The Boss: the many sides of Alex Ferguson, by Michael Crick

An obsessive drive for success

Michael Dobbs

The author and former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party takes issue with DJ Taylor's claim that Britain is unable to produce good political novelists

My New Year's resolution is to sack the lot of you

WELL, HERE it is again, then: the opportunity to revolutionise your life, change the world, stop smoking, whatever. Apparently, or maybe this is just a fiction invented by parties with a vested interest, we're all taking our New Year's resolutions even more seriously this year because of the M-word (though in my case, I'm not sure what even more seriously than Jack Squat actually amounts to), and everyone - or at least everyone who watches ITV - is making all sorts of high-flying promises. "I will make my bed every day" - that sort of thing.

Paperback reviews

Jeffrey Archer: Stranger than Fiction

Monitor: LONDON MAYORAL CONTEST

Comment on the twists and turns in Steven Norris's attempt to win the Tory candidature

Right then, Steven Berkoff. Let's settle our feud with a game of ping-pong

Witness this day my challenge to Steven Berkoff. Full size ping- pong table, since you reckon you're a player; rubber pimples on the bats, not sponge; competition ball; Chinese referee; best of nine games; and may the best man win - ie not you.

Hague blamed for Norris reselection `shambles'

WILLIAM HAGUE'S leadership came under renewed fire last night when senior Tories attacked the "shambles" over the party's selection of its candidate for mayor of London. MPs blamed Mr Hague for the chaos as Steven Norris was restored to the Conservative shortlist less than 72 hours after he was excluded.
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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...