New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 127, No. 4398, August 14

A Gentile and an Outcast
Intolerant attitudes to intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews are hardening both in Israel and Britain, as John-Paul Flintoff discovered At the Western Wall in Jerusalem last month I was watching orthodox Jews at prayer. A friendly man with a prayer...
America's Love of the Moral High Ground Is Its Achilles' Heel; Now Bill's Antics Should Teach Them a Lesson
Poor Bill Clinton should have been born in Arezzo, not Arkansas. In Italy, we would have impeached a 50-year-old president who didn't respond to a 22-year-old girl's infatuation. Alas, instead of living in a country where he would be appreciated as much...
A Prince Laid Low
Saturday Il Campanile, Nr San Gimignano, Tuscany Three days, and the super-pager hasn't bleeped once to disturb my well-deserved break with urgent messages from Dr Jack or Starbuck. So we have swum in the pool, taken the struggling twins on abortive...
A Profound Kinship
William Dalrymple examines the similarities between Islam and Christianity Seidnaya is a Greek Orthodox convent in Syria, three hours' walk from Damascus. The monastery sits on a great crag of rock overlooking the orchards and olive groves of the Damascene...
A Tale of Two Cities
Canaletto's 18th-century Venice looks scrupulously, tantalisingly real. It wasn't, though, and Chris Peachment doesn't mind in the slightest For someone who made his living painting views of Venice, Canaletto is surprisingly bad at water. You can see...
Creating a New Climate of Opinion
It may be the silly season, but this week produced two important records - one gloomy, one cheering. First, the bad. July was the hottest month around the world since reliable records began more than 118 years ago. And June was the hottest June, May...
Easy to Enter, Impossible to Leave, Livingston Is a Maze of Mirrors in Silicon Glen
Livingston is like one of those mazes of mirrors, which are easy to get in to and impossible to get out of. It is a New Town designed around the absolute segregation of cars and pedestrians. So it is a roundabout heaven. The signs on the M8 motorway...
Feminist Icon in a Catsuit
Maria Alvarez pays homage to those trail-blazing feminists, the Emma Peels of television and real life Uma Thurman, about to grace our screens as the new Emma Peel in the updated, 60-something-million-dollar cinema version of The Avengers, has a lot...
Hetty Wainthropp Investigates
If City Central is intended as a Z-Cars for the nineties, Maisie Raine is our Dixon of Dock Green. Dixon, which ran from 1955 to 1976 (by which time its star was 82), demonstrated on autumnal Saturdays how the Metropolitan Police embodied and enforced...
"If You Are Going to Export from Inverness to Sicily You Need Rules: But Not Very Many." (Interview with UK Foreign Minister Robin Cook)
Robin Cook really is thinking the unthinkable. In a frank interview with the New Statesman earlier this week, the Foreign Secretary said that he would be calling for fewer Brussels-imposed regulations. European directives have for years provided a Eurosceptic...
Interview: David Ervine
"Mo Mowlam is letting the juggernaut run loose at the moment . . . Adams has to say the war is over" Shankill Road in the rain. In the cramped front office of the Progressive Unionist Party, David Ervine takes a call from someone eager to enlist the...
Is Mother Nature out to Get Us?
Fetal mink, razor fish, flambeed tourists: the silly season's getting to Michael Bywater Grrr! Rowf! Krunch! BOOM! The Earth bites back! Mink run wild in Hampshire, released by fanatics as blinkered as Taliban. Houses burn in Turkey; heat-struck tourists...
Let's Neuter Bill - er, I Mean Buddy
I'm fighting an uphill battle in my household this summer. The rest of the world (at least the media) may now be holding its breath for the interrogation of Bill Clinton about Monica Lewinsky next week - by the beginning of this week, 23 grand jurors...
Maisie Raine
If City Central is intended as a Z-Cars for the nineties, Maisie Raine is our Dixon of Dock Green. Dixon, which ran from 1955 to 1976 (by which time its star was 82), demonstrated on autumnal Saturdays how the Metropolitan Police embodied and enforced...
More Time with the Kids, Please
Parental leave is the test of Labour's claim to be "family-friendly", argues The government is committed to seeing in the next millennium with a parental leave system in place. Millions of working mothers and fathers will get new rights to spend time...
Old Master
The great jazzmen have often rejoiced in seigneurial nicknames: Duke, Count, Earl, King. The English aristocracy had just about been exhausted for these purposes, so one Farrell Sanders, a saxophonist from Little Rock, Arkansas, decided to call himself...
Passing Fancies
Where is the outcry? Ten million people or more every year are to be denied the pleasure of the sight of Stonehenge. From midway through the next decade they will have to stop and pay if they wish to see Britain's most venerable monument. Their crime?...
