Our speaker ignored the social impact of the net and focused on shopping on the Tesco website
By Laurie Taylor - 09 August 13:00

My own feeling was that the stifling weather and the rather modest status of the speaker would keep the numbers down, so it was heartening to walk into the upstairs function room at the Marquis of Cornwallis last Monday and discover more than a dozen people already assembled for the first meetin

I have never cried over being sacked, but I do weep over the Beatles, Tchaikovsky or Judy Garland
By Sean French - 09 August 13:00

Is there something about becoming middle-aged that makes you - me, that is - cry more? I don't mean that I break down in the street or when people shout at me down the phone. That's one of the great benefits of being a freelance writer, sitting alone at home.

Tony Blair, supposedly the great social revolutionary, is corroding democracy, yet his fan club in the press still worships him
By John Pilger - 09 August 13:00

Following the election of Tony Blair, British liberalism's leading journalists were, it is fair to say, beside themselves.

How 70 died after a mother had been insulted
By Darcus Howe - 09 August 13:00

It is difficult to keep up with the rapid degeneration of Caribbean society into the most appalling violence. I wrote here some time ago of a friend and colleague. Tim Hector is his name.

The New Statesman Profile - The white DJ in black culture
By Richard Cook - 02 August 13:00

He is Norman Mailer's white negro: hip, materialist and a guru to poor youngsters. Tim Westwood prof

The great thing about the eclipse is that it is not man-made, it is bloody natural; so it must be significant
By Suzanne Moore - 02 August 13:00

A strange and unnerving phenomenon is occurring all around us, something that no soothsayer ever predicted. It is eclipse snobbery.

The Yardie has been invented by white journalists
By Darcus Howe - 02 August 13:00

Drifting, mid-morning, through the hurly-burly of Brixton recently, I was disturbed by high-pitched voices spouting rhetoric about guns. The statue of Henry Tate, the sugar baron of the Caribbean plantation, dominated the space outside the Ritzy cinema, where a meeting was taking place.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 02 August 13:00

It's one thing to persuade your boss that he can walk on water, another to convince the voters, as Alastair Campbell found out when he took Tony Blair to the Eddisbury by-election. The great helmsman was very cross to find himself mobbed by shouting, fox-hunting Tory demonstrators.

They wanted me to write a piece on libraries in light-hearted style - and there would be no fee
By Laurie Taylor - 02 August 13:00

I was sitting quietly at my desk three months ago, wondering whether to finish a longish article on English identity in Prospect or get back to spring-cleaning the grill pan, when the editor of the Library Gazette rang to ask how I'd feel about writing for the September edition

She finally agreed that the impotent man in chapter two didn't have to be a sociologist
By Laurie Taylor - 26 July 13:00

Helen Mandible rings up in the middle of Question Time to give me the exciting news that her first novel has been accepted by Heinemann and to ask if I mind terribly that she's devoted part of the second chapter to the night I couldn't get it up at Selby Fork Travel Lodge.

The night I faced 15 youths who wanted to kill a man
By Darcus Howe - 26 July 13:00

There was much to look forward to last weekend. An old friend - Kate Gifford, ex-wife of the radical lawyer Lord Gifford - was 60 and she was celebrating at the Brockwell Park Lido in Brixton.

A family of royals just like us
By Cristina Odone - 26 July 13:00

The Kennedys may be a monarchy but they are wholly American in style. By Cristina Odone

The New Statesman Profile - The Tuscan holiday
By Quentin Letts - 26 July 13:00

Chiantishire may be the new Labour idyll of choice. But it has protection rackets, tax avoidance and

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 26 July 13:00

The cabinet musical chairs game has plainly got out of hand. At the last count, five ministers had declared they would not be moved.

"No vases?" Sam shrieked. "You've got to get out of here. No TV. No privacy. This is a hospital, isn't it?"
By Suzanne Moore - 19 July 13:00

Drugs and vases. For these two things, I have seriously considered abandoning a lifelong principle. I have actually considered private health insurance because, having been in hospital for the past week, you get neither enough drugs nor enough vases.

The BBC was alarmed to hear A J P Taylor declare that history was not his strong point
By Laurie Taylor - 19 July 13:00

I have, at long last, been invited to speak at a literary festival. The organisers have asked me not to name the precise venue lest I pre-empt the public launch, in September.

The boy emerged, LA gangsta-style, and fired
By Darcus Howe - 19 July 13:00

The guns are blazing, for sure. Here in Brixton on a hot summer's day, a young man on a motorcycle attempted to execute another who was sharing a basketball court with two dozen black youths. He was the latest victim. Just around the corner another boy was murdered two weeks ago.

Automated phone answering systems are universally loathed, but can they be uninvented?
By Sean French - 19 July 13:00

There is a principle of evolution that Richard Dawkins explains using a comparison with climbing a mountain. Once you have chosen a ridge heading towards the summit, you are stuck with it.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 19 July 13:00

Huddersfield is not a place to mess with, even if it wasn't the birthplace of J B Priestley.

Anglo-Saxons are infantile: they either ignore sex or reduce it to a dirty quickie. So three cheers for Kubrick!
By Cristina Odone - 19 July 13:00

You can do amazing things from beyond the grave. Look at Nostradamus, posthumously making our skin crawl with his apocalyptic forecasts. Or Stanley Kubrick, dead and buried, but still making our flesh tingle in anticipation of the opening of his film, Eyes Wide Shut.

The New Statesman Profile - Media Woman
By Anne McElvoy - 19 July 13:00

She can report from a war zone or the lobby. But punditry is for the guys, and letting her edit is a

The British should be proud to have a sissy and a nerd as their male icons
By Cristina Odone - 12 July 13:00

Drive down an American highway and, at five-mile intervals, your view will be blotted out by Mount Rushmore-sized billboards featuring a four-eyed geek posing in a scarlet velvet suit.

Nothing in my 30 years of reporting wars compares with the present propaganda dressed as journalism
By John Pilger - 12 July 13:00

On 17 June, the Guardian published a letter by Ben Bradshaw MP, a new Labour bomber. "In one radio discussion I did with [Pilger]," he wrote, "he even suggested the refugees were inventing stories of massacres." He demanded my apology.

Cricket still doesn't want blacks
By Darcus Howe - 12 July 13:00

Journalists with inside knowledge are predicting that Alex Tudor, the Caribbean hero of the first Test, is likely to lose his place for the second Test at Lord's.

A lifetime of greasing up to celebs has honed my sycophancy skills to perfection
By Laurie Taylor - 12 July 13:00

I've been greasing up to celebrities for the best part of 20 years.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 12 July 13:00

It's too hot to sit for long on the Commons terrace, exposed to the vulgar gaze of the tourists on their river cruises. Gerry, now Lord, Fitt, the Belfast awkward boy, once pointed to his large gin and tonic and teased them: "It's free, y'know!" Not true - it's only half-price, or thereabouts.

I've always been able to throw away the ladder. The trouble is that I was usually still on it at the time
By Sean French - 12 July 13:00

Once, many years ago, Werner Herzog heard that the German film critic Lotte Eisner was gravely ill. By his account, he decided that the best contribution he could make to her state of health would be to go and see her instantly. But that wasn't enough.

Why do Wimbledon tennis players demand of their audience the silence of a requiem mass?
By Sean French - 05 July 13:00

It seems to have become a tradition: every Wimbledon, I whine about how the men should be allowed only the single serve that they have in other racket games, such as squash and badminton.

Tony Benn took out an old "smoking" sign and put it on top of a "non-smoking" sign. Rules don't apply to him
By Cristina Odone - 05 July 13:00

He is a pretty unlikely hero. A few thousand miles to the left of me politically, Tony Benn, who has just announced that he will not stand again for parliament, is a pacifist who is anti-Europe and anti-American.

One black permanent secretary? Wait till the year 2050
By Darcus Howe - 05 July 13:00

Early one morning a few days ago, a major- general in the British military telephoned me. My first reaction was that I was being hoaxed. After all, I had committed no treasonable act and had no prospect, given my age, of enlisting in the services.