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Poppy Folly

There's a lot of death around this part of the Zodiac, maybe it's because we're going into the deep end of Taurus, down in the heart of darkness with Jim Jones, Sonny Liston and Harry S Truman, who only got out of his wheelchair to drop atom bombs on Japan. And then, of course, there's Norman Lamont (run! run!).

People & Business: School-leaver

WHAT'S THE connection between Norman Lamont, the ex Chancellor, Alistair Darling, the current Cabinet minister, and Jim Clark, the legendary British racing driver? They all attended Loretto School, Musselburgh, near Edinburgh.

Focus: Chancellors and their crises

HUGH DALTON

Thursday Book: Confessions of a sad socialist

THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER: 18 MISERABLE YEARS IN THE LIFE OF A LABOUR SUPPORTER BY JOHN O'FARRELL, DOUBLEDAY, pounds 9.99

Ruthless pruning

Tony Blair's first reshuffle may be conclusive evidence of the triumph of personality over ideology

Television mogul is youngest-ever life peer

TONY BLAIR creates Britain's youngest ever life peer today, among 18 new Labour members of the House of Lords.

New Labour peers: Those to be elevated

LABOUR: Christine Crawley, MEP for Birmingham East; Mary Goudie, pro-Europe campaigner and public affairs consultant; Glenys Thornton, former Fabian chair and public affairs consultant, Pola Uddin, quality manager for the London Borough of Newham; Nazir Ahmed, business development manager, Waheed Alli, managing director, Planet 24; William Bach, barrister; Melvyn Bragg, broadcaster; David Brookman, general secretary of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation; Anthony Christopher, chairman of Trades Union Fund Managers Ltd; Anthony Clarke, former deputy general secretary of the Union of Postal Workers; David Evans, chairman of Centurion Press Group; Toby Harris, Labour leader of Haringey Council and chairman of Association of London Government; Chris Haskins, chairman of Northern Foods; Brian Mackenzie, former chief superintendent of Durham Constabulary; Tom Sawyer, general secretary of the Labour Party; John Tomlinson, MEP for Birmingham West; Norman Warner, senior policy adviser to the Home Secretary, Jack Straw.

Elections are not the only way to bring honour to the Lords

The Upper Chamber desperately needs reform. But its replacement should truly represent Britain

'Rift' claims as Treasury chief retires

Sir Terence Burns, the most senior civil servant at the Treasury, is to take early retirement, prompting renewed speculation about a rift between the Treasury mandarin and Gordon Brown, the Chancellor.

Open Eye: Taking a gamble on The Knowledge

Cabbie Malcolm Rosen found his job gave him the opportunity to study psychology - and his fares. Bryan Rimmer reports

Anti-EU Tories rage at poll 'fix'

TORY MEPs are being accused by their colleagues of wining and dining party chairmen on trips to Brussels, at the European taxpayer's expense, to beat off a challenge to their seats from Euro-sceptics.

Outlook: Erm, here's a piece of Euro-fudge to chew on

BACK in the 1970s Britain was the basket case of Europe. Rigid labour markets, an overweening state sector, high inflation and a tax and spend mentality. You name it, we had it. Then Mrs Thatcher came along and the painful process of readjustment began. Just as the experiment was about to succeed she was lured into the Exchange Rate Mechanism. Two years later Thatchernomics was dead and the country was in the grip of a deep recession. The climb back to recovery only began the day Norman Lamont sang in his path, Britain left the ERM and the pound underwent a competitive devaluation.

In The News: George Soros

HE'S not short of a few quid, that George Soros, writes Andrew Buncombe. Even by the standards of the world of high finance, he is considered an exception. He makes a million here, loses a million there. It doesn't really matter; he's always in the black.

No regrets and no apologies from Irvine

DIY STORES have joined the lengthening list of the people the Lord Chancellor has upset, after Lord Irvine rubbished their wallpaper and said he had no regrets about choosing hand-printed Pugin for the pounds 650,000 refurbishment of his state apartments in the House of Lords.

Things they wished they hadn't said

Tom Hanks, 1994 Academy Awards
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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions