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Saturday, 4 August 2012

  • Leading article: A chance for sport that must not be wasted
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    As for the audiences, they have – as athletes, organisers and reporters from around the world have all testified – been something else. Even the fury about empty seats is proof of the enthusiasm that almost immediately gripped the nation. The Games m...

  • Leading article: Credibility of exams comes first
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    There is undoubtedly an element of unfairness here. And it would have been better if Ofqual had announced such a substantial change in the principles of grading well in advance. But it is a one-off unfairness that was badly needed to remedy one of ...

  • Phil Strongman: Hiroshima is a war crime that haunts my family, 67 years on
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    At 8.15am an American B-29 bomber had dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima. People were literally vaporised by a light '"brighter than a thousand suns". A firestorm and 600mph winds sucked the remaining air out of the downtown district. Soon a mushroom ...

  • Leading article: Memories are made of this
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    A year on, how different we look, how different things seem. The London Olympics, whatever else can be said about them, have shown Britain's sunnier side to the world. The thousands of hopeful, helpful volunteers who at times outnumber the visitors ...

  • Musa Okwonga: If they're Brits, we call it tactics. If not, it's cheating
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    Meanwhile, badminton players from China, Indonesia and South Koreahave been disqualified for trying to lose to their opponents, results which would have given them an easier draw in the following round. Great Britain's joy at a cycling gold medal for...

  • Jonathan Romney: Better have a head for heights - 'Vertigo' is back
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    But the interesting question here isn't so much why Vertigo has beaten Kane, but rather why it has lasted – why Hitchcock's tall tale continues to fascinate. If there's a distinction between the reputations of Kane and Vertigo, I think it's this: Cit...

  • Linda Grant: The last time so many people enjoyed themselves this much in London must have been VE Day
    Saturday, 4 August 2012

    I too was opposed to the Games, but in the sense of complete indifference and apathy. For the athletically inept, the playground phrase "Now everyone, pick teams" is one of the most stomach-churning in the English language. I don't care about any spo...

  • Leading article: A self-defeating Tory victory on Lords reform
    Saturday, 4 August 2012

    The significance of such a decision should certainly not be underestimated. Reform of the House of Lords was a pillar of the Coalition Agreement. It had been a central demand of the Liberal Democrats and was right up there with a referendum on electo...

  • Boyd Tonkin: Thank God Gore Vidal lost that election in 1960
    Saturday, 4 August 2012

    I would have liked to shake the hand of the long-forgotten J Ernest Wharton. He trounced Vidal and so spared a peerlessly sharp and suave literary entertainer from all the compromises and frustrations of elected office. Since ancient Athens, communic...

  • Letters: Sexism in sport
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    In 2001 my primary school in east London took part in an inter-school swimming competition. I was the only member of the team to win an individual gold medal, as well as being part of the gold-medal-winning relay team, and was elated by my wins. I wa...

  • Leading article: Please show us those other gold-medal performances, too
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    It is true that, thanks to the red button, we can watch more Olympic sports than ever; true, too, that each nation gives priority to its favoured disciplines. But would it not be a fitting statement about the cosmopolitan nature of London for the BB...

  • David Hepworth: Commentary through a veil of tears
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    Ever since Alan Green enjoined us all to "stand up" for Steve Redgrave in 2000, commentators have been trying to go down in history just as Kenneth Wolstenholme did when he drily observed that there appeared to be some people on the pitch who though...

  • IoS letters, emails & online postings (5 August 2012)
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    It would indeed be a surprise if everyone liked every bit of Danny Boyle's mammoth production. I am sure his previous film productions have had their critics, but surely we can form our own opinions of any criticisms. My concern about the modern ope...

  • Alastair Campbell: Prowess, not privilege, wins medals
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    First, let us put China's lead in the medals table in some perspective. If we were to make the success judgement one of medals per head of population, Slovenia are Olympic champions so far, with China languishing well down the table. Also, where Chin...

