In contrast to sex, gardening offers us sensuality without messy embroilment or traumatic confrontation
By Cristina Odone - 10 May 13:00

A green thumb is sexier than a tongue stud; a flourishing allotment more coveted than a Notting Hill address. Garden centres have sprouted up and down the country; gardening shows proliferate on the box.

The Kosovars don't need Tony Blair's counselling or Cherie's tears, they need somewhere to live
By Suzanne Moore - 10 May 13:00

Margaret Thatcher went to war in a tank, Tony Blair goes to war in an open-necked shirt and black jeans. The Iron Lady's memorable photo opportunity came when she donned headscarf and goggles and sailed past, a tanked-up Britannia. When Blair went to Washington in a hawkish mode he wore a suit.

Have I found a new maturity in my later years? No, I'm just turning into my father
By Laurie Taylor - 10 May 13:00

Ever since I mixed up Antonioni and Fellini at Dave Spier's 40th birthday bash I've had to watch myself whenever the conversation turns to film. Somehow I never seem to have the same philosophical purchase on auteur theory as I do on early Marx or middle-period Foucault.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 10 May 13:00

New Labour's successes in Scotland and Wales mask a growing panic among MPs in marginal seats.

Late score from the Caribbean: People 3, Rulers 0
By Darcus Howe - 03 May 13:00

The Caribbean masses are stirring. The peoples of these tiny island states have long followed a pattern of rebellious behaviour. One island explodes and then the others follow in a train of revolt. Thus was modern democracy established in the Caribbean in the 1930s.

What does the British Museum plan to do with all those severed penises?
By Laurie Taylor - 03 May 13:00

I suspected the conversation was spinning out of control when Geoff started on about Victorian penises. Until then I'd been rather satisfied with the first meeting of Paradox, our new conversation club.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 03 May 13:00

William Hague is thinking about who to sack. Tory insiders say he will reshuffle his shadow cabinet after the May elections if results are "good" (in other words, anything better than a total disaster), or in June, after the European elections.

How can a tone-deaf man going mad in a junkyard be superior to the early Tom Waits?
By Sean French - 03 May 13:00

I went to see Elvis Costello at the Albert Hall with an old friend whom I first met at university. The first time we went to see Costello together was in 1979. Has any pop performer ever been more resistant to routine? More eager to develop musically?

Like Nato, the Commonwealth is 50, but new Labour wonks should not expect it to strut across the world stage
By Cristina Odone - 03 May 13:00

It was just what you'd expect of a middle-aged birthday celebration: a modest, slightly self-conscious affair, with all the excitement of a bottle of plonk and a few stale crackers with cheese spread.

In Baghdad, the babies are dying: there's no anaesthetic, no antibiotics, no clean water, and sometimes no breast milk
By John Pilger - 03 May 13:00

On 26 March the New Statesman published a letter by Derek Fatchett, the Foreign Office minister, objecting to my suggestion that the enforced suffering of the people of Iraq by the US and British governments was a crime comparable with those of General Pinochet or General Suharto or Hen

As my child ran to the shops, a bomb exploded
By Darcus Howe - 26 April 13:00

Get off at Brixton Underground station on a Saturday afternoon, as I have done thousands of times in the past 25 years. As you climb the stairs you will see, at the top, Magic, a rasta man, plying joss sticks, as if they were coming out of his ears.

Friendships? Ah, they're just a 20th-century concept; we must now make do with unbonded friends
By Suzanne Moore - 26 April 13:00

Some years ago when a friend of mine was involved in producing a British version of Wired magazine, he took me out to dinner with some of the cutting-edge Americans involved. God knows why - I think I had only just graduated from an Amstrad.

Were Mike's theories on suburban alienation any help as he reached into the toilet bowl?
By Laurie Taylor - 26 April 13:00

It was flattering to be asked up to Birmingham to address a staff-graduate seminar, but even as I licked the stamp I was beginning to have serious reservations.

The NS Profile - Yevgeny Primakov
By George Lucas - 26 April 13:00

The secretive, unscrupulous and popular prime minister who has his eye on Yeltsin's crown

All great authors are charlatans; it goes with the job of being a writer
By Sean French - 26 April 13:00

Both Nicholas Shakespeare's biography of Bruce Chatwin and the television documentary he made to accompany it mention Chatwin's secrecy about the Aids that was killing him.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 26 April 13:00

Much entertainment at Westminster over DonaId Macintyre's new biography of Peter Mandelson. The big revelation is about how Mandy swept out of a pre-election meeting at Millbank after disagreeing with Tony Blair over an abstruse point of policy that nobody can now remember.

Tony Blair is one of life's cardinals: stand by for his emergence as our new Lord Protector
By Cristina Odone - 26 April 13:00

Get ready for a new Protectorate. We may not be subjected to Oliver Cromwell's roundhead puritanism again - no black cloaks or cone-shaped hats, no kill-joy sermons about the decadence of music and the bawdiness of dance.

My vindaloo martini wasn't quite the hit I'd been counting on
By Laurie Taylor - 19 April 13:00

I am, of course, an obsessive reader of this journal.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 19 April 13:00

Fresh report from the battle front. No, not Kosovo, but the really nasty little war among the Liberal Democrats. Paddy Ashdown has let it be known that he will lay a kingly hand on the shoulder of the would-be MP he wishes to inherit his Yeovil seat.

You can't beat a good book title - though it's no guarantee that the book itself will be any good
By Sean French - 19 April 13:00

I don't believe that there is a God who watches over my every move, protecting me from harm. Nevertheless only once has anybody broken into a car of mine and on that occasion they only stole one thing.

Granada's public service was no public spectacle
By Darcus Howe - 19 April 13:00

When it was first mooted that the five suspects in the Stephen Lawrence murder wanted to be interviewed on television and that Martin Bashir would be the inquisitor, I supported those who said the project should go ahead, and made that clear in this column in September last year.

The British don't want to be thought conspicuously rich: that's why they steer clear of donations to good causes
By Cristina Odone - 19 April 13:00

Step right up and come this way please. Here is John Prescott, who will give you a guided tour of No 10 and rent you - at £3,000 a night - the Tony and Cherie suite. Think of it! You can live a life in the day of the People's Prime Minister, feel the hand of history upon your shoulder . . .

Journalists are not giving us the real story: the greatest expansion of US military influence since 1945
By John Pilger - 19 April 13:00

At the height of the first world war the prime minister, David Lloyd George, confided to C P Scott, editor of the Manchester Guardian: "If people knew the truth, the war would be stopped tomorrow.

This police inquiry will get no help from me
By Darcus Howe - 09 April 13:00

I am being pursued by the head of the New Cross fire inquiry, a Detective Chief Inspector Peter Newman.

The New Statesman Profile - Channel 5
By Michael Leapman - 09 April 13:00

This is television's future: programmes just rude enough to catch the eye

Manchester's gay scene is the best place for a proper lads' night out
By Laurie Taylor - 09 April 13:00

We had a high old time in Manchester over the Easter weekend, a real "lads' night out". When Dave first rang with the idea I muttered something about being 30 years too old for that sort of caper. But his enthusiasm got the better of me. "You been to Manchester recently?

This is a kind of war, with its mud, tears and human misery, that our generation thought had gone for ever
By Suzanne Moore - 09 April 13:00

I am glad that everyone else knows what to think about the war in Kosovo, because I don't. This is probably a terrible failing in a columnist for, as the battle lines are drawn up among commentators, it is surely important to know which side you are on.

Moral philosophers should go to places like Kosovo if they want to know about right and wrong
By Sean French - 09 April 13:00

A couple of weeks ago in the New Statesman, Richard Dawkins, rationalist extraordinaire, confessed that even he would have qualms about eating human flesh: "The taboo against cannibalism is probably the strongest we have," he wrote. "But even that needs to be looked at.

Paul Routledge
By Paul Routledge - 09 April 13:00

Shortly before MPs went off for their 12-day break, a rumour swept Westminster that the Commons would be recalled during Easter week to debate Nato's intensifying war against Yugoslavia. The story prompted much dismay, but has proved to be false.

If you want to be a genius, you must persuade your parents to become a dysfunctional family
By Cristina Odone - 09 April 13:00

Pity our parents. Step into a courtroom and you find that mum and dad have become a licence to kill ("sorry guv, but me dad ran off when I was four and mum loved the bottle more than me").

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