New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 140, No. 5075, October 17

Align with Dissent: Alex Preston Pays Tribute to His Mentor, the Poet and Critic Tom Paulin
whenever I'm a panellist on the BBC's Review Show, I get a slightly.eerie feeling as the lights come up and Kirsty Wark or Martha Kearney introduces the programme. It's as if I'm still somehow at home, a pimply teenager sprawled on the rug in front...
Beyond Mastery: Richter Distrusts the Perfection of His Own Art, Writes Tim Adams
Gerhard Richter: Panorama Tate Modern, London SEI In the mid-ig6os, a few years after he had smuggled himself and his young wife out of East Germany and into the west, Gerhard Richter wrote a note in his diary: "I like everything that has no...
Cameron Has Outsourced Worrying about Compassion. He'll Regret It
It was a cameo appearance in the drama, but significant nonetheless. When Liam Fox, the embattled Defence Secretary, was answering questions at the despatch box on 10 October, Iain Duncan Smith stood at the entrance to the chamber, feet apart, one...
Casting Her Net: Cerys Matthews Has an Unlikely Love Affair with Fishing
Hook, Line and Singer Radio 4 A nice, one-off documentary about angling was presented by the singer and DJ Cerys Matthews (12 October, 11am). Followers of her Sunday-morning show on 6 Music would immediately recognise the tone: polite, enthusiastic,...
Castles in the Sand: Helen Lewis-Hasteley on an Unsustainable Oasis in the Desert
Las Vegas, Nevada The one thing the travel books don't mention about Las Vegas is that it is dry - a kind of dryness that just isn't conceivable in misty, foggy, humid Britain. Within days of arriving, my eyes stung from the constant cycle between...
Centre Courting
Both David Cameron and Ed Miliband continue to believe that elections are won from the centre ground. Miliband insists that he does not need to move the centre to the left - the centre has moved itself But where do voters place the parties on the political...
Chancellor, It's Not Working. Here Is Your Plan B
When George Osborne unveiled his deficit-reduction programme he did so with near-unanimous support from the political and economic establishment. The governor of the Bank of England and the heads of the IMF, the OECD and the European Commission all...
Don't Be Deceived by the Myth of Mitt Romney's Moderation
With the refusal of New Jersey's governor, Chris Christie, to join the fray and the Texas governor. Rick Perry, imploding in slow motion, Mitt Romney is odds-on favourite to win the Republican presidential nomination and face off against Barack Obama...
Eurozone
The worst words are the ones that were never meant to be words at all, such as "webinar" (a seminar that takes place on the internet) and "eurozone". They share a special kind of ugliness, the kind that an item of clothing made from overly flammable...
Fox's Friendship, Newspaper Revamps and Getting Lost in Westfield
Watching the drama engulfing Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, I am reminded of my late father. He had little patience with theatre - or TV drama - and would say: "If everybody told the truth from the start, there wouldn't be any play." Fox may not...
He Ain't Nothing but a Lapdog
Often, when I'm sitting on the bus or on a bench in the local park, a young woman will approach me and reach her hand out tentatively towards my crotch while making cooing noises, or saying such things as "Ooh, aren't you cuuute!" I hasten to add,...
Here's Your Plan B, Mr Osborne: The Coalition Claims There Is No Alternative to Austerity. below, Nine Leading Economists, Including a Nobel Prize Winner and One of the Chancellor's Own Advisers, Say That's Wrong - and Offer a Different Path
Cut VAT back to 17.5 per cent Christopher Pissarides Dear Chancellor, The advanced economies of the world are not yet out of recession. As you know, this recession is different from previous ones. It was caused by financial failures. These...
Horror Show: A Writer's Film Is True to Her Chilling, Taut Prose Style
Sleeping Beauty (18) dir: Julia Leigh On the rare occasion that a novelist becomes a film director, there isn't usually much stylistic departure. Alain Robbe-Grillet didn't turn out to be big on screwball; Michael Crichton declined to embrace...
How Plan A Is Failing: George Eaton Charts the Fall and Fall of the British Economy under the Coalition
Graphics by Henrik Pettersson When George Osborne unveiled his deficit-reduction plan in June 2010, he claimed not only that it would reduce government borrowing, but that it would increase growth. An adherent of the theory of "expansionary fiscal...
Is the Prime Minister Ready for War with Stay-at-Home Mums?
The declaration this week that the government is to consult on criminalising forced marriage, like David Cameron fronting a campaign to protect children from online nasties, is a divertissement designed to reassure women that the Prime Minister really,...
Jeffrey Eugenides
Literary theory looms large in your new novel, The Marriage Plot. Would you say that being put through the theory machine is the defining experience for American writers of your generation? [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I think it probably is. Theory...
Me, Myself and I: Rachel Cooke Bemoans the Self-Absorption of Celebs Uncovering Their Ancestry
Who Do You Think You Are? BBC1 OK, so tell me this. Can you imagine Howard Hodgkin agreeing to go on Who Do You Think You Are? (Wednesdays, 9pm)? Or Bridget Riley? No, I thought not. Me neither; these are possibly great artists with work to do....
