The Independent | Archive
Home 2012 January

Saturday, 21 January 2012

  • Leading article: The paltry politics of posturing
    Sunday, 22 January 2012

    This is substituting the scapegoating of an easy target for grown-up politics. The former chief executive of RBS is the most visible and least contrite exemplar of irresponsible banking that contributed to the financial crisis. For Mr Cameron this di...

  • Paul Vallely: Maybe cowardice seems so despicable because we worry we'd also run away
    Sunday, 22 January 2012

    The judge handling the case has labelled his actions "inept, negligent and imprudent". Political pundits have seized upon him as a metaphor for Italy's self-inflicted economic woes. And the words screamed at him by the chief coastguard after Schettin...

  • DJ Taylor: What the Dickens are we doing in Sri Lanka?
    Sunday, 22 January 2012

    A quarter of a century later, all this seems to have changed. Rather than acting as a high-class travel agent, the Council's antennae are finely tuned to the aspirations of its international audience. Just now its literature department is rolling out...

  • Leading article: A shameful spinning of the facts on immigration
    Saturday, 21 January 2012

    To be clear, the vast majority of the foreign nationals receiving benefits in Britain are wholly within their rights to do so. More than half are people who have since taken citizenship; almost all have come here legally, worked, paid taxes and are n...

  • Julian Baggini: Monarchists are from Mars, republicans are from Venus
    Saturday, 21 January 2012

    What passes for intelligent life in this country perceives the world so diversely that communication within it can be as difficult as sending intelligible messages to extraterrestrials. And, as the debate over the proposed royal yacht has shown this ...

  • Matthew Bell: The IoS Diary (22/01/12)
    Sunday, 22 January 2012

    But just think how much attention the museum would get had trustees appointed Evelyn Welch to the top job: she is the mother of chart-topping singer Florence Welch, of Florence and the Machine. For I can reveal that Professor Welch was one of three c...

  • IoS letters, emails and online postings (22 January 2012)
    Sunday, 22 January 2012

    Independence requires adherence to concepts of sovereignty and of a separate nation, whereas devolution needs a cultural identity and a recognition that many activities of government should be devolved to a body democratically elected by those who fe...

  • Harriet Walker: 'We lose sight of each others' lives'
    Sunday, 22 January 2012

    After a moment feeling miffed, I realised it was entirely a blessing that nobody else had felt my arrival as significantly as I did. This was, at long last, the return to normality that I had craved from the moment my leg snapped in three places six ...

  • Jane Merrick: Mutualise the Royal Family? Why not?
    Sunday, 22 January 2012

    But when it emerged that the £80m price tag could be met by the private sector, including a £5m donation from Lord Ashcroft – who knows a bit about spending money offshore – the royal flagship became a more difficult target. How do you oppose somethi...

  • Douglas Alexander: We're proudly Scottish - but still British
    Sunday, 22 January 2012

    Under Margaret Thatcher, values that helped to define Scotland's sense of national identity – those of community and of social justice – came under sustained attack, and the autonomy of Scotland's own civic institutions, from our schools and universi...

  • Kim Sengupta: There were barrels of liquid, protection suits and gas masks
    Saturday, 21 January 2012

    But the military camp at Ajaylat, west of Tripoli, yielded something quite alarming even in this anarchic milieu. Stacked up in a single-storey warehouse, with no attempt to secrete them, were rows of barrels with liquid, pale in colour, leaking out...

  • Harriet Walker: Of course it had to be a woman’s fault that the cruise ship hit the rocks
    Saturday, 21 January 2012

    Our fascination with Domnica Cemortan, the Moldovan ballet dancer and former employee of the Costa Concordia now wanted by the police for questioning, is like that of those salty seadogs looking for the bit of skirt that caused the problem. We may no...

  • Letters: Shipwreck brings ancient values to the surface
    Saturday, 21 January 2012

    As an unmarried and childless man, I agree with the basic assumption that in a crisis, all fit and able men present have a natural duty to look to the safety of any women, children and infirm. There are strong social and historical reasons for this, ...

  • Leading article: More heat than light on lobbying
    Saturday, 21 January 2012

    There would be a statutory register that all lobbyists would have to sign and penalties, up to and including prison, for failure to register and other forms of non-compliance. So basic are such requirements, however, that they invite two questions: w...

  • Oliver Wright: Ten pages of 'consultation' that mean only one thing – it's business as usual
    Saturday, 21 January 2012

    But the Mark Harper, the Political Reform minister, did not even need that space to outline his vision for the future of lobbying.It could be summed up in three words: business as usual. It's been said before but it's worth restating – there is nothi...

  • Alice Jones: Dear Loser. Now that's what I call a rejection letter
    Saturday, 21 January 2012

    Yours sincerely,Alice JonesIs it possible to reject a rejection letter? I hope so. This week, A-level student Elly Nowell (pictured) turned the tables on Oxford University and, following an interview she described as intimidating torture, sent them p...

  • Sebastian Faulks: I'll never forget how my personal Birdsong saga began
    Saturday, 21 January 2012

    At this time my second novel The Girl at the Lion d'Or was about to be published. It was set in 1936, but had necessitated some research into the First World War and its effects on France. Being brought up in England and taught at school by people wh...

  • Kim Sengupta: The West knows air strikes will only stir up hornet's nest
    Saturday, 21 January 2012

    The scenario, however, is unfolding against a constant drumbeat of war in the background, with hawks in Israel clamouring for capabilities to produce the bomb destroyed before Tehran is in a position to start weaponising.The view in western Europe an...

  • Katy Guest: Rant & Rave
    Sunday, 22 January 2012

    I looked on Wikipedia just now to read about Sopa, the American Stop Online Piracy Act that has got everybody, especially Wikipedia, all upset. Wikipedia led about 7,000 websites in a day-long blackout to protest against the Act, which they say amo...

  • Leading article: English justice – the oligarchs' choice
    Saturday, 21 January 2012

    The initial ruling, that the case could be heard in London, might seem perverse. Why should two very rich men settle their personal duel according to English statute rather than in Russia, which was the backdrop for the dubious business dealings at t...

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