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Defensive, much?

Ed Balls was on BBC Radio 4’s World At One today, showing just how thin, defensive and selecti...

League table of Prime Ministers

ComRes carried out a poll of prime ministers since 1964 for The Independent on Sunday last weekend, ...

Politicians will feel the fury of Britain’s renters

Politicians are wrong if they think 9 million renters will accept this meekly at the election next y...

Deborah Orr: This illogical vetting scheme will not safeguard our children

It's the classic children's lament: "Everybody else has got one." So it's quite droll that the reaction to Philip Pullman's refusal to register with the new Vetting and Barring Scheme is similar.

Deborah Orr: Old age is not an illness and its care needs to be paid for

Nobody rails at the idea babies should be cared for primarily by their families

Deborah Orr: Why is it so hard to prove the obvious?

It's a weird old society indeed when the huge stories that are hardest to break are the ones that everybody knows are true anyway. First, it was the bankers.

Deborah Orr: The bright sparks are left behind

The Government has this week launched another bunch of tinkering education reforms. In the main, they suffer from the same problem as every reform of anything that this Government, from now on, will ever announce.

Deborah Orr: Shrinking the state is the best way to redistribute wealth

Progressives must lead the debate on how to restructure the funding of social support

Deborah Orr: Can we for once forget the rules?

I can't help it. School nativities, passion plays, I still think that theatrical renditions of the life of Christ are wonderful and precious aspects of folk culture, with valuable and affirmative things to teach our children.

Deborah Orr: Exclusion just delivers children back to the source of their woes

If a pupil is beyond a school's range of expertise, there must be a safe alternative

Deborah Orr: Blacked-out claims show just how fearful MPs are of the public

Nadine Dorries, the Conservative MP who warned weeks ago that the Telegraph's expenses investigation was putting MPs under so much pressure that she feared that some might kill themselves, has now reported that her patio furniture has been vandalised. She says she knows it was a deliberate response to her position as an MP because she received a blog comment that she didn't post, which read: "Nice patio Nadine, or was."

Deborah Orr: The social ills caused by family breakdown cannot be ignored

A jaundiced view of the state of parenting in Britain is hardly surprising

Deborah Orr: The immigration debate is not a right-left issue

That long-running debate about whether the BNP should be given "the oxygen of publicity" seems finally to have resolved itself. Days after the group won two seats in the European Parliament, James W von Brunn, a US friend and supporter of the BNP, shot dead security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns at Washington's Holocaust Memorial Museum. Tragic for Johns, but a winner for anti-fascism.

Deborah Orr: We feel sorry for abused children. But what about damaged adults?

Educational facilities for children like Sonnex have improved so little under Labour

Deborah Orr: Blatant self-interest is infesting Labour right to the bitter end

It just gets worse and worse, doesn't it? First, they show little comprehension as to why their tax-dodging, publicly funded property speculation is despicable. Then, they mount another formidable display of inward-looking opportunism, by using the chaos unleashed by the expenses crisis to dazzle us with an every-man-for-himself extravaganza of shameless self-importance, as MPs rush to shore up their waning careers.

Deborah Orr: A collapse that is long overdue

Labour deserves its fate. But the people it was supposed to represent do not

Deborah Orr: Talent is never enough – you need grit to survive celebrity

Susan Boyle is by no means the first famous entertainer to beat a retreat to the Priory. But she has certainly moved from discovery to exhaustion with exceptional alacrity. Poor lady. It was all too much for her.

Deborah Orr: This goes beyond catfights

No one seems fond of Danielle Lloyd. The glamour model was considered the really nasty one in the 2007 Celebrity Big Brother that saw Jade Goody branded a racist bully. She let slip in an interview that she'd been dating Teddy Sheringham before he'd appeared on the panel that judged her Miss Great Britain, and was stripped of her title.

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