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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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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor