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1 June 2016

In this week’s magazine | How men got left behind

A first look at this week's issue.

By New Statesman

How men got left behind
3 – 9 June issue

 

Cover Story: How men got left behind.
Owen Jones
on the quiet crisis of masculinity.

Guest Column: John McDonnell makes the case against “Tory Brexit” and for Labour’s “Remain and Reform”.

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Politics Column: George Eaton on the Conservative plot to topple David Cameron.

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Felix Martin: Even the IMF now admits that the benefits of neoliberalism were oversold – will George Osborne take note?

The next Balkan war: Timothy Less on the new danger facing Europe as territorial and ethnic tensions reignite.

Stephen Bush: Why the migrant crisis is coming to British seas.

View from Caracas: James Bloodworth on why the chaos in Venezuela is being welcomed at the top.

Diary: Stig Abell on Twitter propositions, Proust’s rat fetish, and how Brexit has penetrated the cloistered halls of the TLS.

Peter Wilby on why the elderly may yet come out for Remain – and sneering at toffs.

Laurie Penny on why women should not get married.

Kevin Maguire’s Commons Confidential: Shadow cabinet tittering over Hilary Benn’s “St Crispin’s Day speeches” – and why Boris’s sweaty biking is the bane of TV make-up artists.

****

Cover Story: How men got left behind.

What it means to be a man is in a state of flux as workforce changes undermine the traditional notion of the breadwinner. Owen Jones asks: can masculinity be redefined?

From an early age, what it is to be a man is drilled into young boys. Being sporty and athletic; talking about women in an often degrading way; getting into fights – these can all be seen as “manly”. Those who don’t conform are at risk of being called “a woman” or “gay”.

[. . .]

Keegan Hirst is a striking example of the way in which our sense of what it is to be a man is evolving. To many, he probably appears as masculinity incarnate: more than 6ft 3in, with a rugged appearance and a broad Yorkshire accent. But Hirst is the first openly gay British professional rugby league player. “When I was growing up, my dad wasn’t around, so my idea of being a man was from my mum and what I read in books,” he said. “Manners, being chivalrous, looking after someone when they were sick.”

But he could hardly have been unaware of what manliness meant for others: “shagging loads of girls and knocking someone’s head off, the ‘Lads! Lads! Lads!’ thing”. Hirst had a wife and two children and he was “petrified” of telling his teammates when he was ready to come out. He sums up his fears: “It’d undermine everything you’d done previously, years of playing, earning their respect. I suppose the idea is that being gay conflicts with ‘being a man’; it makes you less of a man. That’s the outside perception but it’s what I thought – that I’d be less in their eyes.” The response could hardly have been more different. When Hirst told one teammate, he burst into tears. “He felt bad about what I’d gone through, that I’d gone through it alone. The whole point of a team is you look after each other, you go through it together, you’re all pulling in the same direction.” Within a week of coming out, the fact that he was gay was integrated into casual banter. “It’s all in jest – I know if anyone did it with any malice from the outside, the group would be the first to jump in and say that’s not on and fight my corner.”

Sport is often regarded as a fortress of unreconstructed masculinity. And, as Hirst says, because being gay is seen as almost the ultimate form of unmanliness, it is not surprising that there are so few openly LGBT sports players. There is not a single openly gay professional footballer in Britain – even though there are certainly some in the closet.

The exception remains notable by its tragedy: Justin Fashanu, who came out in 1990 and ended up taking his own life.

“I think it’s fear of the unknown,” the former England captain Gary Lineker suggests to me. “Fear of being the first, fear of fellow players’ and [the] crowd’s reaction. I think, actually, the reaction would be hugely supportive and would be received very positively if someone is brave enough.” Even in football, the old, unreconstructed masculinity is in retreat. “I’m not so sure football is as macho these days,” Lineker suggests. “Most players are pretty well groomed and care about their appearance, and so on. Also, the majority of footballers wouldn’t give two hoots as to someone’s sexuality.”

Professional football is a good barometer of how much masculinity is changing. If footballers are able to come out and not receive an adverse response, it will surely be symptomatic of a broader transformation.

 

Guest Column: John McDonnell.

The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, argues that Tory cuts would surely follow a “Tory Brexit” and explains why he is campaigning for a reformed EU:

The undeniable truth about the referendum is that what is on offer is a Tory Brexit. On 24 June, we will still have a Tory government, because under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act the Conservatives could change leader from David Cameron to Boris Johnson and still try to cling on until 2020.

This would be a disgraceful betrayal of democracy. But what over the past six years has suggested to you that anything would be beneath the Tories? And, regardless of who would be leader of their party, the initial trade negotiations following a Tory Brexit could resemble TTIP on steroids.

We know what they think of the Working Time Directive; can you imagine what other workplace rights they would trade away and try to blame on someone else? With global economic uncertainties combined with George Osborne’s economic incompetence, the UK is uniquely exposed to the risk of an immediate economic fallout from a Tory Brexit.

Osborne has already suggested raising VAT. The International Monetary Fund warned last month that in the event of a Tory Brexit: “Plans for additional medium-term budget consolidation may need to be developed to offset the longer-run adverse fiscal effects.” In plain English, if we have a Tory Brexit, then we have the likelihood of more Tory cuts.

I want to see a reformed EU in which we make many of its institutions more transparent and democratic. For the first time in a generation, there is a growing coalition of socialists across the EU who can help us achieve this together. By choosing Labour’s “Another Europe” agenda, our country can stand with others across Europe to make a positive case to end austerity, offer a more humane response to the migrant crisis and protect and expand workplace rights.

 

Felix Martin: How the IMF smashed its own consensus.

The economist Felix Martin considers the significance of the International Monetary Fund’s turn away from the neoliberal economic agenda. Will the mea culpa help to rehabilitate the institution, he asks? And will the UK government now admit that the benefits of neoliberalism were oversold?

What has come over the International Monetary Fund? Not content with playing the good cop to Europe’s bad in the ongoing Greek crisis – in which it has been arguing for debt relief and less austerity – the fund has just published an article in its in-house magazine by three of its leading researchers entitled “Neoliberalism: Oversold?”. Their answer is “yes”.

The article takes aim at two of the most important aspects of the neoliberal economic agenda that has been so influential since the early 1980s. The first is the removal of restrictions on the movement of capital across international borders – so-called capital account liberalisation. Readers of a certain age will recall that 40 years ago there were strict limits on the amount of foreign currency one could buy before going abroad on holiday and companies had to show evidence of the need to import supplies to gain access to the foreign exchange market. Such restrictions were even harsher for international investment – making it almost impossible for institutions in one country to invest in the equity and bond markets of another.

[. . .]

The IMF broached its dissent early in the post-crisis period, with its economists expressing scepticism over the pace and timing of austerity in Europe. Christine Lagarde, the fund’s managing director, and Olivier Blanchard, its chief economist, argued for relaxing spending constraints and turning a blind eye to debt burdens until depressed economies were solidly recovering. 

Gossip-mongers at the World Economic Forum in Davos put it down to the fact that they are both French and therefore constitutional backsliders on matters of fiscal prudence; and policymakers preferred to pick up on pseudo-scientific economic sound bites such as the idea of a public debt tipping-point at 90 per cent of GDP. In reality, however, the IMF was merely stating the clear conclusions of conventional economic models – models that the vast difference since 2009 in the recovery of the US, which did not opt for austerity, and Europe, which did, appears to have proved largely correct.

The new IMF article drives home the point. The “short-run costs of lower output and welfare and higher unemployment”, it concludes, “have been underplayed, and the desirability . . . of simply living with high debt and allowing debt ratios to decline organically through growth is underappreciated”. Austerity is often self-defeating and debt limits by themselves are meaningless.

Is this two-part mea culpa on both capital flows and the size of the state a major landmark in the evolution of the IMF’s thinking – and could this be important in practice, given the intellectual heft that the Washington institutions bring to the international policy debate? It is, and it could.

Will it rehabilitate the IMF as an institution among the populations of the countries it is meant to serve? Here I am more sceptical. There is no question that there was disagreement on policy in east Asia in 1997, for example. But the real problem with the IMF’s intervention had to do not with the correctness of its prescriptions but their legitimacy. The single most enduring
image of that painful period was the photo of the then managing director of the IMF, Michel Camdessus, arms folded and frowning like a schoolmaster giving detention, watching over President Suharto of Indonesia as, humiliatingly, Suharto bowed to the inevitable and signed up to the fund’s financing plan.

In many developing countries, memories of unjust colonial domination are raw and if the IMF is to help resolve the growing dissatisfaction of populations with policymaking elites, it will need to do more than just make improvements to its advice – no matter how sincere and welcome such improvements may be. The reality that, in effect, power over its assistance belongs exclusively to a handful of rich economies will have to change. Reforming its governance to give developing countries more control is the place to start.

