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MICHAEL AXWORTHY was head of the Iran section of the foreign office from 1998-2000

JOHN BERGER ’s book Here is Where We Meet (Bloomsbury) is published in March

DAVID BIRCH is a director of Consult Hyperion, an IT consultancy

PAUL BROKS is the author of Into the Silent Land (Atlantic Books)

BARTLE BULL has reported on Iraq for the New York Times

MICHAEL COVENEY is an author and theatre critic

STEPHEN EVERSON is writing a book on metaphysics and the mind

CATHERINE FIESCHI is the author of Fascism, Populism and the French Fifth Republic (Manchester University Press)

DAVID HERMAN is a television producer and writer

MICHAEL HOROVITZ is a jazz trobadour and torch-bearer of the Poetry Olympics festival

KEVIN JACKSON is the author of Humphrey Jennings (Picador)

SIMON JENKINS is a former editor of the Times and the Evening Standard

TIM KING is a writer and documentarymaker living in France

DAN KUPER works for London Underground

JOSHUA KURLANTZICK is foreign editor of the New Republic

ELENA LAPPIN is a writer and journalist

RICHARD LAYARD is the author of Happiness: Lessons from a new science, published by Allen Lane in March

MARK LEONARD is the author of Why Europe will Run the 21st Century (4th Estate)

BEN LEWIS presented the BBC4 series, Art Safari

SEBASTIAN MALLABY is author of The World’s Banker (Yale University Press)

DAVID MARQUAND is the author of The Decline of the Public (Polity)

NICK PEARCE is director of the IPPR

JONATHAN RÉE is a philosopher and author of I See a Voice (Flamingo)

BEN ROGERS is associate director of the IPPR and author of AJ Ayer: A Life (Vintage)

IAN STEWART is a professor of mathematics at Warwick University

4PROSPECT March 2005

contents Issue one hundred and eight March 2005



Happiness is back


Our ever-increasing incomes no longer make us happier, and our competitive societies make some ofus positively unhappy. Public policy should return to Bentham’s utilitarianism, unfashionable for many decades but now vindicated by neuroscience.

OPINIONS 12Iraq’s bad press

BARTLE BULL Big media were misreading Iraq’s election. Were they hoping for failure?

13End ofthe Standard?

SIMON JENKINS Might the Evening Standard close?Is the internet finally hitting the press?

15Iranian rebels

MICHAEL AXWORTHY The MKO is a bloody, cultish terror group. Why is the west supporting it?

17Far right alarmism

CATHERINE FIESCHI Ukip and Veritas are not pretty, but must not be lumped in with the BNP.

19Spooks in court

NICK PEARCE It is time to rethink the ban on using telephone intercepts in court.

ESSAYS 28China’s chance

JOSHUA KURLANTZICK With America distracted by terrorism and Iraq, China has been spreading its influence throughout east Asia and beyond. For the first time since the cold war, US soft power is being seriously challenged.

34Ascent ofEurope

MARK LEONARD Europe’s power is easy to miss because news is told by journalists rather than historians. But Europe’s success has led to the evolution of a new kind of power—about spreading norms.


JONATHAN RÉE Some deaf people have begun to think of themselves as forming a fully fledged “nation.”They accuse hearingaid makers and ear surgeons of genocide. Is deafnationalism viable?