New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 133, No. 4708, October 4

America: Bush Campaign Events Have All the Supplied Flags and Spontaneity of a Nuremberg Rally. but the President's Battering of the Kerry Image Seems to Be Working with Americans
This is about the atmosphere at Bush-Cheney rallies and how, increasingly, rallies are defining the 2004 presidential election. My report this week features 55-year-old Sue Niederer, who went to a rally in New Jersey at which Laura Bush was the speaker....
America's Foes Prepare for a Monetary Jihad: The US Dollar Has Long Been the Currency of the Oil Industry. but Members of OPEC Are Contemplating Ditching Greenbacks. the Results Could Be Catastrophic for the American Economy, Reports Janet Bush
However darkly terrifying America's Iraqi horror story, a small voice of comfort has broken through US night sweats. You are still the most powerful and richest nation on earth: you will get through this, it murmurs. But that reassuring whisper comes...
Arms Industry: The Price of a Soldier's Boots
If you don't like the Iraq war, how do you feel about the way that the unfortunate Sergeant Steven Roberts died without the body armour that could have saved his life? Or the fact that some troops out there were obliged to buy their own desert boots?...
Black and Gay and Hunted: In Jamaica, Lesbians and Gays Are the Victims of Violent Persecution-Often Murder. Fuelling This Gay-Bashing Are Popular Reggae Lyrics. Peter Tatchell Takes on Their Singers
It is like living in Afghanistan under the Taliban," says Richard, a 28-year-old gay Jamaican. "I wake up in the morning not knowing whether today I will live or die." Richard is lucky. He is still alive. But he bears huge scars from a machete attack...
'Britain Is Now Back to Levels of Gross Income Inequality': The Rich Are Getting Richer, Faster. Yet Those Who Call into Question Their Rights to Such Great Wealth Are Accused, Even by Those on the Moderate Left, of the "Politics of Envy"
In the past decade and a half, a remarkable revolution has been taking place in Britain--a great surge in both the numbers of the mega-rich and the level of their wealth. Since 1997, the number who own more than [pounds sterling]5m has nearly doubled....
Charlie Whelan Says ... Don't Believe It: "Labour Must Keep Tony Blair"
I watched the Prime Minister's speech on television, ensconced in a Brighton pub with hunt protesters. Scattered around the bar were unread copies of the Daily Telegraph conference special, which told us what Labour needed to do in order to win the...
Citizens' Groups: Stepping into Labour's Gap
Two political events, worlds apart. The first, on 22 September at Stratford Town Hall in London's East End, for the delegates' assembly to launch the ninth year of Telco--the East London Communities Organisation. The hall is buzzing with anticipation...
Class Conscious: I Stick a Handkerchief in My Jacket Pocket and Think I Look Aspirational
There were two pupils at my junior school who were significantly poorer than the rest. One of these, a strange, wild kid with an adult-looking head on a tiny body, would sometimes call on me, but instead of knocking on our door he would just clamber...
Competition: Win Vouchers to Spend at Any TESCO Store
Competition No 3849 Set by John O'Byrne, 13 September The resignation speech as art form. Report by Ms de Meaner An hon mensh to Bill Greenwell. The four here win [pounds sterling]20 each. The best, Petrina Stevens, also gets the Tesco...
Diary: A Letter Responding to My Article on Debt Relief Asks, "What Make-Up Are You Wearing?"
What's with the Guardian's policy of asking commentators to provide their e-mail addresses to publish along with their comment pieces? In the past, at least there were a few hurdles for weirdos and stalkers to jump over before they managed to get in...
Don't Bite: A New Vampire Musical Is a Bloody Mess
Bat Boy Shaftesbury Theatre, London WC2 Edgar is, in the modern jargon, a young male with a challenging behavioural condition. While he has impeccable manners and beautiful diction, he gets no satisfaction from cooked food. He can derive nourishment...
Even before the 2003 War, We Were Attacking Iraqi Civilians with Our Inhumane Economic Sanctions. Yet Where Were the Media Protesting against This Injustice?
