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Cabinet meetings under Margaret Thatcher were “miserably disappointing” gatherings devoid of debate and filled with “unctuous self-satisfaction”, one her most senior ministers said in 1984.

Letters: Lords reform

Mary Ann Sieghart's negative article on Lords reform ("A fight that Nick Clegg will never win", 27 February) needs a response. Constitutional governance may be a boring subject but poor governance, if ignored, can have devastating results (such as the French Revolution).

Charm offensive: Prime Minister Julia Gillard poses with the colours of the Australian rules football team Western Bulldogs at the club’s family day in Melbourne

Gillard's victory settles question of who is the top dog

Bitter, divisive battle for leadership of Labor Party sees PM win out – for the time being

Get out of jail free? Danny Alexander mulls scrapping higher-rate tax relief on pensions in the Budget to pay for a much higher personal allowance

Julian Knight: We can't afford to rob the future to feed the present

Pension money should not go to reduce taxes

Government has made fuel poverty worse, says peer

Former Coal Board chief Lord Ezra criticises plans to scrap scheme that gives grants to the vulnerable

Military job losses 'unfair', say MPs

The decision to subject military personnel to compulsory redundancies is " unnecessary, grotesquely unfair" and may lead to problems of shortages in key areas, a committee of MPs said yesterday.

Newt Gingrich enjoys cash boost after South Carolina primary

Cash is pouting into the Newt Gingrich campaign for the Republican presidential nomination after the stunning surge and upset victory over Mitt Romney.

Wednesday’s protest was joined by an estimated 7,000 websites, including Google, Wordpress, and Craigslist. More than 4.5 million people put their names to a petition against Sopa

Protests prompt supporters of online piracy bills to back away

The backlash against two bills aimed at stopping online copyright infringement gathered pace last night, as eight US lawmakers announced they had decided to withdraw support for the measures.

Spotlight On... Warren Buffett, founder, Berkshire Hathaway

Ah, the Oracle of Omaha

The House Speaker, John Boehner, has not been spared by his Republican colleagues

Republican split gives Obama a Christmas gift

Another round of partisan calculation has resulted in a dearth of seasonal goodwill on Capitol Hill this year after House Republicans refused to allow a payroll tax holiday for millions of Americans – but left themselves vulnerable to angry Democrats who claimed that they were putting political advantage ahead of the national interest.

Single-parent plan 'will hit poor'

The Government is being pressured to reconsider a plan to charge single parents fees to obtain child maintenance payments from ex-partners.

Last Republicans standing race to grab a slice of Cain's support base

Conservative members of Grand Old Party remain unwilling to settle for Mitt Romney

Katy Guest: Rant & Rave (04/12/11)

Rant

Gerald McClellan sinks to his knees in distress after defeat by Nigel Benn in one of the most brutal fights in history

Boxing: Pain still fresh of night that cannot be forgotten

An ITV documentary on Monday brings the memories flooding back of how Nigel Benn left Gerald McClellan paralysed and blind after their shocking fight 16 years ago

Alex Huston, from Northern Ireland

Go back to your constituencies and prepare for school!

Simon Carr is impressed – and depressed – by UK Youth Parliament

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Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
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Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
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George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
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Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
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?