New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 135, No. 4814, October 16

Attica-A Judgment on America
Forty-four people died in the Attica "riot", most of them in the storming of the prison ordered by the New York State governor, Nelson Rockefeller. The prisoners had taken hostages to press their complaints about overcrowding and inhumane conditions....
Bacon: From Rasher with Love
Time was, if the Danes could be confident of one thing, it was that Danish bacon was from Denmark. Not any more. Over the past few years, Danish meat processors have been buying up production facilities in neighbouring areas of Poland and Germany,...
Cooking the Books; Laura Tennant Says Fancy Recipes Won't Help You Answer the Question: What's for Supper?
Another volume of foodie porn arrived on my desk the other day, and didn't it just tick all the fashionable cookbook boxes. Tom Aikens Cooking (Ebury Press) supplies a back-to-basics title, exquisite food photography and an introduction that might...
Diplomatic Shock Waves from North Korea
So, whose fault is it anyway? The United States for being too harsh on North Korea, or China for being too soft? Casting blame may sound juvenile at this point, with the unstable leader of an impoverished country apparently wielding a nuclear weapon...
Events: New Statesman's Guide to Events in Politics, Current Affairs and Culture
SATURDAY OCTOBER 14 TRADE UNIONS AND CIVIL RIGHTS Tony Benn, John McDonnell MP, James Welch (Liberty), Campacc, Jean Charles de Menezes Campaign and trade union speakers. Greater London Association of Trade Union Councils. 1pm, TGWU HQ,...
Faith in an Old Nuclear Order Will Compound the Dangers
In January 2002, George W Bush declared that America "will not allow the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most dangerous weapons". His State of the Union address, in which he invoked "an axis of evil", is now much lampooned....
Family Matters No 3950
Set by Ian Birchall We asked for press articles speculating on the real reasons why Gordon Brown will declare that he is standing down to "spend more time with his family" Report by Ms de Meaner Super. Body-popping, eh? It doesn't bear thinking...
Found: Another Holiday in Paradise; Tony Sings the Praises of His New Best Friend, Cherie Sees a Monster, While Gordon and John Fight It out over an Exciting New Building Plan
Scene 1: The Blairs' flat. Tony at his desk. Cherie appears with two glasses of Cliff Richard's vintage Cotes du Rhone. Cherie: Drink? Tony: Thanks. I'm writing a stiff letter to Kim Jong-il. Cherie: Sock it to him. Let's hear. Tony:...
Heart of Darkness
Back to Black Amy Winehouse Island Popular music has always walked hand in hand with the seven deadly sins, and the current crop of drug-guzzling stars is no exception. But while Mike Skinner and Pete Doherty headed to the Priory and wrote...
I Predict a Riot ... and Other Things: Speculating on the Internet's Future Is Fun, but We Do Have Cause for Concern, Writes Becky Hogge
Sometimes writing about the internet can seem like a cop-out. Imagining the impact that new technology will have on human life, in all its social, political and linguistic forms, is fun, exciting and much easier than, say, reporting from the Middle...
It Started with a Myth: Oh, the Lies We Love to Tell. Hunter Davies Kicks a Few of Them into Touch
One of the minor side effects of writing books about so-called celebs is that you begin to see stuff from their point of view--how they get pissed off by stories that are rubbish and then have to put up with the same old lies, myths and mistakes being...
It Was Kierkegaard Who Said You Couldn't Make It Up. or Was It Littlejohn?
The conference season has confirmed in my mind that the real differences in British politics exist not between the political parties, but within them. I imagine at least a third of the front bench in each party could happily serve in an alternative...
Jack Straw's Thinly Veiled Abuse of Power
I am no supporter of the veil. I have grave reservations about women wearing it, and serious disagreements with the allegedly Islamic principles on which the practice is based. But the struggle against this hoary old religious chestnut has to be founded...
Lebanon: After the Soldiers Left
Rocky clearings flash past in the headlights. "There were houses here, can you see?" local journalist Youssef Saad tells me. That clearing held about 50 houses; those were shops, and here, a petrol station. Our driver hurtles through the dusk, eager...
Loud, Proud and Black: The Bling Generation Should Learn from Images of Unity Dating Back 40 Years, Writes Joseph Harker
Some political acts have an impact because they bring about practical change. Others have an even greater effect on a purely symbolic level. When, on 2 May 1967, a black activist named Bobby Seale led a delegation of 24 men and six women to the steps...
My Day with Dave and the Dead
Standing on the main stage at the Conservative party conference addressing the stony faces of the delegates is the sort of nightmare that would have me leaping out of bed in the small hours, teeth chattering and covered in sweat. But it wasn't quite...
New Labour and the Fragility of the Mind
It has become almost a requirement in Labour circles to admit to some sort of mental instability. Whether it is a bipolar disorder or simple depression, you can't be a true member of the new Labour tribe, apparently, until you have had a nervous collapse....
Painting Power: Diego Velazquez Was a Skilled Politician as Well as a Master Artist, Finds Mark Irving on a Visit to the El Escorial Palace near Madrid. and Right, Richard Cork Analyses His Most Famous Work, the Enigmatic Las Meninas
Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez was "the painter of the painters", declared Edouard Manet--but he was much more than that. The days when artists played a leading role in national or international politics are long gone (what does this say about...
Please, Sir, Can I Be Excused? Alan Bennett's Saccharine Tale Does Not Work Well on the Big Screen
The History Boys (15) dir: Nicholas Hytner Following its acclaimed run at the National Theatre in 2004 and on Broadway earlier this year, Alan Bennett's play The History Boys has been shepherded to the screen by its original director, Nicholas...
Premier League: From "Bad Ted" Heath to Well-Meaning John Major, Britain's 20th-Century Prime Ministers Have Shared Little beyond Their Famous Address. Simon Hoggart Remembers the Charmers, Bullies and Posers of Downing Street
One of the perks of being a middle-aged political hack is that you can remember a lot of people. For example, I have met--sometimes just shaken hands with, occasionally talked to at length--every British prime minister from Macmillan onwards. And what...
Rays of Hope That the Media Do Not See
The vast majority of things I read and watch in the mainstream media relating to Muslims focus obsessively on what divides us. But, at several wonderful, uplifting moments each week, I find myself amazed and proud at how diverse Britain has become....
Reforming Politics: Come to the Parties
This autumn Britain will have a rare national debate about what political parties are for. Thanks to the endless scandals over party funding, their finances are the subject of an official review. Some fear it will ultimately be little more than a stitch-up...
Sand in the Underpants of Power: A Remarkable Show Which Combines Activism, Journalism and Good Gags
Mark Thomas: as used on the famous Nelson Mandela Farnham Maltings and touring I had always imagined that Mark Thomas's shows would have the inbuilt flaw of preaching to the choir. As he tours around the country, however, he seems to be finding...
Sects and Drugs: A Religion in Brazil Mixes Catholicism with Powerful Hallucinogens. Alex Bellos Joined the Congregation
Ceu do Mapia is probably the smallest community in the world with its own time zone--half an hour in front of Boca do Acre and half an hour behind Pauini, the two nearest towns in this remote and underpopulated corner of the western Brazilian Amazon....
Suits You, Sir, but Button It: It Shows a Distinct Lack of Class to Wear an Open Jacket, Writes Annalisa Barbieri
There is one very important thing that has been completely ignored at the recent Labour and Conservative party conferences. There may or may not have been tension between Cherie Blair and Gordon Brown, and David Cameron may or may not lead the Conservatives...
The Geeks Have Inherited the Airwaves: Podcasting Isn't Clever or Cool-It's Just Plain Nerdy
A lot of people think podcasting is really cool. They know that it's in some way connected with the internet, and they've heard that Ricky Gervais and Russell Brand are into it: ergo, it must be, like, down with the kids. This is barmy. Podcasting...
The Last Mughal and a Clash of Civilisations: East and West Face Each Other across a Divide That Some Call a Religious War. Suicide Jihadis Take What They See as Defensive Action and Innocent People Are Killed. but This Is 1857. William Dalrymple on Lessons from the Raj for the Neo-Cons
At 4pm on a hazy, warm, sticky winter's day in Rangoon in November 1862, soon after the end of the monsoon, a shrouded corpse was escorted by a small group of British soldiers to an anonymous grave at the back of a walled prison enclosure. The enclosure...
The Truth about the Lie Detector: Critics Claim That Polygraph Testing Is as Credible as the Tooth Fairy or Witchcraft. Yet the US Government Still Relies on It to Identify Terrorists and Vet FBI Agents. Andrew Stephen on America's Alarming Love Affair with Junk Science
Did ex-Representative Mark Foley have sex with teenage male congressional pages? Was Wen Ho Lee, an American nuclear scientist, guilty of espionage by passing nuclear secrets to the Chinese? Did John Mark Karr kill six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey? Was...
The War on Youth: Crime Rates Are Falling throughout Britain, Yet the Number of Children Being Prosecuted Just Keeps on Rising. Why Are We Turning So Many Young People into Criminals?
"I admit that I recklessly ripped Linda's bra strap, causing damage." Fourteen-year-old Musa writes the sentence out painstakingly, signs it and hands it to his solicitor. The atmosphere in the dingy side room at Brent Youth Court is tense: Musa is...
Time out with Nick Cohen: His Mother Was Desperate to Be Respectable, Yet Here Was Jonathan Franzen, Breaking Every Rule His Parents Held Dear
If you are a youngish graduate making a career in the media or arts anywhere in the English-speaking world, the chances are you will have bought The Corrections and helped make it the bestselling literary novel to date in the 21st century. It is also...
Tin Hearts and Dead Precedents: A Hopeful "What If" Docudrama about Bush's Assassination Is Stuff and Nonsense
Death of a President More 4 It was not the death of a president. It was the death of the president. More 4's newspaper ads captured the moment: George W Bush emerging from the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago and falling forward, his hands clutched...
Tired of Islam Thrust in Our Faces
Muslims have become victims of a variant of Alsatian dog syndrome. The original condition arises when an Alsatian--or, more frequently now, a Rottweiler or pit bull terrier--savages a child. Before long, newspapers report more cases of dogs attacking...
Too Busy Fondling Their Self-Esteem
The great Chilean balladeer Victor Jara, who was tortured to death by the regime of General Pinochet 33 years ago, wrote a song that mocks those who see themselves as rational and liberal, yet so often retreat into the arms of authority, no matter...
Why I Want to See the Veil Gone from Britain: Harriet Harman Talks to Mary Riddell about Equality for Muslim Women, Why Gordon Brown Will Back Her Plans for Strong New Laws on Flexible Working-And Why He Needs Her as His Deputy to Win the Next Election
Even by House of Commons standards, Harriet Harman's meeting room is a temple of masculine austerity. There are only two personalised items: the first is a catering-sized tin of Nescafe; the second an impressionist poster labelled "Van Gogh in Arles"....
Yo, My Name's Dave
* Eat your heart out, Red Dave. Cameron's kitchen-sink home movie is outwatched and outscored by YouTube video spoofs from two of the outgoing premier Tony Blair's assassins. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but "Tommy-Gun" Watson and...