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Monday, 2 July 2012

  • Leading article: Dangerous referendum talk costs UK credibility
    Monday, 2 July 2012

    Liam Fox's speech to the Taxpayers' Alliance yesterday was just the latest salvo from a wing of the Conservative Party that is trying to take out its frustrations with the constraints of coalition by making common cause with a resurgent Ukip. The cl...

  • Leading article: Parliament is not the place for this inquiry
    Tuesday, 3 July 2012

    Mr Diamond, apparently oblivious to all that, has come to personify what is wrong with the British banking system. After the 2008 financial crash, the complex instruments with which Mr Diamond made Barclays' billions seem socially useless and financi...

  • Leading article: We only need one exam board
    Tuesday, 3 July 2012

    In its analysis, the report was unequivocal. Competition between examination boards coupled with pressure on schools to do well in performance league tables has led to a "race to the bottom" as boards seek to make themselves more "accessible" to scho...

  • Ben Chu: Case for splitting up banks is now unanswerable
    Tuesday, 3 July 2012

    First some background. We taxpayers were forced to bail out our bust banks in 2008 because allowing these institutions to collapse would have plunged us into economic chaos. This prompted calls for the Government to split up the banks, separating the...

  • Christina Patterson: Didn't anyone ask Katie Holmes what she was doing?
    Tuesday, 3 July 2012

    But surely someone must have asked Katie Holmes just what she thought she was doing when she agreed to marry Tom Cruise? Surely one of her friends would have sat her down and said that yes, the teeth were nice, but that the trouble with marriage wa...

  • Amol Rajan: This is the behaviour that makes a truly good sport
    Tuesday, 3 July 2012

    As a batsman, you cannot be judged leg before wicket (lbw) if the ball hits your bat first. But during that game, Hussain was given out lbw by umpire Steve Bucknor, despite the ball ricocheting off the middle of his bat. You can still see on YouTu...

  • Rhodri Marsden: Love poetry may seem like a good idea – but most of us can't do it
    Tuesday, 3 July 2012

    Love poetry can seem like a good idea. In theory it entwines your sensitive side with your creative streak in an exquisite, star-crossed union. But most of us are ill-equipped to take this on. We wouldn't rewire someone's house in an expression of l...

  • Letters: Banking and bankers
    Monday, 2 July 2012

    Ranks close, backs are watched, Old Boys stir themselves. The nods and winks spread the word: we're all in this together. Hold your nerve. It'll pass. A few scapegoat juniors are tipped into the void. A token dispensable senior is persuaded to fall ...

  • Leading article: The more protracted the withdrawal, the costlier it will be
    Monday, 2 July 2012

    President Obama's announcement of a deadline for the departure of US forces always risked giving comfort to the Taliban and others intent on violent resistance to outside intervention. Nor is it easy to identify a trainee soldier or policeman who ma...

  • Natalie Haynes: E-books are ephemeral, real books for life
    Monday, 2 July 2012

    However bad things were in 1979, Adams died before the Brontitall nightmare finally came true. As internet shopping juggernauts its way forward, it has demolished almost all the shops I liked, and now the high streets sell mainly shoes (because, I g...

  • Jimmy Burns: How football can rebuild a nation
    Monday, 2 July 2012

    The colour red is the colour usually worn by the national squad as long as most Spaniards can remember. But until relatively recently, politics seemed to get in the way of a broader acceptance of the word, like the Azzurri in Italy or Les Bleus in Fr...

  • Deborah Ross: Think it's easy being a brow guru? It's a serious business
    Monday, 2 July 2012

    Or can anyone have a go? Could I, for example, set myself up as a brow guru and put a note on my door as follows: "Please ring bell for brow guru. If no reply, am otherwise occupied guru-ing brows, but do try again later"? And would I have to be on...

  • Matilda Battersby: Humankind's best – and most expensive – friend
    Monday, 2 July 2012

    However, my current pet peeve is more literal than that. It concerns an actual pet: Wally, the (now deceased) lurcher dog, to whom Camilla Parker Bowles' niece Emma wrote an extensive tribute in a Sunday newspaper yesterday. Emma Parker Bowles descri...

  • Rebecca Armstrong: Dodging the dentist: it's a mix of fear and finances
    Monday, 2 July 2012

    There's nothing like someone telling you briskly that a, you're an idiot, b, such idiocy will cost you half a tooth and £200, especially when you can't answer back because they've got their hand wrist-deep in your mouth. As you can no doubt guess, I'...

  • Paul Conroy: The bombing in Homs shows we need a treaty
    Monday, 2 July 2012

    The survivors of the attack in February – myself, Edith Bouvier, William Daniels and Javier Espinoza – were hidden in a house close to the field hospital where we endured a lengthy bombardment. It gave me an opportunity, as a former artilleryman in t...

  • Leading article: Not so dismal a prospect for graduates, after all
    Tuesday, 3 July 2012

    Starting salaries are up, after three years of stagnation, and the decline in job vacancies has slowed. This year's record crop of graduates means competition remains tough, but the overall picture is more cheerful than it has been for a while.Just a...

  • Leading article: The wrong Barclays head has rolled
    Monday, 2 July 2012

    Senior management there was aware of the deception, which was designed to calm market jitters about the bank's stability, the Financial Services Authority investigation has found. When Mr Diamond, who has a reputation as a very hands-on manager, appe...

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