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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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?