  • Sophie Heawood: Suddenly, excellence is the new normal
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    I distinctly remember the time my friend Nicola emailed asking if I could go for a drink after work and I said, "Oh God, help no, I paid upfront for a course of six yoga classes and I can't miss the fifth one when I've only been to two." "Of course ...

  • Katy Guest: Olympic London thrills me
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    The London Underground map is a design icon, but that's no use to someone who can't pronounce "Holborn" and doesn't know that only long-distance runners should attempt the so-called interchange between Monument and Bank. A night out in swinging Soho...

  • DJ Taylor: If only Gore Vidal had stood for Grimsby
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    Naturally, the most compelling evidence for this shift in political sensibility tends to come from the Republican Party, which 40 years ago was full of Nixons and Rockefellers and is now awash with Romneys and Santorums, but the Democrats, too, are e...

  • Matthew Bell: It's a very good 17 days to bury bad news
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    For the past week, the Olympics have hogged the headlines to such an extent that the economy might actually have collapsed and I couldn't tell you. With every medal we win, the less we care about the European Central Bank's plans to save the single ...

  • Paul Vallely: Will's right - better a witty fool than a foolish wit
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    The British are suspicious of anyone seen as too clever by half, or by three-quarters as was said of that great polymath Jonathan Miller – who, when asked about his ethno-religious origins, once replied, "I'm not really a Jew, just Jew-ish." That is...

  • Harriet Walker: A holiday should be a pilgrimage of idleness
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    Coming home at 6am with an ice-cream, say, and waking up to find raspberry ripple smeared over every surface, including the light switch. Trying to engage in a deep, meaningful conversation but being so drunk I rolled off a wall, into the sea and la...

  • Bonnie Wright: They've had to cut their meals down from three to one a day
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    "This was the first trip I had ever done of this kind" she said. "We arrived at the health centre first – five doctors to look after 200,000 patients. It was quite overwhelming, as I saw people really far down the stages of malnutrition. I met a youn...

  • Letters: Wiggins wins - and suddenly Brits love a cyclist
    Saturday, 4 August 2012

    Sara StarkeyTonbridge, KentAllan Ramsay (letters, 24 July) is right to remind us of the charge-sheet against those motorists whose negligence and aggression have contributed to the injuries and deaths of so many British cyclists. But such negativity ...

  • Leading article: This most dishonourable crime
    Saturday, 4 August 2012

    That the Ahmed parents received life sentences at Chester Crown Court yesterday, nearly a decade on from the murder, is in itself quite an achievement. So-called honour crimes, centring on notions of family shame and often perpetrated against young w...

  • Grace Dent: My ten shortcuts to Olympic fever
    Saturday, 4 August 2012

    2 Marvel at how lucky the Duchess of Cambridge has been in the ticket lottery. Yes, some have suggested the Duchess is work-shy and practically unemployable but when it comes to securing a group booking of 10 for the men's gymnastic finals, she's an ...

  • David Randall: The Emperor's New Clothes (05/08/12)
    Sunday, 5 August 2012

    It's, firstly, all the things it is not. Its players are not paid £180,000 a week – our top performer, Steph Houghton, earns less than a tenth of that in an entire year. And they try! They actually look as if they enjoy playing – as opposed to the m...

  • Leading article: So gifted, yet so refreshingly normal
    Saturday, 4 August 2012

    Not only is there something gloriously British in the notion of the unprofessional enthusiast crafting a world-beating feat in a garden shed (or its sporting equivalent). The contrast with the usual array of talents that populate the public scene cou...

  • Jasvinder Sanghera: Communities must end these awful abuses
    Saturday, 4 August 2012

    Victims are taught never to bring shame on their families and that it is their duty to obey because of religion or tradition. They live in turmoil, not wishing to hurt their loved ones. They may attempt suicide or try to escape. But although they pl...

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