Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 10 December 12:00

Labour backbenchers with a clear view of the top of lain Duncan Smith's head during Prime Minister's Questions insist that his dome has a cosmetic cover of matt make-up. "It doesn't shine, unlike William Hague's," one confides.

A Good Samaritan today would help you only if you were wearing Armani
By Lauren Booth - 10 December 12:00

"Strangers are just friends we haven't met yet": a treacly Americanism that no longer holds sway in our city centre, where strangers, too, are separated into classes, and the chances are that a modern Samaritan would be more likely to cross the road to help if the victim were dressed in Armani r

How I taught a mugger a lesson he would not forget
By Darcus Howe - 10 December 12:00

One evening last week, just out of the barber's and on my way to the pub, I was trotting through one of Brixton's darker alleyways. A group of young men stood lazily under a street light. As I approached, one left the pack and crossed the road.

Uncork the fizz at once! The fall of Enron, the energy giant, is good news for everyone who believes in competition
By Robert Peston - 10 December 12:00

Enron was hubris incorporated. It christened itself "the world's leading company" and it stomped through the capital cities of the world, extolling the virtues of liberalised energy markets.

The BBC's political programming, like the Tory party, is pompous, exclusive and self-regarding
By Amanda Platell - 03 December 12:00

Open letter to Greg Dyke

Dear Greg,
Delighted to hear that your six-month review of the BBC's "worthy but dull" (your words not mine) political programming has come to an end, which will no doubt also be the fate of some of your shows. And not before time.

Britain has traded with just about every dictator with a homoerotic military uniform and a pair of bad sunglasses
By Mark Thomas - 03 December 12:00

Britain's record for arming dictators, political psychopaths and murderous bastards is well known and long established. Basically, if you can sit through a Rorschach test and see butchered corpses in every card held up, Britain will sell you weapons.

I checked my bag for old grass before my visit to New Scotland Yard
By Lauren Booth - 03 December 12:00

A colleague asked if I would like to join an exclusive tour around the "Black Museum" at New Scotland Yard, and the word "yes" fell from my lips, despite my being in the dark as to what a "black" museum was.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 03 December 12:00

Is this the first Zinoviev e-mail? Conservative officials are bleating that the electronic letter allegedly sent by their chairman, David Davis, to the Ipswich Tories, saying that the by-election there would be a test of lain Duncan Smith's leadership, is a fake.

Amazing! The Treasury has realised we have to pay more for our public services. Even the Queen Mum knew that
By Robert Peston - 03 December 12:00

Why was Derek Wanless the Treasury's ideal candidate to write a report on the chronic underfunding of the health service, which paves the way for Labour's first serious raid on the piggy banks of Middle England?

Why you no longer get mayhem on the streets of Brixton
By Darcus Howe - 03 December 12:00

The Observer last weekend carried a long article - part of an entire supplement on race - by Diran Adebayo, a young black novelist of Nigerian descent. Adebayo confessed that he is confused. I do not see why.

I await news anxiously: will my son, aged 16, join the jihad?
By Darcus Howe - 26 November 12:00

Earlier this month, the front page of the Trinidad and Tobago Mirror - in which I once had a column titled "Without Malice" - was headlined "Join the Jihad". It had a huge picture of Hasan Anyabwile, described as a former head of security for the Islamic group Jamaat al-Muslimeen.

The left is supposed to believe in diverse cultures, but it draws the line at the Sun
By Amanda Platell - 26 November 12:00

Reading about David Yelland, the editor of the Sun, recently, you could be forgiven for thinking that the left-wing press, and some of the right, had discovered a previously unknown, bald, beardless Bin Laden lieutenant.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 26 November 12:00

Further intelligence from the Anji Hunter front. The word at Westminster now is that Tony Blair's principal private aide quit her post because she knows that the Prime Minister proposes to stand down sooner rather than later.

Do you enjoy showering with men and picking on sissies? Join the military
By Lauren Booth - 26 November 12:00

Cyberspace is, to coin an old-fashioned phrase, "no place for a lady". Behind the thin veneer of science, entertainment and shopping online, there hides a clandestine world of compulsive hedonism and crass sexism.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 19 November 12:00

While the bombs fall on Afghanistan, unnoticed dirty work is afoot in Gibraltar. The Foreign Office is secretly cooking up a deal with Madrid for the future of the Rock, and Jack Straw is too busy reliving the 1930s to bother with the issue.

We should ban politicians from the Today programme: I prefer not to wake up to their desperate pleading
By Amanda Platell - 19 November 12:00

The moment has come to think the unthinkable. Well, actually, the moment came when I was lying in bed this week listening to the Today programme.

The New Statesman Profile - Derry Irvine
By Andy McSmith - 19 November 12:00

He wants the press shackled and the Lords turned into a selectocracy. Who can stop the chief of Tony

The proposed Ilisu dam is dead! We've won! You'd need to climb a scaffold to pull the grin off my face
By Mark Thomas - 19 November 12:00

For those of you who regard yourselves as being on the left, there is a word with which you might not be too familiar, and that word is "victory". The left is accustomed to noble defeats.

These days, it seems, it's OK to hate travellers, redheads, gypsies and midgets
By Lauren Booth - 19 November 12:00

Every time a character in Snatch repeated the film's catchphrase, "I fuckin' 'ate pykies", Tim, sitting next to me, gasped with mirth. "Me too, me too," he tittered.

How the race relations industry helped Bin Laden
By Darcus Howe - 19 November 12:00

All is not well in our northern towns. We are told that there is a rush among Muslims to disrobe of their traditional garb. More than 300 racial attacks have been recorded in the past week.

By present standards, chimpanzees could manage pension funds. And they wouldn't want seven-figure bonuses
By Robert Peston - 19 November 12:00

The price of a cup of coffee at the Sheraton, Doha, is $10. It is a classic case of short-term profit maximisation at the cost of potential long-term damage to the Sheraton brand.

The New Statesman Profile - Alternative health junkie
By Zoe Williams - 12 November 12:00

No longer a dippy hippy, she's created a multimillion-pound industry and has earned the blessing of

I, too, gawped at the photos of Jemima and Imran Khan having sex
By Lauren Booth - 12 November 12:00

At a seminar in the suitably "starry" Sugar Reef restaurant in central London, journalism students and wealthy lawyers debated the question: "Should celebrities have their privacy protected?" The panel had been carefully assembled to allow representatives from the various camps to have their say

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 12 November 12:00

David Blunkett plainly knows there is a war on - the one between him and Gordon Brown to succeed Field Marshal Tony Blair. He was spotted at a conspiratorial dinner with Peter Mandelson in Westminster the other day, deep in discussion on the future of the world.

Here's an idea to send Lady Thatcher completely over the edge: turn British Airways into a European firm
By Robert Peston - 12 November 12:00

If you want to see the nation state holding out against the forces of globalisation, look at the international airline industry.

Sting said sex, for him, was a religious experience. For Trudie's sake, I hope it happens only at Christmas
By Amanda Platell - 12 November 12:00

Seventeen words uttered by Rupert Murdoch the other day sent a chill through Downing Street. "If our newspapers were anti-Labour, perhaps Blair wouldn't worry so much about looking after his friends," he said menacingly at BSkyB's annual general meeting in London.

Why I found myself in sympathy with Duncan Smith
By Darcus Howe - 12 November 12:00

David Blunkett has proved to be quite unlike his predecessor at the Home Office, who lost all traces of liberalism. Marijuana, as far as Jack Straw was concerned, was a vile herb; its consumption would lead to harder drugs. This argument was disproved about 35 years ago.

They have oil, gas and rum but, alas, their rulers are thieves
By Darcus Howe - 05 November 12:00

Trinidad and Tobago falls deeper into political crisis by the hour. The government could no longer command a majority in parliament. The opposition was certain to win a vote of no confidence. The president could then have invited the opposition leader to form a government.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 05 November 12:00

Nato's Article 5, which declares that an injury to one member is an injury to all, was swiftly invoked after the attack on America. The less well-known Article 6, which decrees that Lord Robertson is not at home for hostilities during the weekend, is also operational.

Sepeleven is now used as an excuse to ditch your lover, axe a boring programme, stop a diet and keep smoking
By Amanda Platell - 05 November 12:00

Prime Minister Blair is planning a press conference next week similar to the one held last month by President Bush to unveil the faces of the most dangerous men in the war against terrorism.