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ISSUE 136 JULY 2007
Contributors to this issue
WOODY ALLEN is the author of Mere Anarchy (Ebury Press)
PHILIP BALL is a science writer
RICHARD BARRY is a former engineer
DEREK BROWER is a journalist who covers oil, gas and energy politics
CLEMENTINE CECIL is a former Moscow correspondent for The Times
HA-JOON CHANG teaches economics at the University of Cambridge
TOM CHATFIELD is Prospect ’s editorial assistant
RICHARD COCKETT is Africa editor of the Economist
ROBERT COLLS is professor of English history at the University of Leicester
MARK COUSINS is the author of The Story of Film (Pavilion Books)
ANTHONY DWORKIN is director of the Crimes of War project
DAVID FLUSFEDER ’s novel The Pagan House (4th Estate) is published in July
CHRISTOPHER HIRD is joint managing director of Fulcrum Productions
DANIEL JOHNSON is a freelance commentator on politics and culture
NIBRAS KAZIMI is a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute, Washington
MARTIN KETTLE is a Guardian columnist
TIM KING is a writer living in France
JULIAN LE GRAND is professor of social policy at the LSE
BEN LEWIS presents BBC4’s Art Safari
ANATOL LIEVEN is co-author of Ethical Realism (Pantheon Books)
JOHN LLOYD is a writer for the FT
DAVID MARQUAND is a visiting fellow in the department of politics at Oxford
IAIN MCLEAN is a professor of politics at Oxford University
GEOFF MULGAN is director of the Young Foundation
KAMRAN NAZEER is writing a book on ghosts
BENJAMIN POGRUND is author of How Can Man Die Better (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
MICHAEL PREST is a freelance writer
FREDERIC RAPHAEL is a novelist and screenwriter
ALEX RENTON won the 2006 Glenfiddich award for best food writer
ERIK TARLOFF ’s novels include The Man Who Wrote the Book (Crown)
ARABELLA WEIR is a comedian and writer
4 Prospect JULY2007
íS LITTLE MEN TAKE ON THE CASINOS David Flusfeder Prospec
GORDON BROWN: INTELLECTUAL What will it mean for Britain?
POLITICS ESSAYS ARGUMENT
A TALE OF HUGELY EXPENSIVE TRUFFLES Woody Allen
PROTECTIONISM WORKS Ha-Joon Chang
John Lloyd, Geoff Mulgan, Daniel Johnson and others
In this issue:
BEN LEWIS The case against Damien Hirst
DEREK BROWER How Gazprom triumphed over the EU
ANTHONY DWORKIN on John Gray and why we still need utopias
ROBERT COLLS journeys through Englishness
RICHARD BARRY explains why it’s time for a carbon tax
ANATOL LIEVEN on Pakistan’s underlying stability
JULIAN LE GRAND Tony Blair is leaving behind a golden age
ARABELLA WEIR “I really fancy my neighbour’s 17-year-old son”
CoverstoryAnintellectual in power Gordon Brown is the first prime minister in decades who can be said to be a genuine intellectual.This must be significant—but how? Despite his bookishness,little is known of Brown’s worldview.John Lloyd,Iain McLean,Daniel Johnson,Geoff Mulgan, Richard Cockett and Kamran Nazeer give their views.
14The cost of carbon Carbon trading is an attractive idea, but it will not work as well as a consistent tax on carbon emissions. RICHARD BARRY
15A bone-headed boycott Cutting links with Israeli academics will only hinder the chances of peace in the middle east.
16Back to Bhutto? If President Musharraf is ousted, it will be another example of Pakistan’s underlying stability. ANATOL LIEVEN
17It’s broke, let’s fix it It’s time for an end to piecemeal reform—Britain now needs a proper written constitution.
18Blair’s golden age? New Labour has combined growth with social protection. It’s a lot better than the 1960s. JULIAN LE GRAND
36Protecting the global poor Almost all rich countries became wealthy by protecting infant industries and limiting foreign investment. But these rich countries are now denying poor ones the same chance to grow.
42The case for minor utopias The 20th century showed how dangerous utopian ideas can be. Should we follow John Gray and abandon all political idealism? ANTHONY DWORKIN
46English journeys My early years brought me into contact with many kinds of Englishness—but each was part of a whole. It is hard to say the same of our national identity today. ROBERT COLLS
52Poker’s face-off In recent years, small poker clubs have sprung up across the country, providing ideal venues for amateurs to hone their skills. But the big casinos are against them and their legal status is uncertain.
56Checkmate Gazprom The EU wants to reduce its dependence on Russian gas. But a series of shrewd moves by Gazprom has left the EU’s diversification strategy in tatters. DEREK BROWER Columns
12Letter from Moscow We must save the city from Russian vandals. CLEMENTINE CECIL
20Washington watch Is Gordon Brown really on the CIA payroll? TUMBLER
22Matters of taste A short history of fish canning. ALEX RENTON
34Lab report Techno-fixes for global warming. PHILIP BALL
41Rivers of Babylon Iraqi dynasties. NIBRAS KAZIMI
51France profonde The revival of village festivals. TIM KING
59Inefficient markets The Royal Mail’s in trouble. MICHAEL PREST
60Brussels diary Will the Lib Dems help Gordon? MANNEKEN PIS
80Confessions I fancy my neighbour’s 17-year-old son. ARABELLA WEIR
06Letters 08News & curiosities 10Grayling’s question AC GRAYLING 10Enigmas & puzzles IAN STEWART 73Classifieds 78The generalist DIDYMUS 79The list
Edward Skidelsky interviews Nicholas Mosley. Dan Jones on moral psychology. Robert Sandall on the economics of pop music. CAR Hills’s breakdown. The next issue ofProspectis published on 26th July
Arts and books
61 How deadly your tastebuds, my sweet Some people will go to amazing lengths for the chance to savour a flawless white truffle. WOODY ALLEN
First DraftsProspect ’s blog— updated daily by Prospect staff and guest contributors.
Archives Every article from every issue of Prospect .
66 Doubting Damien With much modern art, it’s hard to tell the difference between a banal work and one whose theme is banality. So how might we make a case against Damien Hirst? BEN LEWIS
68 The essence of Cliveishness Clive James’s compendium of short essays shows him at his most democratic, irreverent and dazzling.
69 Caught up in The Wire The Sopranos has been described as the greatest television show ever. But The Wire, also made by HBO, is even better.
70 From people to person In China, collectivist ideals are enshrined in the language itself. In two recent Chinese novels, rebellion takes a linguistic form. TOM CHATFIELD
64Performance notes Don’t take the Proms for granted. MARTIN KETTLE
72Widescreen The pick of Cannes. MARK COUSINS
77Smallscreen Ever heard of the Community Channel? CHRISTOPHER HIRD
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ADAM THORPE on Brits behaving badly JONATHAN RÉÉE on the late Richard Rorty JACK THURSTON on the revival of cycling DAVID GOODHART writes an open letter to Tariq Ramadan
Revisit our past coverage of some of the topics covered in this issue.
MICHAEL GOVE,CLARE SHORT and others look forward to Brown in power
DAVID MEPHAM on Prime Minister Brown’s foreign policy
MALCOLM RIFKIND,ARTHUR AUGHEY and others on English identity JOHN KEEGAN on the arcadian English ideal
ADAIR TURNER takes on the antihumanism of Straw Dogs
KENAN MALIK discusses Gray’s tragic fatalism
Prospect JULY2007 5