A baby boy is held by a midwife after being born in an NHS maternity unit in Manchester. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty
The battle for better maternity care shows the limits of the Amazon warehouse approach to medicine
By Helen Lewis - 27 April 12:23

The issues around maternity care are a microcosm of the bigger battles in the NHS – centralisation, protocols and “efficiency savings” v making a space for common sense, professional judgement and personal relationships.

Illustration: Jackson Rees
At 30,000 feet, there is no privacy. The seat-back screen is a window into the soul of the person in front
By Will Self - 23 April 17:48

 “One rerun – it was one rerun of Friends! You can’t prove I’m thinking about it all the time!”

Kentish Town baths in 1909. Photo: Camden archives
I’d only gone for a swim, but I ended up being serenaded in the changing room
By Hunter Davies - 23 April 17:34

He was doing something I’d never seen before in Kentish Town Baths, and I’ve been going for over 40 years.

A cricket ball. Photo: Wikimedia commons
The Tories’ nutty tax promises, how Fallon weaponised Trident, and a minor cricketing drama
By Peter Wilby - 23 April 13:59

Wrong-to-buy, socialist Monopoly - and a rather strange cricketing romance.

Hampstead Heath. Photo: Dan Kitwood
Episode two of my sitcom “The Royal Lezard Hospital” – and things aren’t looking quite so funny
By Nicholas Lezard - 23 April 10:40

What kind of person, I wonder, steals a bottle of perfume from an incapacitated elderly lady?

Can you live without money? Lily Cole meets the “Moneyless Man”
By Lily Cole - 22 April 15:43

Mark Boyle started to rely entirely on gifts and bartering in 2008 - cooking on an outdoor stove, washing his clothes in soapwort, and using the Daily Mail as loo paper. He tells Lily Cole why he loved it. 

Photo: courtesy #thisdoesntmeanyes.
#thisdoesntmeanyes: how a new campaign is tackling the myth of consent, once and for all
By Stephanie Boland - 17 April 12:03

An overheard conversation in a bar prompted four friends to start their own anti-rape campaign. Now, they're asking women everywhere to join in and declare that their clothing doesn't mean consent.

Illustration: Jackson Rees.
The modern chip evokes dreams of flat caps and full employment. But the best fries begin at home
By Will Self - 16 April 16:52

The bistro chip, with its author or workmanlike authenticity, casts a spell of happy, socialist reverie - and autosarcophagy ensues.

A doctor's waiting room. Photo: PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/GettyImages
Martha hadn’t let anyone touch her for years and she wasn’t about to start now
By Phil Whitaker - 16 April 16:37

A history of sexual assault prevented Martha from seeking an examination from a gynaecologist.

Work fair: a tea grower waters his crops in Changxing County, eastern China. Photo: XU YU/XINHUA PRESS/CORBIS
The everyday heroes who think about what they eat
By Felicity Cloake - 16 April 16:20

Julian Baggini thinks that eating well is one of the most important ways we live our values. But would he ask a dinner host where she got her chicken?

In political debate as in sport, practice doesn't make perfect: it makes for boring
By Ed Smith - 16 April 14:58

Instead of playing to win, politicians are seeking not to lose.

The author on the red carpet for The Falling. Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for BFI
Back in front of the cameras this week – and posing doesn’t get any easier
By Tracey Thorn - 16 April 10:48

The more we acknowledge that it hurts when someone is cruel about your appearance, the closer we might get to being kinder.

Brian Eno. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
How I nearly joined a cult of men in yellow jumpers - but got out in time to dodge Nick Clegg
By Suzanne Moore - 16 April 10:31

It's great being a Lib Dem - you don't have to believe in anything. For a brief moment in 1996, I thought I'd found my people.

Ryan Gigs consults with "beady eyed" Van Gaal. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Sport
Football is a place of totally pointless prejudice – and that’s worth cheering for
By Hunter Davies - 15 April 11:27

In a way, football is democratic - your looks don't matter as much as your ability. So why is such a huge part of loving it hating the players?

The Royal Free Hospital. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
At hospital, Dad is in a wheelchair and my mother’s on a gurney. Who do I pitch the sitcom to?
By Nicholas Lezard - 15 April 10:15

“Lord, does it hurt?” a disciple asks the agonised Christ on the cross. “Only when I laugh,” He replies.

