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.

Ian Burrell: Are the Tories trying to sell a party – or just a leader?

In the history of Tory advertising campaigns, yesterday's homage to David Cameron hardly ranks alongside such slogans as 1979's election-winning "Labour Isn't Working" or even 1992's "Tax Bombshell".

Splits appear in Tory election strategy team

Splits have emerged within David Cameron's top team over the influence of an adviser on the party's direction. Some shadow ministers are known to resent the casual style of Steve Hilton, the Tory leader's trusted strategy director, who is fond of sending them emails advising them "how to think".

Leading article: The year of real choice

The "long campaign" has been a feature of British politics since at least 1992, an election that in many ways provides a template for this year's choice. The Labour Government is modelling its strategy more or less explicitly on John Major's campaign for re-election, and some of the parallels are striking. Then, Neil Kinnock ran on the slogan of "time for change", just as David Cameron does now. The Conservative advertising campaign, launched yesterday to coincide with a speech by the party leader, and that staple of modern political communications, a message to Sun readers, were taglined simply, "Year for Change". The advertisements themselves had no other words, and Mr Cameron's Sun article and his speech did not provide much more of the "small print" that he promised us last year.

Steve Richards: The politics of ownership could define the next decade

The government realises that the issue cannot be busked forever

Steve Richards: Size should not be everything in Cameron's vision of a modern state

I have no doubt that he is genuinely interested in redistributing power

Cameron already knows his lines – but are they good enough?

Andy McSmith reveals the meticulous method behind Tory leader's speech-making

Tories wanted me as Mayor, says Robinson

Party turned to Boris after presenter rejected offer to run against Livingstone

Inside the Cameron vote machine

They work together, eat together and holiday together – and they expect to run Britain, reports Michael Savage

Steve Richards: The people's questions deserve big answers

These are heady days for voters demanding a transformation in the way Britain is governed. But our political masters are the most reluctant revolutionaries – reformers can't let the pressure drop

<a href="http://todayinpolitics.independentminds.livejournal.com/8077.html">Today in Politics: 'Tory cuts' attack is back - again</a>

In his three years as Tory leader, David Cameron consistently rejected pressure from inside his own party to promise tax cuts. There were two reasons: polling by his strategist Steve Hilton showed that, at the 2005 election, voters didn't believe the Tories would deliver the tax cuts they promised. Secondly, Gordon Brown always converted Tory pledges to cut taxes into "Tory spending cuts."

John Rentoul: The handbrake turn that kills Prudence

A new recklessness could do the trick for Labour at the next election, for the voters still trust Brown as a safe pair of hands

Cameron hires PR firm to get inside pretty little heads of female voters

His wife Samantha is the political spouse that most women relate to, according to polls. But in an attempt to reach out personally to female voters, David Cameron has enlisted the help of a marketing firm which advises clients how to relate to women.

James Delingpole: Dave's centrist hair is no electoral stunt. It's vanity

Shortly after his party's stunning victory in the Crewe by-election, I can exclusively reveal, Dave Cameron was summoned to a top secret strategy meeting by his balding, crop-headed guru Steve Hilton.

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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
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scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
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Rodgers fights for his reputation

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Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

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Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick