Spare us the moral hysteria that threatens a new age of censorship | Rachel Cooke

To the casual eye, George Devine made for an unlikely-seeming revolutionary. In Howard Coster’s 1934 photograph, in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, he looks like nothing so much as a master at Greyfriars School, his spectacles horn-rimmed, his hair neatly oiled. Only the flamboyant angle of the hand that holds his cigarette suggests …

Your guide to a happy new year… by Dawn, Eddie and other celebrity self-help gurus

Once the post-Christmas slump lifts and 2018 looms, an unprecedented crowd of well-known faces will be waiting to take readers by the hand and guide them into the new year. Following a tide of celebrity autobiographies, celebrity novels and celebrity children’s fiction, this year the book-shaped gift under the tree is more likely to be …

Call to fine schools that illegally exclude poorly performing pupils

Ministers are being urged to fine schools that are informally excluding poorly performing pupils, amid mounting evidence that some institutions are attempting to game the exam system. Hundreds of cases of children being removed from schools on tenuous and potentially illegal grounds have been reported to a charity offering legal advice to parents. Experts blame …

MoD intervenes to clamp down on ministers’ fake Twitter accounts

It is a new struggle being quietly waged by the Ministry of Defence – one where the battlefield is a constantly shifting one. In the era of fake news and so-called infowars with Russia, Britain’s military establishment has launched a clamp-down on bogus Twitter accounts masquerading under the official MoD banner. At least three Twitter …

Rupert Murdoch: Will this prove to be the media king’s last act?

In the 64 years since Rupert Murdoch inherited the Adelaide News from his father, Sir Keith, the word “retreat” has never seemed part of his vocabulary. His mother, Dame Elisabeth, the Melbourne philanthropist and ornamental gardener, who lived to be 103, used to tell her only son: “Don’t lead a ‘what if?’ life.” He took …

Minnie Driver: men like Matt Damon ‘cannot understand what abuse is like’

The actor Minnie Driver told the Guardian on Saturday men “simply cannot understand what abuse is like on a daily level”, and should not therefore attempt to differentiate or explain sexual misconduct against women. Driver was discussing comments by Matt Damon, whom she once dated and with whom she starred in the Oscar-winning 1997 film …

‘Mum says I can’t come home’: Centrepoint’s lifeline for the invisible young homeless

The email is brief and to the point. “I am at risk of being homeless as my fiance is kicking me out,” it starts. “I have lots of cuts and bruises from fights we have. I am scared. If he evicts me I have nowhere to go. I can stay at my nan’s until Sunday, …

At Westminster, those accused of abuse still walk among us | Jess Phillips

The voting lobbies in Westminster are crowded. MPs pour in to them from the three available doors and form a scrum at the end where we declare our names. One of the doorways which leads straight from the chamber of the House of Commons demands that you stand in a very narrow winding stairway waiting …