News In a highly unusual move, Ed Miliband has induced the Daily Mail to grant him the right of reply to an article attacking him

In a highly unusual move, Ed Miliband has induced the Daily Mail to grant him the right of reply to an article attacking him. It is a right that  newspapers are understandably reluctant to concede, lest their columns be filled with nothing but the wailing replies from wronged politicians. But there again, it is unusual to attack a politician by going for his dead father.

The Big Society in crisis: Are the wheels coming off the PM's Big Idea?

Major report says cuts are undermining the Tories' flagship policy as the public struggles to understand what it means

Steve Richards: Our republican conspiracy of silence

No public figure that governs, or hopes to govern can go near the issue. It would be the end of their careers

No 10 under Cameron: The three acts of the PM's leadership

He wanted to restore cabinet government and bring order to Labour 'anarchy'. But not everything has gone to plan

Battle of the Big Society: Tories go on the offensive

It's been a bad week for the PM's pet idea. Now he has to prove it's more than just motherhood and apple pie

Can the Big Society work?

In the first part of a three-day debate, our chief political commentator Steve Richards examines the genesis, development and ultimate misjudgment of a Coalition policy that, he argues, is doomed to fail

Steve Richards: The dangers of shock and awe politics

In its first six months the Coalition has accelerated with a dizzier speed than Thatcher in 1979 – and on more fronts

Matthew Norman: Ken's sacking must surely be on Cameron's Christmas list

The autocratic Mrs Thatcher would have fired Clarke in an instant for brazenly challenging her on fixed sentences for knife crime

Steve Richards: Power to the people is a bold idea, but do people want the power?

The degree to which the reforms will deliver improved public services cannot be easily discerned. In some ways that is the point

BBC chief defends impartiality after No 10 meeting

The director general of the BBC today defended the corporation's impartiality after it was disclosed he met a senior government aide in Downing Street to discuss coverage of the Government's spending cuts.

Peter York: Cameron's not as posh as you think he is

If you live and work in Big London, the smart centre, it's easy to think that everyone you know - everyone 'middle class' - earns £100,000 and deserves it

Steve Richards: But what if the Big Society doesn't work?

While the over-riding motive is not directly connected to our economic situation, lack of resources is why the vision is so limited

Bruce Anderson: Creative tension is binding the coalition

Civil servants would rather work for a rude but effective minister than for a courteous and weak one
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee