7 Days

Reds under the bed A ruling by a United States federal court cleared the way for the release of British Intelligence reports that expose how MI5 spied on John Lennon. The file is believed to reveal that Lennon funded Marxist groups, including Britain's Workers Revolutionary Party. The documents were passed to the FBI as ammunition for Lennon's deportation amid concerns in the Nixon administration about the ex-Beatle's anti-Vietnam war campaigning in America.

Separated at birth Jorg Haider, the leader of Austria's far-right Freedom Party, claimed that he shares "amazing similarities" with Tony Blair. Both he and Blair believe that the unemployed should not be "encouraged to be inactive, but should be given jobs", and both refuse to accept the EU open borders agreement - advocating stricter rules on immigration. The Freedom Party, he claims, is committed to social justice and, like new Labour, seeks solutions that are free of "ideological ballast".

Playground violence "out of control" The London secondary school where the head teacher Philip Lawrence was stabbed to death faces closure after education chiefs branded it "out of control". Police were called in to St George's Roman Catholic school to break up fights in classrooms, corridors and the playground. Pupils are to get an extra week's holiday after half-term while Nord Anglia, a private contractor, works with teachers on emergency measures.

Cyclone adds to flood misery The Tropical cyclone Eline compounded suffering in Mozambique following floods that carried away whole neighbourhoods, killed 100 and left hundreds of thousands homeless. The United Nations warned that the cyclone could turn the outbreak of dysentery and other diseases brought on by flooding into a catastrophe. Estimates suggest that emergency aid will be required for 300,000 to control the outbreak of epidemics.

This article first appeared in the 28 February 2000 issue of the New Statesman, Why the party still needs its soul