DNA strands from a double helix model at the Science Museum. Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Why are we so desperate to find a genetic explanation for sex offenders?
By Sarah Ditum - 13 April 12:49

The research into the so-called “nonce gene” disintegrates under any kind scrutiny at all. Why do we want to believe in it?

Sunbathers on Brighton beach. Photo: Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images
Sussex police’s victim-blaming anti-rape campaign: why is it victims, not rapists, that must change their behaviour?
By Glosswitch - 09 April 12:50

Decades after the first Reclaim the Night march, we are still wondering: why is it always women who are told they have to modify their behaviour in order to stay safe?

Deep in the roar: Niagara Falls, from an 1860 painting by Frederic Church. Photo: GETTY IMAGES
The lost landscape of America: chasing the vanishing sublime
By John Burnside - 08 April 9:10

While the landscapes of Thoreau and Watkins have been preserved by their art, John Burnside finds the wilderness that once covered America neutralised.

Shepherd's Bush. Photo: NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images
A lament for the place where I was born: it can’t be gentrified, so it’s being pulled down
By Nicholas Lezard - 08 April 8:54

These streets won’t appear on chocolate boxes - so soon they won't appear at all.

A dispute over pizza in Indiana has lead to a discussion abotu the nature of freedom. Sort of. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Watch out for “Big Gay”: why the freedom to discriminate is a funny sort of freedom
By Eleanor Margolis - 07 April 17:03

Discrimination under the banner of “freedom” is on the rise again.

It is definitely, definitely not the case that the teams in La Liga are better. Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images
Why are we messing up at top-flight football? I have all the answers
By Hunter Davies - 02 April 16:00

Champion of Europe? Not these days. Hunter Davies explains some of the reasons England aren't quite the footballing force they once were.

Pope Francis. Photo: Associated Press
Beloved of the people: how the Pope has again become a leader for our times
By Maurice Glasman - 02 April 14:43

At a time when career politicians are held in such contempt, Pope Francis is offering a masterclass in leadership.

Students graduate at Liverpool's John Moore university. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Life is full of people with bad ideas and awful opinions. Try to meet as many at university as you can
By Helen Lewis - 02 April 14:13

Universities should be havens of free speech. After all: where else can you find out what the Other Buggers Are Thinking?

A train toilet. Photo: Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images
Will Self: Stuck in a train toilet, I see the future of urban Britain mapped out
By Will Self - 02 April 13:03

The first toilet I got to was of the robotic variety, and the automatic door was broken – confirming all my unease – but the second was of the traditional type, so I shuffled happily inside.

An onlooker photographs a montage of the Kama Sutra. Photo: Getty
Why I changed my mind about porn
By Sarah Ditum - 01 April 15:04

A few years ago, I argued against the idea that porn was hijacking our sexuality. Now, as a women's centre tries to ban my opponent, I wonder - are they scared that if people listen to Gail Dines, their minds might be changed too?

How can a memoir convey the damage done by eating disorders, without passing it on?
By Glosswitch - 31 March 9:06

Nancy Tucker’s eating disorder memoir, The Time In Between, tackles this problem head-on.

Bette Davis, smoking. Photo: STF/AFP/Getty Images
I only have the occasional fag and I don’t long for nicotine – it’s the society of smoking that I crave
By Suzanne Moore - 27 March 14:50

Smoking for David? It could only be Hockney. Smoker extraordinaire, and not a bad painter either.

Thicke as thieves? Photo: David Buchan/Getty Images
Tracey Thorn: Your songs are like your children – you have to wave them off into the world
By Tracey Thorn - 27 March 14:20

Copyright law encourages artists to feel they're in control of what they've made. But in reality, a song is a different thing once it leaves its creator.

Containers with donated milk at the human milk bank in Lima, Peru. Photo: Ernesto Benavides/AFP/Getty Images
Why you shouldn’t sell breast milk
By Glosswitch - 27 March 11:55

In many ways we have come full circle, returning to a time when women were seen not as human beings, but as objects available for sale or exchange. Only now we call it choice.