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ISSUE 133 APRIL 2007
Contributors to this issue
ANDREW ADONIS is minister for schools
PHILIP BALL is a science writer
PAUL BARKER ’s Arts in Society has been reissued by Five Leaves Publications
RICHARD BEARD ’s fourth novel is Dry Bones (Vintage)
PAUL BROKS is a neuropsychologist and author of Into the Silent Land (Atlantic)
TOM CHATFIELD is Prospect ’s editorial assistant
MARK COUSINS is the author of The Story of Film (Pavilion Books)
RICHARD DOWDEN is a director of the Royal African Society
ROBERT DREYFUSS is a journalist and author of Devil’s Game (Henry Holt)
STEPHEN EVERSON is writing a book on metaphysics and the mind
TREVOR FENNING is a research fellow, Max Planck Institute for chemical ecology
MAUREEN FREELY ’s novel Enlightenment is published by Marion Boyars
KEVAN GARTLAND is dean of the school of life sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University
DAVID GOODHART is editor of Prospect
CHRISTOPHER HIRD is joint managing director of Fulcrum Productions
SIMON JENKINS is author of Thatcher and Sons: a Revolution in Three Acts (Penguin)
HELEN JOHNS is an environmental economist
NIBRAS KAZIMI is a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute, Washington
VICTOR KEEGAN is a Guardian columnist
TIM KING is a writer living in France
BEN LEWIS presents BBC4’s Art Safari
HILARY MANTEL is a novelist
PAUL ORMEROD is an economist
SIMON PARKER is head of public services research at Demos
JONATHAN POWER writes for the International Herald Tribune
FREDERIC RAPHAEL is a novelist and screenwriter
KATE SAUNDERS ’s most recent novel for adults was Bachelor Boys (Arrow)
STELLA TILLYARD is the author of A Royal Affair (Chatto & Windus)
TONY TRAVERS is director of the Greater London Group at the LSE
ERICA WAGNER is literary editor of the Times and author of Seizure (Faber)
Talking to Ken
Ishismegalopolis out of control?
POLITICS ESSAYS ARGUMENT
WHY ARE WE CONSCIOUS? Paul Broks
TEA WITH JEAN-MARIE LE PEN Tim King
EXPLORING ONLINE WORLDS Victor Keegan
In this issue:
London special with Ken Livingstone, Simon Jenkins, Erica Wagner and others
ANDREW ADONIS Let’s move the Lords to Manchester
JONATHAN POWER Has my friend Obasanjo turned around Nigeria?
IAN MCEWAN How good is his new novel?
MAUREEN FREELY Turkey’s liberals take on the ultranationlists
KATE SAUNDERS discovers her dad through Kingsley Amis
STEPHEN EVERSON reviews London’s classical music audiences
HILARY MANTEL “I once set fire to a nun”
FICTION by Richard Beard
CoverstoryTalking to Ken:is the mayor’s megalopolis out of control? “Red Ken”explains why big business is a progressive force in the new, global London. He also discusses the city’s high-density growth, Sharia law and segregation in the capital, and how he will sink Labour if it won’t invest in Crossrail. PAGE28
INTERVIEW BY SIMON PARKER,TONY TRAVERS & DAVID GOODHART
13Go north, upper house Moving an elected House of Lords to one of England’s regional cities would be more than a gesture of decentralisation. ANDREW ADONIS
14New York, still top After 15 years in London, I’ve come to miss many things about New York— including, incredibly, its subway system.
15Turkey’s liberals In late-1960s Istanbul, I grew up with many of the men and women who are now ﬁghting ultranationalism in Turkey. MAUREEN FREELY
17Why forests matter To deal with climate change, we need to start investing in forest plantations and stop clearing natural forests.
TREVOR FENNING & KEVAN GARTLAND
18Slavery, guilt and grievance The debate over reparations for slavery is a lot more complicated than I once thought. RICHARD DOWDEN
19No bloodbath in Iraq The argument for going to war in Iraq was based on a false “best case.”Now the argument for staying is based on a false “worst case.” ROBERT DREYFUSS
22A city of capital London is diverse, dynamic and rich. It is also unequal, expensive and congested. Can Ken Livingstone make it a decent place to live for most citizens? SIMON PARKER & DAVID GOODHART
33Against happiness It isn’t sensible to make governments responsible for something as complex as personal happiness. Moreover, much of the happiness data is faulty.
PAUL ORMEROD & HELEN JOHNS
37The mystery of consciousness Nicholas Humphrey’s latest book has half-persuaded me that his evolutionary approach will one day answer the mystery of consciousness. PAUL BROKS
42Kingsley,dad and me My father and Kingsley Amis struggled against similarly claustrophobic suburban upbringings. Now I read Amis to understand dad. KATE SAUNDERS
45Front National Talking to Jean-Marie Le Pen and his daughter Marine, it is clear why the Front National will not easily join the mainstream French right. TIM KING
4 Prospect APRIL 2007 Brieﬁng notes
50Virtual worlds and second lives Why are a growing number of people devoting themselves to the virtual world of Second Life ? VICTOR KEEGAN
Arts and books
59 Hearing myself think I am at Heathrow airport because there’s someone I have to meet. I just don’t yet know who. RICHARD BEARD
54Obasanjo’s legacy Is Nigeria a beacon of hope, or still mired in corruption and violence? As the country votes for a new president in April, Imeet up with my old friend Olusegun Obasanjo. JONATHAN POWER
12These islands A city of colonies. SIMON JENKINS
21Washington watch Barack Obama’s halo slips. TUMBLER
44Rivers of Babylon Sabreen’s honour. NIBRAS KAZIMI
49Lab report South Korea’s ethical robots. PHILIP BALL
80Confessions I once set ﬁre to a nun. HILARY MANTEL
06Letters 08News & curiosities 10Grayling’s question 10Enigmas & puzzles 58The list 73Classiﬁeds 78The generalist
Joe Boyd on the blues. CAR Hills writes from Belmarsh prison. David McWilliams on the Irish rich. Julian Gough on comic writing. The next issue ofProspectis published on 26th April
64 Snared by the past Ian McEwan’s new novel isboth a triumphant piece of social history and a reminder of the misery caused by an earlier age’s sexual decorum. TOM CHATFIELD
65Degrees of silence A knowledgeable audience can make all the difference to a classical music concert. London is lucky.
67Points of departure Transformations, miracles and slippages are at the heart of David Malouf’s rich and poetic ﬁction.
69Englishness in the mirror The audiences ﬂocking to the Hogarth exhibition at Tate Britain are there to look at themselves. PAUL BARKER
70God and Caesar Michael Burleigh’s study of the intersection of politics and religion in the 20th century is a monumental accomplishment. FREDERIC RAPHAEL
63Widescreen My week with Maggie Cheung.
77Private view Russia tries for an art boom. BEN LEWIS
79Smallscreen Jamie Oliver’s terrible television. CHRISTOPHER HIRD
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CHARLES GRANT looks back on the EU’s next 20 years
JAMES WALVIN marks the 200th anniversary of the end of the slave trade
SIMON BLACKBURN explains why we will miss Jean Baudrillard
KEN LIVINGSTONE INTERVIEW— extended version
HILARY DAVIES on the terrible twins of Poland
MAX STEUER on the ignorant paranoia of Adam Curtis
Revisit our past coverage of some of the topics covered in this issue.
GRAHAM BOWLEY on the congestion charge, March 2003
ALEXANDER LINKLATER on “bloody lovely London,”February 2002
ANDREW BROWN on the literature of consciousness, November 1997
AS BYATT on Antonio Damasio, June 2003
RICHARD LAYARD urges politicians to get utilitarian, March 2005 WILL WILKINSON on riches and happiness, October 2006
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