If the Captain Haddock look is going to be the big thing of the year 2000, then I'll be in luck
By Sean French - 06 December 12:00

Everyone should begin the year 2000 with a project. (Incidentally, one of the many irritations about it becoming 2000 is that you have to keep saying "the year 2000" because it doesn't sound like a year. You never had to say "the year 1995", did you?

Is it better to lose £50 than to be watched by cameras?
By Darcus Howe - 06 December 12:00

I read a report somewhere in the national press that young black men graduate from mugging to armed robbery, mainly of betting shops.

The New Statesman Profile - Yvette Cooper
By Yvette Cooper - 06 December 12:00

A mother and a minister at 30, could she one day be chancellor in a Gordon Brown government? Yvette

The British people are radically off-message; their values are not those of the Third Way crusaders
By John Pilger - 29 November 12:00

Steve Bell's Guardian cartoon of Ken Livingstone disporting himself before Tony Blair while Blairite functionaries, their faces as death masks, shove a red rose up his rear, was all that needed to be said.

The island where even ministers beat up their wives
By Darcus Howe - 29 November 12:00

According to the Mirror, the most popular weekly journal in Trinidad and Tobago, the prime minister of that country, Basdeo Panday, recently addressed a huge crowd at a gathering to celebrate the Diwali festival. (More than half of Trinidad's population originated in India.)

The New Statesman Profile - Jonathan Freedland
By Toby Young - 29 November 12:00

The boy wonder's republican tract dazzled the <em>Sun</em> - but has anyone actually read it?

My speeches are very good on content and style but they are not at all relevant
By Laurie Taylor - 29 November 12:00

After years of uncertainty about the exact status I enjoy in the world of public speaking, it is vaguely gratifying to know that I may now scientifically regard myself as "fairly satisfactory".

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 29 November 12:00

Let's be a bit serious just for a moment. The royal baby is welcome. Bringing the next generation into the world is our greatest responsibility - and joy. But let's not get carried away with it, either.

I don't begrudge Helen Fielding her success with Bridget Jones. Not at all. No way. Absolutely not
By Sean French - 29 November 12:00

Ten am. 12st 8lb, alcohol units 0, cigarettes 0, calories 357 (according to the outside of the porridge packet).

Don't worry. This isn't going to be another Bridget Jones parody. More a howl of pain.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 22 November 12:00

Gerry Sutcliffe, the Labour whip and captain of the Commons football team, was mysteriously paged during the mayoralty fix by Jim Fitzpatrick MP, chairman of the London Labour Party. "Can't play today," the message ran.

The judge in Gary Glitter's case gave a sensible summing-up: what world are his critics living in?
By Sean French - 22 November 12:00

After Lord Byron's death, his old lawyer wrote to a mutual friend telling him a "singular fact" about Byron's life which was "scarcely fit for narration".

Something has gone wrong! So please find a fall guy
By Cristina Odone - 22 November 12:00

Frank Dobson's campaign for mayor of London is not going well. A summer poll showed him lagging behind his opponents in terms of his "recognition factor". A piece in London's Evening Standard revealed that his campaign had used official Labour Party premises and money.

For advice on policing consult me: I'm on bail (as usual)
By Darcus Howe - 22 November 12:00

I was absolutely flabbergasted by an article written by Denis O'Connor, assistant commissioner of Metropolitan Police, in the London Evening Standard. O'Connor is a fine man, a clear thinker and an asset to modern policing. There is none better.

The New Statesman Profile - The new football fan
By Theodore Dalrymple - 22 November 12:00

The people's game has become the acid test of political virtue, the passport to a cabinet post, the

How can I beat insomnia if my Anna Friel and Madonna fantasies don't work?
By Laurie Taylor - 22 November 12:00

Just when I thought that my recent visits to the osteopath had got my body back into working order for the long winter, I find myself sitting on a stool in the kitchen at 3am wondering whether I'll ever again be able to manage a proper night's sleep.

The New Statesman Profile - Francis Maude
By George Lucas - 15 November 12:00

Once hailed as a Tory prodigy, the shadow chancellor is now the invisible man of politics. Francis M

My father's favourite song was "Galway Bay". I shouldn't have told the taxi driver.
By Laurie Taylor - 15 November 12:00

As we passed yet another anonymous hotel flying the familiar ten top tourist flags, my driver asked if I'd even been to Galway before.

There is as yet no evidence that genocide took place in Kosovo. But that fact is nigh impossible to find in the press
By John Pilger - 15 November 12:00

Kosovo is today's slow news. Slow news is news that is ignored or minimised. It is a highly effective, though generally unrecognised, form of censorship in democracies.

If you feel very angry about your computer, Margaret Hodge or the Aussies' vote for the Queen, try a chainsaw
By Sean French - 15 November 12:00

I've been feeling intense rages recently, the kind that make you feel as if internal organs are haemorrhaging and the only way that you can stop them is by punching a wall. Of course, I don't actually punch a wall. That would hurt. But you know the feeling.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 15 November 12:00

The smell rising from the London mayoralty mess gets ranker by the day.

Prepare for the Italian century: tears, style, and bribery
By Cristina Odone - 15 November 12:00

The Guardian has proclaimed ours the American century. "Like it or not, we are all Yankees now," it trumpeted the other day, going on to explain how US technology, popular culture and military might have colonised the globe.

The night I reduced Bernie Grant to tears
By Darcus Howe - 15 November 12:00

Channel Four launched its winter season last Wednesday and highlighted a documentary series, White Tribe, which I wrote and presented, to be broadcast in early January.

If Livingstone thinks that Heathrow is too boring a name, try Gameboy, Supermario or Gosexy
By Sean French - 08 November 12:00

I recently got into a conversation with members of my family about names. Somebody asked what names we would choose for ourselves. Amazingly it turned out that everybody had one, secretly tucked away.

Charles has become new Labour's only loyal opposition
By Cristina Odone - 08 November 12:00

"Fasten your seat belts, folks. This is going to be a bumpy ride." Of late, those pilot's words have been crackling non-stop over the tannoy in the new Labour jet.

What was the secret dread of this bright black girl?
By Darcus Howe - 08 November 12:00

She was just 34 years old, lithe and handsome. I had met her some years ago in Manchester, at Granada studios, feeling her way to a career in television. She wasn't born to it. I guess no one is. She would have had to work harder than most in order to be successful.

I don't know anyone who has had a divorce because some poor gay sod has won legal recognition
By Suzanne Moore - 08 November 12:00

In EastEnders recently, Mel asked Dr Fonseca a direct question. "Are you gay?" "Yes," he said. "Good," she replied, and, er . . . that was it. It did not bother her. The good doctor has now only to tell the rest of Albert Square and hope for as nonchalant a response.

A man with a Howard Jacobson novel to read has better things to do than listen to me
By Laurie Taylor - 08 November 12:00

I sat on the edge of Mike's bed in the Whittington Hospital on Monday and tried to think of what to say.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 08 November 12:00

On the face of things, the drive against the forces of conservatism goes on relentlessly. Doctors, teachers and every other public-service employee can expect no mercy. But, inside No 10, there are theological-style doubts.

As I leapt to smash the imaginary tennis ball, I heard Joan Littlewood shout: "You missed it!"
By Laurie Taylor - 01 November 12:00

We were in the Hope when Geoff pointed to a man with a jug of Hoegaarden. "Isn't that thingy from The Cops? Should say 'Hello'."

The New Statesman Profile - Melanie Phillips
By Geraldine Bedell - 01 November 12:00

She calls herself progressive yet adopts a judgemental tone that has the left fuming. Melanie Philli

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