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ISSUE 138 SEPTEMBER 2007
Contributors to this issue
ANDREW ADONIS is minister for schools
ALUN ANDERSON is a former editor of New Scientist
PHILIP BALL is a science writer and author of The Devil’s Doctor (Arrow)
CHRISTOPHER DE BELLAIGUE is the author of In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs: a memoir of Iran (HarperPerennial)
MATTHEW CONTINETTI is the author of The K Street Gang: The Rise and Fall of the Conservative Machine (Doubleday)
Coverstory 26India’s middle-class failure India’s 200m-strong middle class may be the most economically dynamic group on the planet,says Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad. Yet it has a limited sense of citizenship and is largely uninterested in politics.Until it starts to engage politically, India will suffer from a lop-sided modernisation.
MARK COUSINS is the author of The Story of Film (Pavilion Books)
DAVID COX is a television producer and a former head of current affairs at LWT
ROSS DOUTHAT is the author of Privilege : Harvard and the Ruling Class (Hyperion)
TOM GALLAGHER is chair of ethnic peace and conflict at the department of peace studies, University of Bradford
ANTHONY GIDDENS is the author of Over To You, Mr Brown: How Labour Can Win Again (Polity)
AC GRAYLING ’s latest book is Towards the Light (Bloomsbury)
CAR HILLS is a former editor of PENNews
CHRISTOPHER HIRD is joint managing director of Fulcrum Productions
KATHRYN HUGHES is the author of The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton (HarperPerennial)
NIBRAS KAZIMI is a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute, Washington DC. His blog is at talismangate.blogspot.com
MARTIN KETTLE is a Guardian columnist
ANTHONY KING is professor of government at the University of Essex
TIM KING is a writer living in France
MICHAEL PREST is a freelance writer specialising in business and economics
ROSS RAISIN ’s novel God’s Own Country will be published by Viking in March
CHAKRAVARTHI RAM-PRASAD is the author of Indian Philosophy and the Consequences of Knowledge (Ashgate)
KATE SAUNDERS is a writer and journalist. She is author of Bachelor Boys (Arrow)
KIM SENGUPTA is a journalist for the Independent
EDWARD SKIDELSKY is a freelance writer and philosopher
12The long goodbye? The SNP’s performance has been unexpectedly strong, making an independent Scotland more likely. TOM GALLAGHER
13Sarkozy’s 100 days France’s new president has been as hyperactive in office as he was on the campaign trail. But real reform has yet to come. TIM KING
14Winning over the Kurds In the remote Turkish town of Varto, I watched as the ruling AK party attempted to expand its appeal to local Kurds. CHRISTOPHER DE BELLAIGUE
16Is Britain broken? Marriage and cohabitation are far more complex issues than Iain Duncan Smith’s report suggests.
22Jacqueline McGlade The head ofthe European Environment Agency explains why northern Europe should brace itself for more flooding and why she wants to replace income tax with “pollution taxes.” ALUN ANDERSON
32Constitutional fiddling Many of Gordon Brown’s constitutional reform plans are sensible and overdue. But it is hard to see how they will solve the problem of mass disengagement from politics. ANTHONY KING
36Impartiality imperilled A bulwark of our public discourse is under threat. If we want to save it, we may have to reshape the system of public service broadcasting that currently enshrines it. DAVID COX
42Wellcome Collection Prospect presents a special supplement—in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust—about the latter’s latest venture, Wellcome Collection, and its place in the museum world.
54Rudy Giuliani The famously abrasive Rudy Giuliani is hoping his 9/11 credentials will steer him to the presidency. ROSS DOUTHAT
58Fred Thompson Former senator and actor Fred Thompson has vaulted into the top tier of presidential contenders without any executive experience. MATTHEW CONTINETTI
IAN STEWART is author of Why Beauty Is Truth: The History of Symmetry (Basic)
CHRIS WILKINSON is a theatre director and journalist
2 Prospect SEPTEMBER2007 Witness
62Leaving Baghdad The al-Hayalis were set to join the hundreds of thousands of middle-class families who have fled Iraq. Just before their departure, calamity struck. KIM SENGUPTA
10The prisoner The killers Ilove. CAR HILLS
20Washington watch Goodbye Turd Blossom. TUMBLER
40Rivers of Babylon Iraq’s Asian Cup triumph. NIBRAS KAZIMI
52Lab report Our floods, their floods. PHILIP BALL
60Inefficient markets Who are the villains in the financial crisis? MICHAEL PREST
88Confessions Getting high in Holland. KATE SAUNDERS
04Letters 06News & curiosities 08Grayling’s question AC GRAYLING 08Enigmas & puzzles IAN STEWART 81Classifieds 86The generalist 87The list
David Robins on knife crime. A poet visits CERN. Alison McLeod confesses. Jonathan Wolff on criminal justice. Ian Jack reviews VS Naipaul. The next issue ofProspectis published on 27th September
Arts and books
66 Infested She knew it would take something special to win Best Pest. When she saw the dog, she knew she’d found it. ROSS RAISIN
74 Beyond good and evil Nicholas Mosley’s novels address the unfashionable idea that good and evil are inseparable. It’s an approach that has put him at odds with the literary establishment. EDWARD SKIDELSKY
76 Drama without theatre Plays set in locations other than theatres have flourished in recent years. But do such works succeed in breaking down the barrier between actors and audience? CHRIS WILKINSON
78 The fall of the wild Nature writing is enjoying a resurgence, but the danger of mapping any wilderness is that it becomes tame and dumb. KATHRYN HUGHES
79 Recycling Nixon Conrad Black’s new biography of Richard Nixon portrays him as a “mighty and mythic” figure who was unfairly hounded from office. Sound familiar? ANDREW ADONIS
72Widescreen Antonioni trumps Bergman. MARK COUSINS
80Performance notes Bring on the applause. MARTIN KETTLE
85Smallscreen There’s no crisis in documentaries. CHRISTOPHER HIRD
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JONATHAN MYERSON on writing the British West Wing
LARA FEIGEL reviews Tessa Hadley’s The Master Bedroom
IARLA KILBANE-DAWE on the quality of London’s air
JM SHAW on stupidity and ideology in the British school curriculum
Online archive Revisit our past coverage of some of the topics covered in this issue.
ROBERT HAZELL on Blair’s unfinished constitutional business
IAIN MCLEAN on devolution
CHARLIE FALCONER,VERNON BOGDANOR,
GEOFFREY HOWE & OTHERS discuss Labour’s constitutional reforms
JOHN LLOYD on the BBC’s self-hatred BARRY COX on why the BBC is not a public service like the NHS TIM CONGDON & GAVYN DAVIES debate whether the licence fee still works
JAMES CRABTREE asks if America is ready for Barack Obama
CARL M CANNON explains why Hillary isn’t too liberal to win
JOSHUA KURLANTZICK on what the Dems should do on foreign policy
Prospect SEPTEMBER2007 3