New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 138, No. 4963, August 24

A Travesty of Omissions: It Is Ten Years since East Timor's Referendum on Freedom from Indonesia-But, as the Gaps in a New Film Show, the Western Cover-Up Continues
On 30 August it will be a decade since the people of East Timor defied the genocidal occupiers of their country to take part in a United Nations referendum and vote for their freedom and independence. A "scorched earth" campaign by the Indonesian dictatorship...
Daniel Hannan's Opinions on Our Health Service Are Completely in the Keeping with the Tory Mainstream
"The National Health Service is the closest thing the English have to a religion," wrote the former Tory chancellor Nigel Lawson in his memoirs. In recent days, our political leaders have closed ranks to defend the faith from attack--on television,...
David Cameron May Have Dismissed His "Eccentric Views", but This Atlanticist Could Emerge as a Lightning Rod for Right-Wing Discontent under a Tory Government
Until recently, Daniel Hannan's political career appeared to be in rude health. After ten years as a Conservative MEP he had become the darling of the party's libertarian right, acquiring a large following among grass-roots Tories. His speech in the...
Dictating the Future
Belarus does not get many tourists, at least not the conventional sort. I shared my flight over (those in the know fly Lufthansa rather than trust their fate to the national carrier, Belavia) with an Australian man in his fifties. Once we landed, he...
Down and out in London
I am lunching at the Duke with my good friend Kevin Jackson, the noted wit, polymath, raconteur and vampirologist. I am trying to wangle a part in the promotional film for his new book, Bite, to which I have been looking forward for ages. [ILLUSTRATION...
Five, Seven, Five No 4089: We Asked You for Haikus on a Party Leader of Your Choice
Set by Leonora Casement Report by Ms de Meaner I had originally decided to be hardline and ban all entries that failed to follow the rules re: "party leaders". But after finding myself rejecting entries about Alex Ferguson and Steve Redgrave,...
Hard Times: Suicide Rates Rose at Shocking Speed after the Wall Street Crash of 1929-And Have Done with Each Recession in the Past Century. as Unemployment Deepens in Britain, Sophie Elmhirst Finds Ever More Lives at Risk
From Jonathan Naess's office on the 15th floor of a block in Vauxhall, you get a good view of the City of London. Round a bend in the Thames, it seems far away, peaceful, glinting in the afternoon sun, Naess--ex-corporate financier, manic depressive...
Heads Will Roll: Rick Jones Joins Composers from around the World to Celebrate Haydn's Legacy-And See His Two Skulls
Because the town of Eisenstadt in Austria was home to the composer Franz Joseph Haydn for most of his life, it has become the focus of some attention in this, the bicentenary of the composer's death. The proud authorities there have marked the occasion...
Hippies and Tories Are Game for a Laugh: Pete's Acid Has Worn off, and Norman Tebbit Is Up to His Elbows in Feathers
Radio 2 marked the 40th anniversary of Woodstock (15 August) by first diving headlong into a classic soundbite: "It was a three-day honeymoon for those who didn't get killed or freak out. On acid." Other contributors to the hour-long documentary...
How to Fail Better
A common injunction of self-help and management advice in recent years has been to "make more mistakes". But in the wake of the MPs' expenses scandal and the credit crunch, enthusiasm for such simplistic bravado has evaporated, with some justification....
How "Winnable" Is Afghanistan?
In the week since our special issue on Afghanistan, Rifleman Daniel Wild, Lance Bombardier Matthew Hatton, Captain Mark Hale, Private Richard Hunt, Sergeant Simon Valentine, Fusilier Louis Carter, Fusilier Simon Annis and Lance Corporal James Fullarton...
Hurrah for Harriet: There Is an Alternative to Drifting into Horrendous Defeat, but Labour Must Seize the Moment. the Party's Deputy Leader Showed How
You have to hand it to her. Harriet Harman has really shown how to use No 10 as a platform from which to direct policy. You may not agree with how she presented her programme, but, for the first time since 2005, there has been a real sense of direction...
I Love Fox News. What It Stands for, I'm Against
Somebody ought to rein in Daniel Hannan. He's the latest example of the kind of Brit who gets a little bit of attention from America and goes what we call in Chicago "hog wild". Sean Hannity of Fox News wants him to be the next British prime minister,...
Is Google Evil? the Online Search Giant Is the Internet's Greatest Success Story. but as Ever More Data Is Amassed, Concerns over How the Company May Use It Grow
Records of Broughton in Buckinghamshire date back to the Domesday Book, the first medieval census--a comprehensive account of hitherto uncollected personal information. Nearly a millennium later, the online search giant Google was in the former village...
I Sued and Won ... on Know-Alls, League Tables, and My Soft Spot for Norman Tebbit
Countries that embrace market liberalism, notably Britain and America, are best placed to recover from the recession, writes Bill Emmott, editor of the Economist until 2006, in the Times. Later that day, we learn that "over-regulated" France and Germany...
King Henry, Lady Jane and Hugo Boss: The History Is Plain Wrong and the Acting Atrocious, but I'm a Fan of Tudorland
The Tudors BBC2 It's 1536, and in Tudorland, Jonathan Rhys Meyers is taking a break from filming commercials for Hugo Boss aftershave. Instead, he is modelling something altogether more classy: a dressing gown. This little number, perfect for...
Palestine's Comeback Kid: The First Fatah Congress for 20 Years Featured New Faces, Sore Losers-And a Very Complicated Election
Fatah's sixth congress, the first to be held in Palestine, was also the party's first conference for 20 years. But as the programme was extended from three days to four and then to seven, it often seemed that the congress itself would last 20 years....
Quentin's Got the Reich Stuff: Nazi Hunters Mix with Cinema Buffs in a Return to Form for Tarantino
Inglourious Basterds (18) dir: Quentin Tarantino In the spirit of the misspelled tide of Quentin Tarantino's new movie, let me say that Inglourious Basterds represents a bog improvement for this variable film-mucker. It may even be considered...
Stories from a Former Country: A Striking Series of Photographs from the GDR Captures a World That Began to Fade 20 Years Ago-A Foreign Land That Berlin Is Still Struggling to Understand
A car park full of identical Trabants; a bride and groom in a room decorated with exotic western logos; coal miners looking like grimy Greek gods--these are just some of the black-and-white stories from the "Ostzeit" exhibition at Berlin's Haus der...
The Book That Changed My Life: At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien
I first read At Swim-Two-Birds at secondary school in the 1980s. I was astounded; until then I had assumed that all Irish literature must--at best--be worthy but dull. Not that I had read much of it. The native writings to which I had been exposed...
The Election Will Not Be Televised: The Internet Will Revolutionise the Parties' General Election Campaigns. for Our Leading Politicians, It Is a Great Leap into the Unknown
For politicians and journalists, British general election campaigns are the equivalent of playing an album they have not heard for a few years. A prime minister names the big day and all of them discover that the old tunes are still there. They know...
The Long Wait: Persecuted and Oppressed in Burma, Rohingya Muslims Are Fleeing across the Border into Bangladesh. Starving and Stateless, They Live in Squalid Makeshift Camps. and Yet, as Cyrus Shahrad Discovers, They Have Not Lost Hope
It is dawn at the Kutupalong refugee camp and men, women and children are filing into a hastily erected bamboo structure resembling a covered cattle market. On all sides are tables manned by volunteer doctors armed with polio drops and measles injections;...
The Many Self-Sacrifices of Citizen Hague
Hague telephones, claiming to be calling from his local working men's club. "Gideon, we need to talk." "Not a problem, Willie. Come over to the New Forest for the weekend?" "With Ffion?" "If you must." Relations with Hague have been strained since...
The Way I See It: Claire Denis, Director
Does art make a difference? Art is part of the world, it is already there. It is not a medicine. It is essential, not an ointment. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Should politics and art mix? They do. Should they? I don't know. All art contains...
Three Parts Comedy, One Part Tragedy: Euripides Updated Sizzles with Playfulness-And Snogging
Helen Shakespeare's Globe, London SE1 Imagine a terrible war that turns out to have been fought for nothing. Unthinkable, I know, but have a go. Imagine, say, America losing in Vietnam and discovering not only that no more dominoes fell, but...
Up Close with the Insurgency
When I turned a corner to find a man wearing a black hooded mask, with an AK-47 slung across his chest and grenades strapped around his waist, I was at a bit of a loss as to how to behave. Salaam alaikum--the Islamic greeting of peace--didn't seem...