Arts and Entertainment
It's flat and watery, ... unlike the books that it inspires

Life after Westminster: what ex-MPs do next

His love of harmonicas, a soft spot for the Segway human transporter and his unlikely romance with a Cheeky Girl marked out Lembit Opik as one of Westminster's more light-hearted characters. Now, after the surprise of losing his seat at the election, the eccentric former MP has decided to try a career as a stand-up comedian.

David Prosser: Charity begins at home

Outlook Here Is an idea for Alistair Darling, or his successor. So anxious is the National Bank of Greece, the country's largest bank, about the parlous state of the public finances that it has launched an appeal to patriots. The bank now operates a "Solidarity Account", into which members of the public can make deposits to help pay off Greece's debts (those members of the public who aren't on their knees thanks to the Greeks' austerity measures).

The truth about immigration: Citizenships granted fall by 35,000 in a year

Contrary to claims that Britain is being 'swamped', the net number of incomers to the country has dropped sharply

What the journalists won't tell you about party conferences

Here beginneth three weeks of Hogarthian sluicing. The party conference season opens today with the Lib Dems in Bournemouth. Next week it's Labour in Brighton, then the Conservatives in Manchester. Hic.

Matthew Norman: Yum Yum Yentob sings for his supper

After a mixed week for the BBC on the courage-under-fire front (see George Alagiah, below), a rousing thank the Lord for Alan Yentob.

The Sketch: Another year of Gordon slowly decomposing in public

This is more like it, the political gets physical. Two women were late, they were trying to get into Committee Room 14 where the Parliamentary Labour Party was convening for its weekly meeting.

A scandal that lifts the lid on the seamier side of spin

<b>Leading article:</b> If McBride's briefings were widely known in No 10, more heads will roll

MPs 'have duty to opt for state schooling'

Public sector must lead by example to build fair society, says senior Labour MP

A whole generation of women is lost to politics

On International Women's day, a damning new report says female politicians are failing to act as role models

Pandora: A perfect pair? Davis plays party&#8217;s cupid

David Davis’s attempt to become Tory party leader over three years ago may not have gone entirely to plan, but his ill-fated campaign did, at least, have one happy outcome.

Heathrow: go-ahead for third runway

Row looms after Brown approves plans for London airport expansion

Leading article: What a hypocritical way to run Britain's railways

The Government is still failing to invest on the necessary scale

Tories pledge full debate on reforming abortion law

A Conservative government would guarantee a full debate on reforming the law on abortion, senior party figures said yesterday as they lambasted the Government for quashing discussion of the issue through lack of parliamentary time, leaving only four-and-a-half hours to debate some 80 amendments.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas