Thinker's Corner

Democratising Global Sport by Sunder Katwala (The Foreign Policy Centre, available from Central Books, 99 Wallis Road, London E9 5LN, ISBN 1 903558 01 8, £9.95) suggests new measures to prevent international sport from becoming the pawn of commercial interests and mired in scandals (drugs, cheating and bribery).

The author proposes to limit the sale of broadcasting rights for all sporting events. He calls for "no competitive international matches to be shown exclusively live on a pay-per-view basis". A fraction of the accelerating TV rights revenues should fund the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Katwala sees the need for tougher governing bodies supported by political intervention, to safeguard sport as a legitimate public international good.

However, he fears that "even comprehensive reform will not end 'sporting scandals' in the Sunday tabloids - after all, who can regulate Gazza's kebab habit?".

Mind over matter: greening the new economy by Charles Leadbeater (Green Alliance, 40 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0RE, ISBN 0953106013, £10) argues that to save our environment, we should depend as much on innovative solutions as we do on regulation to force changes in consumer and corporate behaviour. If, for instance, the entire music industry embraced the Napster internet file-sharing technology, we could avoid producing environmentally harmful objects such as CDs and tapes. This pamphlet offers a set of recommendations, such as creating tax benefits for virtual alternatives to real products - such as digital music (see earlier point on CDs and tapes) and home-working (which does away with polluting travel to an office). Universities should incorporate environmental issues into their mainstream business courses. The author's proposals are rather general, but they do raise awareness of the need to create a bridge between the new economy and the environment.

This article first appeared in the 16 October 2000 issue of the New Statesman, The New Statesman Interview - Lord Woolf