New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 135, No. 4818, November 13

America Awakes from a Corrupt and Incompetent Nightmare
Finally, yes finally, it seems that America has woken from its slumber. After more than a decade, the hegemony of the right--and not just any old right, but a deeply arrogant, corrupt and incompetent right--appears to be over. (One must, in modern...
A New McCarthy Era Dawns in America
My friend Vinay Lal is a formidable intellect. An old-fashioned polymath, he teaches South Asian history at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Always outspoken, Vinay relishes a good argument and marshals his case to devastating effect....
Antisocial Behaviour: Tony Turns Down Leo's Request for an Asbo, Lord Goldsmith Tries His Best to Give Leo What He Wants, While Tony Receives a Special Thank You from Bin Laden
Scene 1: No 10. Tony is reading a letter from Central Office. Dear Mr Blair, Would that your new policy on hanging might apply to home-grown dictators. Yours, David Cameron. Tony picks up the Dictaphone. Tony: Dear Mr Cameron. Comma. Would...
A Stitch in Our Time No 3954
Set by Valerie Yule We asked you to write explanations of forgotten skills for today's teenagers Report by Ms de Meaner Welcome to newbies Linda Gomez and Gill Corbitt. Hon menshes to Brendan Beary ("There are four serial ports on the underside...
Boxing Clever: Organic Deliveries Open Up a Whole New World of Taste Experiences, Writes Nicholas Clee
I have done a rough comparison between the cost of the fruit and vegetables I receive each week in my organic box and the cost of non-organic items of the same produce from a greengrocer or supermarket. The organic box costs [pounds sterling]12. Non-organic...
Changing Perspective: Jose Is Confusing, I Used to like Him, Then I Didn't, Now I Do, Writes Hunter Davies
He's a lad, that Jose Mourinho, it's hard to keep your eyes off him. But during this past year, I've begun to change my mind about him, to thinking he's a poseur, a fantasist and dead jammy. Even my wife changed her mind once he'd cut his hair, deciding...
Changing the Rules: How Much Cannabis Is Too Much for One Person? Can You Safely Shoot a Stranger in Court? Let the New Statesman's Legal Expert Solve Your Civil Liberties Dilemmas
Every now and then, I start to panic that the police are about to smash my door down. It's weird, since they never have, but if they did, hypothetically, and happened to find some cannabis, what would it mean? The drug laws always seem to be changing....
Child's Play That Comes Up Trumps: When Children's Theatre Breaks the Rules It Is a Refreshing Alternative
The Mouse Queen Unicorn Theatre, London SE1 Disney on Ice Princess Classics Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield Arriving for The Mouse Queen with Honey, my small daughter, I thought about the rare pleasure of going to the theatre at 10.15 in the...
Dear Marina ... When the New Statesman Website Relaunches, Former Glamour Model Turned Eco-Campaigner and Lib Dem Politician Marina Pepper Will Be Our New Online Agony Aunt. She Will Respond to Any Social, Sexual or Political Dilemmas You Face
What is more nerve-racking: undressing for Playboy or running as a parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats? Definitely the latter, according to newstatesman.com's new agony aunt. Marina Pepper has done both in her peripatetic career. She...
Deporting a Sick Child Would Be a Moral Outrage: Sending a Failed Asylum-Seeker Home Is Often like Signing Their Death Warrant. in the Case of One Boy, He May Last Only Months. Martin Narey, Once a Top Home Office Official, Says He Is Now Shamed by the Policy
Having worked in the Home Office for more than 20 years, I thought I was reasonably aware of how we treat asylum-seekers. I had seen Home Secretaries struggle with the public and media pressure surrounding the growth in the number of refugees. And...
Driven by a Wretched and Outdated Currency
When the Queen rises to present the tenth speech of "her" Labour government, she will, compared to 1997, be speaking to a radically different country--a country improved out of all proportion. Crime and unemployment are down considerably, while investment...
Ethiopia: How Much for a Latte?
While travelling in Ethiopia last year, I spoke to members of the farming co-operatives which supply Progreso, a Fairtrade cafe in London of which I am a director. I found myself, fraudulently, sitting in a place of honour in a muddy village hall,...
Events: New Statesman's Guide to Events in Politics, Current Affairs and Culture
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 10 COMPASS LEEDS RENEWAL ROADSHOW Speakers: John Healey MP, Michael Meacher MP, Fiona Williams, Neal Lawson, more to be confirmed. 6.30pm, Leeds Civic Hall. Free to attend. Email gavin@compassonline.org.uk / 020 7463 0633...
French Election: Sego Tilts towards the Right
Her bubble was expected to burst the moment she declared she was standing for election as president of France. It did not. Her candidacy was expected to collapse as soon as she was obliged to debate with her heavyweight adversaries in public. It has...
Gallant Protector
* Tory dominatrix Theresa May is proving quite an attraction at Thursday's business questions. Once famous for her shoes, the shadow leader of the house is now pulling in unreconstructed MPs eager to discover if she's wearing another of her daring...
Green Colonials: An International Project to Buy Large Parts of the Amazon Rainforest Has Run Up against Stiff Resistance from Indigenous Groups. Sue Branford and Jan Rocha Report from Brazil
An ambitious scheme to save the Amazon forest, devised by a Conservative fundraiser, has antagonised the Brazilian government and appears to be in danger of sinking amid accusations of "green colonialism". An angry President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva...
Gym'll Fixit: It Hurts to Spend 50 Quid on Trackpants, but It's Worth It, Says Annalisa Barbieri
The biggest quest in fashion is not the ability to look good while dressed up, because it's not that hard: just a question of throwing enough money in the right direction. No, the Holy Grail is looking good when dressed casually. And, within the spectrum...
Iraq: The New Cover-Up; the Riddle of the Missing WMD Document
A secret first full draft of the Iraq WMD dossier, which shows how Tony Blair persuaded parliament of the case for war, is being concealed by the government. This draft was not written by the intelligence services, as Whitehall claims, but by a Foreign...
It Was Us Wot Won It: On Iraq and Global Warming, the Left Has Been Vindicated. Our Foes Still Cannot Produce Apologies, and Instead Treat Us to Some Intriguing Self-Justification
Oh, happy days. On the two major issues of the century so far--Iraq and global warming--we lefties have been proved almost completely right. Since one may lead to us all being blown up by terrorists and the other to mass drowning, this may be of small...
Junk Cinema: Children Are Reared on Tacky Hollywood Movies Backed by Multimillion-Dollar Marketing Campaigns. It Bodes Ill for the Future of British Film, Writes Anthony Horowitz
These comments might sound ridiculous: * More children are going to the cinema than ever before. * The wonderful thing about J K Rowling is that she has made going to the cinema "cool" again for a whole generation of children. * It is worrying...
Let's Now Charge the Accomplices
In a show trial whose theatrical climax was clearly timed to promote George W Bush in the American midterm elections, Saddam Hussein was convicted and sentenced to hang. Drivel about "end of an era" and "a new start for Iraq" was promoted by the usual...
New Jazz Generation: A New Wave of Young Musicians Is Pushing the Boundaries of the Genre, Writes Sholto Byrnes
The new generation of British jazz musicians is characterised by its quiet confidence. Not for them the endless soul-searching of their predecessors about where they should be looking for inspiration or how their work fits into the jazz canon. Just...
Plagiarism: Ivy League Redemption
With naked ambition, large sums of money, sharp-eyed law students and a slavering mini-media present on campus, it was inevitable that America's Ivy League colleges should have their own version of The Bonfire of the Vanities. In October, readers noticed...
Prosperity and a Red Carpet Trump Democracy
African leaders left Beijing smiling like crocodiles, as workmen started to pull down the posters of giraffes, elephants and flamingoes that had replaced advertising hoardings all over the Chinese capital. Never before have they been feted as they...
Read or Undead: John Sutherland on the Coming of the Zombie Apocalypse
If Haiti could take a patent out on the zombie concept (as George Lucas has on Ewoks), that sad island's economic woes would be solved at a stroke. Zombies are one of the big horror/Gothic franchises. And they're biggest in the US. The term is from...
Rumbled: A Defeated Bush and a New Danger; Americans Have Used the Midterm Elections to Send a Resounding Message of No-Confidence in Their President. but Victory Was Not Entirely Sweet for the Democrats. Our US Editor, Andrew Stephen, Reports
The White House knew the game was up as early as last Monday morning. Its schedule that day, distributed to the White House media pool, showed that Charlie Crist--the 50-year-old moderate Republican candidate hoping to succeed Jeb Bush, Dubbya's younger...
Shazia's Week; I Keep Being Offered Cocaine. I Must Look the Type: Sexually Repressed with Large Nostrils
I was walking down a street in New York recently when a man shouted out: "Oi Paki, go back to India." That man will be pleased to know that I am going to India for the first time--not to open a call centre or adopt a child, but to do some shows courtesy...
Spiritual Behaviour: The Philippines Is a Catholic Country but It Is Bound by Superstitious Beliefs, Writes James Hamilton-Paterson
Twenty years ago, I was making excursions into the backwoods of a province in the Philippines. These were a direct consequence of the "People Power" uprising in 1986 that bloodlessly brought the Marcos era to an end and sent Ferdinand and Imelda into...
Stealing Beauty: Two UK Directors Turn Away from Epic Storytelling, with Mixed Results
Breaking and Entering (15) dir: Anthony Minghella The Prestige (12A) dir: Christopher Nolan Two British writer-directors embraced by Hollywood return this week with films that swap the epic for the intimate. In Breaking and Entering, Anthony...
Television: Al-Jazeera's New Voice
A year late, and dogged by internal disputes, al-Jazeera finally launches its English-language version on 15 November. The timing is apposite: ten years on from the launch of the original Arabic-language channel and straight after the US midterms and...
The Man with the Golden Typewriter; Taittinger Champagne, Rolex Watches, Beluga Caviar and Sea Island Underpants: Ian Fleming's Bond Novels Anticipated Our Modern Obsession with Brands
It is morning in the London home of James Bond and the secret agent is between missions. Waking--alone, for once--he can hear his housekeeper busy with the Chemex coffee machine. Slipping off his Hong Kong silk pyjama coat he makes for the bathroom,...
Tory, Tory, Tory and the Television Truth
To dinner with David Suchet. He is bothered by celebrity culture. "Just because you are famous," he says, looking at me with his famously soft, limpid eyes, "people want to hear your opinions all the time." Not long ago, he was asked to contribute...
Travelling in the Realms of Gold: D B C Pierre's Road Trip through Mexico Could Have Done with a Shot of Tequila
The Last Aztec Channel 4 In this road movie of a documentary (9 November, 9pm), there were a number of candidates for the title role. There was, naturally, Montezuma, the Aztec emperor who so woefully mishandled the arrival on his shores of the...
User Demands Push Firefox: Rivalling Microsoft Isn't Enough in the Browser Wars for Net Supremacy, Writes Becky Hogge
Two years ago those who, like me, inhabit the buffer zone between the geek and non-geek world experienced an historic moment. The Guardian devoted one of its editorials to the release of a piece of software. And not just any piece of software: it had...
What Will Change When the Dictator Hangs?
Even those who, from the outset, were sceptical about the shallow, vacuous policy described in London and Washington as "regime change" have been left flabbergasted by the perception of Saddam Hussein's sentencing as a 24-hour wonder. Can it really...
When Newspapers Aren't Newspapers: Who Wants to Listen to Podcasts by Crusty Old Hacks?
Newspapers are busy getting into podcasting. They regard it, as they do blogging, as The Future--by which they mean that it is one way of attracting younger readers/listeners. Hmm. I'm not so sure. While it's fair to say that young people are more...
Why God Can't Not Exist: Andrew Brown Assesses How an Understanding of Consciousness Has Implications for Atheism
Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion is one of many books this year suggesting that the only reason for religions to exist is human frailty. Perhaps the best and most thought-provoking of these is the philosopher Daniel Dennett's Breaking the Spell....