In the UK, meanwhile, we can have no such complaints. We have no one to blame for taking neoliberalism’s crazier ideas too seriously but ourselves.

 

Politics Column: George Eaton on the plot to topple Cameron.

The NS’s political editor, George Eaton, argues that if Tory rebels can’t deprive David Cameron of office, they will deprive him of power instead: 

The “irreconcilables”, as one Tory MP calls them, have been joined by those incensed by Cameron’s pro-EU campaigning. Unlike Harold Wilson, who remained above the fray during the 1975 referendum, the Prime Minister has engaged in bare-knuckle political combat. Since his job depends on a Remain vote this is hardly surprising. The pro-Brexit stance of Boris Johnson and Michael Gove (whom Cameron expected to support him) heightened his determination to lead from the front. “He won’t be forgiven – especially if it’s a narrow defeat for us,” a Tory rebel told me.

Rather than exacting revenge, most expect Cameron to stage a “reconciliation reshuffle” if he wins the referendum. This could include promotions for moderate Brexiters such as Andrea Leadsom and James Wharton, and prominent cabinet positions for Johnson and Gove. But a senior MP warned against “over-rewarding” the pair. He revealed that several colleagues had informed the chief whip that they would resign the Conservative whip if Gove was made deputy prime minister.

A significant section of the party, including the pragmatic 2015 intake, shares Cameron’s original desire to stop “banging on about Europe”. The modernising 2020 Group, chaired by the life sciences minister George Freeman, is working on policies to support the Prime Minister’s “one nation” agenda. But the slightness of Cameron’s majority (12 seats) means only a small number of malcontents are required to wreck his legislative programme. “He’ll be groping around for a legacy but he won’t have any parliamentary firepower,” said one MP. If he is not deprived of office, Cameron could be deprived of power.

Some predict that having pledged not to stand for a third term, he will be forced to set a fixed date for his departure, as Tony Blair was in 2006. “If it’s a zombie parliament, MPs will get restless after two years and maybe earlier,” predicted a backbencher. Unlike Wilson, who maintained authority by refusing to reveal his intentions, Cameron’s pre-resignation has inevitably corroded his standing.

The referendum risks having precisely the consequences that those who opposed it predicted. Far from settling the European question, it may only sharpen it. If the result is close, and even if it is not, the campaign for a second referendum will begin on 24 June. The most lasting legacy of the vote may be the election of a pro-Brexit Conservative leader. Like his undefeated counterparts, Thatcher and Blair, Cameron could suffer that most ambiguous of fates: winning in the country but losing in his party.

 

Timothy Less on the next Balkan war.

In this week’s NS essay, the former British diplomat Timothy Less reports on the new, potentially violent crisis facing Europe as territorial and ethnic tensions reignite in the troubled south-east of the continent:

After some years of peace, the western Balkans are again descending into instability. Across the region, people are taking to the streets, demanding the resignation of governments. Thousands are fleeing abroad in search of jobs and opportunities. A violent strand of Wahhabism is taking hold among the region’s Muslim population. Perhaps most worryingly of all, the threat of disintegration is returning, as malcontent minorities try to divide their states.

Bosnia has long been the most dysfunctional state in the region, wasted by civil war in the 1990s and afflicted by ethnic divisions ever since. The Serbs and Croats have never abandoned their goal of separation. Milorad Dodik, the president of Republika Srpska (Bosnia’s Serbian “entity”), is being squeezed by political rivals at home and investigated by police in Sarajevo for alleged money laundering. To shore up his position, he has threatened a referendum on independence for Republika Srpska, scheduled for 2018.

Not far behind is Kosovo, an impoverished plateau in the Šar Mountains. It is unrecognised by half of the world, run by a corrupt elite and saddled with an embittered Serb minority. After years of resistance, Kosovo’s Serbs have recently extracted the right to territorial autonomy from the country’s notional EU supervisors. This has provoked a ferocious backlash from Albanian nationalists, who have attacked the parliament and held a series of violent street demonstrations.

Meanwhile, Macedonia is in chaos following the leaking of tapes that led to accusations that the former prime minister Nikola Gruevski had spied on the population and had been involved in corruption, electoral fraud and outright criminality. This has outraged the unhappy Albanian minority, which blames its leaders for upholding an illegitimate government instead of its community rights. In response, this group is demanding the federalisation of the state, auguring its potential disintegration. In the Balkans, it all eventually comes back to nationalism.

[. . .]

As the EU loses its dominance in the Balkans, so the region’s unresolved nationalisms are returning to the surface on a bed of popular discontent. The Balkans have the potential to blow their problems back into Europe, entangling the EU in a new, potentially violent regional crisis. This may not happen tomorrow but, as the EU’s influence wanes, the day of reckoning draws ever closer.

Ideally, the EU would avert this possibility by fixing its internal problems, reviving the goal of enlargement and stabilising the region by means of integration, as has long been the plan. Yet, as matters stand, that looks like wishful thinking.

 

Stephen Bush: Why the migrant crisis is coming to British seas.

The NS special correspondent Stephen Bush argues that there is a crisis looming on our seas this summer:

The same global winds that propelled tens of thousands of people to attempt the treacherous Mediterranean crossing from North Africa and the Middle East last summer are still blowing today. War and disorder in Libya and Syria (both nations that are close to being failed states in all but name), the march of the so-called Islamic State and the ravages of climate change are driving thousands of desperate people to board makeshift boats – some of which would barely be seaworthy in a paddling pool – and attempt to reach a safer nation.

Added to that, the tightening of border controls at Calais and the deteriorating conditions of the camps there make the chance of arriving on the British mainland undetected and without incident an attractive one.

The crisis that hit the shores of Italy and the streets of Turkey will come to the coast of Dover, sooner or later. Some will make it safely to Britain, others will have to be rescued and a few will be caught. But the English Channel is 350 miles long and impossible to police effectively. The prospect of bodies washing up on English beaches this summer is a real one and, regardless, the last days of the referendum campaign will take place against a drumbeat of public fear – some real, some conjured up by the Leave campaign – about a migrant crisis on British shores.

Vote Leave, the cross-party campaign to get Britain out of Europe, had always planned to focus on immigration in the final days before the referendum. It had hoped that this could at least neutralise the Remain camp’s economic advantage but it will now gamble that a laser focus on the people who come to Britain and the money that Britain sends to Brussels will hand it a surprise victory.

Vote Leave will repeat two large and entirely illusory numbers: the £350m that the UK allegedly sends to the European Union every week, and the 75 million Turkish people who are on the brink of being granted access to the single market and thus the unrestricted right to move to Britain.

The reality is that claiming Britain “spends £350m” on its European membership is like claiming that you “spend £10” on a sandwich at Gregg’s: you may hand a tenner over but you get eight quid back. As far as those 75 million Turks are concerned, well: there is more chance of Turkey successfully mounting a manned mission to Mars than of being granted access to the single market any time soon.

But as is all too often the case in politics – the facts are secondary. Last summer, when photographs of Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian boy who had drowned and been washed up on a Turkish beach, appeared on front pages around the world, the reaction in Britain was not a conversation about opening borders or of greater compassion but an increase in support for a Brexit vote. Within the cross-party campaign to keep Britain in the European Union, there is concern that its poll lead would not survive the appearance of yet more bodies on the beaches of the continent.

 

Diary: Stig Abell.

The incoming editor of the Times Literary Supplement, Stig Abell, finds the venerable publication gripped by the EU referendum debate:

You find out some funny things reading the Times Literary Supplement. I get to find them out a bit sooner, now that I have become the editor. Did you know, for example, that Proust “needed to watch starving rats fight in a cage in a male brothel in order to achieve orgasm”? Or that Byron’s scandal-filled memoirs were burned by his friends because they were so racy, in what is regarded as the worst crime in literary history? Or that salmon are classed as animals with feelings to be protected in Norway but not in the US (which only cares about warm-blooded animals)? Or that the cycle of misinformation appearing on Wikipedia is called “citogenesis”?

A good example of citogenesis is the claim that the best-selling English language novel of all time is A Tale of Two Cities: the claim cropped up in 2008 and has been repeated endlessly in books and newspapers ever since, despite continual deletion by Wikipedia editors. Nobody knows what the best-selling English novel of all time is, alas.

My quote of the week comes from Martin Amis: “Being inoffensive, and being offended, are now the twin addictions of the culture.” Indisputably, and sadly, true. On Tuesday, I did my regular slot on the Sky newspaper review, where I do try not to be inoffensive. (A paper review is the definition of a burning platform, by the way: this year, we have seen the fall of the Independent and the rise and fall of the New Day; can the print Guardian be far behind?) I offered the unexceptionable opinion that it was likely that old people will settle the EU referendum, because they have little else to do in the day other than vote. On Twitter I am told I should be prosecuted for a “hate crime”.

Just for balance, I should be clear that social media are not just a forum for angry fulminations and abuse. One gentleman invites me to drop in to his house “for a shag” any time I feel like it, noting drily: “From your appearance on the TV you will clearly be the bottom.”

[. . .]

Back to the office, where the EU debate has penetrated even the cloistered halls of the TLS. We asked contributors whether the EU has had any impact on British cultural life or on their work. The responses ranged from the dismissive to the (more common) sense that Brexit would be a triumph for isolationism and intolerance. Axel Scheffler (best known for illustrating The Gruffalo) agreed to provide an EU-themed cartoon for the issue. It comes in: a lion and a unicorn, with those wonderful puckered faces that Scheffler does so well, looking at Britannia and saying: “She’s not going to do it, is she?” It will make a wonderful cover.

“She’s not going to do it, is she?” is perhaps the question of the next few weeks. It has been a dispiriting campaign – from Boris falling foul of Godwin’s law (former London mayors and Hitler, eh? Who knew?) to David Cameron heralding the potential advent of the Third World War. There was one moment of levity: the announcement of a Brexit-sponsored pop concert headlined by Alesha Dixon, 5ive and East 17. Except that they soon pulled out when the concepts of Brexit and agit-pop were explained to them. Remind me what East 17’s most famous song is? Ah, yes: “Stay Another Day”.

 

Peter Wilby: First Thoughts.  

In his column this week, Peter Wilby calls the EU referendum in favour of Remain – and has little sympathy for the Eton provost, Lord Waldegrave:

Whatever their uncertainties in other respects, opinion polls agree that support for Leave is strongest among older age groups while young people overwhelmingly support Remain. Since the old are more likely to vote, this is usually described as an advantage for the Brexiters. I think the opposite. The old tend to be risk averse, particularly since many depend on fixed incomes from pensions and other assets. It is a peculiar reversal that they want to follow a course that involves so much uncertainty, while their grandchildren urge them not to be so reckless. Yet many may not yet have paid much attention to the issues. I suspect they will switch in the final week of the campaign and that Leave’s support is much softer than anyone thinks.

Barring events such as a big terrorist attack – which could create a national mood for closing the borders and turning our backs on the world – I expect a comfortable victory for Remain, perhaps by as much as 62-38.

[. . .]

It is not just Brexit that divides the Tories. In the Times a few days ago, Matthew Parris, a former Tory MP and aide to Margaret Thatcher, wrote: “sneering at public school toffs is healthy . . . People must be made to feel sheepish about going to Eton or Harrow.” He welcomed government proposals that civil-service recruiters and big employers should distinguish potential from polish by asking job applicants about their socio-economic and educational backgrounds. Then Lord Waldegrave, the provost (chair of the governors) of Eton, threatened to resign from the Conservative Party. Children, he argued, should not be punished for their parents’ decisions nor jobs filled “not on the basis of merit but of social engineering”.

Waldegrave, educated at Eton and Oxford, was certainly not punished for his parents’ decisions, nor for those of his ancestors, of whom one received the Chewton estate in Somerset from Mary I and another got an earldom from George II, both no doubt entirely on merit. Also on merit, I am sure, Waldegrave became a Foreign Office minister under Thatcher and, despite sending 38 letters to MPs telling them that a boycott on selling arms to Iraq still stood when he had just relaxed it, survived to join the cabinet. After the electors of Bristol West dismissed him in 1997 (perhaps they were trying a little social engineering), he got a life peerage, his elder brother having inherited the family earldom. In his memoirs, he recalled gazing at the common people from his ministerial car and thinking they must lead “shadowy, dull” lives compared to his own. And he was supposed to be a wet Tory.

 

Laurie Penny: Why women should not marry.

In a column for this week’s issue, Laurie Penny argues that the question for women today is not how to have a better marriage but whether to have one at all:

Study after study has shown that it is now men, not women, who benefit most from marriage and long-term partnership. Men who marry are, on the whole, healthier and happier than single men. Married women, by contrast, are no better off than their single counterparts. Men who have divorced are twice as likely to want to get married again as women.

This might explain why it is women, not men, who must be steered and conditioned towards partnership from childhood. Little girls, not little boys, are taught to prepare for marriage, to imagine their future roles as wives and mothers, to fear being “left on the shelf”. “Bachelor” is a term of respect but “spinster” is a term of abuse and it is women, not men, to whom the propaganda of romance is directed.

Today, single women have more power and presence than ever before – but there is still a price to pay for choosing not to pair up. It’s not just about the stress of steering a life through un-navigated waters and unlearning decades of conditioning that lodges the notion that life without a partner is misery in the malleable parts of our hearts. It’s also about the money. Over half of Americans earning minimum wage or below are single women – and single mothers are five times as likely to live in poverty as married ones. This has been taken as proof that marriage is better for women ­– when it should be a sign that society must do more and better to support women’s choices as men have been supported for centuries.

If women reject marriage and partnership en masse, the economic and social functioning of modern society will be shaken to its core. It has already been shaken. Capitalism has managed to incorporate the mass entrance of women into the historically male workplace by depressing wages but the question of how households will be formed and children raised is still unsolved. Public anxiety over the low fertility rate among middle-class white women is matched only by the modern hysteria about working-class, black and migrant women having “too many” babies.

“Single women are taking up space in a world that was not built for them,” Traister concludes. “If we are to flourish, we must make room for free women, must adjust our economic and social systems, the ones that are built around the presumption that no woman really counts unless she is married.”

Once that is done, what about those who still choose marriage or partnership? They can couple up in the knowledge that their choices are made freely. When partnership ceases to be mandatory, it only becomes more special. I hope some of my friends carry on getting married, because I love weddings, although I doubt that I’ll ever have one. It’s just that I believe in dismantling the social and economic institutions of marriage and family. I believe in this not just as a feminist but as a romantic – because it’s the only chance we have of one day, at last, meeting and mating as equals.

 

Kevin Maguire’s Commons Confidential.

Kevin Maguire, the NS’s chief snout in Westminster, hears news of schoolboy giggling in shadow cabinet meetings – and Boris’s sweaty vest:

The sound of suppressed tittering can be heard at shadow cabinet meetings every time Hilary Benn delivers what has come to be known as his “St Crispin’s Day speeches”. Labour’s foreign affairs spokesman is fond of emphasising the justness of the European cause and trumpeting how marvellous it is that his party is so united on the EU.

Chief sniggerer is a rubber-faced Chris Bryant, who tries to catch the eye of blushing lefty John Cryer, chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party. What Bryant knows, and seemingly every shadow cabinet member except Brother Benn seems to know, is that Comrade Cryer is an old-style socialist, confirmed Brexiteer. The failure of the Tory-dominated Vote Leave campaign to engage and deploy Labour’s most senior Quitter is evidence for the doctrinal ignorance of a damaged side in a lost war.

[. . .]

Drippy Boris Johnson isn’t only sweating over the coming referendum result and, by extension, his leadership ambitions. TV make-up artists complain that the former mayor of London arrives for interviews perspiring after cycling to studios on his bike. On one occasion, a hair dryer was deployed to remove excess moisture. On another, an artist had to throw away a brush, soaked with Johnson’s bodily fluids. My informant blames the vest that was spied beneath Johnson’s shirt. I presume he twins this most British of undergarments with Union Jack Y-fronts.

 

Plus

Books: Helen Lewis weighs up the legal future of prostitution ● Anthony Clavane on how Hillsborough and the Premier League changed football ● Ian Thomson on Decca Aitkenhead’s memoir All at Sea Leo Robson on the echoes of Cervantes in Francis Spufford’s New York novel Golden Hill.

Rhodri Marsden explains why the vast majority of Britain’s bands won’t give up the day job.

Andrew Harrison sees the lighter side of Thom Yorke and Radiohead at the Roundhouse in London.

Film: Ryan Gilbey learns how to speak basic Orc with Duncan Jones’s Warcraft.

Television: Rachel Cooke can’t hear beyond the shouting in the new Top Gear.

Radio: Antonia Quirke gets a rare audience with Paul McCartney in BBC Radio 4’s Mastertapes.

Telling Tales: Tanya Gold remembers Gareth and Karen, the homeless lovers who lived under Waterloo Bridge.

For more press information, please contact Anya Matthews: anya.matthews@newstatesman.co.uk / 020 7936 4029 / 07815 634 396.