New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 135, No. 4793, May 22

Angola: Homeless Pay the Price of Oil Wealth
The National Assembly building in Luanda was recently the stage for an unusual spectacle: a queue of homeless people that stretched right across the manicured lawns and past the government ministries, each participant waiting to hand in a petition--a...
Behind the Curve: A Clumsy Adaptation Mangles a Booker Winner's Subtle Touch
The Line of Beauty (BBC2) I defer to no heterosexual in my admiration of Henry James nor to any critic of any orientation in my appreciation of the veteran screenwriter Andrew Davies. The idea, however, of Davies getting his mitts on, say, The Portrait...
BNP: Parity at Last
The British National Party has always insisted that it is no different from any other political party, and now its dream has come true--though not in the way it would have wished. Two BNP members who stood in last year's general election, Christopher...
Competition: Win Vouchers to Spend at Any TESCO Store
Competition No 3929 Set by Valerie Yule, 1 May Children of celebrities are often given "unique" names. We asked for a profile/obituary/interview of just such a person in later life whose career choices have differed markedly from their parents'....
Diary; Governments in Trouble Don't Get Nastier, but Nicer. Lord Falconer Was a Fluffy Teddy Bear in the Studio the Other Day, and My Encounter with John Reid Ended With: "Cheers, Jim"
The myth persists that ministers are most troublesome in studios when they are angry or, in the case of Dr John Reid, apparently suffering from congenital dyspepsia. The opposite is true. Nice ministers are much more awkward, especially if they are...
Drink: I've Found, since Starting My Diet, That a Wineless Supper Is a Dismal Meal
For years I've laboured under the misapprehension that vodka is a beverage containing few calories. It's clear, colourless and pretty much tasteless--so how can it be fattening? It's basically just very strong water, right? In fact, vodka contains...
Europe: Time to Show Some Initiative
While the latest reshuffle was under way, a rumour went around that Downing Street would appoint a secretary of state--a full cabinet minister--for Europe. It is a pity it didn't happen, because it could have transformed British politics. First,...
Excuse Me, Is This 'The Left'? on the Day Hugo Chavez Hit London, Tony Blair Launched His "Let's Talk" Initiative. John Kampfner Listened to Both Men, and Came to a Few Conclusions
In the morning it was the boss. At lunchtime it was his nemesis. Or was it the other way round? To spend some time in the company of Tony Blair and then slope off to dine with Hugo Chavez is to see, at first hand, the breadth and depth of the chasm...
Giving Something Back: Social Enterprise Is about More Than Recycling and Restaurants-As the Winners of an NS Awards Scheme Show. Kathryn Corrick Reports
Jamie Oliver's Fifteen restaurant may be the most famous example, but social enterprise is flourishing in Britain as never before--and once again the New Statesman's Upstarts Awards have turned the spotlight on the new breed of social entrepreneurs....
In Search of the Good Life: Books about Happiness Are Pouring off the Presses, but We Still Haven't Cracked the Secret of Well-Being. Is Our Culture of Instant Gratification the Problem? Is It the Job of the State to Make Us Feel Better? Richard Reeves Ponders Some Suggestions
The Secrets of Happiness Richard Schoch Profile, 288pp, [pounds sterling]15.99 A Brief History of Happiness Nicholas White Blackwell Publishing, 208pp, [pounds sterling]9.99 The Challenge of Affluence: self-control and well-being...
Iran: Female Fans Play Political Football
When President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered an end last month to Iran's ban on women attending football matches, he said the change would bring "chastity" and "morality" to the stands. It certainly won't bring any carefree mingling, because stadiums...
It Would Help Free "The Balkans" from Their Orientalist Baggage If We Replaced the Name with "South-East Europe"
Mention "the Balkans" and certain images come to mind. Most Europeans associate the region with ethnic cleansing, religious strife and genocide. The very term "balkanisation" implicitly links the countries of former Yugoslavia with violent fragmentation....
Jailbreak: Theatre Is Cashing in on TV's Mass Appeal, but a Good Show Requires More Than Bums on Seats, Writes Imogen Carter
Girl-on-girl fights, lesbian love action and prison riots: this month foul play and even fouler mouths jump from the small screen to the stage as Bad Girls: the musical hits West Yorkshire Playhouse. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] For anyone not familiar...
"Kenyan Men of My Age Openly Talk of Beating Their Girlfriends," Says a Friend. "The Attitudes Are Identical to Their Fathers'"
Last week, I had the disconcerting experience of meeting an African version of myself at a party in Nairobi. Small and stroppy, she was happy to share her views on a woman's position with all and sundry. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] She came, she said,...
Neighbours from Hell
Scene 1: Tony's office. The PM in a conference call with the president of Iraq. Two female secretaries take notes. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Tony: For God's sake, the elections were months ago and you haven't appointed...
Price Check: The Government Is Leaving Responsibility for Funding to Big Business. Will the Arts Suffer for It, Asks Richard Brooks
This month, Tate Modern will unveil its first major rehang since the gallery opened in 2000. The Tate collection, which has to date been arranged around themed "hubs", will now be organised into roughly chronological groups: minimalism, cubism, surrealism...
Progress: Mass-Observation
"What with them scientists and Mussolini and Hitler, the world'll be a bloody mess soon, that's what I think." The prophecy was made by a young carter in 1938. Areport to Mass-Observation in 1941 described an acquaintance's attitude to scientists:...
Radio: I Felt I Had Discovered the Comic Dervishes Responsible for Down the Line. How Wrong I Was
Imagine my delight. Having weathered the body blow of being the last person in the country to discover the Radio 4 sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Sound--and not the first, as I'd previously supposed--I lit upon a genuinely new Radio 4 jewel. My...
Rewriting History: A Paranoid Dictator's Imagined Nightmares Fail to Convince
Breakfast With Mugabe Duchess Theatre, London WC2 "As to the rumours of my retirement, I am not retiring yet." This defiant assertion, which might have issued from the Downing Street bunker in recent days, raises a titter of recognition from...
Sport: A Missed Hoop, a Scuffed Shot ... It's All Too Painful, the Moment That Can Never Be Rerun
In last week's sunshine, I played basketball for the first time in ages--under the shadow, it should be said, of Trellick Tower. ("Beautiful building, isn't it?" I said to one of the boys. "Grim, more like," he answered.) Occasionally, one of the kids...
Stop the Ugly Attack on Our Human Rights
Shabbiness of several kinds underpins the controversy about the Human Rights Act. The newspapers campaigning against it are motivated by political opportunism, by a familiar blame reflex and by a xenophobia that scarcely merits the usual epithet "thinly...
The Media Column: After Many Years as an Editor, I Have Concluded That Regulation of the Press Would Be Better Than What We Have
Like most journalists, I was always instinctively opposed to statutory press regulation. I still have doubts about its feasibility, and I fear any attempt to impose "responsible" journalism would lead to a neutered press, afraid to challenge conventional...
The Politics Column: We Need a Coherent Strategy to Prevent Young British Muslims Being Drawn into Extremist Violence. but No Such Strategy Yet Exists
The security services may not have been covered in glory by the official reports on the London bombings, but we must not ignore their insistence that intelligence alone will not protect us from terrorism. Contrary to speculation, the intelligence agencies...
The Top 50 Heroes of Our Time: Inspirational-Yet Worlds Apart; There Was No Doubt about the Victor in Our Readers' Survey to Find the Heroes of Our Time. but Who Could Have Predicted Such Strong Support for Margaret Thatcher and the Queen? Jason Cowley on the Winners and Losers
When in our issue of 3 April I invited readers and contributors to nominate their heroes of our time, I thought I had a good idea as to who might feature in our final list of 50. In the event, your response was as surprising in its range and unpredictability...
The Writing on the Wall: From Ancient Arabic Script to Gaza City Graffiti, a Fascinating Exhibition Shows That the Written Word Is a Cornerstone of Middle Eastern Identity, Finds Rachel Aspden
To most westerners, Arabic script is familiar only from media images: as a threatening, cryptic tangle on the bandannas of suicide bombers, on banners carried through the streets of Gaza or Basra, or in the rolling captions on al-Jazeera news clips....
Too Cool for School: A Life-or-Death Struggle Lurks Behind Glittering Teen Cliches
Brick (15) Blond surfer dudes smoking pot, jocks flushing nerds' heads down toilets, girls with a reputation worse than Mae West's and square chicks who turn out to be a hit with all the boys once they take off their specs and let their hair down:...
Urban Life: I Now Understand My Own Journey to Britain 44 Years Ago More as a Family Trait
A Barbadian daily paper carried a full-page article on 14 May headlined "Under the Rudder family tree". I am part Rudder, as were my grandmother, my mother, several aunts and uncles--and, of course, my children and grandchildren are additions to this...
Village Life: Strangers on a Train, Jack Laid Bare, and a Chief Whip with a Grudge
Heading north to the land where people still vote Labour, Tory hard nut David "Basher" Davis was required to step aside before boarding a King's Cross train. Tumbling from the first-class carriage were three uniformed rozzers plus sniffer dog. "You're...