New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 135, No. 4776, January 23

A Groovy Pair
Tete-a-Tete: the lives and loves of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre Hazel Rowley Chatto & Windus, 448pp, [pounds sterling]20 Simone de Beauvoir has inspired countless others by her writings and by the unconventional life she necessarily...
All the Rage: Robert Hewison Looks Back in Admiration on the Cultural Revolution of 1956
The coterie of Young British Artists that emerged in the mid-1990s was not the first arts movement in this country to be created--and sustained--by deft public relations and the convenient outrage of the right-wing press. In 1956, a press officer at...
A Wrong Turning in Space: Twenty Years on from Challenger, the Whole Space Shuttle Project Remains a Disaster, Writes Robin McKie
Americans are about to mark the 20th anniversary of a tragedy that has proved to be one of their country's most costly technological blunders. On 28 January 1986, the space shuttle Challenger soared into the blue Florida sky and exploded 73 seconds...
Behind the Glamour of Australian Sport, Black Footballers, Including Whole Teams, Are Often Dead before 40
Shortly after Christmas, the Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer died in his mansion overlooking Sydney Harbour, guarded by large, salivating dogs. In Britain, he was remembered as the man who brought hoopla and money to cricket. Here, in Australia,...
Commentary: Frances Wilson, a Judge for This Year's Whitbread, Argues That the Really Scandalous Thing about Literary Prizes Is That They Insist on Rewarding Writers for Virtue
Literature, according to F R Leavis, should make you a better person. These days we find this querulous categorising of books into those which are good for you, and those which are not, more quaint than instructive. Still, when it comes to judging...
Crime: What Traffic Wardens Can Teach Us
Imagine a law and order policy that cuts the number of crimes, ensures most offenders comply with the penalties handed down and creates a climate in which people choose not to behave illegally, because of the high chance they will be caught. Add...
'David Cameron's Style Makes Attempts to Play Up His Background Look Mean-Spirited. but His Passage through His First Month as Leader Speaks Volumes about the Confident Chutzpah That Tends to Cost Parents around [Pounds Sterling]25,000 a Year'
Like Blair in the 1990s, the Tory leader is being all things to all men, writes John Harris. For all its woolly elusiveness, the Cameron project is showing weaknesses, though it won't be easy to exploit them ********** Fifteen long years ago,...
Diary: Since the Run-Up to the Invasion of Iraq I've Had Intelligence on the Brain. and since Then I've Been Trying to Think of a Way to Write about It in a Novel. but How?
The first chess book I owned--Irving Chernev's The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played--was given to me in 1978 by the late Larry Grant, a gentle, hulking, stooped, bearded giant. I was in Brixton Prison, remanded on conspiracy charges, and...
Drink: CAGE Is Old Hat-We Need a Brand New Questionnaire on Binge Drinking
Not surprisingly, the Charles Kennedy crisis has prompted an endless stream of articles on "How to tell if you are drinking too much". There is nothing quite as unsatisfactory as the inevitable attached questionnaire. Even the famous CAGE test--C:...
Education 1: Teachers in Fear
It was on a muggy monsoon morning in the Morang district of eastern Nepal when Somnath Niraula, 52, received the phone call that teachers across the country have come to dread. "Send the children home, round up all your teachers, and come to the woods...
Education 2: When the Tools Aren't Up to the Job
A Consultation Toolkit has come my way. It is produced for Labour activists by the party, and concerns the schools white paper, published by Ruth Kelly in October, on which the upcoming Education Bill will be based. I must say I was agog to know what...
Events: The Ns Guide to What's Going on in Politics, Current Affairs and Culture
DESIGNING MODERN BRITAIN Over view of design in Britain from the 1930s to plans for the 2012 Olympic Games. Runs to 26 November 2006. Design Museum, 28 Butler's Wharf, Shad Thames, London SE12YD. Nearest Tube: London Bridge/Tower Hill/Tower...
Evo Morales: How Long Will Bolivia's Cocalero President Last? on the Answer Hangs the Future of US Strategies Worldwide
Evo Morales has always lived on a knife-edge. On Sunday this former wandering trumpeter, herder of llamas and leader of Bolivia's coca growers becomes the country's president. He takes over after a smashing win in the free elections held on 18 December...
Fantasy Island: A Parable of Modern Britain Lapses into Self-Indulgence
Friends and Crocodiles (BBC2) These days, the BBC usually sends reviewers DVDs, but it posted me Stephen Poliakoff's latest epic (15 January, 9pm) on videotape. At first I thought its fuzziness, its garish colours and the fact that my telly encased...
Father Figures: Cinema's Lovable Dad Becomes a Creepy Sugar Daddy
Shopgirl (15) Considering that he was last seen in that art-house classic, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, Steve Martin's appearance in Shopgirl is something of a curiosity. In the film, based on his own 2001 novella, Martin shies away from both of his...
Food: Stock-Making Is a Dying Art, and May Soon Cease to Exist Altogether
I have long believed that the mark of a truly committed chef, as opposed to a mere dilettante in the kitchen, is a preparedness to make stock regularly. Stock-making is not particularly difficult, but it does take time and a degree of attentiveness....
High Riser: Jay Merrick on the Young Talent Making Waves with His "Baroque Modernist" Creations
David Adjaye is the British media's favourite new architect. He is flamboyant, young and black in a profession dominated by austere, middle-aged, white men; he is close friends with the Saatchi generation of Young British Artists; he has presented...
Larger Than Life: Even in Death, Captain Bob Brags, Bullies and Beguiles
Lies Have Been Told Trafalgar Studios, London SW1 Does the name Jan Ludvik Hoch mean anything? How about Ivan du Maurier? Or Leslie Jones? Hoch, the son of a cattle dealer, was born in Slatinske Doly, Czechoslovakia, in 1923. Du Maurier enlisted...
Notebook: Parents of Swedish Hoodies Face a Terrible Punishment-From the State Fire Department
I'm not sure what Tony Blair and his Respect campaign would make of this idea, but certainly it is somewhat more baroquely creative than banning hoodies from shopping malls. In rural parts of Sweden various municipalities, or kommuns, still keep an...
People like Me Are Actually Urging the World Bank to Get Even Tougher on Chad. We're Not Sadists, So How Come?
For any one who believes, as the insufferable Gina character in Richard Curtis's television film The Girl in the Cafe would have had us do, that combating poverty in Africa boils down to tackling western stinginess, a current case highlights just how...
Radio: Sometimes an Ad for a Saga Holiday, or Even a Docile Peal of Pan Pipes, Is Definitely Welcome
Back to my hunt for breakfast listening. My boyfriend has a thing about Penny Gore, the velvet-voiced presenter of Morning on 3--"Oh, Penny," he'll often say, out loud, to no one in particular--so, over the past few weeks, I've been trying to concentrate...
Rail: Unions Stuck in History's Sidings
The RMT--the union of rail, maritime and transport workers--may use e-mail to send out its press releases, but that seems to be the only sign that it is living in the 21st century. The notices that plop all too frequently into my inbox reek of the...
Rendition: The Cover-Up; A Secret Memo Reveals the Truth: The Government Knows Rendition Is Illegal but It Has No Idea What It Has Been Letting the CIA Get Away with on Our Soil
At Foreign Office Questions recently the minister responsible for Middle East affairs snapped. MPs from all sides were pressing for answers about "extraordinary rendition" and were unsatisfied with the stock reply from Kim Howells: "We have no knowledge...
Rory's Week: My Blair Teeth Are Starting to Hurt. the Dentures I Use When Impersonating the Prime Minister Are Now So Uncomfortable That They Are Making It Difficult to Speak Clearly
To say the Lib Dem leadership race is hotting up would be an insult to the laws of thermodynamics. Even "warming up" might be putting too fine a point on it. With the candidature of Chris Huhne we reached the stage where a Lib Dem was standing for...
Second Thoughts on the Bomb
The Labour Party's pronouncement on Nuclear Arms has been denounced as "hypocrisy" and brushed aside as a "non-starter". In a matter of such difficulty and urgency, it is more appropriate to consider whether the proposals contain anything useful. They...
Sport: Darts Is Competitive Sport Pared Down to Its Essentials, but without Much to Cheer For
I've started to watch darts: the world title at the Lakeside in Frimley Green. It's the first sign, I think, that I've been living too long in this country. (The second is using the plural verb for football teams, as in "England are going to win the...
The Download
I've been needing something to clean my musical palate of late, given that Hard-Fi's abominable single "Cash Machine" seems to be playing everywhere, all the time. If you haven't yet had the displeasure, the track is musically not so much workmanlike...
The Media Column: The Press Can Just about Tolerate Successful and Clever Women, and Quite Likes Earth Mothers, but It Feels That Trying to Be Both Is against Nature
The red tops do love a pervert. This is because pervs, to use the red-top headline contraction, can be clearly distinguished from the respectable folk who read newspapers and produce them. They are what sociologists call "the other". I take a healthy...
Urban Life: Trinidad's Hilton Hotel Is Full of Hustlers, Speaking in Myriad Tongues, Cutting Deals
The country of my birth, Trinidad and Tobago, is being transformed. Everything is becoming a carbon copy of the US. America, you see, is only a couple of hours away. A sea of humanity darts through the ports and the airport, bringing this and carrying...
Village Life: High Rollers Return to the Tories, the Sun King Cools off, and Why Mrs Ming Should Be Afraid
To a room smelling of mothballs just off Piccadilly to hear Citizen Dave's wonker-in-chief, Michael "Specs" Gove, disclose that the Cameronians hark back to the good old days when rich men bought elections. Mr Specs, a Wapping hack turned Tory MP,...
We Didn't Invent Fish and Chips: Gourmets Say "Traditional" Dishes Are Being Bastardised, but They Are Missing the Point
Although ostensibly a means of securing sustenance and pleasuring the palate, food often has the capacity to bring out the nationalist in people. Regard the manner in which the French boast of their excellence in the kitchen, haughtily deriding the...
We Need Policies Not Scapegoats
The pervs are everywhere--under the bed, in the gym, in the classroom, in a chatroom near you. The message to parents in the lurid newspaper headlines is that it is no longer safe to send your children to school. As ever, the government is to blame...
What Did the Squatters Do for Us? Their Primal-Screaming, Trotskyist, Free-Love Solution to a 1970s Housing Problem Has a Message for the Modern Era of Soaring Property Prices
BBC4 has had the good idea of running a series on the lost world of the 1970s left. It has produced films on radical feminists, who did change the world although not in the way they intended, and on disastrous attempts to create a socialist newspaper,...
When Muslims Take Part in Holocaust Memorial Day Events, They Are Following the Example of the Prophet
I am clearly one of those foolish Muslims who have "succumbed to Zionist pressure". I think the salutary lessons of the Holocaust should be remembered. I think that Holocaust Memorial Day, designated by the UK, with the support of the United Nations,...
Why British Men Are Rapists: In the World of Stag-Night Excess, Lad Mags and Lap Dancing, Paying for Sex Is Losing Its Stigma and More and More Men Do It. These "Clients" Are Responsible for a Grotesque Crime, Yet They Get Away Scot-Free
In the past couple of years the horrors of sex trafficking have been graphically exposed. It is now known that criminal gangs, usually from eastern Europe, offer innocuous-sounding jobs in restaurants and bars to young women who discover too late that...
Why George Is Gorgeous: For 300 Years, Cartoonists Have Immortalised Politicians' Every Quirk, Stupidity and Physical Defect. in Return They Have Been Persecuted and Even Assassinated. but beneath the Hatred Lies a Tawdry, Twisted Love Affair, Writes Martin Rowson
On 25 January, George Galloway MP is due to open "Misunderestimating the President", an exhibition of cartoons of George W Bush, at the Political Cartoon Gallery in central London. As I write this, the duly elected member for Fallujah is still languishing...
Wildlife: The Owl That Dines on Pussy Cat
An obscure corner of the Yorkshire moors will soon be acquiring distinguished new residents. The first pair of eagle owls ever proved to have bred in the wild in Britain are about to add to their eight-year tally of 23 healthy offspring. But the rapture...