Prague's Late-Flowering Spring
Thirty years ago Adam Roberts was in Czechoslovakia covering the Soviet invasion. Today he wonders whether democratic socialism has a future there The invasion of Czechoslovakia on the night of 20-21 August 1968 was a defining moment in international...
Sinister Secrets of the Ad Men
The hidden persuaders of the marketing world shape every aspect of our lives, as Mark Leonard discovered Last month I became a member of the 24-hour society. My local branch of Sainsbury's opened all night. Out of curiosity, I wandered in to watch a...
Stephen Lawrence's Parents Are Wrong about One Thing: Blacks Do Need to Join the Police Force - It's the Only Way to Stem Its Racism
I thought we had settled the issue about blacks joining the police service in the UK. Several have joined. They range from lowly constables to chief superintendents. They serve in the Special Branch, the Diplomatic Squad, the Anti-Terrorist Section....
Still Life in the Old Nation State
The nation state is the institution of the second millennium. Barely understood at the outset, it stuttered into life in western Europe halfway through. By the last quarter it had become the natural order of things. In our own, accelerated century, it...
The Rural Idyll in Sweden Is Much like Anywhere Else: Paranoid Farmers, the Vandalism of Nature and a Hatred of City Folk
There has been an ecological triumph in the province of Sweden where I've spent the past three weeks. The wolf and the lynx have both returned to the forests. The naturalists have been rejoicing. There's been a TV documentary. Meanwhile the local farmers...
The Sorrows of Young Alain
Alain de Botton thumbs through his personal library as he reflects on love, loss and literature Literature and unrequited love have deep affinities; it is when we are experiencing the latter (eating chocolate in bed, feeling lonely at 3 am), that we...
To Have and to Hold
I don't understand those publications which employ several film critics, each allotted one movie a week to review. Unless the same writer sees everything, criteria cannot be established nor comparative assessments made. Take Jake Kasdan's Zero Effect....
Uncle Sam Raises the Barricades
The embassy bombings will strengthen America's impulse to isolate itself from a dangerous world, argues Lindsey Hilsum The razor wire has been rolled around what remains of the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam. Hard-faced, heavily armed marines...
Victory! Now We Can Dream of the Ashes and Hope That Shane Warne Stays Crocked
Ah, the rosy glow of victory - or is it just sunburn? England fans can probably be forgiven for basking in the reflected glory of their team, although we are usually quick enough to disown them when they lose. But what suffering we had to endure before...
What Are You Afraid of and Why?
Barry Wood looks into the scaremongering industry that seems to benefit doctors, lawyers and journalists Remember the breast implant panic? Thousands of women across the world were scared into believing their implants could cause cancer or other long-term...
What Would Marx Be Doing If He Lived in the Consumerist Nineties? Hitting Big Business Where It Hurts - at the Checkout
Shopping and subversion meet at last. The new consumer affairs minister is Kim Howells, a former communist. In 1968 he was occupying Hornsey School of Art. In 1998 he will be occupying himself with rogue traders. Not such a long journey, if you choose...
When the Filofax Gets Too Fat, It's Time to Weed out One's Non-Communicative Old Friends
Life goes on. Although Routledge has politely declined my Cultural Guide to the Fifties - "Our readers felt there was a limited market for a book which so relentlessly analysed Wilfred Pickles and Frank Ifield" - the rest of my career is picking up....
When the Fires of Passion Have Cooled, Try Reigniting Them with Onions and Custard
"I like to make cookies, to feel the softness of the flour on my fingertips, the pleasure in the rough texture of the sugar and the slipperiness of the butter and egg . . ." It's Isabel Allende speaking, she of the magic-realist bestsellers. Her latest...
Where Sassenachs Fear to Tread
In an Edinburgh awash with anti-English sentiment, John Lloyd meets the MPs who blame the Scots' resurgent nationalism on new Labour Timothy Clifford, the English director of the Scottish National Gallery, was walking down an Edinburgh street one day...
Why Does It Take a Python Slithering Round a Woman's Body to Raise a Discussion on Empowerment for the Modern Woman?
It takes some finesse to wring a social statement out of a picture of Anthea Turner, lightly oiled, naked and entwined with a python. Undaunted, the Daily Telegraph had a go. The portrait, it opined, said "much about the nature and demands of modern...
Without Permission from the Memorial Fund, Franklin Mint Has Been Making Dolls in the Likeness of Diana
To Docklow, a small village in Hertfordshire, for a short holiday. No hanging about in the airport, no knee-crushing, long-haul flight, no struggling through passport control. A drive on the motorway, at our own speed and in our own time, stopping along...
Zero Effect
I don't understand those publications which employ several film critics, each allotted one movie a week to review. Unless the same writer sees everything, criteria cannot be established nor comparative assessments made. Take Jake Kasdan's Zero Effect....