Politics seems abstract, completely removed from everyday life

The good news is we're still worth £7trn (at least for now)

Iceland...Hungary...Ukraine... At a time when almost every day brings news of another sovereign state going bust, it is comforting to know the UK is at least solvent – and to the tune of £7 trillion. Even though recession seems inevitable, and government borrowing is soaring while house prices seem destined to fall forever, the UK is still worth a surprising amount.

Minister tells Ross and Brand to apologise

The Justice Minister today urged Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand to apologise for the offensive phone calls made to veteran actor Andrew Sachs.

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/10/brandgate-mount.html">Archie Bland: Brandgate - mountains and molehills</a>

Whatever one's views of the foulness of Russell Brand's mouth, and whether it really warrants an OFCOM enquiry or can really reasonably be used as a starting point for the kind of systematic assault on the BBC that it seems to have engendered, it's worth noting two facts.

Leading article: Bad manners

There are some episodes that cast modern Britain in a very shabby light. Take two recent examples. Earlier this month, two DJs, both employed by the BBC, rang up an elderly actor and left offensive messages on his answering machine, supposedly for the purpose of amusing their listeners. We have also learned of a nurse who took a patient's blood pressure while casually chatting on her mobile phone.

Russell Brand's controversial career

Russell Brand has never been one for a quiet life.

Sarah Sands: Insult America, Russell, but please make sure it's funny

The Americans are the least cynical people on earth, someone remarked to me recently. And so we send over Russell Brand, a comically depraved figure, an MTV Byron, who lewdly insults a virgin boy band and takes on the most powerful figure in the world, the US President.

The rebirth of Britney Spears

Gobbled up by her fame, rested in rehab. Has the hottest property in US pop got her life back on track?

BBC fined &#163;400,000 for faking winners of phone-in shows

The BBC has been fined £400,000 by Ofcom, the media regulator, for faking winners and misleading audiences in viewer and listener competitions.

BBC fined &pound;400,000 over 'unfair' phone-ins

The BBC has been fined £400,000 by media regulator Ofcom for faking winners and misleading audiences in viewer and listener competitions.

Russell Brand joke sparks police warning

An on-stage routine by comedian Russell Brand prompted a police warning today about hoax or "frivolous" calls.

My Week In Media: Jeff Leach

Chris Moyles, Radio 1

The Sony award that broke my smugometer

Are these Britain's worst-dressed men?

So says 'GQ' magazine. Carola Long, deputy fashion editor, decides if they are being wronged

BBC under fire after staff member posed as radio competition winner

The BBC fell into further introspection and controversy last night after an internal report revealed a member of staff posed as a competition winner and another entrant's name was invented on radio shows presented by Russell Brand and Jo Whiley.

The school of Chris Rock

On the eve of a world tour, Chris Rock talks to Julian Hall about Barack Obama, kinky hair and the search for the next great black stand-up
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
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'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
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New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
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A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
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Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

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Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

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