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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: The masterminds behind the scenes

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How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

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Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

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Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
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

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Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

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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'

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'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

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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