New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 126, No. 4336, May 30

A Green Space beyond Self-Interest
In the search for social forms that value conservation and equitable sharing of scarce resources, the ancient commons hold intriguing clues There's a consolatory Russian proverb - there usually is - which asserts that "life is not a walk across an open...
Americans Appreciate Caribbean Marijuana, but It Is Not Merely Drug Control That Has Spurred Bill Clinton into a Summit with the Islands' Leaders
Earlier this month President Clinton held a summit meeting with Caribbean leaders in Barbados. A cynic might say it was a visit to his farthest flung constituents, for in the past 20 years these islands have become closely integrated with the US socially,...
Big Night
The foodie film is a comparatively recent phenomenon, springing up in the last decade alongside a newly serious public interest in all matters to do with eating. Before the 1980s it was quite rare to find a movie that placed food at its centre; and when...
Boiling Under
As the war in Algeria grows more bloody in the run-up to elections, what should Europe be doing? This spring the war between the army regime and the Islamist insurgents in Algeria has grown bloody beyond belief, raising questions of urgent complexity...
Casualty! the Carer of Last Resort
We may talk about care in the community, but we deceive ourselves The patient sleeping on the trolley in the hospital corridor has become our symbol of an overstretched health service, exploited to good advantage by Labour in its television election...
Coq and Bull
France's elections show what happens when none of the main political parties faces up to hard realities. The answer may be a dose of le Blairisme It is difficult not to share the satisfaction of the French Socialist Party in the humiliating rebuff inflicted...
Covent Garden Is in Crisis. So What's New? What 'S New Is a Heritage Department Headed by Ministers with Authority and an Agenda
Labour has begun its suzerainty of the official arts world with an irony. Entering the stage proclaiming accessibility and openness, it encountered its first crisis in the country's most elite artistic institution - the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden....
Doing It Ourselves
... or how Gordon Brown can boost our GDP by tapping into talent Let me tell you about Oil Creek, Pennsylvania. George Bissell, some-time teacher, lawyer, salesman, journalist, came across Oil Creek and noticed how some citizens made a modest living...
Flaming Optimist
Jean Baudrillard a depressive? High priest of postmodernist meaninglessness? Try again The French are in the dumps. Ask them about politics and they say it's about "managing greyness" ("gerer la grisaille"). Ask what French novels you should be reading...
Frank Keating
Hold that summer, Hoddle's team still have to grab their honeymoon So May's out, merrily cast those clouts. Midsummer June is flaming. Lazy blue-bright reclining days, all butterfly-bobbing and made for chewing succulent grass stems and swigging cider...
Gordon Brown Wants a New Governor of the Bank of England, Some One with a Rare Blend of Qualities. Could the Solution Be Staring Him in the Face?
The idea that two politicians as hungry for office as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown would, once they achieved it, blithely hand over some of the strongest levers of economic power to a bunch of civil servants in Threadneedle Street always looked a bit...
In the Age of Celebrity Journalism, Newspapers No Longer Want Pictures of Disaster and Starvation; but Some People Will Buy Them for the Living Room
Photojournalism often brings bad news. In the last two decades this has made it something of a pariah in a newspaper market increasingly dependent on celebrity-based entertainment journalism to boost sales figures. Until the late 1970s the magazines...
It's Been a Tricky Week for the French President. Funny That So Many Week End Up Tricky for Him
No European politician has gone through more reversals of fortune than Jacques Chirac. But even by his standards the past week has been exceptional. Last Sunday this president of the French Republic, with five years of his term to run and a huge parliamentary...
Join the Single Currency at the First Opportunity Says the Man Who Was Chancellor and President of the European Commission
While the country is at his feet, while Europe is delighted with him, while the next election is years away, while the mood of the country is malleable and open to him - yes, Prime Minister! Join the single currency first wave! Thus the voice of experience...
Love's Lebanon Lost
Those who knew Beirut's great cultural bazaar before the war mourn for their mythic society We who lived in Lebanon before the war harbour romantic memories of a place that did not exist. Our shares in that collective illusion have aged like bottles...
Machine Politics Is the Future
The prize will be high for the party that uses electronic databases creatively Although success at the next general election will rely on both media management and membership motivation ("Engineering Success", NS 23 May), there is another, perhaps more...
Poetry, Mark Doty Says, Is the True Guarantor of Individuality
It was two years ago that I first read a book by a remarkable young American poet called Mark Doty. He was completely unknown in this country. His poems had a compassionate, lyrical urgency, a descriptive and metaphorical power that was more exciting...
The Beggar's Opera
Covent Garden is in crisis. So what's new? What's new is a Heritage Department headed by ministers with authority and an agenda Labour has begun its suzerainty of the official arts world with an irony. Entering the stage proclaiming accessibility and...
The Budget Debate: Green Thoughts for Brown
David Boyle offers a ten-point plan Doctors don't advise people to hit the ground running. You can do yourself a nasty injury like that. Even so, Gordon Brown's impact on the ground has excited some of the people you would least expect. "He has hit...
The Chair
So what's next? Where do we go from here? How about Sub Sigillo, coming to you each week from a different confessional. This week, Halifax. Next week: Ballyslubgullion. Miniature low-light cameras in the grille as visiting absolutionist Father O'Flattery...
The Devil Makes Work for Idle Hands. Someone Should Find All Those New Labour MPs Something to Do - and Soon
The policeman at the House of Commons members' entrance, welcoming me back to Westminster after the general election, was rueful. "It's a relief to see a face I recognise," he said. Kindheartedly I offered him an identification guide: "If you see someone...
The Old Minelands Have Been Transformed into Coal-Free Zones with Oddly Perfect Green Hills and Young Men Pushing Baby Buggies
They're changing the landscape in South Yorkshire; and in County Durham; and in Notts. The old mine-lands are sinking back into countryside. As you go around you see everywhere the oddly perfect, rather flattened hills. They have no stone walls or fencing...
Tough on Zero Tolerance
The buzzword that politicians are so keen on has been misunderstood In trying to decipher what balance new .Labour in government will strike between "tough on crime" and "tough on the causes of crime", one thing is already clear: the idea of "zero tolerance"...
Treasure Hunt
Adults need help to spot the gems among the proliferation of children's literature For the second time in three years the Carnegie Medal, the prime award for children's literature, is attracting controversy. The shortlist, announced this month, features...
Visitation
When I heard he had entered the harbor, and circled the wharf for days, I expected the worst: shallow water, confusion, some accident to bring the young humpback to grief. Don't they depend on a compass lodged in the salt-flooded folds of the brain,...
Who'll Take on Liverpool Now?
The city has overcome its "whingeing scouse" reputation and is immersed in regeneration projects. But a political vacuum at its heart could yet defeat it Tony Blair did not need to campaign in his wife's home town of Liverpool. A Labour stronghold,...
Why Do We Get Get So Worked Up about the Unborn, When Living Children Can Be Legally Sent to Live in Homes of Convicted Child Abusers
Since it is easier to insert a camel through the eye of a needle than to convene five Law Lords over the Whit-sun holiday, Lynne Kelly's abortion was put on hold. Fourteen weeks pregnant and faced with more delay, she announced that she might not have...