New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 131, No. 4599, August 5

A Dirty Business: Ross Diamond Is Amused by a Very English Brand of Tasteless Irony. (Advertising)
At a time when the US consumer spends more on fast food than on films books, magazines, videos and recorded music combined, the advertising world, that slag of all industries, brings us another cynical manipulation of sex and desire in the form...
Americans See Us as Subordinates: Anti-European Feeling Is Running High in America-Among the Left as Well as the Right, as John Lloyd Discovered at a Dinner Party in Washington
Robert Kagan, a well-known conservative writer and policy analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, recently published an essay in which he charted Europe's subordination to the US. In "Power and Weakness", he predicted that this...
Are You Suffering from Affluenza? (Wealth)
Ronit Lami is a professional therapist and self-styled "wealth consultant". She helps rich people who are unhappy with their excessive wealth. Their condition is known as "affluenza"--and there are plenty of sufferers out there, as Dr Lami's client...
Armour for the Ministry of Truth. (Media)
So, a crony of new Labour is to lead Ofcom, the embryonic super-regulator of our media. Lord Currie of Marylebone is not lust a mate of Gordon Brown's, but is actually credited with helping his chum cook up the five tests for entry to the euro....
A Way to Curb Stop and Search. (Cannabis)
It is midday on Acre Lane in Brixton. Two policemen walk over to a stopped car and ask the black driver to step out. Considering him suspicious-looking, they decide to search him. They force him to hold out his hands, handcuff him and haul him down...
Be Cool This Summer-Spice Up Your Life with Some Hot Indian Recipes. (Food)
It's an Indian summer of style, or so we keep being told. Every half-fashionable starlet has been seen sporting mehndi decorations on her hands. Bombay Dreams dominates the theatre columns; the expensive Devdas was the first mainstream Hindi film...
Definitely No Class Act: Andrew Billen on a Sitcom about a Nouveau-Riche Clan with No Redeeming Qualities. (Television)
Not since Johnny Vaughan's 'Orrible last September has a sitcom met a critical kicking as vicious as The House that Jack Built received before it had even been transmitted. "The kind of thing that gives British sitcoms a bad name and makes fast-acting...
Events
The ns guide to what's going on in politics, current affairs and culture EUROPEAN SOCIAL FORUM Florence, Italy, 7-10 November. A huge gathering of anti-capitalist activists, trade unionists and campaign groups. Tens of thousands are expected...
Finding the Real Iraq: In the Shadow of Their Glorious Leader, Iraqis Are Struggling with Malnutrition and Illiteracy. but That's Not What the Authorities Want You to See
A sign at the border between Jordan and Iraq reads: "Every Iraqi corner should reverting centers of comer checking in boundaries ports to perform Aids checking". Roughly translated, this means that those entering Iraq will be forced to have an Aids...
Fred Trueman-The Last of the Great Professional Northerners. (Sidelines)
Whenever I see that advert urging you to "take the cricket with you this summer", I think of one of the funniest stories I've ever heard, which was told on Test Match Special by Fred Trueman. The story--Fred swore it was true--concerned a pompous...
Good for Alan! (and Good for the Tories). (Leader)
Alan Duncan's saying of the moment is: "The glass has been shattered into a thousand pieces; it can't be put back again." He was referring to the glass ceiling that has kept gay Tory MPs from the top jobs. The Tory front-bench spokesman on foreign...
His Past in Rhodesia and Apartheid South Africa May Explain Why Some See a Conspiracy in the FBI's Failure to Charge the Biological Warfare Expert Linked to Last Year's Anthrax Attacks. (America)
I am not one for conspiracy theories, as regular New Statesman readers know. But this week I must air an intriguing possibility: why have there been no arrests or charges in the anthrax investigations, following the five deaths and mass panic more...
Hitting the Base Notes: Philip Kerr Salutes Two Vulgar, Offensive, Puerile Icons-Austin Powers and Mozart. (Film)
For a long time now, the storylines of the James Bond movies have looked more preposterous than the Swiss navy. As infantile and formulaic as powdered baby milk, as overblown and boring as an Academy Awards ceremony, the movies keep coming back...
Hostess from Hell: Amy Rosenthal Finds That the Legendary Seventies Party Has Lost Its Sting. (Theatre)
Over dinner, after seeing Abigail's Parry, my companions reminisced about the culinary favourites of the Seventies: coq au yin, boeuf bourguignon. Personally, I was mostly eating fish fingers cutup small by someone elseat the time. In 1977, when...
How I Learned to Love the Commonwealth Games. (Sport)
I was determined to avoid the Commonwealth Games. The thought of more imperial pomp and ceremony, in this year of the golden jubilee, and of more jolly jingoism from the BBC, seemed all too much to bear. But the games, to my surprise, have been...
I Am Gawping at Sandy, the Contestant from Big Brother. Have I Come to This, Being Electronically Excited by Someone Just Because I Have Seen Him on the Box? (Diary)
I remember watching a wintry Mother Courage in female company and being told after the performance that, as a rule, war and famine apart, women found heat harder to cope with than cold. A clothes thing, partly--winter making fewer flagrant demands...
It's Easy to Boycott Israeli and American Goods-But What about My Football Team? (Now What?)
Having shown no sign of possessing will-power since I reluctantly swapped nappies for knickers on my first day of school, I am finding this era of diets, boycotts, rehab and detox stressful. Recently, however, big "causes" -- rather than the threat...
Land of Plenty: Anything Goes at American Theatre Festivals. This Inclusive Spirit Encourages a Creative Diversity Lacking in the English Cultural Diet, Discovers. (the Back Half)
Standing in line at a brunch buffet in a roadside Iowa diner recently, I was startled by the variety on offer. There was the expected thin streaks of over-fried bacon, plump sausages, dried-out potato chunks cooked three days before. There were...
My Son's Stepfather Was Gunned Down by an Assassin. Now I Worry That He Will Be Next
I received a phone call last week: my son, my last boy, was dead. He had been shot through with bullets from an automatic pistol in a tiny suburb of Port of Spain, where he lived with his mother, Wardah, her husband, Hassan, and three other children...
No Longer Just the Bank: Europe May Have Been Subsidising the Palestinian Authority, but It Has Played an Insignificant Role in the Middle East. Now That Will Change
At least on one point the Israelis and Palestinians agree--we in Europe have lost our nerve. From the Palestinians' envoy to London: "Europe is still an actor in search of a role and we in the Middle East, we have a role in search of an actor. Europe...
Shooting Stars: Jillian Edelstein on the Remarkable Woman Whose Work Falls between Marlene Dietrich's Legs and Sad Potato Pickers. (Photography)
When I met Eve Arnold on the eve of her 90th birthday she said: "Some people told me that I was a better writer than I was a photographer." This remark was made in the light of the publication of Film Journal, a photographic collection and memoir...
The Bumbling, Moustachioed Terrorists; November 17 Were Part of Greek Mythology: Bold, Daring and Secretive, They Eluded Police for Decades. Now, They Are Being Unmasked as Plump and Banal
November 17: the most mysterious terrorist group in the west. Ruthless, ingenious, impenetrable and, as Europe's only guerrilla gang to elude the authorities for 27 years, seemingly invincible, too. How many times have I written those words? Certainly...
The Chief Inspector of Prisons Fears That Squalid Conditions and Overcrowding Breach the Human Rights of Some Inmates. (Interview: Anne Owers)
Prisons are full. Last week's record was 72,000, with the overspill housed in police cells, at the Dorchester bed-and-breakfast rate of [pounds sterling]300 a night. Crisis or catastrophe? Anne Owers likes neither word, partly because doom-mongering...
The English Wine Trade Puts Down-at-Heel Courtesy over Profit-Making. (Wine)
Pascal observed that all the troubles of mankind stem from our inability to sit quietly alone in a room. And now we know that he was right. Ecological virtue requires that we do not go too far in search of refreshment. And, for once, virtue is easily...
The Man Who Fell to Earth: Michel Houellebecq Is on the Run-From His Left-Liberal Critics in France, from Islamic Activists and Perhaps Even from Himself. He Talks Exclusively to Gerry Feehily about His New Life in Ireland
I first met Michel Houellebecq at a party held in Paris, in early September last year, to celebrate the French launch of his third novel, Plateforme. A wan, stooped figure wearing a large yellow anorak, baggy jeans and a pair of fluorescent Nike...
The Secret Partition: A Plan to Split Saudi Arabia Gives the Saudis the Holy Sites and Us the Oil, George Galloway Tells
As editor of Defence Review, I normally talk to senior industrialists, officers and politicians who tend to be rather conservative--especially if they are in the current government. To provide a contrast, I wanted to interview George Galloway MP,...
The Steam Rooms. (Mr Smith Goes To)
"Are you a goer?" asked the old boy sitting outside the Steam rooms. He was harmless. Or was he? He was naked, after all, and his posture was wizenedly flagrant. "We manipulate each other and when we finish, we can't move. Is this your first time?"...
Tony and Gordon Want You to Be Happy: We're Richer Than Ever, We've Just Been on a Giant Spending Spree, but We're Still Miserable. Can Happiness Economics Help Us? (Cover Story)
What makes you happy? The government is dying to know. As ministers try out a bit of pleasure-seeking for themselves on Cape Cod or in the south of France, they may well be reflecting on the latest policy buzzwords--"happiness economics". Maybe...