New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 137, No. 4916, September 29

A Lack of Solidarity
"When you go to meet Lech Walesa, there are two things you will need to know," explained Chris, my Polish fixer. "First, that he will not even acknowledge your presence, as he will be online, which is what he spends most of his time doing. And second,...
Artists Tackle Ten Existential Questions
Katie Mitchell Mitchell is an English theatre director who is best known for her bold reworkings of plays by Euripides and Chekhov. She joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1998 and was made an associate of the Royal National Theatre earlier...
A Sporting Chance No 4045
Set by Joy Hosker In the London Olympics of 1908 Great Britain won 146 medals (56 of which were gold), largely by excelling at sports that no other, or only a few, countries played and whose rules they did not know--for instance rackets and water...
A State for Snoopers: Official Assurances That Our Privacy Will Be Protected Yet Again Seem False
If there is one group of people you don't want to piss off, it's motorists. Tony Blair found this out last year when 1.7 million people used the 10 Downing Street petition website to protest against the government's road-pricing scheme, plans that...
A Warming Experience: Keep Your Curries Simple and You Will Be Rewarded with a Homely Dish
I am going to be self-indulgent in this, my farewell column, and serve myself the writer's equivalent of the prisoner's last meal. It is (with apologies to vegetarians) a recently discovered recipe that represents the kind of cooking I enjoy best....
Back in the North
The level of deprivation in northern industrial parts of England during the 1930s is often downplayed by historians today. But this sobering account of life on the dole in the region, written for the New Statesman by a former coal miner, offers a different,...
Brown's Big Moment: The Prime Minister Faced Down His Enemies and Won Back Labour's Confidence. Now Comes the Difficult Part: Delivery
Never underestimate Gordon Brown. That would appear to be the lesson to take from this year's Labour conference by his political enemies inside and outside the party. The Prime Minister began the week in Manchester as the architect of Britain's economic...
Cameron's No-Comfort Zone: Can the Conservatives Handle the Economy? the Current Opposition Front Bench Is the Least Financially Savvy for a Generation, Writes Alex Brummer
Every few months an invitation arrives on my desk to meet a member of the shadow cabinet at an event organised by the "Conservative City Circle". These events, held in distinctive City locations such as the Mansion House, are designed to introduce...
Central Salford: Investing in Regeneration
In a recent survey, conducted by the Centre for International Competitiveness, Salford was confirmed as the fourth most improved city for business competitiveness in the UK and, along with Liverpool and Manchester, responsible for boosting the economic...
Curses in Brownsville While the Buller Mystery Unfolds
* To Manchester and Brownsville where an inability to deliver a speech wasn't the only vote loser for that other prime minister, David "Hezza" Miliband. His timekeeping made Virgin Trains appear punctual. Hezzaband committed the cardinal sin of turning...
Death of the Book?
The Sony Reader is a handheld device that allows you to read books in electronic, or digital, form. Recently launched in the UK (price [pounds sterling]199), it comes in a brown leather case and has the same dimensions as a slim paperback. For a cutting-edge...
Dedicated Follower of Fashion: When He Accepted a Job at Conde Nast, Edward Steichen Was Criticised for "Selling Out"-But He Turned Commercial Photography into a True Art Form
Edward Steichen's decision in 1923 to go to work for Conde Nast as principal photographer for Vanity Fair and Vogue was one of the most controversial and long-debated in the history of photography. Prior to then, Steichen had exemplified the photographer-as-artist,...
Events
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 30 THE BEST PRESIDENT FOR SCIENCE Who will be the best president for science? Join Dr Stephen Minger and Prof Robin Rogers as they comment on the issues they'd like to see on the candidates' agendas. 7pm. The Royal Institution,...
Fantastic Voyages: These Late-Night Stories Echo the Bleak Humour of Chris Morris
If you caught the first couple of episodes of the weekly late-night 15-minute comedy series Strangers on Trains (Wednesdays, Radio 4, 11pm) you might have dismissed it as Alan Bennettishly genteel and gone back to bottling sloes (which is what the...
Give Us Democracy, but Not Yet
This will be my last Letter from China; after two years, I am returning to London. The stories I have covered-from news events like the earthquake and the Olympics to emblematic issues such as land disputes or the boom in classical music-have taught...
Gordon's Path to Redemption
Perhaps God is not a Conservative, after all. Providence has provided a second chance for Gordon Brown to do what he should have done a year ago-describe the sort of society that he wants to see, set out ways of bringing it about, and implement policies...
In Leaps and Bounds: Juliette Binoche Makes an Impressive Foray into the World of Modern Dance
in-i Lyttelton Theatre, London SE1 When the French film actor and arthouse icon Juliette Binoche announced last year that she was going to be in a contemporary dance piece, questions abounded. What was she thinking? Would she actually dance?...
Israel's Illegal Outpost
"It is not right to hide behind fences, to live in ghettoes. This land belongs to the Jewish people and we must claim it proudly and without fear," says 17-year-old Lital, enjoying the shade of an ancient olive tree in the West Bank with her teenage...
Journalists: They Can't Live without Us: Amid All the Changes Delivered by Communications Technology, No One Has Yet Found Another Way of Generating News Content. It's Just a Pity They Show So Little Interest in Making That Content Better
I am teaching some journalism history this term (an enterprise made much more practical and enjoyable by the arrival of the first digitised, online newspaper archives), and inevitably I have been viewing the present state of the trade in a different...
Mr Brown Silenced His Opponents, but Not for Good
Gordon Brown made two important speeches at Labour's annual conference. His main address, unexpectedly passionate, self-examining, candid, won him congratulations, standing ovations, handshakes from delegates and whoops of the kind more usually associated...
'Muted Optimism' Is the Theme: The Tory Conference Will Be a Sober Affair: Any Signs of Hubris Are to Be Nipped in the Bud
Last year Conservative delegates were positively encouraged to drink champagne, to show a "business as usual" attitude during the excruciating four-day wait for David Cameron's clincher speech. They did this with aplomb, standing outside the Imperial...
One Step Forward ... the Government Has Announced a New Commitment to Equal Rights for Asylum-Seeking Children. Now They Must Put It into Practice
The government has taken an important step towards a more humane immigration system for children. At a meeting with the UN's Committee on the Rights of the Child on 23 September, it announced that it would sign the UN Convention on the Rights of the...
Playing the Game: Aime Maeght, Master Manipulator of the Art Market, Could Have Taught Charles Saatchi a Thing or Two
If you thought that Charles Saatchi was the master inventor of artistic reputations, think again. Aime Maeght (1906-81), the subject of a forthcoming exhibition at the Royal Academy in London, could show Saatchi a thing or two. While Saatchi tends...
Remember the Nine: For Black Children in 1950s Arkansas, Going to School Was Political. Graeme Green Visits the Scene
Park Street is quiet today. I walk past neat, sunbaked lawns and rows of houses, the Stars and Stripes waving from porches. One house has an "Obama for President" sign in the front window. On 4 September 1957, this street in Arkansas's state capital,...
Seeing Is Believing: Pinot Grapes Produce Unusual Colours but Superb Flavours
Judging from the names of grapes, the vignerons of France suffer from congenital colour-blindness. The Pinot comes in three varieties called "white", "black" and "grey", the first of which is green, the next a reddish purple, and the last a subdued...
Shazias Week Columnist of the Year
This week I was the victim of another terrorist attack in London, which made none of the headlines, and I was asked to start the Tree-Athlon in Battersea Park on Saturday morning. This is a five-kilometre run to raise money to plant trees all over...
Stitches in Time: After 24 Years in Fashion, I've Learned a Thing or Two, Writes Annalisa Barbieri
This is to be my last Dress code column. Coincidentally, this month marks 24 years since I first entered the world of fashion, through the double columns of the black and brass front doors of the Norman Hartnell couture house in Mayfair, London. I...
Tactical Briefing
* So, really was a pretty good week. However, we think we should ignore the bounce we're getting from The Speech of the Millennium. What we need to focus on is the massive opportunities afforded us by the ongoing economic crisis. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]...
Talent That Doesn't Spoil: Kristin Scott Thomas Is Austere, While Ed Harris Pulls out All the Stops
I've Loved You So Long (12A) dir: Philippe Claudel Appaloosa (15) dir: Ed Harris The "spoiler", that morsel of information that can remove in one stroke a film's element of surprise, takes many forms. Voters at the Academy Awards did a...
The Fan: You Can Tell a Lot from Who Replies to Autograph Requests
I'm still waiting to hear from Gordon Brown, but I've given up all hope of Sven Goran Eriksson. I wrote to Sven just before Euro 2004, offering him a few tips. Not on football, though I am a total expert, but about the Lisbon hotel where the England...
The Lies of Silence: The Media Turns the Other Way, or Perverts the Truth, While an Increasingly Imperialist United States, with Britain in Tow, Pursues Its Expansionist Interests in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East
Britain's political conference season of 2008 will be remembered as The Great Silence. Politicians have come and gone and their mouths have moved in front of large images of themselves, and they often wave at someone. There has been lots of news about...
The Real War at the Met
The headlines screamed from the front pages. "Race War in the Met". It is at first disturbing, but only a couple of officers of dark skin are named -- Commander Ali Dizaei and Deputy Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, third in rank beneath Sir Ian Blair....
The World's Financial Institutions Are Gripped by Fear, Yet Policymakers Can Do Nothing. They Are Ignorant of How Banks Now Work and Have to Take Poacher-Turned-Gamekeeper Henry Paulson at His Word
Of all the phantoms conjured from the financial depths in the past ten days, the most ghastly appeared on the dark Wednesday, 17 September, when interest on the short-term obligations of the United States government, the one-month Treasury bill, turned...
Treasure in Them There Hills: A Remarkable Theatre Company Has Created High Art in an Impoverished, Conflict-Battered Rio Favela, Writes
From the roof terrace of the Nos do Morro theatre in the Vidigal favela, Rio de Janeiro looks like the sparkling tropical paradise it would be in a perfect world. Ipanema Beach is just visible in the moonlight and the shanty towns stretching up the...
Values and the Market: Has Money Stripped Art of All Meaning? Yes, Argues the Sage Robert Hughes
What a face. No, not the Mona Lisa; I mean Robert Hughes. In old age, and having recovered from a near-fatal car accident, he looks more than ever like a Roman emperor, the swollen, bad-tempered kind who eats larks while simultaneously despatching...
When "Your Views" Means "Our Views"
Start the week in Vadstena, an enchanting lakeside town in Sweden, at a conference organised by the European Science Foundation, about which I know nothing. I hope I'm not asked about the Large Hadron Collider, about which I know less, except that...
Who Are the British Asians
There is no such thing as the "Asian community", writes Ziauddin Sardar. The label was imposed on a generation of migrants after their arrival in Britain, and holds no hint of how they see themselves Walk for miles in parts of Birmingham and you...