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The MP for Tottenham spoke to The Independent about a short film project on social housing in the capital

Amol Rajan: How to turn a long dark winter into a new dawn

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Leading article: Mr Miliband is yet to answer all his doubters

The Labour leader has failed to deliver an alternative message with clarity
Alastair Campbell, a former No 10 spin doctor, suffers depression

PM's 'happiness plan' could lift Ed's spirits, says Campbell

Alastair Campbell has praised David Cameron for adopting "happiness" as a goal of government policy and urged Labour to embrace rather than deride it.

Tony Blair rails against ‘tax abusers who pay little or nothing while others pay more than their share’

Blair's company paid just £315,000 tax on income of more than £12m

When you have already spent half a million pounds on rent, £300,000 on furniture and £2.3m paying your staff, an extra £8m on unexplained “administrative expenses” might seem to be stretching credulity, but that is what Tony Blair has told Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, which as a consequence has received a rather smaller cheque from the former Prime Minister than it might have expected.

Minor British Institutions: Auld Lang Syne

What apter way than this for looking backwards and forwards through a dizzy mist of vigorously induced benevolence? A simple, forgiving tune; fine, dense and eminently slurrable dialect, as in: "We'll tak a right gude-willy waught, for auld lang syne", which translates as a goodwill drink (waught: draught) for old times long since (gone). Its origins are lost amid Rabbie Burns, strong drink and folk memory: some even claim the tune is English.

Leading article: Let sleeping hounds lie

As hunts gathered all over the country for their Boxing Day meets, the agriculture minister, Jim Paice, said that the ban on hunting wild animals with dogs "simply doesn't work". Some construed his words as a plea to bring forward the Government's promised parliamentary vote on repealing the controversial law. But it could have been just an elementary statement of fact. It would have been none the worse for that.

Arts review of 2011 - Television: You've no idea how much we liked watching

Mr Drew of Passmores school was my hero, in a year in which the reality show got a bit more real

Sarah Sands: Charity is about more than money, but giving is a start

The BBC can be bashful about the place of Christianity in our national life: it recently sanctioned the substitution of the lovely terms Before Christ and Anno Domini by the thumpingly prosaic and Welsh examination boardesque Before Common Era and Common Era.

The British and European flags flying side by side in Brussels

John Rentoul: Any PM would have done as Cameron did

Ignore the Eurosceptic cheers. It may turn out to have been wise to step away from the heat as the euro begins to meltdown

David Cameron

Andrew Grice: Plenty of talk about cracking down on lobbying – but still there's no action

The political parties may talk tough – but they are happy to take the lobbyists' money

Tony Blair with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Downing Street in 2006

The two faces of Tony Blair

The former PM's Faith Foundation champions religious freedom. So why is he doing deals with a despot who persecutes believers?

Steve Richards: Number Ten is disturbed by the debates sparked by e-petitions

Power to the People is always one of the most potent slogans in British politics. No leader would enter an election arguing in favour of less power for the people.

Diary: Be afraid, Sir Cliff, Tony Blair is the kiss of death

The CIA has explored many unconventional methods of sabotage, as Jon Ronson explored in The Men Who Stare At Goats. But reflecting on recent events, the mystery is why the agency neglects the one guaranteed method of destroying its enemies. All it need do is hire Mr Tony Blair to befriend them. Look at global villains of the age, and there he is, caught on camera winking, embracing and a-schmoozing. Mubarak, at whose Sharm el-Sheikh palace the Blairs enjoyed all those hols; Gadaffi, Mr Tony's partner in that manly hug; Berlusconi, on whose yacht he reposed when Casa Mubarak was taken ... and now Rupert Murdoch, for whom he vainly tried to fix a satellite deal with the Italian Stallion; and Rebekah Brooks, at whom we saw him waving coquettishly on a state visit to Wapping in footage replayed last week. If Cherie is a creature from Greek myth (half woman, half supermarket trolley), her soulmate is a supernatural hybrid spanning the ages. Mr T is the lovechild of Zelig and the Angel of Death. God knows who's next, but right now you wouldn't want to be Sir Cliff Richard.

Ed Miliband declares 'new centre ground'

Ed Miliband has declared a "new centre ground" in politics after Tony Blair warned that the Labour Party should not lurch to the left.

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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
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