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Blears criticises career politicians

Britain has too many career politicians with little experience of real life, Hazel Blears, the Secretary of State for Communities, told the Hansard Society yesterday.

Norman Lamont: You Ask The Questions

The Former Chancellor of the Exchequer answers your qusetions, such as 'What would you be doing differently if you were Chancellor in this crisis?'

David Prosser's Outlook: Blanchflower's iceberg alert is spot on, but MPC won't change course

The tax saving that dare not speak its name; Lies, damned lies and government statistics

How Mr Darling is going to do his best... to make the figures add up

The public finances are a car crash. That much we knew. What we did not realise until yesterday was just how mangled they are.

Government borrowing soars by half

Government borrowing ballooned by 50 per cent in the first two months of this year compared with the same period last year, and could soon exceed £50bn.

Raising the steaks

Café Boheme, Old Compton Street, , London W1, 020 7734 0623

Public Finances: To spend, spend, spend in a fragile economy, the deficit takes the strain

The public finances are now deteriorating to such a degree that the Government stands in danger of breaking both its fiscal rules. With little room to increase taxes, thanks to the fragile state of the economy, and still opportunity to renege on important public spending commitments on child poverty and other priorities, Alistair Darling indicated that he is going to let the budget deficit take the strain.

A lesson from history: keep it safe and full it you want to stay in your job

Sir William George Granville Venables Vernon Harcourt was the last politician to find himself in the position that Alistair Darling was in yesterday. A Victorian Liberal, with receding hair and a fine beard, Sir William too stood nervously at the Despatch Box, making his first Budget speech, conscious at every moment of the domineering leader with years of experience running the Treasury sitting behind him.

Bath 34 Wasps 42: Bath's collapse shows Halliday that charity begins at home

Bath may be depending on the Charity Commissioners to end years of legal argy-bargy by granting them a long-term future at the beautiful Recreation Ground, but it was stretching the point just a little to pick them in their back division. The West Countrymen presented Wasps with so many gifts, the visitors must have thought it was "Love a Lawrence day". And Mr Dallaglio wasn't even on the field. Neither were half a dozen other first-choicers. A record defeat against a shell of a team? When Bath play like this, mere charity will never be enough to save them.

FROM THE INDEPENDENT ARCHIVE

17 September 1992 From a leading article after Black Wednesday

Major calls for moratorium to end election `dirty tricks'

JOHN MAJOR called for a moratorium on the release of any more papers from past Tory governments in the run-up to the general election after accusing Labour of a "dirty tricks" campaign.

Britain's exit from ERM on Black Wednesday cost pounds 4bn

BRITAIN'S HUMILIATING exit from the European exchange rate mechanism (ERM) cost taxpayers pounds 4bn, according to confidential Treasury documents released yesterday under the Freedom of Information Act.
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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

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

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Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

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Growing mussels

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Diana Krall interview

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