New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 127, No. 4374, February 27

All That Is Solid Melts into Air
After 150 years The Communist Manifesto is still a great read, says Neal Ascherson, even if it failed as a manual for revolution It's just 150 years since The Communist Manifesto was published, in February 1848. Over that century and a half, different...
A Man Trapped for Life on the Wrong Side
Sebastian Barry's award-winning play The Steward of Christendom took the plight of an ageing Catholic who'd been a policeman in 1920s Ireland. In republican eyes he has "fought" on the British side. After independence he has no place in the new Ireland;...
A Radical Health Manifesto: The NHS Needs More Than Reorganisation to Change the Health of the Nation
Governments have always taken great delight in redesigning the management arrangements of the NHS. At regular intervals over the past quarter of a century (1973, 1982, 1990 and now in 1998) there have been upheavals of seismic proportions. Each set of...
As a Man Whose Only Belief Was in Science, Dad Would Have Wanted God Kept out of His Funeral
What with all those recent articles about columnists who use their space to bring us extended news of some personal tragedy, I'd decided it would be better not to bang on this week about the weekend call telling me that my poor old dad had finally breathed...
Bill Clinton Is Said to Be "Mad about Her", but the Head of UNICEF Is Strapped for Cash in Her Global Fight against Child Poverty
Carol Bellamy made a mint out of Bill Clinton's sex scandal. Not, naturally, to line the pockets of her Jaeger-style suit, but on behalf of the United Nations Children's Fund, the agency she heads and a martyr to the strong dollar. "We get most of our...
Dome Is Where the Heart Is
The Millennium Dome received the powerful endorsement of the Prime Minister this week, and that is good. Its construction remains on time, the preliminary design plans look inventive and the audience projections encouraging. To cancel at this stage would...
Downtown LA Has Traded Seedy Liquor Stores for Day-Fresh Farm Produce
Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the Santa Monica Farmers' Market. When it opened in the late seventies it was one of about 100 such markets across the US. Today there are 300 farmers' markets in California alone and about three times that nationwide....
Epiphany in a People's Dome
Tuesday "Ah, Lampard!" the Master greets me, "Good to see you. Looking forward to it?" The "it" to which this dapper man with his widow's peak and obliging smile is referring, is this morning's revelatory press conference at which the part of the Dome's...
For Now, Saddam Is a Hero in the Arab World
People in the Middle East feel angry and impotent at the west's confrontation with Iraq. George Joffe analyses an ambiguous mood The news that an 11th-hour agreement between the United Nations and Iraq had been signed in Baghdad was greeted with euphoria...
France 1, Spain 2. Italy 3, England 0. until Now, That Is
About two years ago I got a call from a bloke who asked if I'd like to write some football stuff for a brand new sports daily that was about to come out. I said yes, and hung up. Those calls have been coming since I was in short trousers kicking a ball...
Has Anyone Seen My Councillor? No One Here Has - and Sadly, No One Cares, except a Young Black Brixtonian from the Independent Democrats
I am unable to find my local councillor. He is not dead, nor has he migrated. I have been told he is "not functioning". He stood for election to Lambeth council as a Labour Party candidate four years ago. I voted for him, so did Mrs Howe. There was...
Iron Grip, Moral Purpose
Labour's final and biggest election pledge was to break with tax and spend. That defensive posture may be evolving into a subtler approach There are parties you want to remember, and parties you want to forget. For Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, a strong...
Labour Falls for the Big Gift
Tony Blair will have to clean up party funding if he is to avoid the scandals which beset the Tories. Very rich men are now the key element in the finances - and thus arguably the policies - of both major British political parties. The historic division...
Love for Labour Lost: How Does This Theatre Director Feel after Ten Months of Arts Policy? like the Turkey Who Voted for Christmas
I have been heard to say that the Welsh have a great capacity for shooting themselves in the foot and the brain at the same time. Being Welsh, I can say that. The Cardiff Bay Opera House fiasco is a perfect example. Another opera house fiasco? How many...
Naked
Pirandello's Naked (1922) is a close relative - an interesting but inferior first cousin - to Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921). It could almost be renamed Six Characters Trying to Lose an Author. Pirandello plays with the idea that we are...
No Short Cuts with Saddam
Military confrontation has been averted. But, Marrack Goulding argues, the UN must beef up its approach or risk losing credibility Kofi Annan's expedition to Baghdad on "sacred duty" was a brave and risky venture. In the event he seems to have found...
The Exorcist
Last Saturday, while working on a Radio 4 programme to mark 25 years of The Exorcist, I heard a clergyman on the news discussing plans to update the church's ritual for exorcism. To a clearly amused newsreader, the cleric confessed that yes, he was indeed...
The Green Belt at the End of Cherry Tree Lane Is Not Very Beautiful, nor Very Green, but Those Who Live Nearby Are Sworn to Defend It
At the end of Cherry Tree Lane a hefty Winnebago camper van is parked next to the municipal daffodils. On the right side of the lane is a row of former council houses, now all bought by their tenants. Every door is different. Children are coming home...
The National Lottery Draw
"The Great Man's Back," trumpeted The National Lottery Draw (BBC1, Saturday), and because I'd switched on to see Madonna, for a moment I was flummoxed. Could this be her final and greatest reinvention: Material Man? The great man was Terry Wogan, someone...
The Prophet of Neal's Yard
Nicholas Saunders didn't just sell good health food. He pioneered a way of doing business that was principled, innovative and very successful On St Valentine's night, a gentle act of love. Dozens of people; bald, middle-aged men and comfortable-looking...
The Reluctance of Pop Stars to Read Long Books Means We Have Been Deprived of the Lord of the Rings Starring the Beatles
I've got a trivia question for you. What were Pink Floyd planning to work on after they finished Dark Side of the Moon? The answer, I learnt from an exhaustive history in Mojo magazine, was the music for a "ballet and movie version" of Proust's A la...
The Swimsuit Issue
If semioticians take holidays, then they should go with Sandals. The name isn't good - better suited to a Christian ramblers' club or a sociologists' support network than a declasse Club Med selling Caribbean vacations. But the advertisements shriek...
The Very Model of Restraint on All Issues Bar One: Union Recognition. on This There Is No Compromise
Bill Morris is a quietly spoken and cautious trade unionist. For someone who is often portrayed as part of the "old" Labour tradition it is rare for him to speak a word in public against the party leadership. Indeed Morris's views illustrate that the...
Who to Trust on the Milk Issue? Derry Irvine or Eddie George?
What really foxes a master of the economy? It's the milk bill, stupid. Asked in a recent interview if he knew the price of a pint, Eddie George - governor of the Bank of England - replied that he certainly did, because he occasionally settles the account....
William Hague Has Promised to Answer the West Lothian Question. That Should Mean an English Parliament. Watch This Space
William Hague is becoming rather good at distancing himself from the last Conservative administration. He has not gone as far as dismissing the Thatcher/Major years as "old Conservative". Why should he, when some elements of Thatcherism are still in...
Will India Oust Its Tired Dynasty?
Sonia Gandhi has dramatically revived the fortunes of the Congress party. But right now the country needs the shock of the new, not more of the same The result of the world's biggest general election, which could change the course of Indian politics...