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Home 2012 January

Sunday, 29 January 2012

  • Leading article: Summit that can't shirk the really big question
    Monday, 30 January 2012

    So far, so good. But as European leaders head into yet another make-or-break summit today, it would be a mistake to expect too much. Indeed, if there is a sense of "summit fatigue", dampening expectations of a swift resolution, so much the better.The...

  • Leading article: Not helping to sell the Olympics
    Monday, 30 January 2012

    If only that were the whole story. But efforts to ensure that the benefits of hosting the Games are worth the staggering cost are not just a matter of showbiz, tickets and building contractors. There is also the economic impact, as any number of tour...

  • 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...

  • Buy girly products? I'd rather eat glass
    Monday, 30 January 2012

    While my office equipment isn't as dainty as it could be, at least now I can have a bike that's fit for a princess, thanks to the fairy godmothers at Halfords, who have announced, with the help of cycling's queen of hearts, Victoria Pendleton, pictur...

  • Letters: Bankers pro and con
    Monday, 30 January 2012

    Banks were set up as traders in money, and because of the apparent miracle they perform of lending money they do not have, were granted great legal favours that included being allowed to publish annual reports in a way that disguised their true liabi...

  • Leading article: Distasteful, but unavoidable, talks with the Taliban
    Monday, 30 January 2012

    There is plenty, of course, that could still go wrong. Until now, the Taliban has refused to recognise the Kabul government's legitimacy, even while establishing an office in Qatar from which to conduct international negotiations. And the Afghan Pres...

  • Patrick Strudwick: On Twitter, it's power to the people
    Monday, 30 January 2012

    In the past few days, a Twitter blueprint has formed to win the free speech fight. The template is versatile and inventive. It wins using ridicule, and the latest objects of scorn are McDonald's and Snickers. These totems of nutrition have been imple...

  • 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...

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'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

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Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

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Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

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Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

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Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

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Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam