About this issue: Overview
Northern state of mind Since the earliest humans arrived here from the continent, the North has helped to shape the world. Roger Ratcliffe talks to Brian Groom, author of a major book on Northerners.
Taking the initiative The controversial Private Finance Initiative schemes that run our prisons and build our hospitals are coming to an end. Were they a costly mistake – and what’s the exit strategy? Chris Moss reviews the evidence on PFI.
Victims retraumatised by system Oldham child sexual exploitation reviewed – Whistleblower Maggie Oliver calls for victim support.
Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, Margaret Beckett’s letter to her younger self, columnist Saskia Murphy files from a Greek ferry – and more.