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Home 2012 February

Friday, 17 February 2012

  • Leading article: An economy in need of a convincing growth plan
    Saturday, 18 February 2012

    There is, however, also no clear pattern upon which a definitive judgement might be made. Indeed, in the past week alone, the conflicting signs have been altogether bewildering. The retail figures are stronger than expected, but the verdict of a cr...

  • Letters: The history of Secularism
    Saturday, 18 February 2012

    Secularists have an intellectual and credal pedigree of their own, going back to Greek and Roman believers and half-believers who knew nothing of Jehovah, such as Aristotle (whose Ethics is a marvel of moral writing) and Cicero (whose On Duties led t...

  • Leading article: A touch of complacency over Libya
    Saturday, 18 February 2012

    After a series of public irritations – from David Cameron's European veto, to Nicolas Sarkozy's attack on UK "interference", to the scrap over fighter jets for India – the British Prime Minister's eighth official visit to the French capital needed ...

  • Leading article: The starting gun is fired in defence of the union
    Friday, 17 February 2012

    The Prime Minister certainly had plenty of ground to make up. He was largely silent on the question of Scottish independence until last month, leaving Scotland's tenacious First Minister to dominate for the first 18 months of the Coalition Government...

  • Mehdi Hasan: Follow Obama, Ed, and get in touch with your inner populist
    Friday, 17 February 2012

    Late last year, the "Ragin' Cajun" turned his attention to the re-election efforts of Barack Obama. "People often ask me what advice I would give the White House," he wrote in September, offering his new maxim: "Fire. Indict. Fight." The president sh...

  • Leading article: Too soon to throw away the Lemsip
    Saturday, 18 February 2012

    It seems that the virulent H1N1 "swine flu" strain behind the 2009 pandemic has almost disappeared, ceding dominance to the less vicious H3N2 variant. After two bad years in succession, it is a welcome reprieve. Even better is that, notwithstanding t...

  • Alice Jones: So much bitterness and hostility in just a few smudged, shaded lines
    Saturday, 18 February 2012

    It seems like such an old-fashioned rigmarole when Twitter is spooling out hundreds of word pictures a second from the press benches and public galleries. What's the point? Now I know. The first sketch to come out of the hearing of Chris Huhne and hi...

  • Simon Kelner: House prices may be root of southern unhappiness
    Friday, 17 February 2012

    Here, on the north-west frontier with Scotland, the levels of contentment – measured in terms of how people feel about their home, their personal prosperity, and their community – are way above the national average, and contrast starkly with the poor...

  • Donald MacInnes: The ups and downs of having very distant relations
    Friday, 17 February 2012

    Better still would be a web from that experiment where scientists gave spiders various substances to see how their silky skills were affected. Some were given caffeine, some marijuana, others LSD and so on, producing results which have delighted stud...

  • Letters: High energy prices could be good
    Friday, 17 February 2012

    If energy prices rise then, presumably, two positive outcomes are likely. First, usage will go down and second, looking for alternative sources of all types of energy will become more attractive. Uncomfortable perhaps but logically consistent. Joh...

  • Leading article: The tax system is credible only if fair
    Friday, 17 February 2012

    Not so unusual; it now transpires that two dozen or more senior staff paid by the Department of Health benefit from a similar tax status. The department has now apologised for denying in a Commons written answer that any of its civil servants were pa...

  • Viv Groskop: Did you know Miss Piggy is really a man?
    Friday, 17 February 2012

    I also got something I was not expecting. The revelation that feminism is alive and well in Hollywood. Sort of. Trailed ahead of the film and coming soon to a screen near you: Brave, the Disney Pixar story of a Viking princess, and Mirror Mirror, fea...

  • Jeremy Laurance: 'Wireless medicine' helps solve one of doctors' biggest problems - getting patients to take drugs
    Friday, 17 February 2012

    It may appear surprising that people will go to the trouble of making an appointment with a doctor, visiting the surgery, getting a diagnosis and a prescription, and then choose not to follow it.The reasons are many. The drugs may be painful to take,...

  • Phillip Blond & Graham Allen: We need a magna carta for true local government
    Friday, 17 February 2012

    How would we all respond if local government were truly set free from the clutches of Whitehall? That is the challenge currently opened up by Parliament's Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee, which is asking if we need to create a ne...

  • Leading article: Let's keep faith with Religious Education
    Friday, 17 February 2012

    The reason why MPs are suddenly taking an interest is that RE, while remaining compulsory in schools, will not count towards the new English Baccalaureate. That decision appears to have led to a reduction in the time devoted to it, although it remain...

  • Martin Hickman: A tough new line that will benefit millions
    Friday, 17 February 2012

    Until 2008, when it reluctantly launched its Market Probe – after a front-page in The Independent on British Gas's bumper profits infuriated the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown – Ofgem had a strong philosophical bias in favour of an un...

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Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

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Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

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Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game