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NEAL ASCHERSON is a columnist on the Independent on Sunday. His essay is taken from What Needs To Change, edited by Giles Radice (Harper Collins), out 25th April, ,£14.99

SAMUEL BRITTAN is a columnist on the Financial Times and author of Capitalism with aHuman Face (Edward Elgar)

IAN BURUMA is the author of The Missionary and the Libertine (Faber)

JOHN CARR is amanagement consultant

LESLEY CHAMBERLAIN has written a Russian cultural history, Volga Volga (Picador)

JEREMY CLARKE is a freelance writer

DEREK COOMBS is chairman of Prospect and a former Conservative MP

ERNEST GELLNER wrote this essay for the Political Quarterly before his death last year

HERB GREER is an American writer

PETER H ITCHENS is assistant editor of the Daily Express

JU L IA HOBSBAWM isjoint managing director of Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications Ltd, a PR agency whose clients have included Prospect

JOHN KAY is chairman of London Economics

SUNIL KHILNANI teaches at Birkbeck College, London. He is writing The Idea of India

JOHN LLOYD is writing abook about the first five years of the new Russia

COLIN MacCABE is head of education at the British Film Institute

JOHN MADDOX is the former editor of Nature

MICHAEL MERTES works at the Federal Chancellery in Bonn. He writes here in a personal capacity

ROSALIND MILES is a writer and broadcaster

PATRICIA MORGAN is the author of Farewell to the Family? (IEA)

EDWARD PEARCE is writing a book on those who nearly made it to the top in politics

SOPHIE PEDDER is Johannesburg correspondent for the Economist


W ILL SELF published a book of short stories Grey Area (Penguin) earlier this year

GEORGE STEINER is a fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge and author of No Passion Spent (Faber)

CHRISTOPHER TOOKEY is film critic for the Daily Mail

MARY WARNOCK is a philosopher. Her article is aversion of The Last Word lunchtime lecture Women in War and Politics, to be delivered on 18th June

PETER WAYNE is serving 13years for robbery at Stocken prison, Leicestershire

CHRISTOPHER WILLS is a biologist at the University of California, San Diego, and author of Plagues (Harper Collins), out inMay


Issue eight May 1996

Staying put. Page 8

OPINIONS 8 HERE COMES THE QUEEN ROSALIND MILES says there is more to the dumpy little dignitary than meets the eye. 10 WHY DO INDIANS VOTE? SUNIL KHILNANI considers whether Indian democracy is a passion play or a bazaar. 14 READING THE SCREEN COLIN MacCABE

believes that information technology is not the enemy of literacy. 16 MARKETABLE WOMEN PATRICIA MORGAN asks whether what’s good for markets is good for the family.

18 DON’T TRUST THE GERMANS M ICHAEL MERTES warns Euro-sceptics not to count on the German electorate. 20 DEBATE: ABSOLUTELY OFF THE RECORD JU L IA HOBSBAWM AND PETER H ITCHENS Is public relations undermining our democracy?

Gone to market. Page 16

24 A MODEST SEPARATION DEREK COOMBS once talked to the IRA and learned a lesson.

ESSAYS 25 WHEN WAS BRITAIN? NEAL ASCHERSON The United Kingdom is two ancient kingdoms united by treaty, one conquered Celtic nation, the rump of another and a scatter of islands. Where does Britishness come in?

Is it a book? Page 14


Sic transitgloria. Shed no tears for the death of the novel. Talent is flowing elsewhere— into science, journalism and advertising jingles.

In transit. Page 30


The disastrously sudden collapse of communism has disorientated both east and west. Totalitarianism cannot run an industrial society, but neither can pure laissez-faire. Gellner favours a sceptical social democracy.

2 PROSPECT May 1996

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