Why should we have to like politicians? They are just something we have to put up with, like traffic wardens
By Suzanne Moore - 21 June 13:00

When anyone in politics talks of the enormous respect they have for someone else it usually means they don't actually like them. Thus even those who respected Peter Mandelson's obvious abilities didn't seem to like him that much.

It's best to leave quietly if you've stolen an umbrella, two bottles of water and an ashtray
By Laurie Taylor - 21 June 13:00

Friday evening: another embarrassing incident in a high-class restaurant.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 21 June 13:00

The idea is being seriously canvassed at Westminster of an early referendum on the euro. A number of Labour backbenchers and peers - not solely on the left, but scattered across the spectrum - support the idea.

I knew those extremist theories that I rejected in my adolescence would come in handy one day
By Sean French - 21 June 13:00

Two apparently unrelated observations from the past week. The first is the widely commented upon fact that Jonathan Aitken, though owing millions of pounds in legal fees and filing for bankruptcy, still seems to be in possession of the things that very rich people possess.

Hallelujah! At last it has been recognised that, for every teenage pregnancy, two people are to blame
By Cristina Odone - 21 June 13:00

"Pass this rose among you, girls." Twenty pairs of hands dutifully passed the red rose around the classroom. "Now look," our teacher smiled sadly as she held up the flower once it had been returned to her, "how shabby and faded it looks.

How exciting that new Labour should choose, as its top poet, a man who went in for nude sunbathing
By Cristina Odone - 14 June 13:00

Plastic madonnas, glow-in-the-dark crucifixes, technicolour posters of the Pope - they're all part of the Lourdes experience, a kitschy, Catholic consumerism that draws millions of pilgrims to the shrine in the Pyrenees. Religion reduced to a collection of crass trinkets.

The savage Caribbean must try to sort itself out
By Darcus Howe - 14 June 13:00

I have been very unsociable of late. A decline caused by age? Possibly. Anyway I grasped the opportunity to attend a friend's wedding last Saturday. I had almost forgotten how to dance, but the party went swimmingly well.

The NS Profile - Conde Nast
By Michael Leapman - 14 June 13:00

Its magazines report the lifestyle of the dementedly rich but now, it thinks, new Labour is moving t

How could my sister forget the priest who washed my willy with a loofah?
By Laurie Taylor - 14 June 13:00

We were sipping the dregs of the sauvignon and talking about parents and the terrible effect they can have on their children, when my elder sister, Madeleine, nodded in my direction and said that at least we'd been lucky in that respect.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 14 June 13:00

After the undemocratic farce that passed for a European Parliament election, MPs think it is downhill all the way to the general election in the early summer of 2001.

Have you heard the one about the man with no arms and no legs who is sunbathing on the beach?
By Sean French - 14 June 13:00

I was away for a few days and I had only two things to read. The first was The Count of Monte Cristo. The other was a collection of "bar-room jokes" given away free with an issue of FHM magazine.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 07 June 13:00

Nothing can be allowed to embarrass Tony Blair. That's the most common explanation at Westminster of new Labour's decision to run the party's national executive elections three months early.

Being remembered can mean being distorted. But that's better than being forgotten
By Sean French - 07 June 13:00

You know the section of A Question of Sport, What Happened Next? Well, what happened next?

Kill them all, said the boss. So said, so done
By Darcus Howe - 07 June 13:00

Dole Chadee, Joey Ramiah and Ramkalawan Singh will hang on Friday 4 June.

Despite the nightmares of tabloid honey-traps, politicians' marriages are just as stable as others'
By Cristina Odone - 07 June 13:00

The groans and moans are raising the Pugin roof at Westminster. You can hear sighs and whispers and even the odd cry. But this isn't another case of canoodling MP and researcher overheard consummating their passion; it isn't two Members going at it hammer and tongs in between sittings.

No one is more titillated by the tabloids than those who get all righteous describing, in juicy detail, what they write
By Suzanne Moore - 07 June 13:00

Recently I have been shocked and appalled by the behaviour of certain sections of the press. The sanctimonious posturing of the broadsheets over the antics of the tabloids really gets on my wick.

I rounded off my wedding day in style by running over the best man
By Laurie Taylor - 07 June 13:00

James and Fiona are going to have a simply splendid wedding. They've found this beautiful little chapel in mid-Wales that is really Presbyterian but is quite happy to go non-denominational for the day in return for a hefty contribution to the parish fund.

What really happened at Rambouillet? And what else is being kept under wraps by our selective media?
By John Pilger - 31 May 13:00

As Nato announces another "heaviest night yet" of bombing, with paralysed hospital patients among the latest victims, the truth of how and why the war began remains elusive. Nato disinformation has been largely successful. The complete list of targets hit has yet to be published in Britain.

I turned Chris Evans down so she wouldn't know I watched TV for seven year olds
By Laurie Taylor - 31 May 13:00

"I'm sorry to ring so late," said a woman's voice at the other end of the phone, "but I've applied for this job with a think-tank, and they've asked for a top academic reference, and you're the only person I could think of who knew my work well, and so I wondered if you could write and say that

It's time to stop the supply of golden elephants
By Darcus Howe - 31 May 13:00

The previous editor of the New Statesman, Ian Hargreaves, for a brief period called me "Mr Montserrat".

Forty years old. But 40 is still young to be a great New Statesman columnist . . . isn't it?
By Sean French - 31 May 13:00

I've made a cheering discovery at a moment in my life when I could do with one.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 31 May 13:00

He may not have a people's poet but he has a people's general. Staff and officers at the Ministry of Defence are fuming that General Sir Charles Guthrie, chief of the defence staff, has fallen under the spell of Commander-in-Chief Tony Blair.

Hail to the new nakedness! A glimpse of bare flesh tells us that a person has nothing to hide
By Cristina Odone - 31 May 13:00

In the Macedonian refugee camps, the Kosovars are still reeling. They had never seen anything like it - a VIP dressed in an open-neck shirt.

The NS Profile - Will Hutton
By Diane Coyle - 31 May 13:00

The prophet of stakeholding now wants the BBC, but he is surely a thinker, not a doer

There is no political situation that cannot be made worse by an international sporting event
By Sean French - 24 May 13:00

I went to see England against Sri Lanka, the first match in the cricket World Cup. This isn't going to be an authoritative account of the match because I make a strict rule of not going to a cricket match more than once in a decade.

In Dover, I hear once more the old racist stories
By Darcus Howe - 24 May 13:00

It is more than a decade since I was last in Dover. The miners and P&O ferry workers had been on strike in quick succession. Dover had a radical edge, enriched by a wave of migrants over time.

The New Statesman Profile - Harrods
By Ian Aitken - 24 May 13:00

Once the preserve of the toff, Fayed's emporium is now a Mecca for vulgarians

It isn't drugs that screw you up - it's hereditary privilege that leads to futile, wasted lives
By Suzanne Moore - 24 May 13:00

So there I was at Cannes and there he was and I could tell just by looking at him that he had done something very bad indeed. Yes, I was in the same room as Tom Parker Bowles the night before the tabloids revealed the shocking truth.

Contact me if you want to link up with a hairy bass player who loves Yorkshire pudding
By Laurie Taylor - 24 May 13:00

It's four weeks since I stopped checking my e-mails and I'm feeling better already. I'm even thinking of taking out a small advertisement in the Independent so my real friends will know that there is now no point sending me electronic mail because I won't be reading it.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 24 May 13:00

Tony Blair was so worried that Nick Jones's revelatory Sultans of Spin might upset him that he dispatched a minion to Politico's bookshop to buy a copy as soon as stocks arrived.

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