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Patients and doctors were conspicuous in their absence

Ben Chu: Government needs to start saving now

We're living longer, so what does that mean for the economy? It means social costs. The state pension bill is already one of the biggest single outlays of the state, at around £87bn in 2010/11. The Government is raising the qualification age to 66 from 2018 and 67 from 2026 and George Osborne proposed in last week's Budget to create an automatic link between rising longevity and the pension age.

Home care is disgraceful, says consumer group Which?

Older people are suffering "disgraceful" home care including missed medication and confinement to soiled beds, an undercover investigation revealed.

The Land of Decoration, By Grace McLeen

For thine is the kingdom; the flour and glory

Mark Steel: We need a minister for Abu Qatada

If al-Qa'ida were smart, they would get 50 of their men to make a DVD each

Amol Rajan: Shameful neglect of the elderly threatens our future

We need less vilification and more sympathy for care workers

The Armani Hotel Milano

Armani hotel looks like a psychiatric hospital (says king of out-there fashion)

Roberto Cavalli – famous for his animal-print excess – criticises the taste of Italy's Mr Minimalism

Diary: 'Nasty man' lurks in background at Leveson

Ray Bellisario, one of the original paparazzi, who was annoying the royals when everyone else treated them with deference half a century ago, is not pleased with Lord Justice Leveson.

Notre Dame cathedral in Paris has had its bells replaced temporarily with a recording

The bells, the bells...! Why Notre Dame is ringing the changes

Paris has echoed to a discordant tune since the medieval bells of Notre Dame were melted down for cannons during the French Revolution. But now the original peals are to be restored, reports John Lichfield

Hospital wards for the elderly would close under Labour's social care plans

Hospital wards for the elderly would be closed to release funds for old people to be cared for in their own homes under plans to tackle the looming social care crisis being drawn up by Labour.

Album: Dodgy, Stand Upright in a Cool Place (Strike Back)

Sixteen years on from their last album, the second of this week's comebacks finds former Britpoppers Dodgy reborn in the form of Teenage Fanclub, plying winsome folk-rock harmonies of an American flavour, imbued with a gentle melancholy and the warmth of hard-won experience.

Home from home: a scene from 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'

Fun in the sunset years

A new movie follows a group of retirees moving to India to seek low-cost care, a gentler climate and a culture of respect for the elderly. For thousands of Britons, this is already a reality, discovers Sam Judah

Home from home: a scene from 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'

Fun in the sunset years

A new movie follows a group of retirees moving to India to seek low-cost care, a gentler climate and a culture of respect for the elderly. For thousands of Britons, this is already a reality

Opt-out on organ donation planned

Wales is looking to become the first UK country to introduce an opt-out scheme for organ donation – where a patient is considered to have given consent for their organs to be used unless they have made it clear they do not – after a report cast doubt on whether the current system could meet growing demand.

Book Of A Lifetime: A Perfect Spy, By John le Carré

When writing a recent novel, I spent time thinking about the concept of identity; the idea that people can fool not just their close associates, but even themselves, and literally become the person they believe they are. It became increasingly clear to me that nobody ever really knows another person. And my mind kept returning to John le Carré's 'A Perfect Spy', where the world of spies and double-spies becomes a metaphor for the treachery of the human heart, where identity can become lost and confused in a web of hidden corridors.

Tory MP Nicholas Soames has urged the Department of Culture to step in

Diary: A department that hasn't lost its marbles

When lovers of antiquity are locked in conflict with an order of nuns over whether a beauty spot should lose its marbles, you can understand why government ministers might not want to get involved. The argument is over part of the unique collection of Roman marble statues and busts assembled by the 18th century art collector Henry Blundell, most of which are safely housed in the National Museum Liverpool, but about 100 of which are in niches in the grounds of Ince Blundell Hall on Merseyside.

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Day In a Page

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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
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Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
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Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

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Who does your club need in the transfer window?

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Michael Calvin's Last Word

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