In October 1999, I stood in a ward of dying children in Baghdad with Denis Halliday, who the previous year had resigned as assistant secretary general of the United Nations. He said: "We are waging a war through the United Nations on the people of...
Food; Student Life: Quick Sauces for Pasta-And 50 Things a Girl Can Do with a Lentil
All the local French children went back to school for la rentree. One English neighbour's daughter, Rosa, was going off to Sussex University. Her mother asked me to write out some basic recipes for her to use in her student house. This beautiful teenager...
Homeland Security; Dirty Bombs: The Menace Persists
If victory over al-Qaeda is proving elusive, a triumph is being claimed over another set of urban terrorists. Roof-nesting seagulls may sound less scary than Islamic jihadists, but their clamorous siege of ever more of our towns and cities has so far...
I Blame Jack Straw's Faux Pas, Shaking Robert Mugabe's Hand, on His New Contact Lenses
The former adviser to the Chancellor and now Labour candidate Ed Balls-up was at it again at the party conference, demonstrating his excruciating lack of media skills. When asked about the Brown/Blair rift on Channel 4 News, he began: "Well, Gordon...
In the Wake of Hurricane Ivan, What Is Left for the Smaller Caribbean Islands?
Whither the tiny Caribbean islands? This is no longer an abstract question. Over the past ten years, and after two major natural disasters, the matter has become of more immediate importance. I remember attending a seminar organised by a trade union...
Muslim Is Not a Dirty Word: When Government and the Media Persist in Defining British Muslims by Their Religion, They Turn Them into Automatic Suspects in Any Case of Terrorism
Every now and again, Khurshid Ahmed, a leading figure at the Commission for Racial Equality, has encounters with strangers which border on the surreal. Men and women who appear to be well-informed and well-intentioned stop him in the street or in shop...
Notebook: "Then I Moved on to Impressionism," He Said. "Well, We All Go through That Phase, Don't We?"
Visiting the Wallace Collection, just behind Oxford Street, is always a thrill. It has the allure of a private house, with exuberant displays hung on silk-lined walls and arranged on mahogany furniture as if they were still the personal collection...
Not Welcome in the Holy Land: Indian Jews Believed Israel Was Home, but When They Got There, They Were Seen as Pariahs
I first became aware of India's Jews in 1996, when I was sent by my newspaper in Mumbai to cover a reception held by the city's Jewish population for the visiting Israeli president Ezer Weizman. I had never noticed Mumbai's Jews before and, looking...
Pay Women Fairly to Put an End to Poverty
Let's not get prim about the bickering rivalry between our Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer. It may appear to distract from more important matters, but there was never any chance of Labour's leaders dealing with those any way. And there...
Political Plots: A Very Tactical Merger
He has a limited knowledge of the labour movement, and only titular membership of the Transport and General Workers' Union, but Tony Blair has a yested interest in seeing off a revival of confidence and co-operation among union leaders. In particular,...
Politics; New Labour Is No Longer the Party of Shiny, Happy People, and It Is No Longer Fashionable. This May Be No Bad Thing: The Party Will Learn Patience and Gain Intellectual Strength
The hubris of the Prime Minister has long been misunderstood. It is the product not of excessive power but of underconfidence, a feeling that he and his party are mere squatters in Downing Street. This underconfidence finally came out into the open...
Roots and Allegiances: Your Name Could Put You in Jail
Some people know it by heart. Word for word, they can recite what Roy Keane shouted at Mick McCarthy during their well-publicised pre-World Cup bust-up, finishing with "... you were a crap player and you are a crap manager. The only reason I have any...
Still Still Life: The Electric Colour and Intricate Outlines of Michael Craig-Martin's Art Dazzle Richard Cork with Drama and Questions
Drenching the exterior of the Milton Keynes Gallery with flamboyant magenta paint, Michael Craig-Martin announces his distinctive presence before we even explore inside. The building's box-like structure is now more a monumental Craig-Martin sculpture...
