New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 129, No. 4514, November 27

2000 Books of the Year
Joan Bakewell CHRISTOPHER FRAYLING adores films, and he has put all his passion into his stupendous biography Sergio Leone: something to do with death (Faber & Faber). Shakespeare's Language by Frank Kermode (Allen Lane, The Penguin Press) is...
A Black View of the US
Andrew Stephen on why the British find it so hard to understand America's voting chaos Regular readers will not be surprised to learn that I thoroughly agreed with Barbara Amiel a few days ago, when she wrote in the Daily Telegraph that most British...
Age before Beauty
VICTORIA MOORE shares a new and secretive passion for hoarding My new obsession is buying wine for my cellar. I don't just mean wine to have in the house so that there's always a bottle on hand when I need one. I mean wine that I hide away somewhere...
All in the Genes
JONATHAN ROMNEY gets a glorious feeling from a re-released classic The best gag in Singin' in the Rain -- released in a new print on 24 November -- comes at the end of a legendarily extravagant production number. Film star Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly)...
A Pool, a Home, Bullets and Bombs
Who are the Jewish settlers on the West Bank and why are they there? Duncan Parrish went to meet them When I first met a settler, we were sitting in a Jerusalem cafe, trying to come up with the best joke about the bomb. It had gone off a few hours...
Are the Founding Fathers to Blame for This Mess?
In 1787,55 men of property decided how America should be governed. They were interested in business, not democracy. Sooner or later, the Founding Fathers were going to be dragged into this mess. Two weeks into the swamp-watch known as the US presidential...
A Touch of Evil
He was Catholic, but his works are morally ambiguous. John Gray rereads Graham Greene Sinister. That is how Isaiah Berlin described Graham Greene when, in a conversation not long before Berlin's death, I asked what impression Greene had made on...
Blair's Biggest U-Turn
This is the year that Labour went back to tax and spend. But can ministers convince a deeply sceptical public? How do you feel about paying tax? I met someone the other day who told me that he loved filling in his annual tax return. He spent hours...
Brussels? You Couldn't Make It Up
... but journalists often do. Stephen Bates reveals how the press finds its Euro scares In what we hacks like to describe as a little-reported incident, on 11 July this year, a van trundled up to the Nestle factory in York bearing gifts for the...
Carolyn Steedman's Landscape for a Good Woman
I read Landscape for a Good Woman (Virago) when I was 25, just as the certainty of youth was beginning to fade. A series of recent knocks had made me realise that my life was not, after all, going to consist of one graceful triumph after another. Nagged...
Charles Maclean's St Kilda: Island on the Edge of the World
I first read this book in Viera Lodge, the house of my friend Christopher Bowerbank, on the island of Rousay in the Orkneys. It was Easter 1992, and the islands were attracting some unwelcome notoriety as the result of accusations of Satanic ritual...
Class Conscious
At my secondary modern school in York, my religious education teacher once described me as "something of a ladykiller". It would have to be the RE teacher who said it, and not the games teacher, who really was a ladykiller, and who had briefly played...
Diary
On the Today website, our listeners can see me sticking up two fingers at the production team Big Brother is watching us. Or rather, in the corner of our studio, a tiny webcam is: a small, beady eye that shows you what goes on each morning in the...
Funnyman for All Seasons
Rory Bremner's winter special on life under new Labour charms Satire, when it works, never needs an excuse, but it can have several worthwhile, socially redemptive functions. Its instinctive ridiculing of power is one. Its exaggeration of the already...
Herbert Marcuse's One-Dimensional Man
The memorable first sentence of Herbert Marcuse's 1964 masterpiece, One-Dimensional Man (Routledge), is rooted in its turbulent times: "Does not the threat of an atomic catastrophe which could wipe out the human race also serve to protect the very...
I Enjoyed Billy Elliot
It was lovely and humane, and a lot like many other films I've seen Once a new art form is invented and established, an infrastructure develops to maintain it: a college to train people to do it, buildings dedicated to it, professional guilds, awards,...
If I Were Ruler of the World, My Popularity Rating Would Be 63.3 per Cent
"Listen, kiddo, good news," began my agent in an unexpectedly excited voice. These days, he sounds barely civil when we speak: in marketing terms, a female client recovering from childbirth is about as useful as a grounded Concorde. "According to a...
Inside Out
LISA JARDINE on the horrifying beauty of the anatomised body Spectacular Bodies", currently at the Hayward Gallery in London, is not an exhibition for the squeamish, nor for those of a nervous disposition. Here is an exhibition that sets out to...
JAG, the Man Who Has Read the Results for Nearly 30 Years
On Saturday a few weeks ago, a nation held its breath. For a moment, it seemed as if one of our national treasures--the unflappable, the inimitable, James Alexander Gordon -- was going to stumble as he read out the football results. But then, phew,...
JFK: The Assassin Who Failed
Lee Harvey Oswald had a predecessor: a man who plotted to kill Kennedy three years before Dallas. Philip Kerr unearthed the story Wednesday 22 November 2000 marked the 37th anniversary of the death of John F Kennedy. This year, the anniversary has...
Letters
If only the people practised what they preach IT IS A comfort to learn ("We're all liberals now", 20 November) that our petrol-protesting, Tory-preferring fellow citizens are so progressive on asylum-seekers, freedom of information and union rights....
Let the Public Sector Go Free
In June 1979, a group of bright young Englishmen threw a party at Harvard Business School. They were celebrating the election of Margaret Thatcher. Among them was a man called Gerald Corbett who, eight years later, by which time he was finance director...
PAUL Routledge
Robin Cook's ill-tempered attack on Gordon Brown - leaked authoritatively to the Sunday Torygraph, whatever the Foreign Secretary says by way of denial is causing a bit of a stir. For the source, look no further than Cookie's long-serving political...
Sir Humphrey Needs Venture Capital
A civil servant with a bright new idea will keep quiet -- nobody will fund it and he'll get the blame if it goes wrong. Charles Leadbeater wants to change all that One Monday earlier this year, I spent a lunchtime with ten venture capitalists reviewing...
Surprise Topping
BEE WILSON on the chef who yielded to his own kitchen knives There are sometimes moments in the kitchen when you want to kill yourself. They may not happen very often, but when they do, they can be as dark as any bedsit depression. When the bread...
Tessa Jowell
They call her a bossy boots but all she wants to say is that lots of things are bad for us Is it the lot of all female politicians who rise beyond pipsqueak level to be dubbed a bit batty or very bossy? In Tessa Jowell's case it's the latter tag...
The Journal OF Lynton Charles
FIDUCIARY SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY Monday There are some jobs that nobody ought to want -- finance minister for Chad, director of education for Hackney, personal assistant to Ann Widdecombe, that kind of thing. Yet there never seems to be a lack...
The Novels of Colette
Colette has meant a lot to me both because of the books she wrote and the life she led. As a young writer in the 1970s, entering a literary world that was still dominated by masculine precepts and models, I sought for a tradition of fiction-writing...
The Price of Vietnam Being Allowed to Come out of Isolation Was the Destruction of Its Health Services
In reporting Bill Clinton's visit to Vietnam, the BBC's diplomatic correspondent declared that what the Vietnamese needed was "more economic growth". The question begged: why send a reporter all the way to Hanoi when the British ambassador would have...
The Right Prepares for Cultural War
John Lloyd, admitted to the intellectual heart of British-American conservatism, hears more about the growing Anglosphere project It is rare to see political ideas congeal into a movement. Occasionally, however, it is possible to move up close enough...
The Rise of Stealthy Wealth
The new rich hate branding and buy green, and prefer private pleasures to public swagger, finds I've been brooding about Elton John, bless his Versace suits, and what an extraordinarily old-fashioned figure he cuts. He is a national treasure who...
The Speaker Gets above Himself
Wales is only now waking up to the mess that devolution makes. Like the flood waters that flung furniture around hundreds of homes never before affected, it is seeping under doors, through floorboards and in directions that are entirely unfamiliar....
To Black Footballers, I Say: Walk off If Fans Abuse You
I once toyed with being a sports journalist. I couldn't quite penetrate the cricket mafia, but I got one two pieces on athletics in the Sunday Times. Then came the biggie: an assignment to follow two black players who had burst on to the scene at Millwall....
War Paint
Heroic depictions of military conflict are quickly exposed as propaganda. William Feaver on how some artists have strived to portray the mess of battle "A new subject has been found for art," Wyndham Lewis told the readers of the Daily Express....
Why "Safety First" Is the Right Slogan
So just what is the Big Idea? For the past few weeks, Labour insiders have been assuring us that there will be a "cracker", that the Labour high command is fizzing with ideas for the second term. But, at last, we seem to have the message: there is...
Why This Girl's Heart Is Always in the Office
For two years, I worked as the Daily Telegraph's television critic. I had to stay inside all day, glued to my armchair and the box. With no husband or child to relieve the solitude, I often found that, by the end of my working day, I had spoken to...