New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 132, No. 4652, August 25

Ah, Kingsbridge, Where No Unsold Sandwich Ever Sees a Bin
Much of the website of the Idler magazine (www.theidler.co.uk) is currently given over to the Crap Towns project, which will appear in book form in October. In this, people are invited to submit nominations for the crappest town in England, together...
Baghdad Burns While London Spins
The real action is in Baghdad, not at the Hutton inquiry in London. It is there that the case made for the war in Iraq crumbles by the day. The US and British invasion, far from removing a source of danger to the world in general and the Middle East...
Blueprint for a Screwed-Up World: An International Summit in Cancun Next Month Could Transfer Even More Power from Democratic Governments to Big Corporations
Picture this. A world government is created with big business in charge. When any national or local government hits corporate profits by passing a law to protect the environment or public health, this world government can impose huge financial penalties...
Charles De Gaulle Once Asked How One Could Govern a Country That Had So Many Cheeses. the Same Might Be Said of Bread and Beer in Germany. Where Is the Brussels Bulldozer?
As soon as parliament finished its work, I took my children off through the Channel Tunnel, across the Alps to Italy and back, to stay with friends in different parts of France. As always, the mainland Europe I encounter seems to be on the dark side...
Competition: Win Vouchers to Spend at Any TESCO Store
Competition No 3793 Set by George Cowley on 4 August Limericks for Tony Blair. Report by Ms de Meaner Fantastico. A bumper crop, even though it's the summer holidays and you're all sunbathing on Greek islands (wherever). Hon menshes to all....
Don't Trust Me, Google Me!
I met a man at a party recently who asked for my number. The next time we spoke, he knew much more about me than I remembered telling him. I had been "googled". That is to say, he had gone away and looked me up on an internet search engine. He thus...
Events: The NS Guide to What's Going on in Politics, Current Affairs and Culture
AN INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOANALYSIS TODAY British Psychoanalytical Society. A course held on Wednesday evenings at the Institute of Psychoanalysis during the autumn and spring terms. Each week, there is a lecture followed by discussion in small groups....
Great Mistresses: Annette Morreau on Three Women Taking Up the Baton in Another Male-Dominated World
Can this be a record? Three works by living female composers (all English premieres), performed within ten days at the BBC Proms, the composers being Judith Weir, Sally Beamish and the American Libby Larsen. Weir's delightful The Welcome Arrival...
In the Middle of a Heatwave, Even the Reds Need to Chill out a Bit
What to drink when it is so hot that the air in and out of the house is at body temperature, and nowhere but the inside of the fridge has even the slightest cooling effect on your skin? The day begins with chilled coffee. Foodies say this ought...
Meet-Up at the White House? All of a Sudden, the Anti-War Howard Dean Looks a Serious Candidate for US President
Flashmobs are the fad of the summer. Groups of young people, prompted by the internet, gather at a particular time and place to perform some mundane and meaningless action. For months, the Democratic presidential campaign of the former Vermont governor...
More Junk Food, Ever-Larger Portions and More Hours Spent in Front of the Television Have Made the United States the Fattest Nation in the World. Is It Too Late to Reverse the Trend?
Should fat people be denied medical treatment because they have allowed themselves to become fat? The idea was first floated by the British Labour Party, and discussed in last week's NS by Richard Reeves, who wrote that the growth rate of obesity in...
Outside the Box: Stephanie Merritt Cheers the Female Comedians Daring to Stand Up and Be Counted
There are three staple newspaper features that appear with comforting certainty at the start of every Edinburgh Festival: "Why the Fringe has got too commercial", "Why the Perrier matters/doesn't matter", and "Why aren't there more women in comedy?"....
Powerless in Georgia
"Total blackout in Georgia" was the news agency headline earlier this month. But this wasn't Jimmy Carter's Georgia in the Deep South. It was Eduard Shevardnadze's home state south of the Caucasus. Power cuts in the Republic of Georgia don't usually...
Reality Check: Mark Kermode on a Sci-Fi Adaptation of a Story Philip K Dick Never Got Round to Writing
The cult sci-fi novelist Philip K Dick died in 1982, ,the same year that Ridley Scott s Blade Runner achieved the seemingly impossible task of bringing the author's peculiar brand of paranoid existentialism to the screen. A tale of an android-hunter...
