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Thursday, 21 June 2012

  • Leading article: Not the way to tackle fears over immigration
    Friday, 22 June 2012

    The Labour leader's speech on the subject yesterday was therefore a key moment, an opportunity both to ditch a troublesome legacy of the party's past and to put his own stamp on its future. As a piece of political positioning, it was passable enough....

  • Letters: Exam reform
    Friday, 22 June 2012

    You really must stop making up policy on the hoof. I am not sure my nerves can take it any more and, as most teachers' careers last longer than that of our Education Secretaries, you really should be more thoughtful about the mess you will leave behi...

  • Leading article: A populist blunder from Mr Cameron
    Friday, 22 June 2012

    Whatever the reason, the home audience was treated to the spectacle of their Prime Minister, at a gathering of world leaders, discussing the personal finances of a stand-up comedian. Jimmy Carr's tax-avoidance arrangements were, he said, "quite frank...

  • The big questions: What is poverty? Is it OK for doctors to strike? Would you flee to Ecuador?
    Friday, 22 June 2012

    Households can live on £13,000, especially with housing benefit added. But there's no way of getting round the fact that poverty is bound to be relative to the general wealth. It would be absurd, for example, to say there is no poverty in Britain bec...

  • Julian Baggini: Which of us can say we wouldn't avoid tax, given half a chance?
    Friday, 22 June 2012

    Jimmy Carr didn't when his financial adviser put exactly this suggestion to him. Even when tax evasion is illegal but easy, I'd like to know how many readers can honestly say that they have bypassed the opportunity for any reason other than fear of b...

  • Marina Cantacuzino: Let's leave 'evil' out of the Anders Breivik case
    Friday, 22 June 2012

    The interpretation of evil has not been under deliberation in the Norwegian courts, only the question of his sanity – in other words, whether at the time of the attacks the accused was experiencing a psychotic state of mind, and, therefore, unable to...

  • Harriet Walker: On the neuralgic subject of yummy mummies, Cherie Blair has a point
    Friday, 22 June 2012

    So when Cherie Blair spoke about working mothers this week, she must have known she would wake the kraken. "One of the things that worries me," she opined, foot in mouth and spade in hand, "is you see young women who say 'why do I need to bother? Why...

  • Owen Jones: Awful, soulless workplaces are self-defeating for the boss class, too
    Friday, 22 June 2012

    I'm not trying to play working-class hero here: it was a summer job from which I could easily escape, and I did. But millions of workers are in jobs that have unpleasant working conditions, lack basic rights, and even pose a threat to their health. W...

  • Ian Birrell: Labour's cowardice on immigration is sickening
    Friday, 22 June 2012

    The organisers, who stage events around the world, say such problems occur time and again with Britain. I hear similar complaints endlessly from musicians, angered at being prevented from performing in this country; one band in London this week had t...

  • Is tax avoidance really immoral?
    Thursday, 21 June 2012

    By taking advantage of laws made by other people, Jimmy Carr was only doing what generations of British wealthy people have been doing ever since tax was invented. That is how they have kept and expanded their wealth down the years. So the gratuitous...

  • Leading article: More reason than ever to reform the Lords
    Thursday, 21 June 2012

    It is disturbing enough that one member of the Lords, the treasurer of the Conservative Party and hedge-fund wizard Lord Fink, may have broken parliamentary anti-sleaze rules by arranging to host a private promotional dinner in the Lords for a commer...

  • Kenfrey Kiberenge: The police in Britain understand aggression is not the only option...
    Thursday, 21 June 2012

    When I arrived at the Heathrow Airport in London, UK, for my fellowship with The Independent newspaper, I anticipated massive security checks.I figured out that since in Nairobi I have to contend with an average of ten checks per day, then it was onl...

  • Leading article: The scourge of a poor body image
    Friday, 22 June 2012

    The 14-year-old bulimia sufferer whose suicide a coroner this week explicitly blamed on the penchant for stick-thin models is a particularly tragic example of a life unnecessarily ruined. But Fiona Geraghty was not alone in her struggles. There are a...

