Fire Minister Brandon Lewis probably had a fair idea what Sir Ken Knight would deliver when he asked him to conduct an "independent" report into fire and rescue services in England.
The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
STEVE McGIFFEN explains why the current drive to airbrush the political and physical abuses of past empires out of European history is just a dangerous propaganda exercise.
Britain's only socialist TV critic reviews a week on the box.
JOHN HUNT reports from the country on the hopes and fears of a long-exploited people.
JAMES EAGLE discovers the choicest morsels on the world wide web.
KEN LIVINGSTONE argues that the key to encouraging more people to use public transport is by making it more reliable and open to all.
ROY JONES reports on Welsh Labour's shameful capitulation to a gang of Westminster MPs.
FOREIGN BRIEFING: RONNIE HALL reports from the WTO in Hong Kong.
PAUL DONOVAN wonders whether Sinn Fein should reverse its abstentionist policy at Westminster and actively take up its five seats.
DIDI ROSSI and GIORGIO RIVA give an update on gay Kurd Mehmet Tarhan, who is languishing in a Turkish prison for refusing military service.