New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 136, No. 4843, May 7

A Blair-Sized Hole: As the Prime Minister Prepares to Depart These Shores with His Interfaith Foundation, It May Not Be as Easy as Gordon Brown Might Think to Fill His Shoes. Our Political Editor, Martin Bright, Reports
After the initial fanfare of his departure announcement, Tony Blair intends to slip away quietly. Having delivered devolved government in Northern Ireland, he hopes to spend much of Labour's seven-week leadership election abroad: a G8 summit here,...
A Man without History: The Third Way Was Not an Ideology, but a Classy Fudge That the Prime Minister Soon Abandoned for Messianic Belligerence
Tony Blair's prime ministership began as a paradox and ended as a tragedy. Electorally, he has been the most successful leader in Labour's history, and one of the two most successful party leaders since the Second World War. Labour's 1997 majority...
Blair: My Part in His Make-Over
Two worlds collided this week when I returned to Cornwall, where I made my latest film, The Lie of the Land. I went to the "flesh house" of Ian Williams, where he strips down carcasses for the local pack of hunt hounds, with a very cool photographer,...
Changing the Rules: Can I Refuse to Be Sniffed by a Police Dog? Why Won't My Juror Wife Talk to Me Any More? Let the New Statesman's Legal Expert Solve Your Civil Liberties Dilemmas
A few days ago, I got the Tube to work and found my regular stop crawling with drugs officers and sniffer dogs. As my flatmate's not averse to the odd joint, I began to feel quite prickly. The dogs turned out to be more interested in someone else's...
Charm Offensive: Victoria James Discovers How Tourists, Not Soldiers, Will Shape the Future of the Falkland Islands
"You're going there on holiday?" said the young man sitting next to me in the departure lounge. "Why not?" I replied. "Would you rather be going to ..."--I squinted at the next flight on the board--"... Basra?" "Yeah," came the unexpected reply....
Ecuador: Banking on Friends
Last month, shattering even the elevated expectations of early polls predicting victory, some 82 per cent of the Ecuadorean electorate voted "Si" in a referendum to reform the decrepit constitution that misgoverns their country. It is a clear vote...
Good Intentions, a Terrible War and a Man Who Stayed Too Long
Tony Blair should not be leaving us now: he should have gone in late 2003, as soon as it was confirmed that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq at the time of the war. Many leaders have been forced out for less. Instead he clung on, surviving...
Haiti: Shadow in Sun City
Relative calm followed President Rene Preval's election victory in February 2006, but once again violence is rising in this nation with a tumultuous history. The conflict centres around the capital, Port-au-Prince, and in particular a densely populated...
His Legacy? We Are a Society in Pieces: Ten Years Ago, We Saw Ourselves Reflected by Blair as Young and Energetic. Now We Are Broken Down, Isolated and Anxious. the "Remoralisation" of Society Never Happened: He Leaves Behind a Country in Fragments
Where you end up depends on where you start. The mantra of the Blair decade should have been education, education, education, but ended surely as location, location, location. People droned on about property and got agitated about the precise location...
In Search of Lost Youth: This First-Class Programme Tackled Gang Crime without Sanctimony
Peckham's Lost Radio 4 Writing in the Daily Telegraph on 28 April, Tony Blair (I still get a childish kick out of such juxtapositions) admitted that he had got it wrong. Being tough not only on crime but on "the causes of crime"--unemployment,...
Iraq and the Apocalypse: Why Did a Gifted Prime Minister Embark on a Course Which People Far Stupider Had Consistently Warned Him Could Not Work? David Hare on a Tragic Paradox
New Labour being the project it was, we all have memories of special dismay. My own most lowering moment arrived one night in the winter of 2005 when I went to Chatham House in London to listen to a talk by Gordon Brown, given under the patronage of...
I've Never Knowingly Been Aroused by a Tory. Bowler Hats and Brollies Were a Turn-Off
The gay community does its best to look after its own. If we hear about lesbians being persecuted in Africa or equal rights being denied in Mexico, we're on the case. If they don't watch out, we'll set Peter Tatchell on them. In the absence of recreational...
Laughter to Raise the Raftas: The Indian Family Has Become the Ideal Template for British Domestic Drama
Rafta, Rafta ... Lyttelton Theatre, London SE1 The playwright Ayub Khan-Din clearly suffered from something akin to second-album syndrome. His first play, East is East, was a corker; in 1997, it won almost every award going, becoming a film a...
Let's Get Serious: With Its Emphasis on the "Young" and the "Fresh", the Turner Prize Has Pandered to Disposable Celebrity Culture. It's Time to Change the Rules, Writes Sue Hubbard
Being asked to write about the Turner Prize is a bit of a poisoned chalice. To criticise Britain's biggest prize for modern art is to risk aligning oneself with the Daily Mail's "call that art?" brigade. To defend it, on the other hand, is to endorse...
Luck and the Thing
As he bows out, Tony Blair may reflect that, helped by good fortune, he has left his country a more decent place, one closer to social democracy. In the first of our verdicts by top writers, Geoff Mulgan reflects on a man who thrived by moulding the...
Maggie's Boy: "You Were the Future, Once," David Cameron Famously Taunted Tony Blair-But, in Our Final Assessment, John Gray Argues That New Labour Failed to Extricate Itself from the Thatcher Past
A late by-product of the Eighties, Tony Blair will be remembered for using his party as a vehicle for an outdated version of the Thatcher project. Applying the half-truths of the political generation that preceded him, he secured ten years in office...
Make Jokes, Not War: While Politicians Cross Swords, a Crop of Talented Comedians Is Bringing the Truth about Iranian Culture to Bars and Clubs across Britain, Writes Stephen Armstrong
Patrick Monahan is used to hecklers. The half-Iranian, half-Irish stand-up comic usually raises his own ethnicity in the first ten minutes of any routine--mainly because he's got a decent opening gag about spending all his holidays in customs. During...
Our Leaders Are Steering Us into the Abyss
With a long career in politics already behind him, it must take a lot to shock Al Gore. But even this seasoned campaigner was left open-mouthed at the government of Canada's latest policy initiative on global warming. What Gore found especially "shocking",...
Paperbacks to Go: John Sutherland on the Books for Sale in Cinemas, Cafes and Designer Boutiques
In 1935, two young publishers, one American, one English, hit on the same brilliant idea. Why not sell next-to-new books, in soft covers, at near-giveaway prices, and call them "paperbacks"? Allen Lane came up with Penguins, at 6d (2.5p) a go. Robert...
Personal Service: Sometimes, Even We Experts Need a Little Fashion Advice
Dressing up used to be so much fun, hours spent in front of the mirror and behind closed doors, trying on different combinations of clothes, often to music. Shops were places that inspired excitement, not fear. But somewhere along the line, for some...
Revealed: The Iraq Nuclear Deceit; Evidence That Blair Exaggerated Iraq's Nuclear Plans May Prove the Most Damaging
Tony Blair's key claim that Saddam Hussein could develop a nuclear weapon in "between one and two years" was fabricated for public consumption. It was not based on a judgement of the intelligence community as the Prime Minister told parliament. How...
Rostropovich: Dubious Honours
There is irony and tragedy in the fact that Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, led the tributes to Mstislav Rostropovich, who died on 27 April, aged 80. Revered by music lovers the world over as a peerless cellist, conductor, pianist, champion of...
Share and Share Alike: Protecting Your Wireless Network with a Password Won't Stop Hackers, Writes Becky Hogge
Unfailingly, the last thing to fall into place after you've moved house is your internet connection. My live-in tech support and I moved more than a month ago, yet it wasn't until last weekend that the broadband finally came online. Admittedly, delays...
Sources, Smears and Coded Messages
I am in receipt of a leak. It's such a small leak that perhaps "secretion" would describe it better, but it is none the less information I have been told confidentially by somebody vaguely in the know. He (or she--I'm not saying) informs me that the...
Take a Crawl on the Dark Side: Spider-Man's Breezy Charm Has Been Replaced by Standard Superhero Moping
Spider-Man 3 (12A) dir: Sam Raimi Anyone still harbouring the illusion that the superhero lifestyle is a gas should check out Spider-Man 3. The Spider-Man series has got by so far without equalling the angst levels of Hulk, Batman Begins or Superman...
Terrorism: The Missing Links
The jury in the trial of seven Muslims suspected of a conspiracy to blow up shopping centres and nightclubs with home-made "fertiliser" bombs--the so-called Crevice trial--has delivered its verdict. Five of those in the dock were found guilty of involvement...
The Cricket World Cup: A Farce in the Dark
Caribbean peoples have spent 47 days and nights in the wilderness, peeping out from time to time to glimpse a slice of cricketing reality. And I am here to bear witness. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] This year the Cricket World Cup, organised by the...
The New Randlords: South Africa Is Booming. the Economy Is Enjoying Its Biggest Surge since the Second World War-And for Once It Is Not Just Whites Who Are Prospering. Alec Russell Reports on the Rise of the New Black Super-Rich
United States of America Boulevard: there was a time when no self-respecting black-township resident would have wanted an address so redolent of US imperialism. Just a decade or so ago, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara were township street names of choice....
The Real Price of Cheap Food: A Moving Film Uncovers the Rural World Abandoned by New Labour
The Lie of the Land Channel 4 Molly Dineen is a brilliant film-maker, but even those of us who count ourselves among her biggest fans thought that her last but one documentary, about Geri Halliwell, was off-key. You knew she'd got too close when...
Tony, the NS and Me: The New Statesman Has Always Had a Close, If Fraught, Relationship with Labour. Here, Three Former Editors with Widely Divergent Political Styles Give a Personal Perspective on the Years Leading to the 1997 Victory and the Realities of Power
JOHN LLOYD 1986-87 The New Statesman helped make me a Blairite before the word was invented--even though, in a brief editorship from 1986-87, I had a row with Tony Blair. Headhunted for the job by the late Philip Whitehead, chairman of the NS board,...
Trouble at the Dairy: Big Cheeses in the French Food Industry Threaten Small Producers, Writes Nicholas Clee
My first shopping basket on arriving in Normandy always includes a Camembert. I have to wait for market day for the rich, pungent cheeses of Monsieur Barbot, so I make do with reliable and widely available brands such as Lanquetot or Lepetit. But the...
What Cherie Told Her Hairdresser about Gordon
* Word reaches of a hysterical Cherie Blair venting her spleen about the man she believes has bullied her husband out of his job. A mini-mole was in the audience when the Blair biographer and BBC gob-on-a-stick Jon Sopel did a turn at a north London...
Wolfowitz's Other Mistake
Back in April 2005, a fracas at a Nairobi party prompted front-page stories in the Kenyan press. The party was being thrown by Makhtar Diop, the World Bank's departing country director, and the row was caused by Lucy Kibaki, President Mwai Kibaki's...
Worth Its Weight: A Collectors' Book on Man United Costs [Pounds Sterling]3,000. Is It Worth It, Asks Hunter Davies?
A man came to my house last week with a book. I knew he was coming, so when I heard the black cab stop outside I went to the window. I love spying. I'm at the front of the house, on the first floor, so I can look down at people who never think of looking...
Yes, Speeding Is a "Real" Crime
Some decisions are probably best slept on. It seems fair to say, for instance, that it was a dodgy decision by Richard Brunstrom--the chief constable of North Wales Police--to show graphic images of people killed while speeding, without first asking...
You Tak' the High Road No 3976
Set by Corvus Maximus You were asked to explain in ballad form why your swift journey from Westminster to the Scottish hustings generated a smaller carbon footprint than those of the other political parties Report by Ms de Meaner It took me...