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  1. Politics
4 August 2011

In this week’s New Statesman: Slum rule

Paul Mason: the secrets of the slums | John Pilger returns to Cuba | Mehdi Hasan: stop making excuse

By George Eaton

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In this week’s New Statesman, Paul Mason reports from the slums of Manila and, finding that the residents are surprisingly determined not to leave, asks if we have to learn to live with the slums for ever.

Elsewhere, John Pilger returns to Cuba and says that while the country is going through a big social and political transition, its people still hold independence dear, Mehdi Hasan argues that liberals need to stop making excuses for Obama, Rafael Behr says that Miliband’s position is safe but the illusion of unity will be ever harder to sustain, and David Blanchflower argues that the credibility of US economic policymaking is in shreds.

Also this week, Helen Lewis-Hasteley talks to comic writer Graham Linehan, the creator of Father Ted and The IT Crowd, Samira Shackle reports on Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws, and Margaret Heffernan says that “wilful blindness” is characteristic of an age when some companies are not just too big to fail, but too big to govern.

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All this, plus comedian Robert Webb on why writing for the Telegraph was like getting a weekly spanking, Laurie Penny on a summer of scapegoating, and Alice Miles on why Barack Obama needs to be as brave as a gay cowboy.