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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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?