New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 137, No. 4928-4930, December 22

30 Reasons to Celebrate in 2009
Good news has been in short supply in 2008, but over the next 11 pages we offer reasons for excitement and optimism in the new year, from the inauguration of Barack Obama and the closure of Guantanamo Bay to the arrival of the Australian cricket team...
A Glass before the Beast
I have the clearest possible conception of my favourite dinner. The gustatory image of it is fixed in whatever part of the cerebellum is reserved for such things. I struggle towards it from whatever condition of penury I find myself in. I fantasise...
An Excess of Yo-Ho-Hoing
* The great guessing game over the date of the election has overlooked a regular gathering in No 10 on Wednesday afternoons. Chaired by Gordon Brown's mini-me, Ed Balls, the eclectic collective includes Miss Moneypenny Sue Nye, the spinner Damian McBride,...
An Inevitable Crisis: Viewed from a Distance, the Events of 2008 Will Be Seen as a Particularly Dramatic Example of the Age-Old Cycle of Famine and Feast. James Buchan Reflects on a Financial Crisis of Unprecedented Size and Complexity
Rarely in modern times has there been such a revolution in commercial sentiment as occurred in 2008, or such a display in government and business of panic and helplessness. Amid the collapse of stock markets, long-lived banks, principles, policies,...
A Thinker for Our Times: Global Leaders Are Once Again Reminding Themselves of the Insights of the Cambridge Academic Who Helped Relaunch the World Economy after the Second World War. He Deserves to Ride Again, Writes His Biographer Robert Skidelsky
JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES John Maynard Keynes has been restored to life. Rusty Keynesian tools--larger budget deficits, tax cuts, accelerated spending programmes and other "economic stimuli"--have been brought back into use the world over to cut off the...
A Woman of Conviction: In 2008 Estelle Proved That She Is Not Only One of Britain's Brightest Musical Talents, but Also an Eloquent Voice for Black Britain. She Talks to Daniel Trilling about Pop, Politics and the Pomposity of Jeremy Paxman
This was the year the London-born rapper and singer Estelle finally found the stardom she had worked towards for so long. One place you won't have seen her, however, is on Newsnight, being grilled by Jeremy Paxman. That fell to her contemporary Dizzee...
A Year of Browsers-And Censors
If the internet were a country, futurology would be its national sport. At about this time of year, predictions abound online of where the net will go in the next 12 months. In a space that has been defined by rapid innovation, making pronouncements...
A Year of Ups and Downs: What a Difference a Year Made-And for No One More So Than Gordon Brown, Who Earns Five of My Coveted Parliamentary Awards
The New Statesman doesn't do political awards. I've always thought it a shame to leave the field clear for Channel 4 and the Spectator, but I also recognise that parliamentarians are the last people on earth who need another boost to their egos. It...
Books of the Year 2008
Fiction As English has increasingly become the world's default language, more and more non-traditional and non-anglophone areas of experience have begun to find expression in the English novel. This year brought a bumper crop. Junot Diaz's The Brief...
Brave New Worlds: Abba Singalongs Aside, Plenty of Films Broke Exciting, Fresh Ground This Year
Darkness in cinema comes in different guises--one person's knockabout frat-house comedy is another's definitive proof of the end of sentient civilisation. For anyone who regards 2008 as lacking somewhat in cheer, that tone will have been set early...
Christmas Prize Crossword
Across 8 Greeting rings out for wartime saviour of Malta (4) 9 Simpleton confused addition and subtraction (5) 10 Guitar player shows stranger to an empty seat (8) 12 Sylvan surroundings and the sound of the river prompt a nap (6) 13...
Christmas Puzzles: From Coiledspring
KATAMINO QUOTES Coiledspring's bestselling games KATAMINO and WINOMINO use pentominoes, like the ones in this puzzle. Here you have a bit of help--a quotation from the celebrated wit Sydney Smith which some might see as an apt comment on our heroic...
Despatches: From Greenland to the Australian Desert, It's Been a Year of Dramatic Change. New Statesman Writes Report, at Christmas, from around the World
POLAND A planet-saving climate fest BY Isabel Hilton It looked like a glum Christmas season in Poznan, Poland's second city. Some 8,000 members of the global climate tribe were in town, but, in a restaurant near the old town square, two waitresses...
Feeling the Pinch: The Real Scandals in Radio Broadcasting This Year Were Cuts, Cuts and More Cuts
The Ross-Brand scandal may have dominated the news in 2008, but the most important radio story of the year was actually the collapse of Channel 4 Radio, the long-trumpeted competitor to Radio 4. For a while, whenever I met up with friends who worked...
Getting a Grip on a Bag of Chips: The Christmas Awards Every Footballer Dreams of Winning Are Unimpressed with Ronaldo, Writes Hunter Davies
So far, what do you think? While you make up your mind, here are the official awards. Team of the half-season: Hull City, of course. No one expected them to do so well, get so far, with so little. Pat on the back--hope the ref spots that--to Ian...
Golden Thread, National Myth: Those Behind the New Labour Revolution Are Beginning to Realise That to Discard Our Heritage Is Also to Betray the Origins of Many of Our Liberties. the Question Is How to Interpret the Meanings of Those Liberties for Modern Political Life
The makers of The Devil's Whore, Channel 4's recently screened extravaganza set against the backdrop of the English Civil War, must have been especially excited by the arrest of Damian Green. Certainly, it is hard to know what more the Metropolitan...
In the Heat of the Moment: Some Notable Failures Didn't Spoil a Successful, If Sweaty, Year on the Stage
The decisions have been tough. The debate has sometimes been heated. It has been an exceptional year. We wish everyone could have had prizes. But enough of the award ceremony cliches--you know and love them as much as I do. Here they are: the eagerly...
Luck Is Playing the Guitar
It is a burden carried by the patrician politician that he is assumed to be a good listener. Recent examples include Douglas Hurd who, as foreign secretary, gained a considerable reputation for being able to look intently fascinated by European or...
Naipaul, Orwell and Stamford Bridge
Last weekend I was in the south of France for a friend's 40th birthday party, held at his villa in the hills above the old town of Mougins. It was cold but sunny, with intense blue skies and the most wonderful clear and penetrating light--so thrilling...
Practically Perfect
Hello. Last year I peaked early and by the time Christmas came round, I was over it. Not that you can, of course, be over Christ's birthday, but the commercial part of it-well, I was numb to fairy lights and mince pies come 25 December. This year,...
Rise of the New Anglo-World Order: It's an Old Controversy That Was Reignited This Autumn by the Remarks of a Nobel Prize Judge: Is American Literature Too Insular, Preoccupied Only with the Home Country? If So, What Else Should We Be Reading in the Age of Globalisation?
In October, shortly before the Swedish Academy awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature to the French novelist Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio, its permanent secretary, Horace Engdahl, gave an interview to Associated Press. "There is powerful literature...
Service to the Public: Those Who Damned the BBC Clearly Didn't Watch Enough of Its Programmes
I'd be willing to bet good money--as much as [pounds sterling]139.50, in fact--that when one day social scientists look back to television in 2008, they will be overly preoccupied with the scandal known as Sachsgate. This is a pity. It was towards...
Shazia's Week Columnist of the Year: Liza Minnelli Jiving like a Panther and Obama Condoms-Some Bits of History Can't Be Missed
Nobody does recession like the Americans. Every street corner in New York has neon lights shouting, "Recession Special". I have never seen so many kebabs on sale. Only the Americans could celebrate a recession with flashing lights and turn it into...
Tactical Briefing
From: The Unit To: GB Subject: A cruel Yule * So, pretty good week. Two massive areas of concern for us. One: "I Saved the World"-gate. Two: the possibility of a total economic collapse. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Obviously at the Unit we...
That Creative Tension
I love everything about Christmas Day. I love opening the presents, I love reading any new books that have been unwrapped, I love trying to do the Christmas quizzes and crosswords, I love the drinking, I love the afternoon walk, I love the evening...
The Changing Landscape Has Left Gordon Brown with Everything to Play for in 2009
This has been a year of profound cultural and political shift in Britain, the most significant since 1979, when Margaret Thatcher launched her counterrevolution against the quasi-socialist consensus politics of the long postwar period. For decades...
Their Right to Liberty: The NS Campaign against Holding Children in Immigration Detention Centres Has Gathered Powerful Support, but Reform Is Still Needed
Last year's Christmas issue of the New Statesman contained my report from the Yarl's Wood detention centre in Bedford, where I went to visit two families. Aderonke Falode was being detained with her three sons, Adeboye, nine, Adedire, 12, and Adebowale,...
The Island That Dared: The Cuban Revolution, Which Took Place 50 Years Ago on New Year's Day, Inspired Some of the Most Memorable Images of the Late 20th Century
For such a small country, Cuba is big on iconic images. Some of the most famous photographs from the second half of the 20th century record the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, which took place 50 years ago on 1 January. The momentous events, which...
"We Love to Have People Making Our Flesh Creep. the Scapegoating, the Anger ... Keeping Crisis at the Forefront": Over the Course of a Turbulent Year the Archbishop of Canterbury Had a Series of Meetings with James Macintyre during Which He Spoke about Sharia Law, Capitalism, the Disestablishment of the Church, and His Love of the West Wing
On a bleak afternoon in November, a delegation of senior religious leaders from Britain filed out of an exhibit room at Auschwitz in Poland. One man stopped, and stayed staring intently through the glass. Before him was a mass of human hair from those...
"We've Had to Let Six Staff Go This Christmas ... People with Families and Mortgages": Families All over Britain Are Bracing Themselves for Hard Times. for Some, They Have Already Started. Fran Abrams Reports from Leek in Staffordshire
On first impressions, Rayne Precision Engineering is a neat little company. Tucked into the hills of the southern fringe of the Peak District, it consists of four solid modern sheds, built of a fake stone material that blends in with the local housing....
Wreckage
After years of floundering in my marriage, I met someone and found myself newly and deeply in love. On the same cold November afternoon of 2002 that I decided to tell my husband, the TV news carried a report about the Prestige oil tanker disaster....
You Must Remember This ... Who Did What Behind David Cameron's Back? Why Was Prince Charles a "Miserable Swine"? and How Many Billion Did the Government Chuck at the Banks ...? Sharpen Those Pencils, Folks-It's Quiz Time
POLITICS 1 Life-size cardboard cut-outs of Foreign Secretary David Miliband spouting what word in a speech bubble were displayed at the Tory party conference? a) Cheese! b) Treachery! c) Bananas! d) Blah! 2 Gerard Batten received...