News

Patients and doctors were conspicuous in their absence

Leading article: Scouts' honour

It is often said that children in Britain are a generation of couch potatoes, locked away in their bedrooms for too much of the time on computers and getting fat from lack of exercise. Maybe some are, but it's equally clear from the report which we carry today on the growth in Scout numbers that a good many children are as active and outdoorsy as their parents ever were. At almost half a million, the number of Scouts is at its highest in four decades.

Burnham seeks new consensus on elderly care

The Health Secretary tried to cool the row over care for the elderly today by calling a non-partisan conference to address the issue this week.

Leading article: The depressing politics of elderly care

An attempt to forge a cross-party consensus on care for elderly people in England disintegrated this week. A government Green Paper on the subject last year floated various ideas for extending care. And one of the options for paying for such an extension was a compulsory levy on estates after death.

The Week In Radio: In praise of older women

The nation's favourite poem, if BBC viewers are to be believed, is Jenny Joseph's charming vision of the feisty, older lady: "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple/ With a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me." And, indeed, this hymn to the mature woman is very much of the zeitgeist. Females over 50 are supposedly hot right now, and as a result the BBC claims to be seeking women newsreaders past the first flush of youth. Obviously, they won't be allowed on TV wearing red hats or being embarrassing, and presumably they will be more Joanna Lumley than Thora Hird, but it's a start.

Relatives hear evidence at nursing home blaze inquiry

Relatives of elderly residents who died in a fire at a care home have been giving evidence at a fatal accident inquiry into the tragedy.

Old Men in Love, By Alasdair Gray

The posthumous papers of a retired Glaswegian schoolmaster and old-fashioned Socialist, John Tunnock, comprise most of Gray's book, which is jacketed with a lengthy quote from Will Self imploring that we should "cherish his works".

Old Men in Love, By Alisdair Gray

The outré contents of Alisdair Gray's fiction are always more than matched by his alluring typographical flourishes and decorative designs.

Tories offer 'Home protection plan' for residential care

Plans to end the plight of tens of thousands of elderly people forced to sell their homes to pay the costs of residential care were announced today by the Tories.

Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: Why can't my mother be more loving to my grandmother?

Dear Virginia,

I'm 20 and at university, and I come home during the holidays. My grandmother lives in a flat downstairs from us and I don't think my mother, her daughter, is kind to her. She's always going on to me about what a chore it all is, and sometimes can be quite snappy with my gran, who can't help getting muddled sometimes. I love my gran so much, and she's very kind and generous to mum with money and so on, so why can't my mother can't be more patient and loving?

Yours sincerely, Beth

One Minute With: Denise Mina

Cloud Nine (N/C)

No film this year is less likely to get a Hollywood remake, but that would be to praise Andreas Dresen's drama of passionate love in old age.

Labour's tax rise to pay for care homes

Labour is considering a plan to raise National Insurance contributions to fund a guaranteed minimum level of care for the elderly, The Independent has learnt.

Baba Yaga Laid an Egg, By Dubravka Ugresic

In praise of the mythical older woman

A Carer's Chronicle: Taking control

Today, we had Mum’s signing off meeting. She has been at home in her own home for three months. This is so completely marvelous it is like miracles. She is wonderful. We stoutly asserted that she would do it, but can hardly believe her progress. Despite the wheelchair, she looks like herself again and she is very definitely in control.

Career Services

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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor