New Statesman (135)

It's obvious why Thais can't resist our English footballers. But they want our schools, too

The only explanation is . . . our footer must be great and exciting to watch. At Bangkok airport, sitting in the Club lounge, as I am a toff, I spotted a copy of Thailand Tatler, a publication I did not know existed. Flicking through, I came across a whole page advert announcing that RUGBY SCHOOL ...

From the 1997 election archive: Tony Blair on winning Labour a moral majority

In December 1993, a year before being elected Labour leader, Tony Blair was already attempting to reclaim a moral message for the party. This interview explored his formative influences and vision. A return to what we are really about, what we believe in, would be healthy journey for our country ...

In a dry month, waiting for rain: what happens to innovators in old age?

Arsène Wenger may have run his last meaningful race but others no longer young are still on the track.   In 1962, "with all his honours on", Duke Ellington made a record with Charles Mingus and Max Roach, prominent members of the younger generation of jazz musicians. When they finished the ...

How Wilson "Wicked" Pickett was his own worst enemy

Wilson Pickett has a strong claim to being the greatest purveyor of Pentecostal-style vocal pyrotechnics on the pop scene. In the spring of 1962, a record hit radios across the United States with a sound unlike anything heard outside a black Pente­costal church or gospel revival. Called I Found a ...

Sarah Sands's diary: switching from print to radio and being banged out

The new editor of Radio 4's Today programme on taking over the role. This week, I bid farewell to ­newspapers. I am leaving the editorship of the ­London Evening Standard to ­someone who can solve newspaper finances and am going to join BBC Radio 4's Today programme. The tradition of being banged ...

The hidden history of Catholics in Britain

The Catholics by Roy Hattersley starts with the news his father was a Catholic priest. Roy Hattersley's father was a Catholic priest. Two weeks after performing the wedding ceremony for a young couple, he ran off with the bride. Hattersley knew nothing about any of this until he read a letter of ...

From the 1997 election archive: Tony Blair on why crime is a socialist issue

In March 1993, the then shadow home secretary, Tony Blair, wrote the following article for the New Statesman. His argument that "we should be tough on crime and tough on the underlying causes of crime," became an iconic slogan for New Labour. The Tories have given up on crime. Not just their ...

From white trash to the whitelash: what do white people want?

Class, culture and religion all play a part in how white voters feel about themselves.  A few weeks after the election of Donald Trump, a veteran British politician told me about visiting a multi-ethnic primary school. He watched a lesson where the pupils were asked to draw something that ...

Beware of tea: the cuppa has started wars and ruined lives

. . .¬†and it once led F Scott Fitzgerald to humiliate himself. A drink sustains me¬†‚Äď one that steams companionably as I write. It is hot, amber and fragranced differently from any wine; nor does it have wine's capacity to soften and blur. I've never understood how the great drunks of literature, ...

Will Jeremy Corbyn stand down if Labour loses the general election?

Defeat at the polls might not be the end of Corbyn's leadership. The latest polls suggest that Labour is headed for heavy defeat in the June general election. Usually a general election loss would be the trigger for a leader to quit: Michael Foot, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband all stood down after ...

Marching against climate change in the age of Donald Trump

The People's Climate Movement is as much about politics as science. That's its strength. Saying goodbye is never easy. But the present generation are facing an awful lot of farewells: to the melting arctic, the dying Barrier Reef, and the general resilience of ecosystems around the world. As ...

Love a good box set? Then you should watch the Snooker World Championships

The game relies on a steady arm, which relies on a steady nerve. The result is a¬†slow creeping tension needs time and space to be properly enjoyed and endured.¬† People are lazy and people are impatient. This has always been so ‚Äď just ask Moses or his rock ‚Äď but as illustrated by kindly old ...

Peter Kay's Car Share will restore your faith in human beings

 I clutch at John and Kayleigh's potential for happiness as if at straws.  I discovered Peter Kay's Car Share about a year ago, by accident. BBC News at Ten had finished and there we were, slumped in our seats, despondent, unable to move. It came on, by my memory, immediately afterwards, and we ...

How Jim Murphy's mistake cost Labour - and helped make Ruth Davidson

Scottish Labour's former leader's great mistake was to run away from Labour's Scottish referendum, not on it. The strange revival of Conservative Scotland? Another poll from north of the border, this time from the Times and YouGov, shows the Tories experiencing a revival in Scotland, up to 28 per ...

Theresa May's stage-managed election campaign keeps the public at bay

Jeremy Corbyn's approach may be chaotic, but at least it's more authentic. The worst part about running an election campaign for a politician? Having to meet the general public. Those ordinary folk can be a tricky lot, with their lack of regard for being on-message, and their pesky real-life ...

Ukip's "integration agenda" is another lurch away from the mainstream

Ukip's only chance of survival is on the nativist fringe. It won't be a happy - or successful - existence.  After Ukip leader Paul Nuttall failed to steal a famous by-election victory in Stoke-on-Trent, his party's militant tendency offered a prompt and simple diagnosis: the party was just too ...

How do you watch The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu in the UK?

The short answer: you can't. Here's why.  Hulu's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's novel The Handmaid's Tale has dominated cultural headlines this week. Whether it's discussions of the feminism of the work, discussions of the cast's denial of the feminism of the work, analysis of the feminist ...

Sadiq Khan's decision to scrap the Garden Bridge is a victory for ordinary Londoners

Perhaps the rich really do want to give something back to London. If they do, I'm sure it'll be lovely. But if they don't, I'm bloody glad I don't have to pay for it. The obvious question about the Garden Bridge is: where did it all go wrong? The bridge, after all, should have been a lovely addition ...

Donald Trump's con artistry gives him a chance to win a second term

There is a reason why so many conmen get away with it: their victims don't want to admit to themselves, let alone to others, that they were taken in. Life doesn't imitate art,' Woody Allen once remarked, it imitates bad television.' Back in May 1958, an episode of the CBS drama Trackdown, set in ...

"I pictured a dude this whole time": why the internet assumes you're a man

Women with gender neutral usernames are frequently mistaken for men online. What's behind it ‚Ästand does it matter?¬† Verity Burns often sells her old tech online. When she is done with her phones, headphones, or laptops, she will place them on eBay in the hopes of making some extra cash. As a ...

Not since the Thatcher years have so many Tory MPs been so motivated by self-interest

Assured of an election win, backbenchers are thinking either advancing up the greasy pole, or mounting it for the first time.  One hears despair from Labour not just about probable defeat, but from MPs who felt they had three years to improve the party's fortunes, or to prepare for personal ...

The economic slowdown is another reason Theresa May called an early election

The Prime Minister has gone to the country before the living standards squeeze becomes too strong. The recession that the Treasury and others forecast would follow the EU referendum never came. But we now have the clearest evidence yet of an economic slowdown. In the first quarter of 2017, GDP grew ...

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, every other line reeks of a self-help manual

This lame sequel suggests the makers have largely forgotten why the original was so refreshing. The 2014 romp Guardians of the Galaxy boasted the budget of a blockbuster and the soul of a B-movie. What that meant in practice was that audiences had to endure the same biff-pow battle scenes and ...

All four of us vomited in the library': Bobby Seagull on life as a University Challenge icon

In an age of attacking the elites, why have British audiences started making cult figures out of University Challenge contestants? BOBBY SEAGULL HAS REPLIED TO LOTS OF MY TWEETS!!!!!' cried a lovestruck fan on Twitter earlier this month, punctuated with three red hearts. It was the semi-final of ...

Should the UK get militarily involved in Syria?

There is a ceasefire, in name only, agreed by all parties, including Russia.  But it is not enforced  The foreign secretary Boris Johnson remarked on Thursday that the "UK would find it very difficult to refuse a US request to strike Syrian regime targets in response to another use of WMD". ...

Theresa May knows she's talking nonsense - here's why she's doing it

The Prime Minister's argument increases the sense that this is a time to "lend" - in her words - the Tories your vote. Good morning.  Angela Merkel and Theresa May are more similar politicians than people think, and that holds true for Brexit too. The German Chancellor gave a speech yesterday, and ...

Theresa May's warning that the EU is "ganging up" on Britain is politically potent

The Prime Minister's argument increases the sense that this is a time to "lend" - in her words - the Tories your vote. Good morning.  Angela Merkel and Theresa May are more similar politicians than people think, and that holds true for Brexit too. The German Chancellor gave a speech yesterday, and ...

