Voices Troop talk: Tony Blair in Iraq in May 2003

The anti-war movement has an important case to make. But they know that this money-reward mechanism is surely not strengthening their argument

Christopher Hitchens had been undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer

It's time to give Christopher Hitchens a statue

The great essayist's opinions in later life were more solid than critics allow. But they shouldn't matter to any possible memorial

UKIP leader Nigel Farage apologises after appearing to take sides with 'democratic' Iran against a 'conspiracy' by western powers intent on 'world domination'

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, issued a fulsome apology today after he appeared to take sides with “democratic” Iran against a “conspiracy” by western powers intent on “world domination”.

David Buik: Our dithering politicians should copy Singapore and act now to raise morale

It takes so long to implement legislation in the UK. Bureaucracy needs slashing now

Mervyn Barrett’s team resign en masse after question marks are raised over funding

Is police candidate a Trojan horse for right-wing American think-tank?

Mervyn Barrett's team resign en masse after question marks are raised over funding

Dame Margaret Drabble deposits archive at Cambridge University Library

Dame Margaret Drabble has deposited 90 boxes of papers, including original drafts of her novels and letters to fellow writers including Ted Hughes and Harold Pinter, at the Cambridge University Library.

A happy ending – if you play the waiting game

Former proprietor of the Independent Tony O'Reilly has struck oil. It's enough to make you believe in happy endings

Barack Obama: Has he still got it?

He’s no longer the irresistible electoral force he was in 2008. But even after a disappointing first term, Barack Obama can still connect with voters

2008: Macbeth; Lowland Hall, Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh International Festival

A former cowshed beside Edinburgh Airport is transformed into a multi-level concrete bunker. Downstairs, the faithful obey the call to prayer. Upstairs, General Duncan watches an incident unfold on multiple TV screen. Captain Macbeth is refusing to obey the order to abort a mission. He leads his men into the mosque below where they shoot, stab and decapitate every worshipper in sight.

Leading article: The weakness exposed by Paul Ryan

Mitt Romney was yesterday formally nominated as the Republican presidential candidate, half-way through a campaign tour with his newly announced running mate. The warmth with which his choice of Paul Ryan, a fiscally conservative congressman, has been received by the party's rank and file, however, could have a double edge. It is not, after all, the Republican grassroots that Mr Romney has to convince before 6 November. It is the undecided middle and disappointed Obama-voters.

Gore Vidal: 'A keeper of the national conscience'

Gore Vidal, a larger-than-life literary institution who was always willing to speak up and hold his government accountable, has died aged 86, writes Rupert Cornwell

Amol Rajan: Could it be that Mitt is not such a mutt after all?

FreeView from the editors at i

Leading article: The drawbacks of Condi for Veep

That Mitt Romney (white, male, Mormon) might look for a complementary Vice-President is understandable. And at first glance, Condoleezza Rice – an almost unique combination of black, female and Republican, with a long record of prestigious jobs – looks almost the perfect candidate.

Mark Steel: Just when I was getting over Blair...

Who's the vindictive bastard who made Tony Blair give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry? This was heartlessly cruel, to all decent people who have tried to put Blair behind us and get on with our lives. But there he was again, tormenting us, making us feel like someone just coming to terms with their years in a Japanese POW camp and then the bloke who used to electrocute us every morning comes on daytime television, justifying himself and leaving us screaming and dribbling as all the memories come washing back.

Mark Steel: There was no deal between
Blair and Murdoch. Only a conspiracy
theorist would suggest that. Obviously.

Those phone calls weren't about influence. They were about friendship.

Amol Rajan: You have power in your hands, so why not use it?

FreeViewfrom the editors at i

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