The Independent | Commentators

DJ Taylor: The Huntley family would not dream of contriving excuses to stop Auntie Carol visiting

No one can quite remember the precise nature of Auntie Carol's connection to the Huntley family. .....

Middle Class Problems: The round-robin letter is a relentless pass-the-parcel of familial festive cheer

The post is here. Off we trot expecting something innocuous – a personalised Christmas card from .....

Tim Key: I have five of mocha in front of me. This is a joke. At least, I think it is

When is a joke not a joke? Not sure, really. I suppose when one person thinks it's a joke and the.....

Alison says: 'I'm still lucky now, so shut up about being single'

Alison Taylor: My Christmas isn't defined by the fact that I don't have a husband or boyfriend

I wrote a piece for a magazine last December about how I enjoy going home to mum and dad's for Ch.....

DJ Taylor: Sir James Pendlebury occasionally concedes that his career was really very tedious

Visitors to the big house at Berkhamsted, watching Sir James Pendlebury deadheading his roses or .....

Alison says: 'I'm a sucker for a man who can give a charismatic speech'

Alison Taylor: You've got to love a bad boy ... but why?

'I like baseball, movies, good clothes, fast cars, whisky and you. What else do you need to know?.....

Tim Key: In the UK countryside, miles away from anywhere, I worry that cabin fever is setting in

I find myself in the wilds this week. Stuffed up in the UK countryside, miles away from anywhere,.....

'The CIA's depravities are not going to infuriate the Muslim world – because the Muslim world has been enraged about these crimes for years'

CIA torture report: These depravities are not going to infuriate the Muslim world – they've been enraged about them for years

It's the Western response that the torturers really fear, which is why the CIA has been so intent on misleading us

DJ Taylor: There's a drawback to spirit guide Bella Moriarty's technique ... she's never particularly exact

It was as a small child, playing innocently in the back-garden of her grandmother's house at Llan.....

Middle Class Problems: What kind of person would want to put themselves through the ordeal of attending a supper club?

At some point in their intrepid exploration of the gastronomic landscape, urban foodies feel duty.....

Alison says: 'The lines of 'relationships' these days can be so blurry and undefined'

Alison Taylor on relationships: How do you call time on a 'non-thing' which is soon to become even less of a 'thing'?

'Phasing'. I've heard this annoying verb in the context of relationships three times this past we.....

Tim Key: I am playing cat and mouse with Amazon. Over some pink roller skates

Cat and mouse. That's what I am currently playing with Amazon. I am the cat: writing notes on my .....

Ed Balls responds to the Chancellor's Autumn Statement

DJ Taylor: Six decades have passed since retired thespians Graham and Binkie Margrave first met

Each weekday after lunch, the Margraves repair to the sitting room of their cramped retirement bu.....

Middle Class Problems: I don't want to come within 100 miles of someone with a cold but I'm far too polite to leave

A dank November night, and you're just finishing the first bottle of red when the final guest arr.....

Alison says: 'I can't deny that my reaction is more bemusement than outrage'

Alison Taylor on relationships: Julien Blanc is a pick-up artist? The guy's a total buffoon

I rang home this week and spoke to my mum. After the usual weather update and discovering that sh.....

Tim Key: I wanted to sign up to the gym and become slim and handsome

I've just come back from the gym and I'm absolutely exhausted.

Cadet Harry Alexander Hayes plants the last poppy during a remembrance day ceremony into the ceramic poppy art installation by artist Paul Cummins entitled 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' in the dry moat of the Tower of London

New conformism is spreading across Britain

A relentless conformism is spreading across Britain. So Yasmin Alibhai-Brown decided we needed shaking up – and a series of polemical essays, 'Provocations', is the result

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Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all