New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 137, No. 4914, September 15

A Lesson from Germany; across Europe, Parties of the Left Are Replacing Their Leaders in a Desperate Attempt to Regain Lost Ground. Denis MacShane on What Labour Should Learn
In a fit of despair at its slumping popularity, the main centre-left party in government decided to replace its burly party leader, whose poll ratings hovered around 25 per cent. A cerebral member of cabinet--best known as a staffer for the previous...
All in the Game: Breaking Rules Is Wrong, but Who Sets Them in the First Place?
Last month, the sporting world gave a collective sigh of relief that the Beijing Olympics had passed without any major cheating scandals. But the dissenting voices were not completely silenced: some claimed Michael Phelps's Nasa-designed swimsuit gave...
A Minority Pursuit: When It Comes to Leather, My Intolerant Side Takes Over
There are some things that become fashionable which you can view at a safe distance, knowing you will never have, or want, to participate in them, but enjoying looking at them nonetheless. Two of those trends this autumn will be leather, and Gothic....
A President Writes
"Mahmoud Ahmadinejad-The Official Blog, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran" * I have been thinking about the advantages and disadvantages of bureaucracy for some time now. 21 November 2006 * The behavior of US government concerning the people...
A Right Royal Flush No 4044: We Asked for Buckingham Palace's Reaction to Any Piece of Royal News That the Press Had the Temerity to Write about, Thus Invading Their Privacy
Hon menshes to Ian Birchall ("... the verdict finding the Duke of Edinburgh guilty of the murder of Princess Diana. While-technically--a criminal offence may have been committed, this is essentially a family dispute"); Keith Mason (the Queen's abdication);...
Battle of the Blogs; Internet Campaigners for Civil Liberties and Women's Rights Pay a High Price for Their "Online Crimes"
In September 2001, when the student Salman Jarbar established the first Iranian weblog, no one imagined that blogging would become a social phenomenon in Iran. But over the past seven years blogs have come to fulfil the role of liberal news papers,...
Dazed and Confused: This Stoner Comedy Is Muddled-And Not Because of the High-Grade Weed
Pineapple Express (15) dir: David Gordon Green Do you have a fondness for the dazed comedies of the 1970s stoner duo Cheech and Chong? Are your shelves groaning under the weight of rubbish 1980s action flicks featuring Chuck Norris, "Rowdy" Roddy...
Dinner with Tutu and a Day with the Barmy Army
Archbishop Desmond Tutu--Arch to his friends--must be the only person in the world who could say such touchy things in public. He chose a huge dinner for bankers and businessmen, organised at Tate Britain by Investec, to explain the psychological impact...
"Economics Is for Donkeys"; While Oil Prices Remain High, Iran Can Afford Its Contempt for Economic Orthodoxy
Whatever else he is remembered for, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is unlikely to go down in history as an economic wizard. Indeed, the Iranian president has worn his contempt for economic orthodoxy as a badge of honour. The late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini,...
Events
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 15 PEOPLE LIKE US: IS BRITISH SOCIETY FAIRLY REFLECTED IN PARLIAMENT? Hansard Society/Channel 4 fringe meeting at Liberal Democrat party conference. Speakers: Lord Dholakia, Chris Huhne MP, Simon Hughes MP, Lembit Opik MP, Jo...
Facebook for Snoopers: The Government Is Waging War against Citizens with Its Data Policies, Writes Becky Hogge
Can you "persuade others of the benefits of proposals or the value of a particular interpretation"? Then perhaps the recently advertised position of senior information officer at the Home Office's new Intercept Modernisation Programme (IMP) is for...
Facing the Music: The Beethoven Festival in Bonn Has a History of Being Misused for Political Ends. This Year, the Organisers Have Confronted Its Troubled Past, Writes Rick Jones
If the composer Ludwig van Beethoven had a troubled life, so has the festival founded in his name which has just begun in the city of Bonn. The first Beethovenfest there took place, in 1845, at the same time as the unveiling of his statue beside the...
Heartbreaking Listening: In the Home of the Power Ballad, Desperation Can Strike at Any Time
Oh yeah, Heart 106.2, a station traditionally fonder than others of the power ballad. Its ideal listener has now firmly solidified into a dumpee in a deepwater hell of longing, gripping the sink as the waves of personal loss overtake them, then mouthing...
Innocent Prisoners: The Children of Asylum-Seekers Are the Only Children in This Country Who Can Be Locked Up without Ever Committing a Crime. the Writer Gillian Slovo Visited Two Families at Yarl's Wood Detention Centre. What She Heard Made Her Feel "Numb"
I stood in front of the visitors' door of Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre, near Bedford, waiting for a rubber-gloved guard to unlock a door, check my fingerprints, pat-search me, unlock another door, let me into a large room, and then lock me...
Inside Iran: It Is the Country the West Fears Most-And Knows Least about. in Our Exclusive Reports, Iranian Writers Describe the Extraordinary Contradictions of Life under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's "Loving Government" -and Reveal How Iran Sees the West. Maziar Bahari, a Leading Journalist, Begins with a Drive across Downtown Tehran
It's not a promising start, but I'm going to confuse you. That's how I feel about the situation in my country, Iran. If I'm supposed to remain true to my journalistic principles I have no choice but to share my puzzling observations with you. After...
Iran's Foreign Policy: What the West Should Know
The Islamic Republic's international agenda can baffle westerners. Sadegh Kharazi, a former Iranian ambassador to France, describes the principles that underpin it Iranian foreign policy puzzles foreign analysts. It is fruitless to try to understand...
Mellowed with Age; Once upon a Time, Aubergines Were Bitter. This Is No Longer True
Aubergines are the ideal vegetable-fruit, if you wish to be pedantic--for early autumn. They remind you of the summer, while offering a creamy texture that brings comfort as the sunlight mellows and the nights draw in. A pile of plump aubergines, glowing...
One Less Crime Hot Spot
Is it all over for Britain's criminal fugitives in Northern Cyprus? For the fraternity of conmen, hitmen and other assorted villains who have long enjoyed the perks of the pariah state, the short answer is: yes. Twenty-five years after unilaterally...
Ordinary People
As a young woman, the novelist and recent Nobel Prize-winner for literature Doris Lessing wrote occasional articles for the New Statesman. In this piece she describes going in search of what D H Lawrence called "ordinary people" during a holiday in...
Our Murderous Comedy of Errors
Try to laugh, please. The news is now officially parody and a game for all the family to play. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] First question: Why are "we" in Afghanistan? Answer: "To try to help in the country's rebuilding programme." Who says so? Huw...
Power Games; in Iran, Wrestling Is More Than Just a Sport. Dominic Byrne Visits a Tehran "House of Strength" to Find out Why
"Nothing is easy in Iran, but there is always a way." An Iranian businessman makes small talk in the arrivals queue at the Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran. I nod with a knowing smirk. Numerous phone calls from London to the ministry of culture in Tehran...
Seen It All Before: After 25 Years of Pop Hits, Madonna's Shock Tactics Are Just Embarrassing
Madonna Millennium Stadium, Cardiff With Madonna turned freshly 50 and opening her Sticky and Sweet tour at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, what can she do to shock us? Emerge topless with a daffodil between her teeth? Poke fun at the age-bashers...
September? Get out the Suntan Lotion; Rain and Floods Mean a Crisis for Editors, a Crisis of Waffle. People Are Upset, but What Can You Say? Who Can You Blame? What Does It Mean? Desperate Measures Are Required
Poor Michael, Fish: the amiable chap in tweed who was already the author of the country's most notorious weather forecasting cock-up has been at it again. As August ended, the Daily Mail commissioned him to write a piece putting our dreary summer...
Shazia's Week Columnist of the Year; If I Tried to Do What Sarah Palin Does in a Day, I'd Look like I'd Spent the Night in a Lidl Doorway
There is a bit of America in all of us. For some, it has forced its way in, and for others like myself it's crept in, unbeknownst, in the middle of the night, and now won't leave. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] This week I've been on holiday in Istanbul....
Tactical Briefing
From: The Unit To:GB Subject: The speech of your life * So, pretty good week. Seems like the team's briefings have succeeded in nudging people towards a numb, grudging and fatalistic acceptance of your premiership. Something, of a victory...
The Laws of the Game: On Planet Football, the Usual Rules Don't Apply. All the Better, Writes Hunter Davies
It always seemed obvious that the housing market would collapse when short-sighted banks and building societies started giving out mortgages for more than houses were worth. It seems patently obvious that the Damien First art market will implode,...
The Leading Man: After More Than a Decade as Czech President, Vaclav Havel Has Returned to Writing Plays. Has His Artistic Vision Survived the Compromises of Power?
It seemed out of the question for Vaclav Havel to become president of Czechoslovakia after 40 years of Communist rule. The long-haired playwright had been just a persistent dissident voice, if one making some of the most eloquent minority demands for...
The Myth of the Super-Rich: Most of Our Tycoons Are Not Wealth Creators, but Wealth Drainers
Most Britons, and particularly readers of this column, will be familiar with the extent to which the super-rich are soaring away from the rest of us. Over the past five years alone, the average earnings of chief executives of FTSE-100 companies have...
There's Always Another Option; Labour Supporters Don't Have to Keep Playing the "Waiting for Gordon" Game, Writes Lynne Featherstone
The behaviour of much of the Labour Party reminds me of the two main characters in Waiting for Godot. Dump Gordon or get behind Gordon? No matter how many times a deadline has been rolled out for Gordon Brown to turn things round, the malaise limps...
The Same Old Story: This Tale of a Twin Towers Fraudster Is a Fascinating One, but It's Been Told Before
Cutting Edge: the 9/11 Faker Channel 4 An observation: television journalists can be pretty snotty about print journalists. I've no idea why, because a lot of television journalism wouldn't make it past the spike on a decent newspaper. Take...
"The Shah's Plan Was to Build Bombs"; Akbar Etemad, the Shah's Chief Atomic Energy Adviser, Tells Maziar Bahari about the Unlikely Birth of Iran's Nuclear Programme
Dr Akbar Etemad is the father of Iran's nuclear programme. After graduating from Lausanne University in 1963, Etemad returned to Iran and became a nuclear adviser to the Iranian government. He was the president of the Atomic Energy Organisation of...
The Student Princes
Spare a thought for the students at Arizona State University who will this semester be obliged to shack up in the new $ 130m ([pounds sterling]74.3m) Vista del Sol complex. Not for them a spartan, shared dorm with a communal bathroom down the hall....
The Workers, Disunited, Will Never Be Divided
* To the workers' soviet in Brighton, otherwise known as the Trades Union Congress. The bruvvers and sisters were in poisonous mood, David Cameron barely getting a mention. Venom was reserved for Gordon Brown, plus comrades in other unions. The exception...
Too Much Oil, Too Few Options: Saudi Arabia May Seem Rigid, Autocratic and Antiquated, but It Is Slowly Changing. under King Abdullah There Has Been Some Liberalisation and an Attempt to Build an Economy Not Based on Oil. but Is This Too Little, Too Late?
The Saudi princes, with their picturesque costume and antiquated statecraft, have often seemed to wise outsiders to be ripe for the historical boneyard. Yet, since seizing control of the little mud-walled town of Riyadh in 1902, the al-Saud ("Saud's...
Trial and Terror
Two leading human rights campaigners from Pakistani-occupied Balochistan are awaiting trial in London on charges of inciting others to commit an act of terrorism abroad. Hyrbyair Marri and Faiz Baluch were arrested last December, just months after...
Two Diagnoses, One Conclusion
There is nothing quite like a Morning Star fringe meeting at the Trades Union Congress to remind you of how far British politics has been transformed in the past two decades. In fact, there is nothing quite like a Morning Star fringe meeting, full...
View Modern Art in a New Light. (the One It Was Created In.)
PAUL Signac was first seduced by the Cote d'Azur when the moored his yacht in St Tropez during May 1892. His enthusiastic reports attracted other painters, among them Matisse, Bonnard and Dufy, and before long the area was home to one of the most...
"We Are Trying to Find Alternatives"
Caring for children within our detention estate is a hugely emotive issue, and this is a crucial debate that I am glad the New Statesman has prompted. It's a debate that has been well led for some years by children's charities. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]...
We No Longer Believe Old Men's Myths
In the past fortnight or so, a very old man, startled by an interviewer, blurted out: "It is very easy to sit here in this room (amidst the cobwebs at Cambridge University) and say racism is horrible. But ask me the same thing if a Jamaican family...
We're Still in the Dark about Brown's Vision
Gordon Brown has made mistakes, including the huge one of not going to the country in autumn 2007. Had he decided to call an election, Labour would most likely have been returned to power and the Prime Minister would have had to set out what he believed...