Voices

These letters appear in the Monday 14th October edition of the Independent

Terence Blacker: Less opinion, more debate, please

Open-mindedness has become confused with indecisiveness

Was it the snail porridge? Diners' mystery illness forces Fat Duck to close

One of Britain's most famous restaurants has closed its doors after up to 40 diners fell ill after eating there, it emerged yesterday.

The morning Gordon made David choke on his porridge

The Tory leader's getting angry and he's turning up the volume – lambasting the Prime Minister as a headless chicken and the House of Lords for its toxic cocktail of money and politics

First banks, now a £20bn bailout for businesses

Mandelson acts to rescue viable small companies starved of credit

A gruelling meal for hard times

Tourists got a taste of the workhouse today as free gruel was ladled out in the courtyard of the Royal Academy.

IoS Christmas Appeal: In Zimbabwe, porridge once a day makes you a lucky girl

At an early childhood centre children play, learn and, most importantly, eat. But for many, this will be their only meal

A mannequin on a toilet and dry porridge – it's the Turner Prize

The Turner Prize, the annual award for artists that never ceases to raise furious debate on what constitutes art and what should be dismissed as nonsense, yesterday proved it was not about to change the habit of a lifetime.

Gruel all round as the Victorian workhouse diet makes a comeback

Rising food bills bring renewed interest in virtues of frugality

Christina Patterson: I'm depressed by all this happy talk

"If you don't have anything cheerful to say," said my father, "then don't say anything at all." That, frankly, was a bit of a tall order. Of course I didn't have anything cheerful to say. I was a teenager, for God's sake. With the advent of spots, and a truly dreadful haircut, my state of mind had switched from relatively sunny to gloweringly unhappy. I didn't follow my father's dictum, of course. I believed in freedom of speech. The freedom to make everyone else as miserable as I felt.

Cranachan with raspberries

Serves 4

The Sketch: He demonstrated the strength of ten lunatics

They are amazing, in their way. Admirable, even. The sheer intestinal fortitude it must take to appear in public after all that international humiliation. And then to come back and be humiliated at home. How to go through all that humiliation without being humbled! What a package of qualities you need for public life at this highest level. Of course, lunacy helps and, yesterday, Gordon Brown displayed the strength of 10 lunatics. It is his greatest asset.

Brian Wilde: Foggy in 'Last of the Summer Wine'

In the long-running, gentle sitcom Last of the Summer Wine, Brian Wilde established himself as the best-loved "third man" among the ageing trio of eccentrics who whiled away the hours in the Yorkshire Pennines by recalling memories past, mulling over the trials and tribulations of the present, and – despite their years – making plans for the future. He had two spells with the BBC programme written by Roy Clarke, which did much for tourism in the West Yorkshire village of Holmfirth.

The Sketch: Babyface too easily rattled on spending and child poverty

The Chancellor's answers on Today roused pity and terror. The week before he'd been "safe". Now his answers sound like a senile man masticating porridge. That is, he sounds like the porridge, not the man. Formless, pointless, virtually without content, certainly meaningless.

Retro delights: Man About the House

Man About the House stands somewhere between genius and drivel when it comes to Seventies British sitcom but Brian Viner thinks that in many ways it may have been the most successful show

Rise and shine: Mark Hix serves-up his hearty breakfast recipes

Make a good first impression by using the finest seasonal and regional produce
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Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
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Arts and Entertainment
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The number of GP practices with 10 or more doctors has grown by 75 per cent
science
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
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Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
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Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
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Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit