Solidarity 106, 9 February 2007

Machiavellian lessons

Sofie Buckland reviews Notes on a Scandal

From the moment the film opens with Judi Dench’s acerbic commentary on school life, you know there’s something not quite right about her character, Barbara Covett.

Abolish the House of Lords!

By Amina Saddiq

Desperate to overcome the impression of being mired in financial corruption and political bankruptcy, the government is pressing ahead with reform of the House of Lords. House of Commons leader Jack Straw is pushing for a 50/50 elected/appointed second chamber, but the various possible ratios seem to be exciting a bizarre amount of controversy and enthusiasm among Labour MPs.

Chavez's Plans Favour Capital

By Paul Hampton

Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has announced that his government’s planned takeover of the Orinoco belt oil fields and the nationalisation of the electricity sector will begin in May, though on terms favourable to capital.

The end of the road for the Provos

"Ireland occupies a position among the nations of the earth unique - in the possession of what is known as a 'physical force party' - a party, that is to say, whose members are united upon no one point, and agree upon no single principle, except upon the use of physical force - [A party that] exalts into a principle that which the revolutionists of other countries have looked upon as a weapon - men as the only means of attaining it." — James Connolly, 1899

Teenage kicks?

Chris Leary reviews Skins

Anticipating the televisual delights promised by all the promos of the new teen drama from E4 (the yoof digital channel from Channel 4), I sat down in front of the telly with my tin of cider. By the half way point I was curled up in a ball, knawing away at my fist in terror and fright, and at some point near the end, I just couldn't take it anymore and switched over to a repeat of Most Haunted.

Machievellian Lessons

Sofie Buckland reviews Notes on a Scandal

From the moment the film opens with Judi Dench's acerbic commentary on school life, you know there's something not quite right about her character, Barbara Covett.

Abolish the House of Lords

By Amina Saddiq

Desperate to overcome the impression of being mired in financial corruption and political bankruptcy, the government is pressing ahead with reform of the House of Lords. House of Commons leader Jack Straw is pushing for a 50/50 elected/appointed second chamber, but the various possible ratios seem to be exciting a bizarre amount of controversy and enthusiasm among Labour MPs.

My friend the tyrant

David Broder reviews The Last King of Scotland

Kevin MacDonald's film charts the progress of Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy), a young Scottish doctor who, by chance, becomes a close aide to 1970s Ugandan dictator Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker).

Attracted by Amin's charm, affection for Scotland and rhetoric for "a new Uganda", Nicholas leaves his post at an aid mission in the countryside and accepts the offer to become Amin's physician, a decision which brings him into close personal contact with the dictator.

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