs Baptist Church, in Hackney, east London, in March 1994 - the day before they had been ordered to leave the country.

Rugby Union: Round-up

Moseley have signed the England A winger Steve Hackney from Leicester. Hackney, 29, has scored 86 tries in 152 first-team appearances after joining Leicester from Nottingham six years ago. It means the Pilkington Cup holders have now lost their two most experienced wingers in a week following the departure of Rory Underwood.

Rugby Union: Hackney joins Moseley as second wing in week leaves Leicester

Moseley have signed the England A winger Steve Hackney from Leicester. Hackney, 29, has scored 86 tries in 152 first-team appearances after joining Leicester from Nottingham six years ago. It means the Pilkington Cup holders have now lost their two most experienced wingers in a week following the departure of Rory Underwood.

Torch will shine into Hackney's dark corners

As inspectors prepare to shine torches into the darkest corners of Hackney education authority in search of the reasons for its schools' under performance, the question of where education authorities go wrong is back in the national spotlight, writes Lucy Ward.

Tougher scrutiny of failing schools

Ten more poor performing education authorities could be targeted for scrutiny by government inspectors, ministers said yesterday, on the day that the London borough of Hackney submitted to an inquiry into under achievement in its schools.

REVIEW: DANCE Les Ballets Africains Hackney Empire, London

It seems to be an unwritten rule of African and pseudo-African dance that there shall be long plots about young men learning to master ancient traditions. Les Ballets Africains' latest show, Heritage, has a scenario that runs to a record five pages of A4. Something about how Bala Fassake blags his way into the Mandingo Empire and makes off with the magic Balaphone under the nose of the great King of the Sosso - you think I'm making this up, don't you? Like many a western plot, it's really just an excuse to let the wild rumpus begin.

Quality streets

Is the worst council in Britain about to be sorted out? Paul Gosling looks at the revolution that's just beginning in Hackney

I feel like voting for `None of the Above'

Suzanne Moore discovers a candidate in her constituency who offers a compelling reason to participate in an election which had otherwise failed to arouse her enthusiasm

Letter: Real social work goes to the wall

Sir: Joyce Brand's article on social work (9 April) risks a knee- jerk reaction in terms of old guard and new brooms - but that would not do justice to the issues it raises.

Letter: Too coy on constitutional reform

Sir: Timing, they say, is the essence of good comedy. Bad luck, then, for Hackney councillor Jeremy Killingray to write his hilarious parody of crassly callous MBA-speak about social work (letter, 11 April) on the very day that Polly Toynbee reports what it is like to live in one of Hackney's housing estates ("The run-down estate we're in").

Tigers tease Orrell

Leicester 36 Orrell 14
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor