Arts and Entertainment Ed Miliband told Kirsty Young his relationship with brother David was 'healing'

Forget policy proposals, it is the choices made by political leaders on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs that really give the public a chance to see into both their souls and their desire to be seen as accessible.

The Week In Radio: It's hard work when you're in the thick of it

When a public figure dies, the whole of his life flashes before other people's eyes. So hours after the Prime Minister's post-dated political demise, a kneejerk appreciation called Gordon Brown: a Political Life was rushed on to Radio 4. Yet although Shaun Ley's programme contained a perfectly comprehensive checklist of all the delights of Brown's years in office – Bigotgate, psychological flaws, Forces of Hell, moral compass, smile – it had a perfunctory air that suggested now was not the best time to take the measure of the man. And that is the problem with living in interesting times. Achieving perspective from the middle of a political avalanche is a challenge and the Today programme has coped better than most. Unlike the TV studios, where captive politicians can sit for hours repeating formulas on a loop, Today's presenters have been far sharper than their televisual equivalents. When Paddy Ashdown came on with a lofty peroration about how he could not possibly reveal his own position, Nick Robinson was as cutting as a kitchen knife. "We can hear what you're saying, Paddy, and so can the rest of the country."

Highlight on the Day: 10/05/2010

When Sky's the limit

Simon Carr: Stuck in the middle of a frenzied vacuum

Sketch: News just in. Nick Clegg has left his house. He is wearing a tie

Lib Dem View: Not as good, but how could it be?

The nation's second date with Nick wasn't quite as exhilarating as their first night out. How could it be?

Steve Richards: Liberal Democrats' hour has come round at last

At least Clegg knows his voice will be heard when before it would have been drowned out

My Week: General Sir John Kiszely

The president of the Royal British Legion on the biggest week of his year – and a demand for poppies that saw some areas run out

Denis MacShane: A Parliament of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich

Kelly means we’ll never have MPs like John Smith or Ken Clarke again

Pandora: Heckler puts the boot in to ex-PM Howard

John Howard was the second-longest-serving prime minister in Australian history; he is also (probably) the only one ever to come under attack from a university student throwing Dr Martens.

Paddy Ashdown: Afghanistan's future lies in strengthening its tribal structures, not in its corrupt government

No one should doubt what the new vote will cost - not just in treasure but in blood

The Sketch: This is not just any old austerity, it's progressive austerity

Tall, slim, good looking, nicely spoken, polite, clean. Women are said to like him. Nick Clegg's the best leader they've had since Paddy Ashdown so it's hard to know why their poll rating is so down. But these conference speeches usually put on three or four points – if he gets five or six that'll put them back in the game.

Steve Richards: After stumbling on a 'tax and spend' landmine, he aimed his fire at the Tories

Nick Clegg faced the familiar daunting tasks as he addressed his MPs and activists in their last annual conference before the election. He had to enthuse his party and at the same time make the most of rare media attention to frame a message that appealed to a range of voters from the North and South, Tory and Labour. As an added twist Clegg faced obstacles that had arisen as a result of a few misjudged announcements and declarations that had dominated the conference.

Paddy Ashdown: The age when the powerful can act unilaterally is over

In the modern age, the most important part of what you can do, is what you can do with others. It is institutions' ability, not to do, but to network, which matters most. The key part of modern structures is not their internal order, but their external docking points. It is not the effectiveness of the hierarchies which matters most, but the efficiency of the interconnectors.

A Fortunate Life, By Paddy Ashdown

Politics is war by other means in this memoir

Paddy Ashdown: Corruption and terrorism will flourish without global governance

There are three events which will characterise the coming age. The first is the transfer of power from the nations gathered around the Atlantic rim to those gathered around the Pacific, which will not be smooth. We are reaching the end of the period of hegemony of Western values in international affairs and we will have to start accepting new governmental concepts if we are to have a rule-based global system.

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