Voices

Khodorkovsky’s release may well have been intended to further those goals by sending a positive signal about Russia's future business climate

Village people: 28/11/2009

No thanks, Ann

*Ann Widdecombe's chances of a new career as Britain's envoy to the Vatican are on the wane.

Bruce Anderson: Iraq is inseparable from the personality of Tony Blair

The destruction of Saddam was a noble cause, even if ineptly conducted

John McWilliam: Highly respected politician who served as an Opposition whip at a difficult time for Labour

As a member of the Speaker's Panel – senior MPs, not ministers, who chair the committee stage of bills in the House of Commons – John McWilliam was procedurally authoritative and unflappable. For this reason, I was one of 14 MPs who gave him a vote in the long, drawn-out procedure for the election of a Speaker after Lady Boothroyd went to the House of Lords.

Andrew Grice: Waiting for Obama

What were armed services chiefs and politicians talking about in the margins of the Remembrance Sunday ceremony in Whitehall yesterday? I am told two words kept coming up. "President" and "Obama.

Jane Merrick: Kaminski row: Is the past three weeks ago?

The row over Michal Kaminski, the leader of David Cameron's grouping in Europe, continues to rage. And it should, because there remain deeply disturbing doubts over the past - and possibly the present - thoughts of Kaminski.

Jennie Bristow: Stand up to Supernanny

Before I had children, I was bothered that politicians today have an unhealthy interest in lecturing people about how they conduct their personal lives – what they eat, how much they drink, whether they take enough exercise, and so on.

John Rentoul: Dirty work

It is hard work defending Tony Blair and thankless. But there are some things that just have to be done.

For sale: one bridge, a bookmaker and millions of student loans

Brown gambles on huge sale of assets to balance books

The firm with a 'back door key to Number 10'

BAE's intimacy with Tony Blair's government was legendary. But the company cannot bank on any favours now, says Andy McSmith

John Kampfner: Liberal values have never been more important – or less popular

People everywhere have been too willing to trade freedom for prosperity or security

Carers miss out on state support, MPs find

People looking after sick or disabled relatives provide care worth an estimated £23bn a year but receive benefits worth only £2bn a year, the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) found.

MPs to look at effect of Megrahi release on relations with US

A parliamentary inquiry is to examine whether the release of the Lockerbie bomber has damaged Britain's "special relationship" with the United States, The Independent has learnt.

John Rentoul: 'Chop it off and put it on a spike'

Stephen Frears, the director, was at it again yesterday. One joke about executing Tony Blair could perhaps be brushed off as a lapse of taste, but now he has said this to Sueddeutsche Zeitung:

John Rentoul: 'I told them but they wouldn't listen'

Poor Geoffrey Wheatcroft. He has "tried to offer constructive advice to David Cameron and his team". Stay away from Blairite ultras and neconservatives.

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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?