News

The Commons chamber was visited with a  welcome onset of  grown-upness on Iran

Andreas Whittam Smith: Lying has become a way of life for our politicians

In their hearts, I believe, they are contemptuous of ordinary people

Jane Merrick: Note to Straw - Now release Michael Shields

Jack Straw has refused parole to Ronnie Biggs, despite earlier reports suggesting he was about to sign his release. Granting freedom to someone who has courted the media and shown no repentance would have been wrong, Straw said. Fine.

The football fan, his fight for freedom, and a dilemma for Jack Straw

Michael Shields says he is an innocent man. The Government has the power to pardon him – but risks provoking a diplomatic row

Ideas to revive the British political system

The pros, cons and prospects for reform

Cost-cutting blamed as violent mob wrecks jail

A Prison Service investigation will be launched after a “violent, seething mob” of inmates tore apart a jail, amid claims that government cost-cutting was to blame.

Simon Carr: Gordon and Jack hooked on Tory-bashing

Sketch: We are to be given rights to health care and education. But why can't they just give us health care and education?

Straw sets out rights for 21st-century Britons

Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, yesterday set out plans for an updated list of Britons' rights and responsibilities redrawn for the 21st century – more than 300 years after their first introduction.

Election watchdogs to check £2,000 Straw gift

Election watchdogs are to review a £2,000 donation to Jack Straw's local Labour Party after claims it was made by a company which does not trade in Britain. The Electoral Commission said it was looking into a complaint by the Tory MP Ben Wallace about the donation from Westminster International Consultants. The money was accepted by the Blackburn Labour Party on 1 April 2005. But there have been claims that the firm did not do business in Britain.

Rory Bremner: Our liberty is on the line. It's time to act

It is not just laptops and memory sticks that are being lost: it is freedom

Rhodri Marsden: There's a lesson in Jack Straw for us all

For some reason the internet clouds our processes of reasoning

Lost in Lagos? The mystery of Jack Straw and the Nigerian scammers

A message from 'Jack': "I misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel where my money and other valuable things were kept..." "I would like you to assist me with a soft loan urgently to settle my hotel bills and get myself back home"

Jack Straw 'surprised' by raid on Green's office

Justice Secretary Jack Straw today said that he had been "surprised" at the raid on the Parliamentary office of Tory frontbencher Damian Green.

Jack Straw: The criminal justice lobby seems to have forgotten about victims

There is an illustrious tradition of penal reformers – courageous men and women like John Howard, Elizabeth Fry, Herbert Gladstone – who have made a profound contribution to improving how society treats offenders. But crucially, they spoke in a language people understood.

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/10/jack-straw-and.html">Andrew Neilson: Jack Straw and his crimogenic glasshouse</a>

So Jack Straw thinks it is the language that penal reformers use which is the problem. Having sat at the RSA and heard him deliver his chiding speech to a room full of, er, penal reformers, I have a few points to make back.

Computer firm loses prison staff data

Justice Secretary Jack Straw last night ordered an urgent inquiry after it emerged that a private contractor had lost a portable hard drive holding personal details of thousands of prison workers.

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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

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Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

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Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones