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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Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea