Saturday, January 15, 2005

New Statesman Jan 17th 2005 'Bush Inauguration Special'

The New Statesman (Jan17th 2005) has a 'Bush Inauguration Special'. Just a few pieces in this issue.

There's a piece on the excellent Vera Drake by Brendan O'Neill from Spiked-online arguing that Mike Leigh's real agenda is to attack the upwardly mobile and say the working class ought to stay in the traditional place. Vera's brittle, materialistic sister-in-law Joyce is the villain - and I thought the legal system was the villain of the piece! Spiked is of course the continuation of the RCP/Living Marxism style of iconoclasm. However Spiked also contains a very good item by Ann Furedi of the BPAS: 'When Vera Drakes were everywhere': 'Abortion was a part of womenÂ’s lives long before it was made legal' which praises the film for its realism about backstreet abortion before the reforms of then 1960s. Her conclusion:
"Today, in Britain, it's easy to take abortion services for granted. Women almost never die from abortion here. Vera Drake reminds us that it hasn't always been this way."

The cover feature does lead to some excellent material. Andrew Stephen in 'Coronation, Texas-style' contrasts the $40m being spent on the inauguration ball and related events to the $1 billion a week being spent on the war in Iraq. John Gray tries Swiftian satire in 'A Modest Defence of the President and His Policies of Creative Destruction' and Anatol Lieven argues that the radical neo-liberal agenda of the Bush government will be constrained by the bankruptcy of his policies in Iraq and that his foreign policy will also be forced in 'pragmatic restraint'.

Also, the much-hated and allegedly ex-leftist (as opposed to pro-Iraq war and generally contrarian leftist) Nick Cohen has a rather good article about sweatshop production of textiles and clothes and the end of the multi-fibre agreement.

And Mark Thomas celebrates the showing of Jerry Springer: The Opera and the offence given to Evangelicals everywhere.


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7 November 2005 at 03:20  

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