  • The Comment Matrix: Ed Miliband, white-collar professional jobs under threat and the Rio+20 summit
    Friday, 22 June 2012

    The vast bulk of new jobs created here since 2000 have been taken by foreign born workers. (David Blackburn, The Spectator)Top jobs and family life – why women still can't have it allI always assumed that if I got a job in the White House, I would st...

  • Simon Kelner: I don't really see what Carr has to apologise for
    Friday, 22 June 2012

    Jimmy Carr was forced to apologise for his tax affairs yesterday after David Cameron had questioned his moral rectitude. "I now realise I've made a terrible error of judgement," he announced through Twitter, adding that he will in future conduct his...

  • Lisa Markwell: The education reform that is testing for everyone
    Friday, 22 June 2012

    The end is in sight. Monday sees the last of it: Additional Science Unit 2 B5, C5, P5. What does it mean? You're showing your age but also, perhaps, that you haven't kept up to speed on education reform. Admittedly this is difficult, as the chang...

  • Lord Baker: GCSEs came in on my watch – and improved British education
    Friday, 22 June 2012

    Children of broadly similar abilities were achieving widely different standards from one part of the country to the next. I was sure that a national curriculum would narrow the gap.I agreed wholeheartedly with Rab Butler, who said that all children s...

  • Andrew Grice: David Cameron may live to regret speaking out about Jimmy Carr's tax
    Friday, 22 June 2012

    Mr Cameron had read the reports on his iPad and decided not to pull his punches. He said some such schemes "are frankly morally wrong", accusing the comedian of putting money raised from his hard-working, tax-paying fans into some "very dodgy tax avo...

  • Lord Steel: Most of my fellow peers accept the need to end the indefensible
    Friday, 22 June 2012

    Meantime, my own Lords Bill is due to go before Parliament at the end of this month. It is limited to the three purposes: 1) encouraging peers to retire instead of hanging in there for life; 2) removing those who rarely attend; 3) removing those conv...

  • Leading article: Not enough just to scrap GCSEs
    Thursday, 21 June 2012

    Of the latest batch of typically radical proposals, there are two that stand out. The first is a structural issue. In future, Mr Gove wants there to be just one exam per subject, provided by a single board. Absolutely right. The current system is a n...

  • Lisa Markwell: I try to keep up at the back while my son sits exams that may soon vanish
    Thursday, 21 June 2012

    The end is in sight. Monday sees the last of it: Additional Science Unit 2 B5, C5, P5. What does that mean? You're showing your age but also, perhaps, that you haven't kept up to speed on education reform. Admittedly, this is difficult, as the change...

  • Simon Kelner: Blight on society, fame-craving dolt or role model?
    Thursday, 21 June 2012

    None of the above, I'm afraid. According to Dr Helen Wright, a boarding school headmistress and a leading light in Britain's private education system, the moral decay of the modern world is personified by a woman of whom, until yesterday, I knew ve...

  • Amol Rajan: If modern life is all about lack of time , i conserves it
    Thursday, 21 June 2012

    The first is price. It's not just that you prefer to spend 20p on a paper to, say, 50p or £1; it's that you feel less bad about throwing a paper in the bin when you've only spent 20p on it. The low price of i removes buyers' remorse. The second i...

  • Nick Clegg: Chamber is affront to democracy
    Thursday, 21 June 2012

    It seems bizarre to think that, in Britain in the 21st century, that should still be a controversial statement, and yet the majority of politicians in our own Parliament are not elected. They sit in the House of Lords, a body of appointed politicians...

  • Michael McCarthy: A jamboree that promises more than it can deliver
    Thursday, 21 June 2012

    Nobody really wanted it. There was no demand for it from the world community. It was merely an opportunity, 20 years on from the original Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, to mark the anniversary with a similar-sized international get-toge...

  • Leading article: Preserving the Arctic wilderness must be a priority
    Thursday, 21 June 2012

    But for how long? Already – as climate change sees the ice sheets melt back farther and farther each summer – countries and corporations are jostling for influence, for trade routes and for natural resources from oil to fish stocks.Greenpeace's Save ...

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