News Iain Duncan Smith blamed civil servants for not giving him the full picture of teething problems of universal credit

Iain Duncan Smith has suggested being on benefits is a form of slavery and he is like abolitionist William Wilberforce through his introduction of welfare reforms.

Leading article: What about the workers?

The backward march of the labouring class began in Margaret Thatcher's time, if not before. In the 1960s, to be working class was the very height of fashion. After the Angry Young Men rebelled against bourgeois respectability, grammar-school boys whose parents were teachers, such as Michael Jagger, adopted the accents and poses of the workers. Then, most people were proud to describe themselves as working class, even if, increasingly, they did white-collar jobs.

Moves planned to ease women's pension fears

Ministers are planning moves to ease the pain on women in their 50s caused by the Government's decision to raise the age at which people qualify for the basic state pension.

PM scraps plans to give offenders 50 per cent sentence discounts

Plans to offer a 50 per cent sentence discount to offenders who plead guilty early will be scrapped today by David Cameron.

Christina Patterson: We can't keep paying people to be poor

It's very very hard for the people who will be poorer. But paying healthy people not to work doesn't help the healthy people

Steve Richards: The lessons that Miliband can learn from Margaret Thatcher

He has been trying too hard to please everyone. In the end, authenticity is more potent than contorted appeasement of internal and external elements

'No U-Turn on benefits cap' says Government

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith today denied the Government was preparing to dump a proposed £26,000 annual cap on benefit payments in the latest of a series of policy retreats.

Reforms 'will leave thousands of families worse off'

Hundreds of thousands of the poorest families in England will find themselves significantly worse off under the Coalition’s flagship benefit reforms, new research has found.

Foster families hit by coalition housing reforms

Withdrawal of benefit for spare bedrooms could push claimants 'into poverty' say critics

PM rejects archbishop's criticism

Claims by the Archbishop of Canterbury that the coalition Government is pushing through radical change which no-one has voted for were rejected by Prime Minister David Cameron today.

Video: Archbishop's article 'is unbalanced'

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith says the Archbishop of Canterbury's criticism of the Government was too one-sided.

Voters remain unconvinced by Miliband and Clegg

Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg are struggling to improve their image with voters while David Cameron remains almost twice as popular as his two rival leaders.

Leading article: A reversal that demonstrates not strength, but weakness

David Cameron seems incapable of following a reforming line on sentencing when under attack

Leading article: Live up to your own slogan, Dave

"All in this together" must count as one of the worst slogans dreamt up by supposedly intelligent people. More effectively than any lines devised by the Labour Party, it invites cynicism and draws attention to one of David Cameron and George Osborne's weak points. Namely, how hard it is to believe that these men from such fortunate backgrounds understand the hardships of people on low incomes.

Cameron criticised over record on family values

David Cameron's record on supporting marriage and the family has been criticised by a think-tank set up by his Cabinet colleague Iain Duncan Smith.

The Sketch: Lies, smears, tantrums – the new politics hasn't arrived just yet

With all of us agitating for a new politics it's remarkable how resilient the old politics is. A different voting system ain't going to change that, so don't grieve (or exult) too loudly when the results come in.

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Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn