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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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Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific