New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 125, No. 4296, August 9

A Boat, a Hole - Enfin a Choice
Efforts to put to sea off Provence founder on the rock of French immutability The French bath is, of course, tiny. I sit, knees drawn up, sipping from a tumbler of the local wine. The bottle is perched on the windowsill beside me. Just outside the open...
A New "Death Bill" for Dolphins and a Farewell to Red Decca
A bizarre alliance stretching from Vice-President Al Gore through major US green groups to narco-traffickers in Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia is now pushing the vile "dolphin death bill" which cleared a House Committee in the US Congress last week....
August
Muffled booms slice through the thundery air in the opening shots of August, Anthony Hopkins' debut as a film director. They come from blasting work at a slate quarry near a country house in north Wales. There, during a close, late-summer weekend at...
BBC Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Slatkin
The third weekend of the Proms climaxed with a terrific concert of American music by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin, having travelled through Bach and Handel, the Calcutta Drum Orchestra, and the London Adventist Chorale. The big disappointment...
Botham and Lamb Have Failed the Cricket Test: They Took a Cricketing Matter outside the Game and into a Court of Law
One hundred and fifty years ago a group of men slipped quietly out of an English harbour in a paddle-steamer. The names entered in the log were: H H Stephenson, W Caffyn, Griffith, W Mortlock, W Mudie, T Seawall, C Lawrence, C Bennett, T Hearne, G Wells,...
Fatal Charm of the Last Post
Postal workers belong to Britain's most popular public service. They are in danger of throwing it all away and causing great damage to Labour's election chances "New Labour. New Union Power." New Conservative Party leaflet, being sent to constituency...
Hail Bill! Vote-Stealer Supreme
Next week's Republican Convention could have been a triumph, but the GOP overreached itself. Now Bill Clinton is the man with the winning smile The Republican Party has a secret, desperate, masterplan to win the 1996 presidential election. The plan...
Handel: Rodelinda
In summer the big opera houses lie low, waiting for September. The Proms have taken the floor in London; in August the Edinburgh Festival gets juggling. Autumn, with its Puccini and Verdi, will come eventually but what is to be done until then? The answer:...
How, We Wondered, Could a Sane Society Allow This Patient to Weed out One Twin like a Spare Bedding Plant?
The case of the 28-year-old mother and her aborted twin contained all the elements of social tragedy. The intervention of the pro-life lobby regrettably embellished it with overtones of black farce. This week's spectacle of the unspeakable in pursuit...
It's Been Home to Prostitutes, Drug Dealers and Cut-Price Americana. but Leicester Square's Vitality Is All Down to How Appalling It Is
Leicester Square is not, and never has been a place for the faint-hearted. It is the Brighton Pier or the Blackpool Prom of London. Almost every visitor ends up going there. Almost every Londoner tries to avoid it. Like Oxford Street, it is a gathering...
Labour's Great Plutocrats Are, Alas, Dead, or Have Been Detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure. How May Our Future Hattersley's Acquire Their Polish Now?
When John Prescott startled the nation a few months ago by announcing that he had become middle class he was rightly rebuked by that indefatigable keeper of the socialist flame, Roy Hattersley. "Social groups are determined by their relationship to the...
Let Apprehensions and Anxieties Dwindle into Insignificance
Retreats -- usually in religious houses, convents or monasteries -- seem increasingly popular. The object is generally to get away from the world and the crowds on the streets, but there are many different types of retreat and finding the right one requires...
Me Blair, You Clinton
Those who say that new Labour equals new Democrat should think again Bill Clinton signed a bill last week that said single mums could only collect benefits for two years. If the cash runs out and they still haven't found jobs, it's tough. Especially...
New Visions for America's Left
Sidelined in Clinton's dash to the right, the American left has its mind on two themes, community and ecology, says Jay Walljasper. In the first of a series of interviews with figures on the left, he talks with Noam Chomsky Fuzzy shapes and faded colours...
Out of This World
Watchdog, BBC1's hard-hitting consumer programme: "...so we spoke to the company selling the cars the AA described as `criminally dangerous'. They told us that when they left their workshops they were in perfect condition but that a rare form of metal...
Palace of Low-Grade Corruptions
Now that parliamentarians are to be paid [pound]43,000 a year, Tony Wright MP says it's time to wind up the old rackets and clean up Westminster. Overleaf, Anna Coote says we must trust to Trust and boot out the spin doctors On my first day in the House...
Reaching the Right That Bill Can't
Clinton has wooed America's voters with great skill. But there remains one agenda that the Republicans can cash in on: cultural conservatism If one had to predict the eventual verdict on the Republicans gathering for their convention at San Diego next...
Revolt in Earthly Hell: The Workers of Indonesia Have Taken a Stand against Their Hated Government
The workers of Indonesia have taken a stand against their hated government Workers are the passionate core of the revolt against military rule in Indonesia. The arrest last week of Muchtar Pakpahan, leader of the only independent union, the Workers'...
Sandwiches Should Be Home-Made and Taken Seriously, Especially on Saturdays
In the course of nine years spent writing about restaurants I have eaten Marco Pierre White's red mullet escabeche, Nico Ladenis' Dover solettes with cep sauce, Pierre Koffmann's stuffed trotter and Raymond Blanc's snails with spinach. They were good....
The All Become Wonderful in Time
Like almost everyone else these days, writers have become celebrities. Photography has made their likenesses so accessible that one suspects a great many people would instantly recognise the lines of W H Auden's face without ever having read a line of...
The Big Bang Theory: Why We Love Watching Our Neighborhood Bite the Dust
When I was a child, eager, inventive and indecently destructive, I torched a house. It had lots of rooms, a nice gable end and curtains of suburban net. It was also a foot tall and built entirely of cardboard and Sellotape. Boy, does that stuff burn....
The Incredible Tenacity of Reading
Books are dead, say the avant-garde. Long live books - and the avant-garde Culture and anarchy are no longer what they were when Matthew Arnold wrote about them, and the word "culture" can now give a sense of instability that registers this change....
The Liberal Democrats Will Not Be Forming the Next Government and Hung Parliaments Are Rare. So What Is Paddy Ashdown's Party For?
What are the Liberal Democrats for? It is the question that will be perpetually asked of the third party in a two-party system, but it enrages the Liberal Democrat leader, Paddy Ashdown. I can imagine him now, sitting in the garden of his French holiday...
"The People Who Are Trying to Turn Tony into a Macho Man Are Making a Wrong Judgment and They Endanger Our victory.'(Tony Blair; Labour Party Shadow Cabinet Member Clare Short)(Interview)
For the first time since Tony Blair became leader Clare Short fears that Labour could lose the next election: "I think it is absolutely imperative for Britain and the party that we win. If we don't win it would be the end of Labour as a party of power...
The World Needs Order in the Russian Military. for without It the Most Vicious Dogs of War Will Be Let Loose upon an Already Unstable Society, with Disastrous Consequences
The armed horde that is now the Russian military is one of the future terrors of the world. We hold a very large stake in its future control. General Alexander Lebed could be a saviour in this. He did not win the presidency he strove for in June, but...
With One Bound
The tension and harshness growing in relations between the unions and the Labour Party are set to spill out during the conferences in September and October. This is not only the result of the party leadership's continuing desire to distance itself from...