The Independent | Commentators

DJ Taylor: The modern world has passed rural throwbacks Rupert and Virginia Staid by

Rupert and Virginia Staid were married in the early 2000s. At this point he was a stockbroker at .....

Middle Class Problems: Self-improvement courses are a meal ticket to the new, improved us. If only it wasn't raining...

We are exhorted throughout our lives – from our schooldays on – to be the very best we can be. "I.....

Alison says: 'There's no hiding, which might prove problematic when that persistent person you've been trying to fob off suddenly lands in your geo-lap'

Alison Taylor on relationships: 'Dating app Happn is all very stalkerish - how about instead?'

Romance-wise, would you rather be hunted down via GPS in the city or marooned at sea with a salty.....

Tim Key: 'I bought my brother the official World Cup football. Only it's black and a bit small'

I need to get my brother another birthday present off Amazon because the last one I got him explo.....

The daily catch-up: farewell, Two-Brains, Welby on assisted dying and intellectual property is theft

Curios and notables collected from the verges of the information superhighway

DJ Taylor: Veteran journalist Felicity Frant's children are tolerant of their mother's ransacking almost every drawer of their private lives

John Major was still Prime Minister on the morning the editor of the Daily Excess, surveying his .....

Middle Class Problems: People have no idea how much stress is involved in maintaining a second home

School holidays are within sight and the two-home family is packing for summer at Casa Vecchia. T.....

Real-life meets have definitely become fewer and farther in Alison's experience

Alison Taylor on relationships: Warning - smoking aids your love life

I was out with a friend and my new haircut last Friday night and experienced what I'm now calling.....

Tim Key: Tandoori Fort customer is just one of my many nicknames...

I'm sat in my flat, going through my mail in my shellsuit and I'm starting to think about my name.....

Middle Class Problems: When it comes to street-party food one should always start, as Nature intended, with the cakes

It's that time of year when many a charming road – even more charming if it's a cul de sac – lays.....

DJ Taylor: Jeremy Semple is adept at acquiring paid employment - he is equally good at throwing it over

Last week Jeremy walked out of one of his jobs again. It was a moment of (relatively) high drama,.....

Tim Key: Summer fêtes rock. Particularly when four-year-olds sing Tim Minchin

Me and Isy are celebrating. She's just taken part in a talent contest and absolutely annihilated .....

Harder job: The Prime Minister has been clear that he wants Britain to stay in the EU

David Cameron's defeat by Jean-Claude Juncker has set Britain up for an EU referendum win

The Europeans – led by Germany – who don't want the UK to leave, ought to be more accommodating next time

DJ Taylor: Over-demanding parent Cecilia Jaggers is wholly unaware of the havoc she causes

Cecilia Jaggers came late to motherhood. It was not until her mid-thirties that she finally settl.....

Alison says: 'Festivals can also be wonderful places for romance. It's the escapism, the adventure, the... mind-altering hedonism'

Alison Taylor on relationships: 'Probably the most deviant thing I've done at a festival is go off-site with the guy I met'

You know how festivals tend to be either really, really good or really, really bad? It's the same.....

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Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform