Voices

Disabled people shouldn't be forced to shop on the internet. The high street should be available and accessible to everyone

The Two Worlds of Charlie F: A journey of discovery

“I need more mongness from you,” director Stephen Rayne calls across the hallowed, ancient auditorium of the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

Dreams turn to reality for surrealist film director

The Czech film director, Jan Svankmajer discusses a troubled childhood and the inspiration for his new film.

Ministers fear the revolt will undermine David Cameron's drive to modernise his party

Matthew Norman: The Prime Minister is showing a feeble commitment to disabled people

Those who know him only as the ribald host of the Golden Globes in Hollywood will be unaware that Ricky Gervais was once Britain's most strikingly prescient socio-political satirist. Long before last year's outbreak of "mong" warfare on Twitter, Gervais produced an uncannily accurate predictive metaphor for the Tory attitude towards the disabled, on view this week as the Welfare Reform Bill wended its contentious way through the Lords.

Matthew Norman: Cameron is the David Brent of welfare reform

The Prime Minister seems to be happy to pat the disabled on the head and then leave them behind

Police investigate assault on dwarf

A dwarf who was picked up and dropped on the floor while celebrating his birthday during the Rugby World Cup was told he will have to use a wheelchair as a result of his injuries.

Photography: Power and Movement: Portraits of Britain's Paralympic Athletes, By Richard Booth

Somehow evoking movement and stillness at the same time, the commercial photographer Richard Booth's graceful monochrome portraits of Britain's confirmed and hopeful 2012 paralympians also seek, as he says in his introduction, to "redefine traditional perceptions of disability, fitness and power".

Sarah Sands: YouTube justice is a kangaroo court online

What should you do if someone is foul mannered on public transport? It is spirit-crushing for everyone who witnesses it, yet intervention feels thankless or dangerous. You can report someone swearing or smoking or ranting to an official, but they are as fearful as everyone else. The signs in stations, or hospitals for that matter, warning that staff must not be threatened or abused by passengers or patients, suggest an institutionalised dread of the public. You could call the police, but that means lock-down and nobody getting to work. Furthermore, nobody expects it to lead to a conviction. The result is that we are wretchedly complicit in an uncivil society.

Tips and deals of the week: Vietnam Airlines, Star Clippers and Adapted Vehicle Hire

The Flight

Vietnam Airlines has begun new non-stop flights from Gatwick to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the first direct route from Britain.

Go to vietnamairlines.com

Laurie Penny: How could Labour have been so cruel?

It's because of the previous government that cancer patients are suffering additional pain
The Paralympic silver medallist Monique van der Vorst, 27, was confined to a wheelchair for 14 years until a freak accident last year prompted a miracle recovery enabling her to regain the use of her legs

How a bike crash set paralysed cyclist on the road to a miraculous recovery

The world of professional cycling has been astounded by the remarkable story of a paralympic hand-cycling athlete who has been recruited to one of Holland's top racing teams after an accident prompted a miracle recovery enabling her to regain the use of her legs.

Scotland Yard fees protest probe inadequate

The police watchdog has ruled Scotland Yard inadequately investigated officers for using excessive force against a wheelchair-bound student fees protester, his solicitor said today.

Tips and deals of the week: 21/08/2011

The Access

Virgin Holidays has launched beach wheelchairs for customers with disabilities at selected Caribbean resorts.

Email special.assistance@virginholidays.com

Edinburgh Diary: A little ray of sunshine

Eyebrows have been raised at the Edinburgh International Festival's decision to continue its association with the Chinese government in light of artist Ai Weiwei's detention in April and his continuing media ban.

Man held over death of relatives

A man was being questioned today over the murder of his grandmother and aunt.

Whatever Happened to Benny Hill? Tron Theatre, Glasgow

The tragicomic circumstances of Benny Hill's life and death are familiar to anyone who remembers the comedian, and there's a narrative arc to them which doesn't require undue forcing. From wide-eyed young wannabe variety performer to internationally famous television superstar to unmarried and far out-of-fashion pensioner dying alone in his rented Teddington flat, the glory and the sadness of his life speaks for itself.

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Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?