Arts and Entertainment

The parade of musicians onto the Barbican stage has Norma Waterson at its centre, and there's a chair centre-stage for her, set between daughter Eliza and niece Marry, and spread either side stand musical friends and family – Martin Carthy, Olly Knight and Neill MacColl on guitars, multi-instrumentalist Kate St John, brilliant husky-voiced young singer John Smith duetting with an assured Kami Thompson, and committed turns from Richard Hawley and Jarvis Cocker, stick-thin enough to really do "The Scarecrow", one of many strange and wonderful works to trip from the mind of Lal Waterson.

Obituary: Derek Fatchett

THE PREMATURE death of Derek Fatchett robs the Labour Party of a politician who friends and foes alike believed was destined for a place in the Cabinet.

Books: The Books Interview: No more fog on the Tyne

What sort of woman exposes the dark secrets of Britain's best- loved author? Kathleen Jones talks to Clare Colvin

Robinson: `Blair is as dictatorial as Thatcher'

TONY BLAIR has modelled his premiership on that of Margaret Thatcher and reduced cabinet meetings to a rubber-stamping operation, says Geoffrey Robinson, the former paymaster general.

Amid the din of war, listen out for the politician who keeps silent

If the war does cost us higher taxes, no one will fairly be able to blame Mr Brown for raising them

Books: Opportunist in blue socks

Mandelson: The Biography by Donald Macintyre HarperCollins pounds 19.99; Roy Hattersley on the ducking and weaving of a colleague who 'fell like Lucifer'

Anatomy of a `Titanic feud'

Mandelson : The Biography

Lectures to honour John Smith

AN ANNUAL John Smith lecture is to be launched by the late Labour leader's widow to mark the fifth anniversary of his death next month, writes Rachel Sylvester, Political Editor.

Racing: Only the intrepid to follow Captain

IT SEEMS almost indecent, just five days after the Gold Cup, that it is already time to consider a race which will take barely two minutes to run and in which, unless something goes very badly wrong, your money will not leave the ground even once. But there it is, the Lincoln Handicap, trying as usual to grab a little attention between Cheltenham and the Grand National meeting, and no doubt luring punters in for a bet which they will spend the rest of the Flat season chasing.

Irvine snubs hearing on job for crony

AFTER JUST two gaffe-free months the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg, is in trouble again. The man who spent nearly pounds 600,000 of taxpayers' money redecorating his official residence and then compared himself to Cardinal Wolsey, is set to make headlines again.

Media: How to woo the Tory press

The secret of winning press influence is to appeal to the personal interests of key reporters and columnists.

Four in five back enforced right to roam

PRESSURE ON the Government to improve access to the countryside has been increased by a poll published today, which finds more than four people in five back a Right to Roam Bill.

Media: New labours for Chris Powell

How the left's favourite advertising man helped change the Labour Party's image. By Rhys Williams

Books: Wait for a comeback by the Napoleon of Notting Hill

Roy Hattersley argues that Peter Mandelson's slapdash, sensational and partisan biographer has rushed to judgment a full decade too early; Mandy by Paul Routledge Simon & Schuster, pounds 17.99, 302pp

`I'm Mavis, how can I help you?'

FOR THOSE telephone callers irritated to distraction by computerised switchboards, their worst nightmare is coming. And her name is Mavis.

Letter: You can't teach old Labour new tricks

IF THERE was ever a more eloquent exposition of why old Labour was doomed, we need look no further than Mark Seddon's article ("Sorry, Tony: 'new' is no longer sexy", 10 January).
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Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
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