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Saturday, 28 January 2012

  • Leading article: Two scapegoats do not add up to banking reform
    Saturday, 28 January 2012

    It is time to calm the hysteria, call off the witch-hunt and resist the temptation to do down one of Britain's most successful industries just when we need it the most.On the matter of Mr Hester, the Prime Minister must take some of the blame. Down...

  • Ios letters, emails and online postings (29 January 2012)
    Sunday, 29 January 2012

    No one sensibly believes that dealing with the consequences of the bankers' spree is a simple matter: we live in a complex world where many things remain hard to understand, never mind control. But we are not likely to honestly and squarely tackle th...

  • Leading article: Crony capitalism and craven folly
    Sunday, 29 January 2012

    All of those. The fuss over the bonus awarded to Stephen Hester, boss of RBS, a nationalised bank, has been running all week on the basis that it was conveniently just under a round £1m. David Cameron, one moment has been saying it was nothing to do ...

  • Paul Vallely: Fairness for the rich, nothing for the poor
    Sunday, 29 January 2012

    In the face of almost universal public outrage, ministers initially remained shamefully silent on the decision, though they scurried about giving private briefings to journalists. Their line was that they had to do it for fear that Stephen Hester – t...

  • DJ Taylor: Whisper it ... America's glory days are over
    Sunday, 29 January 2012

    The Republicans, meanwhile, were playing a slightly different game: talking up US prospects on the one hand while noting, on the other, that the clear water notionally in view beyond a Sargasso Sea of debt and dereliction could only be reached if SS ...

  • Patrick Cockburn: Sanctions can only deepen the Iran crisis
    Sunday, 29 January 2012

    The supposed aim of imposing sanctions on Iran's oil exports and central bank, measures officially joined by the EU, is to force Iran to abandon its nuclear programme before it reaches the point where it could theoretically build a nuclear bomb. Even...

  • Letters: Stephen Hester's bonus
    Saturday, 28 January 2012

    We're asking the man to rescue billions of pounds of our money that, if mismanaged, could disappear down the toilet. A minute fraction of one thousandth of one per cent of our exposure is a small price to pay for it.John WellsWest Wittering, West Sus...

  • Leading article: The Cardiff police scandal is not over
    Saturday, 28 January 2012

    Even when eight – now retired – officers stood trial last year, more than 20 years after White's murder, for perverting the course of justice by framing innocent men, the prosecution failed for want of crucial documents which were believed lost. Th...

  • Harriet Walker: Harry, Caroline and an age-old debate
    Saturday, 28 January 2012

    Pre-teen fans were thrilled when he tweeted yesterday that their split had been a mutual decision. Thrilled they were no longer an item, that is, rather than the fact he hadn't just callously binned her by text or even pigeon-post.Relationships with ...

  • Tim Lott: I'm proud of my country – the land of Blake, Dickens, Orwell, and Ian Dury
    Saturday, 28 January 2012

    Is he an English Defence League member, a supporter of Ukip, a skinhead thug or simply a Tory? None of the above. In fact, he has never voted anything but Labour. He believes in secularism and the multicultural society. He is a lifelong republican an...

  • Andrew Martin: Pyjamas are a man's way of wearing pink
    Sunday, 29 January 2012

    I therefore sympathised with the managers of a Dublin welfare office, who have announced that the wearing of pyjamas on the premises by claimants is not acceptable. A Tesco in Cardiff and a school in Belfast have also banned pyjamas. Well, I say pyja...

  • Sophie Heawood: Call the Midwife – you'll see we're kinder than we thought
    Sunday, 29 January 2012

    And yet the show's writer, Heidi Thomas, has just revealed in an interview that "we were told men would not watch and young women would not watch and pregnant women would not watch, which would have left only a very small audience". Turns out nobody ...

  • Tom Hodgkinson: Debating grammar is the cool new thing
    Sunday, 29 January 2012

    This may have sounded like an eccentric position to some. But it seems we are on to something, because in one of the most unexpected developments of the past year, the Idler Academy has been enfolded in the warm embrace of retail giant Selfridges, wh...

  • Leading article: A chemical stain on the Olympics?
    Saturday, 28 January 2012

    Six months before the start of the Games, both inspired confidence that the planning is on schedule, and that – miraculously, for citizens who have learnt to be jaded about big public projects – London 2012 could be a celebration to be proud of. Th...

  • Alice Jones: Atheists already have temples – they're called galleries and museums
    Saturday, 28 January 2012

    "The call to prayer happens five times a day, and for the first week, it drives you crazy, and then it just gets into your spirit, and it's the most beautiful, beautiful thing," he told The Sun in an interview to promote his new film. "There are 4,0...

  • Geoffrey Macnab: Stars should be judged on their talent alone
    Saturday, 28 January 2012

    From Ramon Novarro to Rock Hudson; from Ivor Novello in the 1920s to Dirk Bogarde in the 1950s, there are many examples of actors who have kept their sexuality secret from their fans. They've known that to do otherwise would be to risk their career...

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