Arts and Entertainment

The country was the breakaway Republic of Biafra, which seceded from Nigeria in 1967, in response to the continuing persecution of the Igbo people.

Can Osborne make the move from No 11 to No 10?

As if he were not under enough pressure already, George Osborne is now being widely tipped in Tory circles as the next party leader, with William Hague effectively out of the running and no other obvious contenders in sight. Making the step up from Chancellor to Prime Minister is not easy – if the economy is in good shape, there is probably no reason for the PM to leave office and, if it is in a mess, the Chancellor must share the blame. But some have made the transition. There have also been some notable failures.

Steve Richards: It's a poor choice, but I'm voting Yes to voting reform

The Alternative Vote is silly. No wonder no one is a great enthusiast including those leading the campaign

Spider, By Katarzyna and Sergiusz Michalski

In phobia terms, Reaktion's terrific animal series has reached the king of beasts. Arachnophobia, the Miss Muffet syndrome, is "now counted among the most interesting human neuroses".

Adrian Hamilton: People vote for competence not policy

In a peculiarly British way, the result usually reflects the consensus in the country

Sir Trevor Lloyd-Hughes: Harold Wilson's press secretary who believed passionately in the impartiality of the job

Trevor Lloyd-Hughes was the Prime Minister's influential press secretary from 1964 to 1969. He once recounted to me how he got the job, and the circumstances speak volumes. He had been the lobby correspondent of the Liverpool Daily Post for 14 years, and had written political columns for the Sunday Express anonymously, and had also, under his own name, established himself as a writer on wines – he was later to become a driving force in the Circle of Wine Writers.

Album: Tindersticks, Falling Down a Mountain (4AD)

Stuart A Staples is a man whose distinctive nasal Nottingham mumble merges with that of Harold Wilson with every new Tindersticks record. Falling Down a Mountain, remains on familiar Nashville-on-Trent ground.

MI5 kept secret file on Harold Wilson

The Security Service MI5 kept a secret file on Harold Wilson throughout his years as an MP and prime minister, it was disclosed today.

John Rentoul: The Maid and the Man Who Wouldn't Leave His Desk

Sue Cameron in The Financial Times today identifies the excellent Dennis Kavanagh as the uncoverer of one of the best stories about Marcia Williams, now Lady Falkender, who was Harold Wilson's closest adviser.

Adrian Hamilton: The lessons of past economic downturns

It is a sobering thought that nearly two-thirds (62 per cent to be precise) of the members of Parliament only entered the House of Commons in 1997 or after. In other words, not only have they known no other life than under a Labour government but they have known only the good times in the economy. Indeed it is only a small minority of MPs who can probably remember any of the recessions that Maggie, Major and Harold Wilson all had to endure.

Steve Richards: Advice is useless – Brown is condemned to swerve and scheme like Harold Wilson

The PM should be under no illusion about the degree of hostility he has provoked on his own side

Paperback: White Heat, by Dominic Sandbrook

Abacus £12.99

Moira Redmond

Actress with a gift for high comedy

Bruce Anderson: A much better man than his sour and ungracious reputation might suggest

'Within months of losing office, he had become the incredible sulk, his political vocation for the rest of his life'
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Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
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peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
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booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
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Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
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Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
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Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital