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The thick of it: How to be chancellor (and survive)

No political office is more demanding – and as this week's revelations of tensions between Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling illustrate, none is less forgiving. For his latest BBC series, Michael Cockerell asked chancellors past and present how they survived Whitehall's toughest brief

Darling growth prediction blown out of the water

Less than a year ago, Chancellor Alistair Darling was predicting a return to growth in the second half of this year in his Pre-Budget Report.

A degree will leave you with debts of £23,500

...but there's a 1 in 5 chance that you'll also meet the love of your life

Darling sticks with a rather battered tradition

When Labour came to power in 1997, Gordon Brown marked new beginnings by ditching the battered old Budget box that had been passed down the generations since 1860.

John Rentoul: Cameron's game plan was to sit tight and say precisely nothing

David Cameron's response to the Budget was extraordinary. He sat tight and said nothing. Well, it did not look like it or sound like it. It looked and sounded like an energetic, passionate excoriation of a failed and failing government. The Leader of the Opposition was technically standing up at the time. His lips were moving; sound was emanating from him; some of his lines were so cutting that Labour MPs laughed; his posture was active. But really, he was sitting with his knees together, his hands clamped between them and he was saying nothing. He was sitting and waiting for the great big caboodle – of office, importance, action and the chance to start afresh – to fall into his lap.

Jeremy Warner: Don't count on China to act as the locomotive

Outlook As expected, the big emerging- market economies of Asia are proving more resilient to the global recession than the advanced, industrialised economies of the West and Japan. But can that resilience lift the rest of the world out of its funk? This seems rather less likely.

Green shoots? Not on the day unemployment hits two million

Brown allies slap down Solicitor General for sounding upbeat on jobs

Pandora: Hay fever: Rebellion in Booth's kingdom

The pitched battle between the booksellers of Hay-on-Wye and the renowned literary town's self-styled "King" Richard Booth is threatening to get ugly.

Jeremy Warner: Baroness Vadera puts foot in mouth

Outlook The Government has been accused of copying proposed Tory remedies on the credit crunch. Now it seems intent on copying their howlers too. Baroness Vadera, the business minister, is presumably too young, or perhaps ignorant, to know the origins of the famous "green shoots" of economic recovery comment, which she was coaxed into using in an interview for ITV yesterday.

Minister sees 'green shoots' of recovery

A Government minister said today that she could see a few "green shoots" of economic recovery.

Euro membership: no longer a burning issue

The question of whether to join the euro has so completely disappeared from political discourse in the UK that it is a struggle to recall how live an issue it was just 10 years ago.

<a href="http://s-ogrady.livejournal.com/953.html">Sean O'Grady: Don't blame the banks</a>

Here we go again: banks as scapegoats once more. It was a very similar story in the last recession, in the early 1990s; at that time it was the banks' interest and other charges that were supposedly crucifying small businesses, and Chancellor Norman Lamont was the subject of media campaigns to stop the banks behaving like normal businesses.

Credit crisis diary: 02/12/2008

Return to the Thirties at Peter Jones

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A Brazilian wandering spider
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World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

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newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
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Ella Henderson's first studio album has gone straight to the top of the charts
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<p>Jonathan Ross</p>
<p>Jonathan Ross (or Wossy, as he’s affectionately known) has been on television and radio for an extraordinarily long time, working on a seat in the pantheon of British presenters. Hosting Friday Night with Jonathan Ross for nine years, Ross has been in everything from the video game Fable to Phineas and Ferb. So it’s probably not so surprising that Ross studied at Southampton College of Art (since rebranded Southampton Solent), a university known nowadays for its media production courses.</p>
<p>However, after leaving Solent, Ross studied History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, now part of the UCL, a move that was somewhat out of keeping with the rest of his career. Ross was made a fellow of the school in 2006 in recognition of his services to broadcasting.</p>
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Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new

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Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past