New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 137, No. 4894, April 28

A Dangerous Experiment: This Appalling Documentary Was Exploitative and Irresponsible
The Doctor Who Hears Voices Channel 4 So, how do we all feel, knowing that somewhere in Britain is a junior doctor who has lied both about the extent of her mental illness (she hears a voice that tells her to kill herself and other people) and...
A Feminist but Not a Sister
Gwyneth Dunwoody won't, yet, be mourned by many of her female colleagues at Westminster. She was notoriously unkind about the new intake of 1997 and she was elaborately rude about the idea of being a sister. But years ago, I, a callow graduate, worked...
And the Winner Is: The Lawyers; Clinton's Victory in Pennsylvania Points the Way to a Farcical Legal Finale to the Democratic Race, Writes Andrew Stephen
Remember my vision at the beginning of the month, with planeloads of Obama lawyers and Clinton lawyers jetting in to Denver at the end of August to argue who the Democratic presidential nominee should be? Hillary Clinton's decisive, ten-point victory...
An Unprecedented Focus on the Wounded: In Vietnam, It Was Body Bags That Mattered, and the Damaged Survivors Were Ignored. but Today We Read a Great Deal about the Soldiers Who Have Been Maimed in Our Wars, and Ministers and Generals Should Be Worried
After the Vietnam War, the BBC's Robin Day is said to have remarked: "One wonders if in future a democracy which has uninhibited television coverage in every home will ever be able to fight a war, however just." Thirty-odd years on, we know that democracies...
Being a Footballer's Girlfriend or Wife Takes Practice, Believe Me. I Just Looked like a Lemon
I have never really fitted in anywhere, nowhere at all. I have always been quite aware of feeling slightly out of place in a variety of situations. It started at tap-dancing class, where my ability was so distressing that I felt the only way to conceal...
Brown Must Always Remain on the Side of the Working Poor
The London and local elections will be the first ballot-box test of the leaders of the three main parties: Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg. It is not looking comfortable for Brown. Many in the Labour Party are predicting alarming losses:...
Bytes to Eat: Along with a Staple Diet of Cookbooks, the Net Can Provide All a Foodie Needs, Writes Nicholas Clee
Several years ago, a friend who works in IT informed me that cookbooks were about to become redundant. People would find any recipe on the internet. No, I protested: neophile as he was, he did not understand why books were special. So far, the thriving...
Children of Destruction: Mat Collishaw, Inspired by the Beslan Siege, Examines Our Attitude to Images of Violence, Writes Michael Glover
Look at any constellation up in the night sky. Some stars will be shining more brightly than others. I am standing in a sepulchrally long and dark gallery when that thought occurs to me, staring up at a new photographic installation by Mat Collishaw....
Children of the Revolution: A Minimalist Animation Sheds Light on the Muddle of Modern Iran
Persepolis (12A) dirs: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi Even the best cinema adaptations of graphic novels, such as American Splendour, Ghost World or Ping Pong, have eschewed their pen-and-ink origins in favour of flesh and blood. But the...
Chinese Whispers: Give It Ten Years, Writes Hunter Davies, and the Premiership Will Be in Beijing
I have a prediction to make--a long-term one, the sort Gordon prefers, not one of these short-term, easy, obvious ones, such as Berbatov will not be at Spurs next season, Ronaldo will not be at Man United two seasons ahead. It came to me while watching...
Clerical Errors in the Name of God
News that an ageing cleric has issued a death fatwa against two Saudi intellectuals does not surprise me. The religious hierarchy in Saudi Arabia has no redeeming features. Its hallmarks are fanaticism, misogyny and xenophobia, with a strong accent...
Events: New Statesman's Guide to Events in Politics, Current Affairs and Culture
SATURDAY APRIL 26 THE ABOLITION OF CHILDHOOD? Government policy on early-years schooling is becoming increasingly rigid, dogmatic and prescriptive. Is it damaging the very young? Open meeting with John Bangs (NUT) and Patricia Curr (Children's...
Everybody out! the Workers Are Getting Restless. Last Year, for the Second Time in Five Years, More Than a Million Days Were Lost to Strikes. This Year the Figure Is Likely to Be Higher. Is This a Return to the Militant Seventies?
In my mind's eye, I can see it now. Down our road, in the middle of a prolonged period of dry weather, came a small but steady stream of water. It could mean only one thing: a burst main. And, it being the 1970s, the people who repaired such things...
Extraordinary Tales of English Folk: Late Junction Has the Power to Move (and Snooze) in Its Trip through Albion
The vital noises of the week came courtesy of BBC Radio 3's idiosyncratic world-music broadcast Late Junction. In a St George's Day special on English folk (23 April, 11.15pm-1am), Verity Sharp presented the show with her trademark genius weariness....
Found: A Solution to the 10p Tax Problem
One of Labour's major achievements has been to remove nearly a million children from poverty. What a tragedy if goodwill from this highly significant gain were lost through the 10p tax debacle. The problem for Labour, facing an imminent rebellion,...
Goodbye to the Reich: William Cook Retraces His Grandmother's Steps in Hamburg as She Fled the Bombs and Eloped to Britain
Often, when I return to Hamburg, I see the ghost of my German grandmother, walking the streets where she spent her youth during the heyday of the Third Reich. I sometimes see her promenading along the path that runs along the River Alster, or window-shopping...
Gordon's Big Test: The Authority of the Prime Minister Is Based on Economic Competence and on Knowing How to Win Elections. the Coming Days Will See These Skills Tested to the Limit
It is tempting, in the light of the rebellion over the abolition of the lop rate of income tax, to write off Gordon Brown's last Budget as chancellor as an unmitigated disaster. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In March 2007, however, it was seen by many...
Homelessness: Time for Real Homes
At first, the government's "new action plan to tackle persistent rough sleeping", announced earlier this month, seems quite liberal. But it is classic new Labour spin: an attempt to redefine an intractable structural problem in personal terms. The...
Humans by Numbers? Statistics Will Never Fully Explain Our Behaviour, Argues Caroline Palmer
If, as the eminent neuroscientist and director of the Royal Institution, Susan Greenfield, believes, we are no more nor less than the chemical and electrical activity in our brain, so the super cruncher believes that we are the sum of the resulting,...
It's Best to Go with the Flow: Pressure to Regulate Traffic Threatens the Neutrality That the Net Was Built on, Says Becky Hogge
Bollocks. That was the word the chief exec of Virgin Media chose to describe a debate that has captured the minds of US internet users for the past several years. He was referring to network neutrality: the concept that internet service providers (ISPs)...
Jingle Sells All the Way No 4024
Set by Hank T Romein "In Downing Street upon the stair/I met a man who wasn't Blair ..." We asked you to update some other well-known nursery rhymes and jingles to cast new light on a current news item of choice Report by Ms de Meaner Another...
Latin America: The Attack on Democracy; John Pilger Argues That an Unreported War Is Being Waged by the US to Restore Power to the Privileged Classes at the Expense of the Poor
Beyond the sound and fury of its conquest of Iraq and campaign against Iran, the world's dominant power is waging a largely unreported war on another continent--Latin America. Using proxies, Washington aims to restore and reinforce the political control...
Northern Exposure: It's Not Just Black Watch-New Scottish Theatre Is Going through a Golden Age, Writes Robert Dawson Scott
Atten-shun! Black Watch finally marches into London this summer--the play, that is, not the eponymous Scottish regiment. The talismanic show for the National Theatre of Scotland, written by Gregory Burke and directed by John Tiffany, premiered on the...
PC Conspiracies: A Date with the BNP
All is not well at the British National Party. As they seek to secure their first London Assembly member on 1 May, they are being tormented from every side. "Communist-Tory-Labour-Libdem Alliance Reveals its Ugly Face" ran a headline on the BNP website...
Prescott's Gagging Order
* The country's most unsuccessful bulimic, 16-stone John "Two Feeds" Prescott, has filleted his fruity language. Labour's one-time second mate, diagnosed with an eating disorder after his wife, Pauline, read a glossy magazine piece about the travails...
Promises, Promises: A Set of Documentary Films from 1930 to 1950 Shows a Britain in Which Equality Is So near as to Feel within Grasp. Nostalgia Is Hard to Avoid, Writes Lynsey Hanley
It is tempting--too tempting--to play the game of "what might have been", or to feel nostalgic for something that never happened. A vast new box set from the British Film Institute, Land of Promise, which collects the most notable films of documentary-makers...
Safety First-But Not for Children
I once read that Boris Johnson was paid a quarter of a million pounds a year for his column in the Daily Telegraph, and at that point ended any possibility of my ever voting for him. But I do think he's right that Ken Livingstone, and the left in general,...
Scotland: The New Green Hope
Times are good for the Scottish National Party just now: the party's public approval ratings are high and support for its ultimate raison d'etre, independence, is on the rise. But the majority of Scots have not yet been convinced that the SNP can translate...
Sport: Kicking Tradition
Coach Abdul Saboor Walizada should have had a face like thunder. His international side were 10-0 down at half-time, against a club team from Damascus. Instead, he gave softly spoken encouragement to his charges--the Afghan national women's football...
Tactical Briefing
From: The Unit To: GB Subject: We Get It * So, pretty good week. Feel the US trip went well. Almost all the UK press obviously focused on the visit being overshadowed, but really that wasn't the true story of the visit. Understand it was difficult...
The New Strikers: The Defeats of the Eighties Mean Nothing to Today's Young Activists, Who Are Not Afraid to Try Strike Action If It Works, Says Jeremy Dear, Trade Union Leader
In 1989, 14 of us working for the Essex Chronicle walked out on strike. Striking was not in fashion. After the defeats of miners, dockers and printers, the popular refrain at union meetings was: "If the miners can't win, what chance have we?" [ILLUSTRATION...
The Unemployed under the New Deal
The New Statesman 17 March 1934 York, Pennsylvania, is a manufacturing town of 75,000 inhabitants, not untypical of the industrial east of the United States. Having recently a day to spend in it, I devoted my time to visiting the institution...
The Way I See It: Emmanuel Jal; Artists Tackle Ten Existential Questions
Emmanuel Jal is a Sudanese musician and former child soldier. His single "Warchild" was released earlier this month; the album of the same name follows on 12 May. For further information visit www.myspace.com/emmanueljal [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] ...
Understanding the Taliban: Rethinking the War in Helmand Has Made the British Army Revise Some of Its Basic Assumptions. Working with "Reconciled" Taliban Commanders Is Part of That New Strategy, Reports Stephen Grey
There is a popular slogan seen stencilled on American gun trucks: "We do bad things to bad people." Prince Harry had those words on the back of his cap. In the Afghanistan War, the difficulty is working out who those bad people are. An even tougher...
We Are All Cretans: Birtwistle's New Work Is Austere and Challenges Human Nature Head-On
The Minotaur Royal Opera House, London WC2 It is the duty of the artist to confront, question and challenge man's nature, and Harrison Birtwistle does this profoundly with his latest work, The Minotaur. Since his earliest days he has conceived...
What a Load of Hoey: They've Gone Down in the Polls, Lost a Member to Ukip and Just Missed out on a Labour Defection-But the Tories Are Still Buoyant, Writes Tara Hamilton-Miller
Back to school and the Commons tearoom. On Monday, it was the only place to be on the first day back after recess, as Tory politicians exchanged stories of the reactions they have had on the doorstep to the suggestion that Boris Johnson might run London....
Why Size Matters: Shops Should Pay More Attention to Their Fitting Rooms
There's something I've always thought rather peculiar about clothes shops. Most spend a not insignificant amount of money on advertising, the shop decor, the stock (obviously) and, one hopes, the staff. But then they seem to treat one of the most important...