Strange Lives: As Two Men Are Raised from the Dead, One Will Turn in His Grave
The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (15) De-Lovely (PG) Layer Cake (15) The ghosts of showbiz legends Cole Porter and Peter Sellers return to haunt our screens in a pair of lavish biopics, one surprisingly successful, the other drearily downbeat....
The Business: The Property Party Is Finally over. This Means That, in Pure Economic Terms, the Government Should Hold a Snap General Election This Side of Christmas
Why isn't Tony Blair calling a general election this autumn? If it is the economy that sways voters, then the Prime Minister would be foolish to wait for spring. The housing market, more than anything, determines consumer confidence and the feel-good...
The Celebrity Champion: Gramophone Magazine Has Chosen Six Famous Faces to Endorse the Nominees for the Title of Classical Record of the Year. Why? David Benedict Has a Few Suggestions
What's wrong with this sentence from the Athens and Sydney Olympics rowing gold medallist James Cracknell: "I would never claim to be more than a casual listener to classical music--I've been to a few Classic FM concerts at the Albert Hall and enjoyed...
The Fan: You Won't Believe the Number of Players I Hate for Their Silly Hair
I have a punchable face; I also look like one of those people who drive slowly down the middle of the motorway--according to a letter I got last week. Strange, isn't it, what people hold against you? For about ten years I wrote a column in Punch where...
The Tory Leader Says Blair Lied about Iraq and Argues That Labour's Core Beliefs Make It Powerless to Deliver on Choice
I am not sure if there is such a person as a floating New Statesman voter. I am even less sure that he or she might fall into the warm embrace of Michael Howard. Still, I ask the Conservative leader what he has to offer to them. He begins his pitch...
Trouble at the Top; the Issues of the Week Are Hit on the Head: Trust and Brown
Do You Still Believe in Tony? (BBC2) Friends and Neighbours (BBC2) On the day after the general election in 1997, Bel Littlejohn in her late, lamented Guardian column gave herself barely a paragraph to rejoice at Labour's victory before declaring...
Well Blow Me Down! Shiver Me Timbers and Pieces of Eight: Learning How to Speak like Bluebeard and Co Is the Latest Craze Taking Hold of Even the Uber-Hip, Discovers Dan Hancox
Astronauts have had their time in the sun, and that time was the 1960s. Firefighters (the New York Fire Department aside) now seem prosaic after too many Sunday-evening dramas. And apparently you can train to be a pilot in only 35 hours--so where's...
Why I'm Proud to Be a TOG: Today's Alienated Thirtysomethings Are Spurning iPods and Switching on to Terry Wogan. Viv Groskop Explains Why
If you had told me 26 years ago that one day I would come to love Terry Wogan, I would have cheerfully hit you. It was 1978, "Floral Dance" was climbing the charts, and Terry was merrily jangling around in ribbons and bells, premature comb-over bristling...
Why We Need a Who Owns What: Today, in the Age of Electronic Communication, We Know Less Than the Victorians about Property Ownership in Britain
Even in this, the best-mapped country in the world, we do not know who owns half our land, what lawful use most of it can be put to, or whether those claiming rights over it (by virtue of occupation) do have rights. In a computer-driven knowledge economy,...
Wine: Americans Are Guided in Drink, as in Most Things, by a Stubborn Patriotism
If you have been alarmed by parliament's recent assaults on our civil liberties, then you should consider a trip to the land of the free. There you can fulfil Karl Marx's prophecy, announced in The German Ideology, by hunting (yes, hunting!) in the...
World View: Iraqi Women Who Work or Go to University Become the Target of Islamists-But Those Who Stay in Traditional Roles Can Be Arrested by Americans Seeking to Pressurise Their Men
It was a breath-taking moment. Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, the Italian aid workers taken hostage in Iraq, lifted the black veils covering their faces and smiled. After three weeks in captivity, they were free. Liberation came not when they got...