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JOHN ARMSTRONG is the author of Looking at Pictures (Duckworth)

PAUL BAILEY is the author of the forthcoming Three Queer Lives (Penguin)

WINSTON FLETCHER is director of Bozell UK Holdings. He is the author of Advertising, Advertising {Profile)

PAUL GOODMAN is comment editor on the Daily Telegraph

DAVID HANNAY is former British ambassador to the UN and EU

IAN HARGREAVES is professor of journalism at Cardiff University

IVAN HEWETT is presenter of Radio S’s Music Matters

LINDA HOLT is a writer

MICHAEL IGNATIEFF is the author of Isaiah Berlin (Chatto &Windus)

RW JOHNSON is director of the Helen Suzman Foundation, Johannesburg

JOHN LLOYD is a freelance journalist

JOHN NAUGHTON leads the Open University’s Going Digital project and is a fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He is the author of A Brief History o f the Future (Weidenfeld & Nicolson). See for details

JOHN O’SULLIVAN is former editor of the New York-based National Review

MICHAEL PROWSE was a Financial Times columnist in the US and is currently completing a book on political philosophy

JAY RAYNER is a feature writer for the Observer and the author of Day o f Atonement (Black Swan)

MARTIN REES is the Astronomer Royal. He is the author of the forthcoming Just S ix Numbers (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

BARBARA SCHWEPCKE is the author, most recently, of A Biography o f Aung San Suu Kyi (Herder)

GERALD SEGAL is co-author, with Barry Buzan, of Anticipating the Future (Simon & Schuster)

NEIL SINYARD is senior lecturer in film studies at the University of Hull

STELLA TILLYARD is a biographer and historian. She is the author of Aristocrats (Chatto &Windus)

MARY WARNOCK is a philosopher. She is the author, most recently, of The Intelligent Person’s Guide to Ethics (Duckworth)

MICHELA WRONG writes for the Financial Times. She is looking for a publisher for her book on President Mobutu and Zaire

2 PROSPECT October 1999


Issue forty-five October 1999

OPINIONS 8 Reading the markets RW JOHNSON Why the soaring stockmarkets may not be mad after all. Since 1989, capital carries less risk.

1 2 Gift culture in cyberspace JOHN NAUGHTON The Open Source movement makes the case for free, better and more ethical software. 13 Meeting Megawati BARBARA SCHWEPCKE She is the reform hope for Indonesia, but she opposed East Timor’s freedom.


Ascent o f man MICHAEL IGNATIEFF The Enlightenment idea of moral progress is under siege from all sides. But on the cusp of the millennium, we should try to hang on to the battered idea. 32 Too young to buy? JAY RAYNER The most successful rock and pop bands are now created by agents, record producers and focus groupsand much of the music is aimed at children younger than ten. 36 A private problem MICHAEL PROWSE Public schools are still at the root of inequality in Britain. They should not be abolished, but it is political cowardice not to attempt to open them up.

PORTRAIT Paul Bailey on Noel Coward, master of the flimsy trifle

14 Does China matter? GERALD SEGAL Fifty years after the revolution, China is not the superpower that the west thinks it is.

DEBATE 16 An English-speaking union: the Tory way? PAUL GOODMAN AND JOHN O’SULLIVAN How can the right challenge New Labour? Through culture, not economics.

He was a national institution. And 100 years after his birth, Coward’s best plays still glitter—but his greatest creation was himself. PAGE 46

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