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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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Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor