Clear off out of my way - I'm on the verge of becoming a major literary figure
By Laurie Taylor - 10 July 13:00

I'd lay odds that it was two-thirds of the way through the book and halfway down the left-hand page, but I'm still unable to turn up the paragraph in Martin Amis's superb Experience in which he talks about "writers" being people who are always hoping that everyone else will very shortly

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 10 July 13:00

What is the explanation for Alastair Campbell's persistent bad temper? As best I understand these things, he is engaged in a vicious battle with Peter Mandelson, the undisgraced Northern Ireland Secretary, for influence over the PM.

Do people who move to the country expect cheery morris dancers and rosy-cheeked milkmaids to call on them?
By Sean French - 10 July 13:00

Deborah Bosley's New Statesman article a couple of weeks ago, about the horrors of living in the country, certainly touched a nerve. People have been queuing up ever since to scream: "Me too, I'm also being driven into alcoholism by the tediousness of rural England."

The Harry Potter hype shows all the symptoms of past hysterias, from the death of Diana to tulipmania
By Sean French - 03 July 13:00

My wife and I - I always have difficulty with that phrase. It makes me feel as if I should be cutting a ribbon or making a speech. "My partner and I" isn't much better. It manages to be coy, evasive and ambiguous, all at the same time.

If you want to sort out the Met, Ken, talk to Mack
By Darcus Howe - 03 July 13:00

A few days ago, the London Evening Standard introduced us to Lord Harris of Haringey, named by Mayor Livingstone as chairman of the Police Committee. His article urged us to welcome democracy in the organisation of the Metropolitan Police.

The New Statesman Profile - Joschka Fischer
By David Lawday - 03 July 13:00

Former taxi driver and anarchist, the German foreign minister now has his own bold vision of a new E

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 03 July 13:00

The scene is Darlington station. The time is Friday morning. There are lots of policemen and dogs (none of them for petting) about, plus a number of government limousines.

It's all very well to complain to the powers that be, but first you have to find them
By Laurie Taylor - 03 July 13:00

I thought it was outrageous. So did Roger and Helen. Sarah was an excellent researcher, but now came the news that her short-term contract would not be renewed. Something had to be done. Roger and Helen looked at me. Yes, I was happy to stand up and be counted.

It's just as well that journalists can't be struck off for malpractice - I would have been finished years ago
By Sean French - 26 June 13:00

There must be doctors all over the country contemplating the recent scandals involving cancer-test errors, incompetent gynaecologists and deluded surgeons, and asking themselves: "Could I be next?" It must be like one of those mornings when you wake up with your head pounding, your tongue dry an

Desperate employers cry out for migrant labour
By Darcus Howe - 26 June 13:00

They crossed continents, perhaps heard from their bunkers the prattle of different languages. They were signed, sealed and delivered dead.

In the Gulf war, every last nail was accounted for, but the Iraqi dead went untallied. At last their story is being told
By John Pilger - 26 June 13:00

The great American reporter Seymour Hersh is at war with the American military over his j'accuse in the New Yorker that a much-lauded general, now a member of President Clinton's cabinet, ordered his troops to fire on retreating Iraqis on the eve of the Gulf war ceasefire in 19

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 26 June 13:00

The curse of Tony is getting a bit serious. He is blighting the political futures of Downing Street apparatchiks, who fondly imagined that working at the court of the Sun King would be a passport to Westminster.

The New Statesman Profile - the matriarchs
By Jackie Ashley - 19 June 13:00

The backbone of the nation, they are formidably hard to fool and, above all, they hate to be talked

Our little group was shocked by Charlotte's coke-fuelled nights of sex with greasy Les
By Laurie Taylor - 19 June 13:00

Charlotte has let us down. For more than ten years, she and "Mickey Boy" have been the very model of a modern marriage.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 19 June 13:00

MPs are trooping into Downing Street two by two for a pep talk from the Prime Minister. He must be rattled. Backbenchers certainly are. The latest opinion polls have put the fear of Blair up them.

I spent four hours changing the numbers on an £8 padlock. Am I as mad as the man who counted hospital windows?
By Sean French - 19 June 13:00

There was once a psychiatric patient at the Royal Free Hospital in north London who suffered from an obsessive disorder. This manifested itself as a compulsion to count the windows in the Royal Free Hospital.

Frank will lose his job; pity he does not have a tail
By Cristina Odone - 19 June 13:00

I spent one Saturday last March sitting on a quad bike with my arms wrapped around a farmer called Frank. This was Gloucestershire at the end of the hunting season, and we - neither of us keen on horseback riding - were bumping along, up and down hills, following the Beaufort hunt.

I reject the values of the black middle classes
By Darcus Howe - 19 June 13:00

Bernadette Gray-Little, an African-American psychology professor at the University of North Carolina, has concluded that low-income black teenagers, far from suffering a self-esteem problem, actually have higher self-esteem than their white counterparts.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 12 June 13:00

Nobody is safe. Millbank's vultures are circling over the oldies in vote-fat seats ahead of the election, picking off the vulnerable with the promise of a peerage. The latest target, I hear, is Giles Radice, the plummy-voiced Wykehamist MP for Durham North. He may not be so easy to shift.

The New Statesman Profile - The Sainsbury family
By Martin Vander Weyer - 12 June 13:00

From tradesmen to trustafarians in four generations: a nose for business has turned into anxiety for

It's galling to see your carefully constructed arguments rebuffed by a mere anecdote
By Laurie Taylor - 12 June 13:00

You know the scene. You're sitting with a few friends at midnight, after having drunk six times the amount of alcohol recommended by the Health Education Authority as a safe weekly intake, when an argument breaks out.

Malaysia's "economic miracle" conceals many abuses - such as the farcical trial of a British journalist
By John Pilger - 12 June 13:00

Last year, Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister of Malaysia, was given a six-year prison sentence for corruption. He was also charged with sodomy, punishable by up to 20 years' imprisonment.

Rock concerts are sordid and risky enough indoors, without paying £76 to roll around in a muddy field
By Sean French - 12 June 13:00

From all the TV previews and special supplements in the newspapers, I see that it's going to be a Big Summer of Sport. And of Pop Festivals. How nice. I'll deal with the pop festivals first.

Say what you like about elitism, the Brits still love a hierarchy
By Cristina Odone - 12 June 13:00

Elitism, various government ministers have been telling us, is the albatross around our collective neck. It is preventing bright young people at state schools from fulfilling their potential, and bright young working-class kids from starting their own businesses.

My £10 bet that Bernie Grant's white wife would lose
By Darcus Howe - 05 June 13:00

While away in the Caribbean, I turned my back on all communication with home. So I am unable to give you my opinions on the London mayoral elections and what they signified for blacks and Asians.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 05 June 13:00

An interesting little cover-up has emerged in the wake of Ken Livingstone's defection to the After-Dinner Speaking Party. In the contest for Labour nominee for the London Mayor, candidates were allowed to spend a maximum of £1 per member.

The secret of getting away from boring party guests: go with your shoelaces undone
By Laurie Taylor - 05 June 13:00

I'm going to have to do something pretty drastic about my circulating. It's not long since I suffered from the problem of being unable to detach myself from other party guests.

Now it's only the vicars who talk of ideals in capital letters: Justice, Equality and Brotherhood
By Cristina Odone - 05 June 13:00

Many many years ago, I used to swim regularly in the public baths on a council estate in Islington. One lunchtime, I noticed a well-built man in baggy swimming trunks diving into the pool and freestyling his way down the lane.

Leo can put the heart into Tony Blair's lost hinterland
By Cristina Odone - 29 May 13:00

Welcome, Leo. You've given everyone something to smile about.