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Speeches in the House of Commons by the Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg are an erudite comedy turn. As MPs debated the European Union (Approvals) Bill (Lords), which writes into British law two draft regulations passed by the Council of the European Union, only he thought it necessary to read into the official record part of what one of the regulations actually said.

The thrifty ways of the Fifties are hard to shake off

Raise a frugal toast to modern puritanism

Arguments around fracking and HS2 presuppose consumer need. But a tide against materialism would cause bigger shockwaves still

Dilnott-Cooper: his first job was accompanying Brooke Shields on a press tour of the United Kingdom

Rupert Dilnott-Cooper: ITV executive whose skills kept 'Spitting Image' out of trouble

As head of contracts and copyright at Central Independent Television, which became ITV's Midlands franchise holder in the 1980s, Rupert Dilnott-Cooper was given some of his biggest challenges by the producers of the satirical puppet series Spitting Image. His job was to protect Central from legal action, but he regarded the show as fun and always tried to find a way to ensure that its biting humour reached the screen.

For and against Maggie: when the Iron Lady stood (almost) alone

There are twice as  many names in the  'against us' column as in the 'for us' one

Salman Rushdie’s memoir of the fatwa years is ‘like nothing that has ever been written’

Memoir, by Joseph Anton

Where has this talent been hiding?

William Hague, Eric Pickles and Philip Hammond tell bosses to work harder

Three Cabinet ministers said yesterday that people and businesses in Britain will have to "work harder" if the economy is to start growing again – comments Labour said would "infuriate" the public.

Robin Scott-Elliot: BBC coverage needed Boris bombing into the Olympic pool

View From The Sofa: Olympics, BBC1; World Cup draw Sky Sports news

Speaker to trade places with Kabul counterpart

John Bercow is used to facing the flak as one of the most controversial speakers of the House of Commons in recent times. But he is about to embark on a journey which may give him an entirely new perspective on what that means.

A funny thing happened on my way to the dispatch box

Nick Clegg has been making free with his witticisms. He's not the first politician to fancy himself as a comedian, says Andy McSmith

The Sketch: A modern 'crapopolis' is the chosen setting for reaffirming vows

What was she doing with the apprentices – the nice-looking young blonde with the day-glo safety waistcoat and blue plastic bags over her work boots? The real apprentices were (rather touchingly) wearing suits and ties. She looked like a middle-class intern on a gap year. And her disguise was undermined by her manicure. Lovely pale pink nails. Buffed, probably. "She's there to give the impression there are more women involved in construction than there really are," one of the industry men said.

House Doctor: 'I'm selling a flat that I have been renting out. Do I owe any tax?'

Question: My fiancé and I have lived together for more than two years and plan to marry next year. Having moved into his house, I plan to sell my old flat which I've let out for nearly two years. I've had a decent £240,000 offer but am wary about paying a lot of capital gains tax. Can I avoid this?

Is 'calm down, dear' really so offensive?

The PM's rebuke to Labour's Angela Eagle sparked snorts of laughter from his colleagues – and howls of derision from the Opposition. Here, we weigh up both sides of the argument...

Norman Tebbit: True blue torch-bearer of the Tory right

From 'Chingford skinhead' to octogenarian blogger of Britain's decline, the Conservative peer remains a man of public passion and private pain. Matthew Bell meets Norman Tebbit

Vote reform opponents 'ridiculous'

Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron bracketed David Cameron with BNP leader Nick Griffin today as he launched a broadside at the "reactionary and ridiculous" opponents of voting reform.

Tim Montgomerie: Only long-term plans will ease short-term pain

Some opinion polls suggest Labour is now opening up a double digit lead. As the cuts bite the unpopularity will only get worse. The Tory grassroots will absorb these mid-term blues if they think David Cameron has a long-term plan for victory.

Leading article: If Mr Osborne has got it wrong, he should start afresh

Unemployment looks likely to rise to 2.7 million while those in work see a fall in their real income
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering