In this week's New Statesman: Young, angry . . . and right?

Owen Jones on the Occupy movement | The break-up of the eurozone | Steve Jobs's genius | Albie Sachs

In this week's New Statesman, Owen Jones speaks to protesters at the St Paul's Occupation about "the fastest-growing political force on earth", now staging demonstrations in a thousand cities across the globe. Jones notes the distance of both the unions and the Labour Party from the movement, and asks whether it could be the progressives' Tea Party.

In a guest-written Politics column, after the largest Tory rebellion against the government in living memory Conservative MP Jesse Norman insists that the party remains "remarkably united over the EU issue" and behind David Cameron, whilst Mark Leonard, director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, warns that the break-up of the European Union is quite possible and that a marginalised Britain makes it even more likely.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Derbyshire talks to South African lawyer and anti-apartheid campaigner Albie Sachs about the importance of "truth and reconciliation", and Bryan Appleyard wonders whether the death of Apple's chief executive, Steve Jobs, spells the end of America's age of innovation.

All this, plus Kevin McKenna on freedom for Scotland, Edward Platt on J B Priestly's Hull, Vivien Goldman on Britain's history of female punks and Stuart Maconie on the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's Nevermind.

Alice Gribbin is a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was formerly the editorial assistant at the New Statesman.

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For the first time in my life I have a sworn enemy – and I don’t even know her name

The cyclist, though, was enraged. “THAT’S CLEVER, ISN’T IT?” she yelled. “WALKING IN THE ROAD!”

Last month, I made an enemy. I do not say this lightly, and I certainly don’t say it with pride, as a more aggressive male might. Throughout my life I have avoided confrontation with a scrupulousness that an unkind observer would call out-and-out cowardice. A waiter could bring the wrong order, cold and crawling with maggots, and in response to “How is everything?” I’d still manage a grin and a “lovely, thanks”.

On the Underground, I’m so wary of being a bad citizen that I often give up my seat to people who aren’t pregnant, aren’t significantly older than me, and in some cases are far better equipped to stand than I am. If there’s one thing I am not, it’s any sort of provocateur. And yet now this: a feud.

And I don’t even know my enemy’s name.

She was on a bike when I accidentally entered her life. I was pushing a buggy and I wandered – rashly, in her view – into her path. There’s little doubt that I was to blame: walking on the road while in charge of a minor is not something encouraged by the Highway Code. In my defence, it was a quiet, suburban street; the cyclist was the only vehicle of any kind; and I was half a street’s length away from physically colliding with her. It was the misjudgment of a sleep-deprived parent rather than an act of malice.

The cyclist, though, was enraged. “THAT’S CLEVER, ISN’T IT?” she yelled. “WALKING IN THE ROAD!”

I was stung by what someone on The Apprentice might refer to as her negative feedback, and walked on with a redoubled sense of the parental inadequacy that is my default state even at the best of times.

A sad little incident, but a one-off, you would think. Only a week later, though, I was walking in a different part of town, this time without the toddler and engrossed in my phone. Again, I accept my culpability in crossing the road without paying due attention; again, I have to point out that it was only a “close shave” in the sense that meteorites are sometimes reported to have “narrowly missed crashing into the Earth” by 50,000 miles. It might have merited, at worst, a reproving ting of the bell. Instead came a familiar voice. “IT’S YOU AGAIN!” she yelled, wrathfully.

This time the shock brought a retort out of me, probably the harshest thing I have ever shouted at a stranger: “WHY ARE YOU SO UNPLEASANT?”

None of this is X-rated stuff, but it adds up to what I can only call a vendetta – something I never expected to pick up on the way to Waitrose. So I am writing this, as much as anything, in the spirit of rapprochement. I really believe that our third meeting, whenever it comes, can be a much happier affair. People can change. Who knows: maybe I’ll even be walking on the pavement

Mark Watson is a stand-up comedian and novelist. His most recent book, Crap at the Environment, follows his own efforts to halve his carbon footprint over one year.

This article first appeared in the 20 October 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Brothers in blood