One minute I'm enjoying a Christmas drink; the next I'm accused of being an addict
By Laurie Taylor - 20 December 12:00

It was supposed to be a Christmas drinks party for my department at the BBC, but after a mere five rounds at the Yorkshire Grey some people were already sagging.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 20 December 12:00

Wherever Tony Blair goes to church on Christmas Day, you may be sure that the setting is appropriately, and unmistakably, Christian.

Don't lump me with Cliff Richard, just because I'm a Christian
By Cristina Odone - 20 December 12:00

I'm fed up with the prejudice I encounter every day. The snide asides, the jokes, the condescension. I am the victim of the one kind of bigotry that our society sanctions - bias against Christians.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 13 December 12:00

New baby notwithstanding, life is not exactly plain sailing in Downing Street. Bill Bush, former head of political research at the BBC, who perhaps unwisely accepted the new Labour shilling (or many thousands of them), is unhappy about his obscure new role as Tony Blair's adviser.

Doris Lessing thinks kids can learn to read from the Bible. Has she seen the illiteracy rates for the 17th century?
By Sean French - 13 December 12:00

One of the incidental pleasures of December is the "International Books of the Year" feature in the Times Literary Supplement.

Nigerians want to halt a British TV series: what a cheek!
By Darcus Howe - 13 December 12:00

The Nigerian high commissioner requires that Channel 4 cancels Lagos Airport at once. The series gives the country a bad name, he says, at a time when it is eager to attract foreign investment.

The New Statesman Profile - Southwark borough
By Paul Barker - 13 December 12:00

Once the stupidest borough in London, it is now a model of Blairite enterprise for a new Britain. Th

The siege of Seattle marked the rise of a popular resistance to the evils of globalisation
By John Pilger - 13 December 12:00

The siege of the World Trade Organisation in Seattle shocked those who speak for western power.

I can only enjoy my trips to Brighton if I move my bed three feet nearer the window
By Laurie Taylor - 13 December 12:00

Even though it sent the headboard crashing to the floor I finally managed to manoeuvre the bed a good three feet nearer to the window and rearrange the duvet and the pillows so that later on that night I'd be able to sleep with my head towards the sea and hear the familiar screeching of the shal

For traditional Tory women, a speech by Michael Heseltine was the closest they ever got to oral sex
By Suzanne Moore - 06 December 12:00

I feel about as sorry for Mary Archer as I do for Hillary Clinton and Christine Hamilton - that is, not a bit. All the rubbish that has been spouted about these women standing by their men is thoroughly misguided.

My friend Geoff says I should write an article on Greg Dyke, comparing him to Aristotle
By Laurie Taylor - 06 December 12:00

I looked around the other day and realised that encouragement had gone. Remember encouragement?

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 06 December 12:00

MPs keep looking for signs of tension in Tony Blair, and some are now convinced that he is feeling the strain. At a hitherto-undisclosed meeting in his room in the Commons, the great helmsman was not at his most self-assured.

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.