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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

  • Leading article: Finally, a real party political debate about what matters
    Tuesday, 16 August 2011

    On the face of it, Mr Cameron's was the easier task. In decrying the "slow-motion moral collapse" of parts of society, he was preaching to the long-convinced. His audience might even have been tempted to ask what took him so long. There was not a fli...

  • Stefan Stern: Marx was right about change
    Tuesday, 16 August 2011

    If you think you know for certain what will happen next to US unemployment levels, their budget deficit, the eurozone, Chinese inflation, or the price of oil, wheat or copper, you are either a genius (sorry, but that is unlikely) or deluded (I'm tend...

  • Leading article: If the future lies in train travel, it needs to be affordable
    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    Consumers already struggling with VAT increases, rising food bills and record fuel prices will find Ms Villiers's argument hard to take. Fare rises of up to 13 per cent are way above inflation and will be acutely felt. Recent research shows that pric...

  • Leading article: An immoral loophole
    Tuesday, 16 August 2011

    So indiscriminate and inhumane a weapon are these munitions that a global treaty outlawing them, the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), was adopted by 107 countries in 2008. It is shameful then, that some of Britain's biggest banks, including two...

  • Chris Atkins: The day I decided to confront RBS about the blood on its hands
    Tuesday, 16 August 2011

    I was asked by Amnesty International to make a short film about how several of our high-street banks are profiting from cluster munitions. The chances are that you have an account with a bank that has been secretly making money out of several US comp...

  • Letters: Perspectives on banning masks
    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    Stop grandstanding and use the law we already have It seems a shame that before his grandstanding about face masks to try and appear tough on disorder, David Cameron didn't think to check with lawyers or the police first. A police officer of the ...

  • Leading article: Explanations are required over hacking
    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    The allegations could not be more serious. Andy Coulson has said throughout he knew nothing of hacking while editor of the News of the World. But the letter from former royal correspondent Clive Goodman, published yesterday, claims hacking was "widel...

  • Leading article: A very Liberal dilemma
    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    But the Deputy Prime Minister was caught between the twin dangers of making the Government appear split if he did not take a hard line and alienating yet more Liberal Democrat voters if he did. In the circumstances, he did a reasonable job of steerin...

  • Jeremy Laurance: A misplaced sense of loyalty leads to errors being buried
    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    The answer is: with difficulty. Your local trust may publish death rates for different specialties but is unlikely to release them for individual surgical teams, even supposing they collect the data. Your best hope, if you have contacts in the hospit...

  • Sean O'Grady: Only a fool would call this a recovery
    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    Which brings us nicely to the eurozone, now seemingly joining the US and Britain in the great growth slowdown. In the good times, the average interested citizen could go for years without taking much notice of quarterly growth figures in the eurozone...

  • Letters: Perspectives on seeking law-enforcement advice from the US
    Tuesday, 16 August 2011

    Zero tolerance? Not easy with zero funding The budget reductions for the Home Office and Justice Ministry make David Cameron's planned campaign of "zero tolerance" policing facile. To conduct such a campaign would require hundreds of millions of ...

  • Leading article: Perverse effects of higher fees
    Tuesday, 16 August 2011

    This forecast comes from the head of a leading exam board, who warns that newer, mid-ranking universities could then find it hard to survive. This in turn could prompt closures, consolidation – or a wider spread of fees. If some fees are reduced, thi...

  • Leading article: Keep saying 'no'
    Tuesday, 16 August 2011

    The brutality is both appalling, and it is escalating. There are reportedly some 30 more dead since Saturday, after the government turned its gun boats on the port city of Latakia. While the options may be limited, that is no excuse for inaction. For...

  • Andy McSmith: Suddenly Miliband sounds different from Cameron. It may work
    Tuesday, 16 August 2011

    The Conservative leader is the man who rescued his party from its "nasty" image by avoiding hardline talk on law and order, of the "prison works" type, which the party faithful love to hear.He made a much misquoted speech on youth crime five years ag...

  • Shashank Joshi: Leader cannot survive but road ahead is strewn with danger
    Tuesday, 16 August 2011

    Victory at Zawiyah is a double blow. It sits atop a key coastal road from Tunisia to Tripoli, over which arms and millions of litres of fuel may have been transferred daily. That will dry up fast, but the regime is also likely to quickly lose its onl...

  • Susie Rushton: Holiday reading is hard work
    Tuesday, 16 August 2011

    The holiday library is also limited by practical considerations. I've only got room for a couple of volumes in my bag, and have small patience with the e-reader (it's not safe for the inflatable ring position). So this time around I've been doing dee...

  • Natalie Haynes: The Tube map is misleading – that's its beauty
    Tuesday, 16 August 2011

    It does not, however, tell you everything you might want to know about London, above and below the pavement. It rudely makes stations look much further apart than they are in real life, especially if they're on different lines. The addition of the ov...

  • Michael McCarthy: Shell needs to come fully clean
    Tuesday, 16 August 2011

    This does not look like a disaster: it is small, for example, in the context of last year's giant spill at BP's Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico, with just over 200 tonnes of oil having been released so far, compared with between 300,000 a...

  • Letter from Simon Kelner
    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    It was a brilliantly realised, superbly acted, gritty and uncompromising, and set a new standard for TV drama. Without it, we wouldn't have had TheWire. And without NYPD Blue, our fortysomething Prime Minister may not have found space in his imaginat...

  • Leading article: Keep in practice
    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    Mostly, these will be surgeons doing very small numbers of operations, possibly as emergencies, for which they lack the necessary expertise. This invites an obvious response – there should be a ban on surgeons doing operations unless they complete a ...

  • Sophie Heawood: Who needs a seat on a train anyway?
    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    But when your world has already been whirled around by the ticket price (somewhere between 80 and 300 quid unless you're clever enough to go online for the 10 quid ticket deal and actually find the 10 quid ticket – you know, the one that's available ...

  • Oliver Wright: Evidence brings PM a step closer to humiliating mea culpa
    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    Until yesterday, the only written evidence linking Mr Coulson directly to any criminality had been emails suggesting that he authorised payments to police officers for information. Those documents – while hugely damaging – could still allow Mr Coulso...

  • Ian Burrell: Latest revelations will have MPs scenting blood
    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    In his letter, Goodman challenged his dismissal by alleging that his actions were conducted "with the full knowledge and support" of senior figures at News International and that other members of the NOTW staff actively partook in phone hacking.We no...

  • Andy McSmith: Any politically embarrassing findings can just be ignored
    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    Then there were arguments like those we are hearing now. Margaret Thatcher refused to countenance any suggestion that the disorder could be explained or excused by social factors such as rising unemployment.Yet, even under her disapproving eye, very ...

  • Sean O'Grady: Self-interest aside, it's right for fares to be increased
    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    First, as the Government and the operating companies argue, the funds are needed to protect investment in the railways. The Government has spared a number of economically valuable projects from the cuts, notably the London Crossrail link (about a cen...

  • Jesse James: In an ideal world I wouldn't have a job
    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    To put it into context, the Israelis pretty much got rid of their whole submunition arsenal – which was itself mainly made up of American submunitions from the Vietnam war era. Because those weapons were so old they had a very high failure rate – mea...

  • Letter from Simon Kelner
    Tuesday, 16 August 2011

    There he was, enjoying a nice bowl of linguine al vongole and a glass of vino rosato in a 15-bedroom villa in Tuscany, reminiscing about the times when he used to create mayhem with his host, also an Old Etonian and a former member of Oxford Universi...

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