Step Forward the Unlikely Political Hero of the Summer: John Prescott. His Weaknesses Have Become Strengths, Because He Is So Palpably Not One of the No 10 In-Crowd
In this hot, remorseless August, amid the astonishing spectacle of Lord Hutton's inquiry burrowing into the entrails of the very recent political past like paparazzi going through so much celebrity garbage, only one politician has so far emerged with...
The Great Game; throughout Its 35-Year History, the Booker Prize Has Never Failed to Generate Controversy, Gossip and Scandal-And That Is Precisely Its Purpose. Jason Cowley on What Remains the Publishing Event of the Year
There was a particularly stupid editorial in the Daily Telegraph of 16 August. Commenting on the announcement of the 2003 Booker Prize long list, the paper complained that "Too often in the past, Booker judges chose wilfully obscure books to show quite...
The Launch of a New Jihad
The somnambulant address in the afternoon heat of the press conference broke off. The roar of a very big explosion assaulted the small audience of journalists and cameramen and the lights went out. A few people screamed. Someone started shouting: "Stay...
The People's Car: John Reynolds on the Forgotten Italian Designer Who Gave Us the 2CV
Most artists must content themselves with seeing their work reproduced in very limited numbers and exhibited only in galleries. But Flaminio Bertoni, the Italian sculptor, architect and automobile stylist whose centenary is currently celebrated by...
The Salad Dressing Zealots Are as Deluded as Those Who Buy Ready-Made
Few culinary matters are more vexed than the question of how to make the perfect salad dressing. For such an apparently simple operation, there is remarkably little agreement about how to proceed. Anxiety and debate attend every stage of the process,...
To the Manor Born: Charlotte Raven on an All-Action Reality Show That Exploits Everyone Equally
When I was a little girl, I went to a wrestling match with one of my crazed Cornish aunts. The thing that scared me, much more than the antics of the men in the ring, was the women, whose faces were contorted in what seemed like genuine hatred for...
What Bush Can Learn from the Romans: A Republic Founded on High Ideals of Liberty Becomes a Great World Power and Then Drifts into Empire. Sounds Familiar? It All Happened 2,000 Years Ago
Over the past few years, the image of George Bush as a Roman emperor, dressed in toga and laurel wreath, has been a hard one for his opponents to resist. But even after the bombing of the UN building in Baghdad, things have not gone as badly for him...
What's Hot in the City: Every August, Edinburgh Prepares for an Onslaught of Artists and Performers, All Hoping to Become Star Acts. and despite the Crowds, the Noise and the Litter, the Locals Secretly Love It, Too
It's easy to be cynical about Edinburgh in August, especially if you happen to live in the city all year round. The traffic clogs; desperate students thrust flyers into uninterested hands; litter-bins are routinely kicked over into the street of a...
When Amin Expelled Asians, We Treated Them as We Now Treat Asylum-Seekers
The death of Idi Amin, the former president of Uganda, provoked commentators into a barefaced rewriting of history. In the mid-1970s, Amin expelled all Asians from Uganda and, in an extended news item, a BBC reporter prodded an Asian businesswoman...
When the Boy Models Took Their T-Shirts off, the Women Rushed to Get a Better View
Some invites can't be refused. And given that ogling men is perfectly acceptable so long as you can say postmodernist feminist without drooling, I went to give the Men's Health cover models the once-over at the Trafalgar Hilton. The boys on parade,...
Why the BBC Is Losing; If the Hutton Inquiry Vindicates the Today Programme, Tony Blair Is History. but the Calm of the Blairite Circle Suggests Total Confidence That the Judge Will Come Down on Their Side
Alastair Campbell is so much the creation of hostile journalists that it's tempting to put his name in inverted commas and wonder if he is a fictional character. He is everywhere discussed and reviled, but the public is no more likely to have heard...
With His New York Chic, and English Gags, Cole Porter Is Perfect for Modern Audiences
High summer, and where better to soak up culture than in an open-air auditorium? The outdoor theatre at Regent's Park had such a rush at the box office for its annual musical, that for the first time, it has extended the run until mid-September. That...
WMDs: The Biggest Lie of All; Chemical and Biological Weapons Are a Red Herring. They Are Banned Because They Provide Low-Cost Defence to Poor Nations. Cluster Bombs Are Just as Lethal
It is easy to forget what the advocates and adversaries of going to war with Iraq had in common. Neither side would tolerate Saddam Hussein possessing chemical and biological weapons; only the question of how to disarm him divided Britain. The possibility...