More Sex Education, Please, and Less Censorship
Those who seek to win easy votes by legislating to protect children from pornography often fail to envisage the creativity of kids looking to get their hands on any smut at all. When I was in Year 8, if you went to a certain field behind the school...
"My Father Told Me I Should Go into Word Processing"
Gillian Anderson, actor You're starring in the slapstick comedy Johnny English Reborn, which seems an unusual choice for you. Was that part of the appeal? I generally like to make choices based on who I'd like to work with - and I liked the idea...
"Necessity Is the Mother of Invention": Professor Janusz Bialek, Chair Electrical Power and Control Durham University
What would be the fastest way of decarbonising the economy by 2030? There is no silver bullet. There is huge uncertainty about the future and about new technologies, so the best way would be to use a portfolio. Renewables, nuclear power, carbon...
No 4197
Set by J Seery We asked for extracts from the diary of someone who treats the humdrum as special. This week's winners We are proud of you all And there were many new faces, which was nice. An hon mensh to Alanna Blake for her bus journey and...
Perspectives on Energy: How Can We Decarbonise Our Economy?
Kick-starting growth The "low-carbon economy" has become one of the most repeated buzzwords in the debate about climate change - the ultimate goal of any policymaker. In basic terms, it's an economy that minimises its output of damaging greenhouse...
Readers, I Need You - the Punters Have Called Time on My Pub Quiz
The Uxbridge Arms, Notting Hill Gate. The end of the pub quiz. The regulars are standing around outside, smoking. "So," asks someone, as someone does every Sunday, "who's doing the quiz next week?" There is a silence. It has been thinly attended and...
Rebuke to the Nuke
If ever a group of people knew how to undermine years of hard PR graft by displaying their self-doubt, it's those who want to bring us a new batch of nuclear power plants. The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) had planned to run a...
Spy Camp, Buchan's Villains and a Casualty of the Booker
One Man down A few years ago Susan Hill, one of my fellow Man Booker Prize judges this year, wrote a charming book called Howards End Is on the Landing, in which she wandered round the bookshelves in her house, musing on her literary loves and the...
Strictly Come Learning: Perfect Uniforms, Pre-Class Mantras and Excellent Exam Results. Samira Shackle Visits Mossbourne Academy, the School at the Centre of the Debate on the Future of State Education
I am 15 minutes late to interview Michael Wil-shaw, principal of Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney, east London, a school famed for its excellent results and strong discipline. This kind of behaviour would get a student in trouble. "People...
Terrible Beauty: Ralph Rugoff Argues That Good Art Does Not Give Answers but Asks Questions
Not unlike the last days of the Roman empire, the calendar of the contemporary art world is marked by a seemingly endless succession of festivals and fairs. Seven international biennials opened in different parts of the world in September alone. Between...
The Big Frieze
Frieze, the annual international contemporary art fair directed by Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover, founders of the magazine of the same name, takes place in London from 13-16 October. Occupying its usual temporary headquarters in Regent's Park,...
The Bread and Gruel of Life Is Leavened by Football for Pudding
I hate it when there are no Prem games.What is a sad, pathetic, Billy-no-mates creature to do except mope around, lorst. My whole Saturday and Sunday revolves round going to or watching football, squeezing in between what people call real life. As...
The Junta Fades: Something Strange and Hopeful Is Starting to Happen in Burma Says Peter Popham
Perhaps the strongest indication that change may at last be under way in Burma came on 19 August. It was not Aung San Suu Kyi's meeting with President Thein Sein, though that was surprising enough. What made jaws drop was what followed: dinner for...
The NS Crossword by Anorak: Alphabetical Jigsaw
Solve the clues which lead to solutions beginning with the letter indicated and then fit the solutions into the grid, jigsaw-wise. (Clue numbers are included in the grid merely to facilitate the presentation of the solution in next week's issue.) ...
The Week So Far
1. Africa I The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, met with Zimbabwean church leaders and President Robert Mugabe in Harare to discuss the persecution of Anglicans in the country, on 10 October. Williams presented a dossier outlining alleged...
Unbearable Brightness: Fixated by Homer since the Age of 16, Alice Oswald Has Now Written Her Own Version of the Iliad. Translating the Greek Master's Vivid Imagery Hasn't Been Easy
If you put a real leaf and a silk leaf side by side, you'll see something of the difference between Homer's poetry and anyone else's. There seem to be real leaves still alive in the Iliad, real animals, real people, real light attending everything....
Wonk Wars of Downing Street
Steve Hilton is becoming the Bore of Britain, acquiring a wearisome reputation in Downing Street, where staffers work in fear of the Thatcher-on-a-bike guru encountering a "real" person. The otherworldly Hilton doesn't mix much, so he sounds as if...