New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 142, No. 5163, June 21

20,000 People Standing in a Field
With the light seeping in from outside, I can just about see my breath in front of me. Head hurts, need painkillers. Now. Torch in mouth, I rummage around the tent through bags of fermented socks. So many socks. No sign of pills. I think they're socks...
Across Europe, Austerity Policies Have Caused Stagnation and Despair. There Is a More Humane Way to Restore Our Fortunes
Lionel Robbins defined economics as the study of the allocation of scarce resources among competing uses. For an economy at full employment, where the opportunity cost of government spending is the private spending it displaces, this remains a good...
A Jewel Set in a Samphire Sea
Although my job involves more beating, kneading and whipping than a dominatrix saving for a holiday, I wouldn't call it physically demanding, so an afternoon painstakingly harvesting tiny sprigs of samphire with a blunt pair of scissors came as a shock...
All That Glitters: As Miners Dig for Gold and Politicians Proclaim a New Economic Era, People in the Remote Village of Ierissos Tell a Different Story
"So, you've come to talk to terrorists," says Maria Christianou as I step off the bus, after a two-hour journey through rolling hills east of Thessaloniki. Christianou, an environmentalist, makes it sound like a well-worn phrase, but it's no less incongruous...
A Private Paradise
Arete: a Retrospective Edited by Craig Raine Arete Books, 504pp, [pounds sterling]10, I have been taking refuge in Craig Raine's (Carts tri-quarterly" for almost a decade. A tidy row of copies could reliably be found under the kitchen cabinet...
A Very Modern Conflict
Stories about the "good old days" are familiar to any Lebanese who, like me, moved as a child to London to escape the civil war that raged from 1975 to 1990. OUT parents and grandparents shook their heads at every outbreak of violence while recalling...
Balls's Hottest Dish in Town
In the fallout from the latest lobbying scandal, MPs are scrambling for defensive positions. James Arbuthnot, the armchair general, informed MPs under his command on the defence select committee of the need to avoid potential conflicts of interest....
Bored Escort
Like Someone in Love (12A) dir: Abbas Kiarostami The lesson that audiences took away from the hit romantic comedy Pretty Woman was that prostitution was a viable way for a young woman to meet Richard Gere or his nearest available equivalent....
Cold, Hard Cash
Mission Drift; Hard Feelings; ThatcherWrite The Shed, London SE1; Finborough Theatre, London SW10; Theatre503, London SW11 Las Vegas, 2008--an electric oasis in a death-dry desert. One of the fastest-growing cities in the US, it's a good-time...
Devil in the Detail
Portrait of a Party: the Conservative Party in Britain, 1918-45 Stuart Ball Oxford University Press, 608pp, [pounds sterling]85 The Conservatives were by far the dominant party between the wars, winning more votes than any other party at every...
Doctor Who Can Change the World with a Sidekick and a Satsuma. Why Can't He Become a She?
Every fan says this about their favourite series, but Doctor Who really isn't just another television show. It's a very simple story--an eccentric time traveller shoots around the universe in a blue box rescuing people and saving worlds from tinfoil...
Even If the Union Endures, the Status Quo Should Not
In much of Westminster, Alex Salmond's campaign for Scottish independence is already regarded as a doomed cause. The Yes campaign has trailed in every poll since the start of 2012 and has been repeatedly forced on to the defensive over its stance on...
Game, Set Macho
The Outsider: My Autobiography Jimmy Connors Bantam Press, 416pp, [pounds sterling]18.99 As everyone knows, sport has always been in perpetual decline and fall. Immediately after the first spear was hurled on the savannah someone objected...
Good Turns, Grand Ambitions
In his seven years at the National Union of Students, Matt Hyde galvanised student leaders into revitailsing the organisation. As the new Chief Executive of The Scout Association, he looks forward to grappling with a fresh set of challenges. First...
Hitchcock Has Nothing on Charles Saatchi in His Power to Deeply Disturb
Back from New York and I discover that once again summer has failed to materialise. It had all been so tantalising on the way out: the trees on the A312, which links the A40 and the M4, were alive with birdsong, and that's a phrase I never thought...
It Doesn't Matter Who Punched Who: It's All Part of Cricket's Silly Pantomime
Cricket has been turning into a nightclub for a decade. The Indian Premier League tries to keep the cricket to a minimum, a brief interruption between the pre-game party--with its dancing girls, Bollywood stars and fireworks--and the televised after-game...
Lancaster Bomber
The White Queen BBC1 It's 1464 and, in a forest somewhere in England, the new Yorkist king, Edward IV, is doing his best to get into the knickers--I write metaphorically, as drawers were not invented until the late 18th century--of a Lancastrian...
Land of Hope and Stories: Social History with a Smile
Modernity Britain: Opening the Box, 1957-1959 David Kynaston Bloomsbury; 432pp; [pounds sterling]25 The entertainment flies off the pages. The Kynaston method of compiling a vast array of sources and applying them with equal zest to the momentous...
Nigella and a "Playful Tiff", the Changing Face of the Media and Letting Ian Brady Die
Would you have stepped in to halt what Charles Saatchi called a "playful tiff" and the police called assault? After the Sunday People published front-page pictures of Nigella Lawson being grabbed round the throat by her husband, I found myself cast...
Quantum Leak
The news that the US National Security Agency has been spying on public emails, phone calls and internet chat logs provokes an obvious question: just how much data can the NSA cope with? That depends on whether it has a working quantum computer. ...
Rhythm City
Jazz: New York in the Roaring Twenties Robert Nippoldt, Hans-Jurgen Schaal Taschen, 144pp, [pounds sterling]34.99 In February 1924, Paul Whiteman and his orchestra debuted a symphony in jazz at the Aeolian Hall in New York City by a young...
Shored against My Ruins
Sky Arts Ignition: Memory Palace Victoria and Albert Museum, London SW7 "I originally resisted moving to Brooklyn because it's so fucking cliched," says the novelist Hari Kunzru, now an Essex boy in New York. We've just had to leave the first...
Sometimes, in the Evening Light, Istanbul Feels Too Eternal to Be Ruffled by Modern Politics
I can't think of many countries other than Lebanon where you can eat and drink in bars that range from Mediterranean elegance to rooftop noise and bling, watch cabaret in a nightclub carved out of a stately old underground cinema and then set out in...
Sorry, Snow Monkeys-We Win
What makes us human? God, it's such a long list. The ways in which we are--and no offence to any other animals reading--totally superior to the beasts are manifold. Let's just open with mixtapes, beatboxing, Manhattan and trifle, then pause for a minute...
Squeezed Middle
I am staring blankly at my bank statement. The baby woke up at four and my mind is not at its pin-sharp peak. T-Mobile have charged me [pounds sterling]43.37. It's a while since I gave any thought to my phone bill, what with giving birth and failing...
Stuff of Dreams
The Ocean at the End of the Lane Neil Gaiman Headline, 256pp, [pounds sterling]16.99 Neil Gaiman made his name with The Sandman, a sprawling comic book series released over the course of seven years from 1989 to 1996, which starred Morpheus,...
The "Dead Puppy" Problem: Or Why Both Labour and the Tories Fear Winning the Next Election
When an election looks hard to win, MPs sometimes seek solace in the myth that it might not, after all, be so bad to lose. Before 2010, the exhausted Labour ranks were infected with this virus, whose symptom is a delusional belief in the restorative...
The Fame
"Oh, I don't watch Big Brother." A harmless admission, right? It looks like a simple statement of telly preference, a brief glimpse into the personal habits and quirks a person has formed over years of watching the box in the corner. [ILLUSTRATION...
The NS Crossword by Otterden
Across 1/22 Hard hit or otherwise in 9/17D (54) 4/26 Take-off day to go to Ireland (6) 6 Competitor's half-fare not applicable to incoming passenger (5) 11 Foreign credit blow--it can easily run out (6, 3) 12 Fire appliance cover is...
The Rise of 3D Cinema Signals a Triumph for Those Villains Ad Man and Mark Exec
You can fool all of the people for some of the time, then some more of the time, and then--even with the benefit of hindsight--they'll have been fooled for so long that it will constitute, de facto, all of the time. This, at any rate, seems to be what's...
The SNP's Corporation-Tax Folly
For some months after the SNP defied electoral arithmetic to secure majority status at Holyrood in 2011, its control of the Scottish political landscape seemed absolute. With his unionist opponents humiliated, Alex Salmond was free, in effect, to run...
"This Is the Phoney War. This Is Not the Campaign": If Alex Salmond's Opponents Are Feeling Confident, They Shouldn't Be. in a Rare Print Interview, the SNP Leader Takes Aim at Nigel Farage, the Bedroom Tax and Scottish Labour-And Reveals His Plan to Guarantee Every Young Person a Job
I meet Alex Salmond on a humid afternoon at Bute House, the First Minister's official residence in Charlotte Square, in Edinburgh's magnificent 18th-century New Town, on the day after it was announced that Heart of Midlothian football club was entering...
Turn of the Screw
I meet Gabriella Csoszo in a small, arty cafe close to Budapest's ornate, 19th-century Market Hall. She runs a royalty-free photography archive and is a founding member of NEMMA, an organisation created to raise awareness of diminishing artistic freedom...
Understanding the Prism Leaks Is Understanding the Rise of a New Fascism
In his book Propaganda, published in 1928, Edward Bernays wrote: "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "Those who manipulate...
We Found Love: Rihanna's Victim-Diva Complex
I never thought I'd say this but she makes it look so easy. I came to Twickenham, home of rugby, expecting to see a shell of a woman mouthing to a backing track and operated, like a marionette, by her sponsors. I get a slinky, laconic diva strolling...
When He Was Bad, He Was Rotten
Jarvis Cocker's Sunday Service BBC 6 Music John Lydon sitting in for Jarvis Cocker on Sunday afternoon--the first of three shows--was impeccable (16 June, 4pm). Twenty-five songs in two hours that ranged from Burning Spear to Loretta Lynn, Motorhead...