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Conservative image detoxified at last?

Labour’s lead over the Conservatives remains squeezed, at two points, little changed from last...

Poll alert

We have a ComRes opinion poll in tomorrow’s Independent on Sunday, shared with the Sunday Mirr...

Yvette Cooper blames Government for allowing British jihadis

Yvette Cooper linked British jihadists in Syria and Iraq with the Government’s having “s...

Tom Sutcliffe: Only when colour on stage isn't an issue will we have made progress

I found myself wondering the other night whether a white actor will ever play Othello again. In the near future the answer to this question is obvious, I would have thought. Only last week the American playwright Bruce Norris withdrew permission for a German company to perform his play Clybourne Park, after learning that a white actress was going to play a black character.

Alistair Sooke, constrained by BBC guidelines

Tom Sutcliffe: Unpalatable truths revealed in the real story of an officer and a gentleman

Readers of fiction, Howard Jacobson argued at a literary symposium recently, ought to be able to withstand the “expression of an ugly point of view”.

To the art of the matter: the late Robert Hughes

Tom Sutcliffe: The combative critic whose waspish words had more than just shock value

As with quite a lot of things these days I first read about the death of Robert Hughes on Twitter. I'd love to know what the old bruiser thought of this new medium and to hear how wittily he might encapsulate its follies. I have a suspicion that he would disapprove. But in one sense it did him proud when it came to instant commemoration.

Tom Sutcliffe: When there are a few too many stereotypes on the streets of London

I visited New York and found, to my great delight, that the city really did feature large chimneys funnelling steam out of the pavement.

Tom Sutcliffe: Film freaks who can't see the big picture are worse than football thugs

"Are you an Antonioni fan?" This question, posed conversationally just before a screening of the BFI's restored version of The Red Desert, took me a little aback the other day. I paused for a moment and said "No", an answer which, in its turn, seemed to nonplus the person who'd asked in the first place.

Kathy and Scott Cleveland, from Idaho, excitedly preparing for their trip to the London Olympics

Tom Sutcliffe: How Kathy and Scott taught me to tolerate the Olympic Games

'We' asked the guests to come and courtesy demands we don't make them feel bad

Saving grace: Paul Simon's voice isn't 'faultless', but his capacity as an emotional performer is as strong as ever

Tom Sutcliffe: It's hard to be a critic when you love something

One of the commonest of all critical vices is reviewing the work you wish you'd experienced instead of the one you actually did. But it struck me this week that there are actually two versions of this vice – opposed to each other by almost 180 degrees.

Tom Sutcliffe: It's a mystery how, but even the greatest artists can turn out the occasional dud

I don't know how you would go about quantifying these things, but last week I found myself standing in front of what must certainly be a candidate for the worst painting ever produced by a significant artist.

Tom Sutcliffe: From William Hogarth to Martin Amis, it's hard to resist an amoral monster

My question this week: which did Hogarth enjoy drawing more – Gin Lane or Beer Street? Or to put it a different way, which panel do you think he drew first?

Stuff of fantasy: Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom'

Tom Sutcliffe: Wes Anderson is so animating

I finally "got" Wes Anderson the other day. Which is not to say that I hadn't "got" him before – in the sense of liking his work and always being willing to substitute his vision of the world for mine for an hour or two. Though I'm not very fond of fey art-house whimsy (see references to Miranda July passim), there has always been something about.

A monster of neediness: Nixon (Shearer) is reassured about his performance by Kissinger (Goodman)

Tom Sutcliffe: Nixon's crisis makes good drama

The week in culture

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Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone