New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 134, No. 4768, November 28

Apartheid: They Don't Shop in the Same Shops, Swim in the Same Pools or Even Wait at the Same Bus Stops. Peace Has Brought More Segregation for Northern Ireland's People, and the Government Is Colluding in the Change. John O'Farrell Writes from Belfast
One day recently in south Belfast a Catholic priest told a room full of Protestants that they were "like the Nazis". At about the same time in north Belfast a group of loyalists picketing a service at a cemetery threatened Catholic mourners that they...
Birth of the Cool: Jazz Needs to Rid Itself of Its Obsession with Its Greatest Icon, Writes Richard Cook
Fourteen years after his death, Miles Davis lingers around jazz--a word he came to despise--like an unrepentant ghost. His legacy on record is rich, eventful and compelling, an overview of the music of his times, from bebop through to the fusion of...
Bluffer's Guide to the Year in Books: Our Tips for Holding Your Own at Any Dinner Party
Best novel Until January 2005 James Meek, the Guardian's former man in the former Soviet Union, was best known for his reporting from Moscow, Guantanamo and Baghdad. But The People's Act of Love, an exquisitely written fable of religious extremism...
Censorship: Turkey's Disgrace
Imagine Ian McEwan or Julian Barnes being put on trial for saying that writers should discuss the one million Indians who died in 1944 and the many thousands of Irish who died in the 19th century because of British policy. That is what Turkey is doing...
Competition: Win Vouchers to Spend at Any TESCO Store
Competition No 3907 Set by Brendan J O'Byrne, 7 November You were asked for ten things you do or say now that bring home to you the awesome distance you have travelled in the past 20-odd years. Report by Ms de Meaner As is usual when we...
Diary: Walking the Dog on Hampstead Heath, I Realise I Have Become the Sort of Person in Boots and a Woolly I Used to Think Was Slightly Mad
Maybe life would have been easier if I had never become a school governor. Once upon a time I had a fairly peaceful existence writing articles about things such as HRT for the Daily Express. Now I find myself every week speaking somewhere on a subject...
Diplomacy: Our New Man at the Vatican
All the headlines about the memoirs of the former ambassador Christopher Meyer have obscured an event that could have more lasting significance for Britain's diplomatic service: the appointment of Francis Campbell as our new man in the Vatican. ...
Drink: Middle-Class Brits Are Fast Developing a Californian Terror of Booze
It is a bit ironic that the introduction of 24-hour drinking in this country coincides with the emergence, in certain quarters, of a West Coast attitude to alcohol. I'm not talking about a penchant for sweet black and tans (very popular in Argyllshire),...
Food: Is Any Vegetable More Underrated Than the Surprisingly Versatile Swiss Chard?
Vegetables can be divided into two categories: the overused and the underrated. Members of the first category include potatoes, carrots, spinach and broccoli (and on present form the squash family will soon also belong to this group). Members of the...
Gambling: Our Leaders Are Reckless Nannies
Cadbury is currently running a "Happiness Xpress" promotion. Those whose chocolate-bar wrappers bear the right code can win, among other prizes, the chance to visit Santa in Lapland. But this child-friendly reward is, according to the very small print,...
Has Labour Lost Its Heart?
In their lives, and particularly in their deaths, two members of Tony Blair's cabinet have achieved iconic status. The tribute to Mo Mowlam on 20 November, with a cast list as eclectic as Patrick Kielty, Lulu, Robbie Williams, Bertie Ahern and Hillary...
If Suicide Killing Was a Viable Weapon of Just War, Then the Prophet Muhammad Would Have Used It
What are we to make of a semi-literate teaching assistant exhorting young British Muslims to commit suicide? Mohammad Sidique Khan, who blew himself up at Edgware Road in London on 7 July, has sent a message from the grave. In a video recorded just...
If You Want to Know the Truth about Iraq, Join the Millions Who Have Given Up on the Silences of the Mainstream Media
The Indian writer Vandana Shiva has called for an "insurrection of subjugated knowledge". The insurrection is well under way. In trying to make sense of a dangerous world, millions of people are turning away from the conventional sources of news and...
Israel: Will Labour Stand a Chance?
Only 64,000 Israelis voted in the Labour leadership contest, and the winner, Amir Peretz, was backed by just over 27,000 of them. A relatively small number of people--akin to the crowd at Charlton Athletic on a rainy Saturday--managed to cause a dramatic...
Light Relief: Onion Domes, Berets and the Constructivist Haircut
Everything Is Illuminated (12A) Separate Lies (15) A pen and paper. Those are the first things you see in Liev Schreiber's adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel Everything Is Illuminated. Oh, you think, as the pen forms the words "Chapter...
Master Minds: What Makes a Genius? Certainly Not Going on a Creativity Course and Learning to "Think outside the Box". According to an Exhibition Devoted to Nobel Laureates, Genius Is the Product of Grinding Practice, Heroic Self-Absorption and the Ability to Recover from Mistakes
It is the one. Win the Nobel Prize--for peace, physics, chemistry, economic sciences, physiology or medicine, or literature--and nobody is going to say "it was rigged", or "it doesn't count", or "so, you sold out". The worst they might say (particularly...
Notebook: Remembering Your Worst Ever Christmas Can Unexpectedly Rekindle the Festive Spirit
The TV clip show is the yin to the yang of the TV reality show, its equally ubiquitous cousin. If the reality show purports to show life unedited and unscripted, the clip show is utterly scripted and tailored. It bears as much likeness to reality as...
Our Critics Choose Their Books of the Year
Decca Aitkenhead My favourite book of 2005 was Ariel Levy's Female Chauvinist Pigs (Simon & Schuster)--the first analysis of post-feminism's unhappy legacy to nail the tragic absurdity of young women going about trying to emulate Loaded. Edmund...
Playing Doctor: An Updated French Satire Is Flush with Toilet Humour
The Hypochondriac Almeida, London N1 Can you believe that Moliere wrote a play called The Hypochondriac in which he took the title role, and that on the fourth night he started coughing on stage (which people discounted as part of the performance)...
Protest: Be Afraid, Debenhams, Very Afraid
It is a bitterly cold night in the depths of Suffolk. Anyone with any sense is inside, in front of the fire with their feet up. I, however, am standing in a deserted car park watching a man dressed as a monk calling down the wrath of God on a department...
Radio: Edward Stourton's Pursuit of the Real Jesus Made for Spellbinding Listening
Why anyone would want to buy a Sarah Montague eggcup, I cannot imagine. It is bad enough hearing her voice first thing in the morning without seeing her face, too. (The Today programme is flogging eggcups featuring the faces of three of its presenters--Montague,...
Rory's Week; Perhaps the PM Should Adopt Ariel Sharon's Latest Wheeze: Ditch His Recalcitrant Party and Create Another One. David Cameron Could Make a Good Partner
With less than two weeks to go, it seems that only about half the membership of the Tory party has cast its vote for a new leader. One can only assume they don't understand the question. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] They'd better hurry up. With the...
Spineless Things: The Shakespeare of the Natural World Celebrates Invertebrates
Life in the Undergrowth (BBC1) OFI Sunday (ITV1) Bernardo Bertolucci once bemoaned to me in an interview the paradox of television. Potentially the most exciting medium ever invented, it was mostly used to sell soap powder and politicians. He...
Sudan: A Colony Again; Policed by a Large Foreign Army and Administered by International Bureaucrats, It Has Lost Control of Its Own Destiny. but Can the New-Style Colonists Bring Peace?
Sudanese soldiers with guns have been a familiar sight on the streets of Khartoum for many years--a constant reminder that this was a country at war with itself. Much less familiar, but suddenly a routine presence in the same dusty streets, are the...
The Business Column: The Problem with the Office of Fair Trading Hasn't Been a Shortage of Manpower (It Employs 700 People) or a Lack of Powers. Few Cases Are Resolved; Investigations Take Years
Illegal anti-competitive behaviour is not restricted to geezers in smoke-filled rooms plotting to fleece their customers over the price of cement. It is sometimes perpetrated by the nicest people. Revelations of how the bursars of Britain's top public...
The Edge: Surely Sian Williams's Stint in Pakistan Qualifies Her for a Job on Breakfast. or Does She Have to Win Strictly Come Dancing First?
For the many who loved her and gave me quizzical looks when I turned up for Mo Mowlam's memorial service, let me just say: part of Mo's magic was that she did not belong to the left alone. Yes, she was of it and part of it, one of its principal architects,...
The Fan: Alas, Roy Keane Was a Thug, and Thugs in Football Are an Endangered Species
So Roy Keane has gone from Old Trafford, no longer Man United's captain and motivating force, inspiration and leader, greatest ever midfield player, a living legend, totally irreplaceable, oh do get on with it. Yes, an era has passed, Brian, they don't...
'The Front Line in the Struggle for Women's Rights Appears to Lie in the Poorest, Most Patriarchal, Least Democratic Nations. in the West, It Has Been Won': ... or So We Are Led to Believe. the Truth Is More Complex. Developed Countries Hardly Offer a Good Example in Their Treatment of Women-And in Fact They Help Make Things Worse
Drunken western tourists to Japan have no excuse for wandering unawares into the Sexy High School nightclub on the main street of Sapporo's Susukino entertainment district. A large manga cartoon hung prominently beneath the gaudy neon sign indicates,...
The Futility of Secrecy
He's done it several times before on a smaller scale, so it seems eminently conceivable that George W Bush should want to finish the job properly. In November 2001, a US missile destroyed al-Jazeera's Kabul offices; in April 2003, coalition forces...
The Media Column: Almost Everyone Seems to Dislike the Guardian's G2 Section. the Covers, Once Devoted to a Single Story with an Image That Demanded Attention, Are Now Unremarkable
By the time you read this, the new licensing laws will have come into force. You will have been kept awake all night by drunken carousing; your daughter will have been raped on her way home from church choir practice; the pavement outside your home...
The Politics Column: For Those Who Read the Tory Manifesto Earlier This Year, There Is More Than a Hint of Deja Vu about the Education White Paper. Themes Overlap. So Do the Words
The Prime Minister describes the education white paper as a "pivotal moment" for his government. In the tearooms backbenchers compare and contrast the phone calls they receive from whips and ministers. One colleague had an hour with the secretary of...
Urban Life: Thousands of Somali Youths Are Roaming Our Streets in Desperation
I was sitting in the BBC's Radio London studio on Marylebone High Street for a phone-in programme, when a caller complained about my portrayal of the Somali community in Plumstead, south London, in a documentary on Channel 4 last year. He and his friends...
Village Life: Paxman Licks His Wounds, Hoey Is Pursued, but the Workers, United, Will Never Be Defeated
The workers united will never be defeated, part one: strife in the members' dining room over the culinary rights of Labour's new intake. The 050505 club, cunningly named after this year's 5 May election, is in dispute with House authorities over how...
We Should Be Wary of Giving Too Much Significance to What Liberia's New President Has, or Doesn't Have, between Her Legs
If you're a western woman, travelling around Africa is a constant reminder to be grateful. "Thank you," you murmur, as you read that 80 per cent of Tanzania's agricultural work is done by women. "Oh, thank you," as you spot an article about the rapes...