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.

Nato could strike at Serbia `in days'

AS FIGHTING continued in Kosovo, with Serb forces pounding villages once again, Nato's two top commanders told Slobodan Milosevic yesterday he faced the threat of air strikes if he did not stick to the October ceasefire agreement. They also demanded full access for war crimes investigators to probe last week's massacre of ethnic Albanians in Racak.

Villagers outraged as teepee dwellers win right to stay

BACK-TO-THE-LAND settlers have won their greatest ever victory. In a test case, a "bender community" which built huts illegally on a Somerset smallholding, has been given retrospective planning permission in the teeth of local opposition.

MPs back Prescott over `old values'

CABINET MINISTERS and MPs lined up yesterday behind the call by John Prescott and Gordon Brown for the Government to return to "traditional" Labour values.

Prescott anger at Lib-Lab deals

JOHN PRESCOTT'S simmering anger at Tony Blair's decision to forge closer links with the Liberal Democrats boiled over in public yesterday.

Letter: LibDems target tax

Sir: Steve Richards ("When will New Labour face up to the truth about taxes?", 7 December) gives a timely warning. It is only the existence of an independent Liberal Democrat party which is keeping this issue on the agenda. This is one of many reasons why, as Paddy Ashdown has often said, "If we did not exist, it would be necessary to invent us."

Parliament: The Sketch - PM emerges victorious from shoot-out in the chamber

OFFICIALLY, PRIME Minister's question time ends at 3.30 on the dot. But it is often over well before then. If William Hague rattles off every round in his six-shooter within the first 10 minutes, for example, then the rest of the occasion almost always has something of a desultory air, a duel in which one of the gunslingers has run out of ammunition. Tony Blair can emerge from behind the riddled water-butt he's been using for cover and taunt his opponent with his impotence.

QUEEN'S SPEECH: Lib Dem vote is a blow to Ashdown deal

THE LIBERAL Democrats voted against key Government proposals last night when they joined forces with the Tories to oppose the Queen's Speech.

Mr Blair must stop being so cautious and start taking risks

The policies left out of the Queen's Speech will tell us as much about the Government as those left in

MP opposing control freaks wins election

GROWING OPPOSITION to Labour's "control freakery" has finally spread to its MPs, with the election of a leading backbench rebel to the parliamentary party's ruling executive.

Letter: Lib-Lab deals

Sir: Paddy Ashdown often cites local government to prove that the politics of co-operation can succeed. He is right. As the leader of the Liberal Democrats on a county council that was "hung" for many years, I practised it with some success.

Leading Article: Now Mr Blair must offer the Lib Dems some real power

TONY BLAIR is the stealth bomber of British politics. He is attempting to draw the Liberal Democrats into a merger with Labour without either party picking him up on their radar. It will not work, and at today's meeting of the Lib Dem ruling body, the federal executive, the fighter squadrons will be scrambled against it. Already the Scottish Lib Dems say that the joint statement issued by the Prime Minister and Paddy Ashdown last week does not apply to them, and yet they have been working with Labour for longer.

Referendum on PR 'before next election'

TONY BLAIR will win round his cabinet and hold a referendum on electoral reform before the next election, the Liberal Democrat leader, Paddy Ashdown, claimed yesterday.

Glad to be a thinker? Beware Blair's whipping boys will stalk

WITH THE attempt to prevent Mr Ken Livingstone from becoming mayor of London and the less successful one to stop Mr Rhodri Morgan from contesting the leadership of the Welsh Assembly, with worry about the Scottish Parliament and the European elections, and with the National Executive compelled to join the Trappist order, this has been a vintage week for what are now called control freaks and I prefer to remember as party discipline. The Labour Party is no stranger to the latter. For 30 years, from the end of the war to the mid-1970s, the party combined what was theoretically a high degree of internal discipline with, in practice, a state of affairs that often verged on anarchy. In the late 1970s order broke down completely.

Rebels fight 'diktat' rule

TONY BLAIR and Paddy Ashdown are facing growing party rebellion against their "control freak" tendencies. At meetings of senior party figures in both camps this week, they will each be challenged over their "high-handed" approach to likely rebels. Anger was fuelled last week by the extension of the role of the joint cabinet commitee on which Labour and the Liberal Democrats sit.

Politics: Blair alters noble principle to read: one man, one veto

WHEN PADDY Ashdown gave his speech to his party conference, he asked a question of his new friend, Tony Blair: was the Prime Minister a control freak or a democrat?
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?