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)


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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Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk
Nepal earthquake: One man's desperate escape from Everest base camp after the disaster

Escape from Everest base camp

Nick Talbot was sitting in his tent when the tsunami of snow and rock hit. He was lucky to live, unlike his climbing partner just feet away...
Adopting high fibre diet could dramatically cut risk of bowel cancer, says study

What happened when 20 Americans swapped diets with 20 Africans?

Innovative study in the US produces remarkable results
Blake Lively and 'The Age of Adaline': Gossip Girl comes
of age

Gossip girl comes of age

Blake Lively is best known for playing an affluent teenager. Her role as a woman who is trapped forever at 29 is a greater challenge
Goat cuisine: Kid meat is coming to Ocado

Goat cuisine

It's loved by chefs, ethical, low in fat and delicious. So, will kid meat give lamb a run for its money?
14 best coat hooks

Hang on: 14 best coat hooks

Set the tone for the rest of your house with a stylish and functional coat rack in the hallway
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?