Editor's Letter

We’ve put drugs on the cover of this week’s New Statesman as Misha Glenny conducts a timely examination of the link between the British attempts to eradicate poppy farming in Afghanistan and the resurgence of the Taliban. He draws comparison with Colombia where narcotics have long-fuelled extremist groups such as the Farc. Just how wrong are we getting the war on drugs?

At the end of the conference season our political editor Martin Bright asks how long it will be before the Tories beat a retreat from their cuddly new image and return to their old authoritarian ways. Not quite as ugly as they were, apparently they are still quite a long way from being attractive. What do you think?

Emma John meanwhile takes a look at the scandals hitting football and asks whether we should call time on our obsession with the "beautiful game". Talking of obsessions and football, Hunter Davies uses his column to wax lyrical about Gareth Southgate’s slender waist. You’ll have to read it…

Then we’ve got a former editor of the New Statesman, Anthony Howard, looking back 50 years to the Suez Crisis when he was a young officer. And in our contemporary arts special, Alice O'Keeffe tells us about Fernando Botero's latest work which draws inspiration from the horrors of Abu Ghraib.