Peter Oborne talks to Charles Kennedy about his plans to put the Lib Dems ahead of the ToriesNO politician has the opportunity that Charles Kennedy has today: he just might reconfigure the political landscape. With the Conservative party in a weak and semi-moribund state, uncertain of its own identity and still struggling to come to terms with the landslide defeat of 1997, it is by no means inconceivable that the Lib Dems could emerge as the main opposition party in Britain.
Why watercolours deserve their revival in popularityWhen the National Gallery ran its eye-tracking experiment last year into how we look at pictures, the works selected for the test were all oil paintings. Had they been watercolours, the results might have been quite different. Going round the Girtin show at Tate Britain recently, I noticed that people look at watercolours differently. Without the National Gallery's sophisticated surveillance equipment, I'm not in a position to comment on their eye movements, but I can report that they look harder and closer, as if their interest is not just in a picture's subject, but in how it's made.
Michael Crick says that Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson is not a crook, but he is a liar and a bullyIf he'd dithered for another day or two last winter, then Sir Alex would now be relaxing somewhere off the Azores or Madagascar, starting his retirement with the world cruise he's always promised Cathy, his long-suffering wife. Last February, Manchester United were within hours of signing a contract with the England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson to succeed Ferguson, who planned to retire in May.
John Laughland reports from Iraq on the determination of ordinary people to fight any attempt by the British and Americans to impose regime changeMosul, northern Iraq
The ancient city of Mosul straddles the Tigris near the Turkish and Syrian borders, and just beneath the hills of Kurdistan. Churches and mosques jostle for space in its tiny biblical alleyways; Kurds, Arabs, Armenians, Syrians, Turkmen, Jews and Yezidis all call it home.