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Thursday, 23 August 2012

  • Amol Rajan: The media is a propaganda outlet for Royal Family
    Friday, 24 August 2012

    For instance, have you noticed that you never, ever see a picture of Catherine Middleton on the front pages when she isn't smiling and looking gorgeous, in some delightful floral print dress, at a charity polo match or some such? Now Mrs Wales – spar...

  • Lisa Markwell: Waiting game that's a new experience for children
    Thursday, 23 August 2012

    Yup, GCSE results day is *of importance* in the Markwell household. The past two months (to say nothing of the past five years) have been leading up to this point. My son's right to privacy precludes me from going into detail about how things might l...

  • Leading article: Anders Breivik trial exemplified Norway's strengths
    Friday, 24 August 2012

    The scale of the Breivik's crime defies comprehension. He set about killing as many people as he could, and he did so in a particularly calculating manner, collecting the weapons and ammunition over time, arranging elaborate decoys and methodically h...

  • John O'Farrell: The internet rushes in where the tabloids now fear to tread
    Friday, 24 August 2012

    This week could turn out to be a pivotal moment in the troubled story of our newspapers, as they compete against the instant and unregulated free-for-all of the net. A couple of years ago, the blurred images of a naked prince "cavorting" and "romping...

  • Hamish McRae: Real worry is how we fell so far behind the world
    Friday, 24 August 2012

    Well, for anyone who thinks that what matters is not whether you can pass an exam but whether you have a good general education, there is fortunately an international study which enables us to cross-check UK student performance against of other count...

  • Leading article: Time to put a stop to speculating on hunger
    Friday, 24 August 2012

    The scale of the emergency now unfolding is deeply concerning. The severest droughts for decades in the US have pushed up prices for all manner of foodstuffs from wheat to soybeans, leaving as many as 53 million people around the world at risk of goi...

  • Owen Jones: Getting rid of George W. Bush wasn't enough. The US remains a bully
    Thursday, 23 August 2012

    Many will shudder remembering that dark era: the naked human pyramids accompanied by grinning US service personnel in Abu Ghraib; the orange-suited prisoners in Guantanamo, kneeling in submission at the feet of US soldiers; the murderous assault on t...

  • Harriet Walker: Harry is bringing the Royals into reality-TV era
    Thursday, 23 August 2012

    Is this the first time we the plebs have seen the constitutional body in all its glory? Harry certainly isn't the first prince to have disported himself in such a way – it's just that Nell Gwynn, Mrs Fitzherbert and Lily Langtry didn't have camera ph...

  • Leading article: Greece's prime minister deserves a fair hearing
    Thursday, 23 August 2012

    Yesterday, Mr Samaras took his plea to Jean-Claude Juncker, who heads the group of eurozone finance ministers; on Friday he will meet the German chancellor, on Saturday the French president. He is adamant that Greece is not after more money. His gove...

  • Chris Blackhurst: How the Sultan of Berkeley Square fell off his throne
    Thursday, 23 August 2012

    In less than 10 years, from 1982, he built a business empire – turning Polly Peck from a company with a stock market value of just £300,000 to one of £1.7 billion. Investors clamoured to grab a part of his success – the Square Mile was littered with ...

  • Leading article: Towards a credible exam system
    Friday, 24 August 2012

    In fact, in the words of John Cridland, the director general of the CBI, it could help to restore the exam's credibility after 24 successive years of rises. The case for defending the drop in the A* to C grade pass rate at GCSE is immeasurably streng...

  • Viv Groskop: Offensive jokes? Don't get mad, get silly
    Friday, 24 August 2012

    These are not questions comics should have to think about. It's a comedian's job to make you laugh. And often people do laugh at the "wrong" thing. Whether it's acceptable or not depends on the skill of the comedian and how good their material is. To...

  • Letters: Mastering the mandarins
    Friday, 24 August 2012

    Thatcher is certainly to blame for a good deal of the slippage in the quality of the Civil Service; her contempt for what she regarded as a statist bureaucracy did enormous damage to morale and recruitment.That doesn't mean the Whitehall bureaucracy ...

  • Leading article: A warning sign for the ANC
    Friday, 24 August 2012

    However it happened, Marikana looks set to become a polarising political symbol reminiscent of the Sharpeville Massacre of anti-apartheid protesters in 1960. On one side stand the militants of the AMCU, on the other, those of its rival, the National ...

  • Ian Birrell: The Lib Dems don't need a new leader. They need a point
    Friday, 24 August 2012

    It won't last, of course, once the summer holidays end. Party conference season is looming, and both parties face rising unrest in their ranks as the next general election approaches. Curiously, the mood is angrier in the Conservative grassroots, whi...

  • Richard Garner: An unfair crackdown on grades that hurts pupils and headteachers
    Friday, 24 August 2012

    Indeed, a substantial chunk of the fall is down to the fact that the GCSE science exam has been made harder after concerns expressed by Ofqual, the exams regulator, that it was not really stretching pupils. All well and good, but the difficulty aris...

  • Nina Lakhani: Tony Nicklinson wanted to die, but he also wanted to leave a legacy in law
    Thursday, 23 August 2012

    His death yesterday morning came as a shock to most of those who followed his case. We knew his health had deteriorated in recent weeks and that he was suffering more pain and discomfort than before, but there was no suggestion of anything life-threa...

  • Harriet Walker: Prince Harry, a truly modern royal made flesh
    Thursday, 23 August 2012

    Is this the first time we, the plebs, have seen the constitutional body in all its glory? Harry certainly isn't the first prince to have disported himself in such a way – it's just that Nell Gwynn, Mrs Fitzherbert and Lillie Langtry didn't have camer...

  • Letters: Exporting the NHS 'brand'
    Thursday, 23 August 2012

    The NHS is more a concept encompassing "care free at the point of delivery" than a brand. As we veer towards an "any provider" model of care delivery, I see constant reminders of the huge variation in the quality, organisation, IT systems, management...

  • Leading article: No cause to duck reform of the SFO
    Thursday, 23 August 2012

    The 10 guilty verdicts far outweighed the two acquittals, finally bringing to an end a case that had long stood as a reminder of the SFO's lack of competence. And that is to be welcomed. But one high-profile conviction does not dilute in any way the ...

  • Lisa Freedman: GCSEs are not too easy – they're just irrelevant
    Thursday, 23 August 2012

    In order to achieve today's outcome of 10 GCSEs, he sat 25 exam papers in May and June. Earlier in the year, he spent a further two weeks preparing for and writing two "controlled assessments". And that's not to mention the voids that were Christmas ...

  • Ben Chu: The news has got gloomier, yet the outlook is brighter
    Thursday, 23 August 2012

    Two months on, things feel different. The sense of impending doom has drained from financial markets. So what has changed? Strangely, in the case of Greece, not that much. Indeed, things have actually worsened. Its economy is shrinking even faster t...

  • Leading article: Lance Armstrong's fans deserve better
    Friday, 24 August 2012

    He may indeed, as he says, be tired of the fight and simply want to put the whole affair behind him. Unless he offers a more satisfactory explanation than his anger at what he calls a one-sided process, however, the suspicion will linger, rightly or ...

  • Leading article: Asil Nadir - another reason to reform party funding
    Friday, 24 August 2012

    But after Nadir was first charged, another Tory PM, John Major, promised that if his £440,000 in donations to the party proved to be "dishonestly obtained" then they would be returned.Now, however – with Nadir convicted of stealing £29m, and the trus...

  • Ben Chu: It's good the Bank admits QE's inequity
    Friday, 24 August 2012

    But it is still useful to have it spelled out in the Bank's latest research on the impact of quantitative easing, as it might help draw attention to just how pig-headed the bank has been in its opposition to making monetary policy more effective. On...

  • David Thomas: You don't have to like Kevin Pietersen, but he does have a point
    Friday, 24 August 2012

    In the course of this season, Pietersen has done everything possible to reinforce the idea that he is a selfish, materialistic, disloyal egomaniac. He has been accused of sending texts to England's South African opponents describing his captain, Andr...

  • Leading article: MPs must ensure no one else is denied right to die
    Thursday, 23 August 2012

    But the heart-rending entreaties of his family, his determination to appeal and, above all, his own anguished response to the judgment will long outlive him. Nor is his predicament – a stroke left him with a life that, in his view, was not worth livi...

  • Deborah Ross: My reproductive system would like to join the rape debate
    Thursday, 23 August 2012

    In the light of Akin's remarks, can a woman's reproductive system think for itself? Or is this simply the sort of convenient, scientific illiteracy so beloved of pro-lifers?A woman's reproductive system can certainly think for itself. My uterus, for ...

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