Voices

Defence procurement has been one of the biggest machines for wasting money

Bogus colleges 'not being tackled'

The Government's failure to tackle the problem of bogus colleges has allowed tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to come to the UK, a damning report warns today.

One success only for asylum seekers scheme

A £1 million Government scheme to help failed asylum seekers return home was "mismanaged from start to finish" and resulted in just one family leaving the UK, a report found today.

MPs call for better data on "slave trade"

Efforts to curb human trafficking for sexual exploitation in Britain and Europe are being hindered by a lack of information about its true scale, a parliamentary committee said today.

Amazon drops rape simulation game

A game that involves the player stalking victims and then raping them in a virtual world was being offered for sale by online retailer Amazon.com.

Simon Carr: Jacqui plagued by both her houses

Sketch: Had Jacqui ever taken ecstasy herself, Keith Vaz toyed with the idea, but we didn't find out

Johnson praises 'heroic' transport efforts after snow

Boris Johnson praised the "heroic" efforts" of transport bosses to get the capital's buses running today as he refused to allow the snow-related problems to prevent him attending a grilling by MPs.

Happy hours to be banned in alcohol 'problem areas'

Happy hours and supermarket deals would be banned in areas plagued by binge drinking and alcohol-related crime under a plan being considered by ministers. Three government departments are in talks over the proposed scheme to tackle binge drinking "hot spots", The Independent has learnt.

MP Vaz faces code-of-conduct probe

A Westminster sleaze watchdog has launched an inquiry into claims that Labour MP Keith Vaz tried to interfere in a court case, it was announced today.

Forced marriages: the trail of misery and fear in Britain

A helpline for victims has been inundated with callers. Jerome Taylor was given exclusive access to their harrowing stories

Is that a Tory peer in the woodpile?

Baron Dixon-Smith, a Tory frontbencher and one of the country's senior peers, found himself in the middle of a race row last week when he used the phrase "nigger in the woodpile" during a Lords debate on the Housing and Regeneration Bill. After an intervention by Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, the peer stated: "I apologise, my lords. I left my brains behind."

Brown quizzed over 'reward' for 42-day vote

Gordon Brown faced questions today over why his Chief Whip apparently assured a Labour MP he would be "appropriately rewarded" for his support in a crunch Commons vote on 42-day pre-charge detention.

The Sketch: Loyalists belittled by opportunism and argument

After the debate on university top-up fees some years ago, I wondered why one of Labour's well-known lefties had voted for the left's most hated measure of the day.

The Sketch: Fog of jargon and evasion engulfs Home Secretary

If you can get your hands on Hansard of Thursday last week you might want to keep it as a historic document. It's not quite Magna Carta but at column 608 it says: "The Minister for the Armed Forces (Mr Bob Ainsworth): Absolute bollocks."

Brown gives himself 'wriggle room' on ID cards scheme

The commitment of Gordon Brown to identity cards was in question last night after he declined to say if he personally supported making them compulsory.

Stefano Hatfield on Advertising

The one man who can dress like a lounge lizard - and get away with it
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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us