Voices

Like many men, I am a lazy, good-for-nothing, selfish, forgetful, patronising, sex-obsessed bastard who drinks too much. Or so my wife points out. It's strange that I have ended up like this. I tried not to. I really did.

David Flatman: OK, no Grewcocks. But don't write off this relentless pack

Botha and Palmer make this a difficult team to beat, let alone smash
‘Rienzi’ was Hitler’s favourite opera

Opera to mark Hitler's birthday met with chorus of disapproval

Berlin opera house forced to reschedule Wagner work that inspired Nazi leader

Political giant: Fraga, seated, is applauded by his parliamentary colleagues in a tribute in 2008

Manuel Fraga: Politician who survived Spain's post-Franco transition to democracy

For more than 60 years, Manuel Fraga was a giant of Spanish politics who started out as a high-profile figure in the second period of Franco's regime and then made an opportunistic transformation in the post-Franco political arena.

Tom Hodgkinson: 'We took a TV home. I admit I am weak'

The television is back. Five years ago, in a fit of anti-capitalist pique, I unplugged this instrument of Beezlebub. I decided that I didn't want all its horrors flooding into the family home. I didn't want The X-Factor, CBeebies, Dick and Dom, the Ten O'Clock News or the dreary gloom of EastEnders. Mr Murdoch and his evil ways could stay out of my house for ever. Like Plato, I decided to banish the playwrights and their portrayal of negative character traits from my ideal Republic. My children would grow up unsullied by the false promises of consumerism. Instead, they'd learn useful skills, carpentry and violin.

Album: Various artists, East of Underground: Hell Below (Now Again)

More historical curiosity than essential listening, EOU gathers four acts (East of Underground, Soap, The Black Seeds, and the Sound Trek) made up of US draftees stationed in Germany as the Vietnam War fizzled to an end.

British voice behind a call to arms for Somalia's Islamic terrorists

Video reports of al-Shabaab battles with Somali forces feature jihadist with London accent

Turkey hits back over French bill

Turkey has retaliated against France after MPs there passed a bill to make it a crime to deny the mass killings of Armenians in 1915 by Ottoman Turks amounted to genocide.

Supreme Leader: Kim inspects his troops in Pyongyang

Kim Jong-Il: Leader of North Korea who deepened the cult of personality in his country following the death of his father

It is one measure of the cult of secrecy surrounding North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il that his demise was rumoured long before he actually died yesterday. One professor at Tokyo's prestigious Waseda University argued in a best-selling book that the "Dear Leader" had succumbed to diabetes in 2003 and had been replaced by several doubles. "Common sense cannot take the measure of North Korea's uniqueness," wrote Toshimitsu Shigemura in The True Character of Kim Jong-il.

Sir David Jack

Further to your obituary of Sir David Jack (9 December), Fifers are famous for dogged determination, writes Tam Dalyell.

Kermit: A mere glimpse of any (colour) portrait of the Muppets' leader proves he is a subversive 'green', committed to ending the oil industry - and Jeremy Clarkson's career

Red and green and watched all over: Fox accuses Kermit the communist

Programme host on Murdoch-owned news network accuses 'liberal Hollywood' of bias

Letters: The fuss over Gaddafi's killing is rank hypocrisy

The British media fuss over the manner of Gaddafi's death is hypocrisy of the rankest kind, tinged with racist colonial superiority. When the Americans chucked Bin Laden out of a plane into the sea, perhaps for fear his grave would become a martyr's shrine, they murdered an unarmed man, something they then lied about. But who could blame them? No one in the media, as I recall.

Xerxes, Britten Theatre, London The Fairy Queen, Britten Theatre, London Takács Quartet, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

English Touring Opera's dazzling romance, set during the Second World War, is sexy and stylish

Enough of prime ministers sipping in the sun

While we're on the subject of holidays, I have a novel idea. Pictures of politicians on holiday should be banned from publication. Whether they're in tabloids, broadsheets, magazines – hell, let's ban them from television too. OK, that may be a touch harsh. How about this: the pictures should be banned unless the specific purpose of the articles they accompany is to puncture the completely disingenuous portraits of bliss they otherwise depict.

Leading article: A massacre born from a poisonous mindset

A picture of almost unbearable horror has emerged from Norway. Reports of the systematic murder of young activists on the tiny island of Utoeya, lured to their death by a man dressed in a police officer's uniform, are as harrowing as those that followed the 1996 Dunblane massacre here in Britain.

Invisible Ink: No 81 - Harry Hodge

In the modern age of phone-tapping and the super-injunction, one wonders what Harry Hodge would have said about the right to privacy.

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss