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April 14 - 20 2010
μWorld News PAGES 14-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
Best of the best? Could Barca’s Lionel Messi be better than Maradona and Pele?
The knight of the leg cutter Sir Alec Bedser, one of England’s greatest ever bowlers, has died
Man in the middle Could this man handle the balance of power? Mick Brown finds out
Damien Hirst in Montecarlo The ebullient artists kicks off five pages of the latest arts coverage
11 8 20 33 43 47 6 9 11 21 40 48
Bonus Ball 49
Bonus Ball 27
There were no winners of either Wednesday’s £7.1m prize or Saturday’s £12.1m rollover jackpot
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Election 2010 Check out our online tools and join the debate telegraph.co.uk/election
By Andrew Porter and James Kirkup LABOUR was preparing to signal a return to a Blairite agenda on Monday, with manifesto pledges on family rights and antisocial behaviour in an attempt to recapture Middle England voters.
A re-elected Labour government would bring in laws to let individuals apply for an antisocial behaviour order (Asbo), Gordon Brown was due to say. They could then apply for the orders against nuisance neighbours. Asbos were introduced and enthusiastically promoted by Tony Blair.
The manifesto is also to promise that Labour would guarantee a 24-hour response to any complaint of antisocial behaviour. Police, local authorities and other agencies would be required to respond. Each complainant would be given a dedicated case worker.
Until now, Mr Brown had largely distanced himself from Mr Blair’s law and order and “respect” agenda.
The manifesto announcement signals Labour’s attempted fightback after David Cameron and the Conservatives were judged to have had a successful start to the campaign last week with their pledge to reverse Labour’s National Insurance rises.
It was being followed by the announcement of the
Conservative manifesto and, a day later, the Liberal Democrat manifesto.
In a further echo of New Labour and its focus on the family, the Labour manifesto will contain pledges to double paid paternity leave from two to four weeks and a promise to give grandparents the legal right to see their grandchildren after a divorce.
The party will also promise to freeze the basic, higher and new top rates of income tax for the next parliament.
Another nod to the doctrine of appealing first to middle Britain will be a commitment to turn Northern Rock, the failed bank nationalised during the credit crisis, back into a building society. Its one million customers would be given shares under the mutualisation plan.
The policy, designed to appeal to middle-class savers, will also be cited by Mr Brown as a symbol of how he faced the financial crisis and came up with solutions that staved off a depression.
Ed Miliband, the Cabinet minister who drew up the 100-page manifesto, admitted that the document was more akin to the 1997 manifesto that swept Labour to power than the recent policy priorities of the Brown administration.
In the foreword to the manifesto Mr Brown says: “This cannot, and will not, be a ‘business as usual’ election or manifesto. In this manifesto we set out plans to address the main future challenges we face in our economy, our society and our politics. We will rebuild the economy to secure the recovery and invest in future growth and jobs.
“We will renew our society to further strengthen the
A YouGov poll for TheSunlast week suggested that Labour had narrowed the gap between themselves and the Tories from 10 points to six. It put the Conservatives on 37 per cent, Labour on 31 per cent and the Lib Dems on 20 per cent communities that bind our country together.
“And we will restore trust in politics with greater transparency and accountability in a system battered by the expenses scandal.”
He concludes: “Our manifesto charts an optimistic course in tougher economic times. It builds on and takes forward the reforms we have undertaken since 1997.
“I love Britain and want the very best for our country. This manifesto is my pledge of a future fair for all.”
In an attempt to attract pensioners, the manifesto will include a pledge to restore the link between earnings and the state pension from 2012.
Young people would be given the chance to invest in new Government-backed individual savings accounts, offering higher levels of interest, and rail companies would be forced to sell the cheapest tickets to customers or face claims for refunds.
Parents would have the right to get rid of head teachers and school management teams through a ballot. The best teachers will be offered “golden handcuffs” to stay at poor-performing schools to help turn them around.
Labour will also pledge to build 50,000 new council homes.
Mr Miliband, the Climate Change Secretary, said the manifesto would contain no new big spending commitments.
“It will be more like a 1997 manifesto than a 2001 or 2005 manifesto,” he said. “There is less money around. We are not going to go around spraying around promises we can’t afford, like the Conservative Party is doing, including on National Insurance.”
The 1997 manifesto was cautious on spending, pledging to stick temporarily to Tory plans, but the next two elections saw Labour fight on the platform of investment in public services.
PLACE a pin on our World’s Best Places to Live map and tell us why you think that place is such a great place to be. It could be a street in Sydney, a beach in Thailand, a rose-clad cottage in a quaint Dorset village or a particular apartment block on New York’s Upper West Side; you can be as specific or general as you like. You can put on as many locations as you want and you can rate and comment on other people’s choices, too. And if you add a pin and register your details by October 31, 2010 you will be entered automatically into our fantastic prize draw in which FIVE lucky couples will win a free trip to visit the place of their dreams. Flights to and accommodation at your favoured destination will be paid for, up to a total cost of £2,000 per couple. Further details of the prizes and the terms and conditions can also be found online at telegraph.co.uk /expatproperty.
By Robert Winnett Deputy Political Editor LABOUR was forced to abandon three tax rises last week that were unveiled in last month’s Budget.
After pressure from the Conservatives, the Government agreed to drop plans for a new tax on phone lines to pay for superfast broadband, increased taxes on cider and the scrapping of tax relief on holiday homes.
They were abandoned after negotiations to fast-track the Finance Act, which introduces the laws necessary to enact the Budget, through Parliament.
The Tories refused to sanction the fast-tracking of the legislation unless the three taxes were dropped and the Treasury was forced to back down.
The taxes were expected to bring in about £210 million in extra revenue, leaving the next government with an even greater funding black hole.
The move was a coup for George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, on the first day of the election campaign.
Philip Hammond, the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, said: “This is a major victory for businesses and consumers… but the threat couldn’t be clearer. If Labour is re-elected all three taxes will come back.”
The 50p a month tax on phone lines was a key part of Labour’s plan to introduce superfast broadband. It was estimated that consumers would have paid more than £100 million a year.
The changes to tax relief on furnished holiday homes were expected to hit more than 120,000 self-catering holiday businesses, costing holiday home owners an average of £4,000 each a year.
The third proposed tax rise was a 10 per cent increase to the cost of cider. Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, had argued that cider was taxed too lightly compared with other alcoholic drinks. telegraph.co.uk/expat
By Stephen Adams TRADITIONALISTS will be quaking (21 points) or perhaps be overcome with fury (10 points) – because the makers of Scrabble are to allow players to use proper nouns for the first time.
For decades, family arguments have raged over whether words like Quzhou (a city in southern China, 27 points) and Zuma (as in the South African president, 15 points) are eligible.
At least to date the rules have been clear – place names, people’s names and the names of companies or brands do not count.
But now Mattel has posed a new problem for squabbling siblings and pedantic parents on a wet weekend: which rules to play by.
The firm is introducing the rule change – the first in the game’s 62-year history – to “enable younger players” to get involved. This could cause a generational power shift, with those who follow the top 40 able to cite such examples as the singers N-Dubz (17 points) and Jay-Z (23 points).
Mattel will be bringing out a new version containing the amended rules in July. But the company’s decision to sanction proper nouns is bound to give all players who want to use them the ammunition to argue their case.
It also has the potential to cause more arguments than it solves. “There is no dictionary for proper nouns as such so provided the word played is an accepted spelling, rather than just a cheeky one made up by the player, it would be acceptable,” a spokesman for Mattel said.
“Challenging words has always been part of the fun of Scrabble and this would still apply here.”
She added that foreign
Scrabble: new rules could cause mayhem proper nouns would be allowed, which could lead to heated debates over which version of a place name was allowed, such as Beijing or Peking. Until now, only a limited number of proper nouns have been allowed, determined by the official Scrabble word list, based on the Collins dictionary.
But Mattel will not be doing away with the old rules altogether. “Obviously some people will want to continue playing the old rules so we will still be selling a board with the original rules,” the spokesman added.
Giles Brandreth Honorary President of the Association of British Scrabble Players
I AM a traditionalist. I learnt to play Scrabble in the 1950s. I perfected my play in the 1960s at my school — Bedales School in Hampshire — where I played regularly with the school’s founder, John Badley, a friend of Oscar Wilde.
Mr Badley always beat me, because he used words that I claimed were obsolete. He said they had been current when he first learnt them.
I like to play Scrabble with words that feature in the Oxford English Dictionary and words whose meaning I know. But I am a Scrabble dinosaur.
The game has moved on. There are now professional Scrabble players who are brilliant and have memorised vast word lists. They don’t necessarily know the meanings of the words, but they know how the letters combine. The joy of Scrabble is that you can play it as you please.
I play for the love of language. The modern player plays to win — and will outscore me every time.
That said, I understand that the modern ace players want to increase the possibilities and introducing proper nouns will certainly do that.
XEROX is certainly a word that will score highly for you.
However, I think it’s more satisfying to score with AX (an old usage of axe) or with YEX (another word for a hiccup/ hiccough).
By Andrew Hough AFTER winning the Grand National at the 15th attempt, the first thing Tony McCoy wanted to do was telephone his mother.
But the champion jockey, who rode to victory on Don’t Push It, made the mistake of making the call on his mobile phone while driving away from Aintree.
McCoy, 35, was stopped by Merseyside police and despite hundreds of fans pleading for compassion, he was fined £60 and had three points put on his licence. “I couldn’t believe it
Tony McCoy, who won the Grand National on Don’t Push It, was fined for calling his parents with the news when they did me for three points,” McCoy said. “You would have thought that on Saturday of all days, they might have let me off, especially as I was on the phone to my mum at home in Ireland.”
McCoy said the incident occurred as he was driving out of Aintree, in Liverpool, on his way to celebrate his Grand National win.
Surrounded by hundreds of racegoers, he was speaking to his mother, Claire, 65, and father, Paedar, 70, watching from his home town of Toomebridge, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland.
Mrs McCoy said she was amazed by the police’s actions. “I only thought that sort of thing happened in Ireland… He must have been the only sober one there, so he must have been an easy target.”
Sport, page 48
April 14 - 20 2010