How worried are Labour MPs about losing their seats?

Despite their party's abysmal poll ratings, MPs find cause for optimism on the campaign trail.  Labour enters the general election with subterranean expectations. A "good result", MPs say, would be to retain 180-200 of their 229 MPs. Some fear a worse result than 1935, when the party won just ...

Is Ukip finished?

Ukip changed British politics, but may have put itself out of a job. For a party that has only ever had two MPs, Ukip has held an outsize influence on politics: without it and its charismatic former leader Nigel Farage, we'd probably never have had the EU referendum. But Brexit has turned Ukip into ...

Can Jeremy Corbyn win the 2017 general election?

Does the Labour leader have a chance of becoming prime minister?   After less than two years as Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn is leading the party into a snap general election. This isn't the first vote of national significance since his election, however, since he was in office during the 2016 EU ...

How The Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme brought humanity to horror

In memory of a great movie man - and a generous soul.  Professional distance is important as a journalist. I'll always be grateful to the editor who told me, as I set off to interview a musical hero, He's not your friend; he doesn't want to be your friend; he's never going to be your friend.' The ...

The NS Podcast #209: 1997 Anniversary Special

The New Statesman podcast. 20 years on from Labour's general election landslide, Helen and Stephen host a special edition looking back at the party's journey. Lord Spencer Livermore describes what it was like to be part of the 1997 campaign team. Kate Mossman reminds us what critics say Cool ...

Tim Farron is being unfairly maligned for inviting us to smell his spaniel

The truth behind smell my spaniel'. Out on the campaign trail in Cambridge, the Lib Dem leader Tim Farron was caught inexplicably inviting voters to smell my spaniel'. Here is the shock footage: Here's Tim Farron saying "smell my spaniel". pic.twitter.com/GSRxJ1g5wj ‚ÄĒ Ellie Price April 27, 2017 ...

Why is the Handmaid's Tale claimed as feminist, when it's deeply ambivalent about the movement?

The scapegoating of the anti-porn movement, Offred's longing for hand cream - these feel like digs at second-wave feminists. In a recent piece for the New York Times, Margaret Atwood tackled the question of whether or not her 1985 work The Handmaid's Tale ought to be considered a feminist novel: ...

Join the New Statesman as our Head of Production

We're looking for a multitalented candidate to oversee our production process. The New Statesman is going from strength to strength, and so we are creating a new role - head of production. See below for the job specifications, and apply by 12 noon on 12 May 2017 to helen @ newstatesman co uk. ...

Tony Blair won't endorse the Labour leader - Jeremy Corbyn's fans are celebrating

The thrice-elected Prime Minister is no fan of the new Labour leader.  Labour heavyweights usually support each other - at least in public. But the former Prime Minister Tony Blair couldn't bring himself to do so when asked on Sky News. He dodged the question of whether the current Labour leader ...

Want to beat Theresa May? First, accept that she's popular

The difficult truth for the centre and left, and advocates of a new party, is that people don't "vote for the Tories reluctantly". An election campaign that has been short on laughs has been livened up by a modest proposal by an immodest man: the barrister Jolyon Maugham, who used to write about ...

Nigel Farage and Douglas Carswell don't need to stand again as MPs ‚Äď they've already won

I just loathe these people. I want to see them humiliated.  We're a week in to the campaign, and it's clear that the 2017 election is going to be hell on toast. The polls show the Tories beating Labour in Scotland and Wales . The bookies put the chances of a Labour majority at around 20/1, odds ...

Potato and Juliet: how Mark Rylance makes children like Shakespeare

A presenter who speaks freely but in the sort of sentences which can be used as powerful, off-the-cuff links throughout a programme is rare as a unicorn.  How young can you learn Shakespeare? A rare repeat of a 1998 programme presented by Mark Rylance asks the question. Not yet a superstar ...

Tim Farron: Theresa May is "the prisoner of the Ukip wing of her party"

The Liberal Democrat leader on his faith, Blairism and his plan to replace Labour as the opposition.  This is Tim Farron's seventh general election. His first was in 1992, when his Tory opponent was a 36-year-old called Ther­esa May. He was just 21 and they were both unsuccessful candidates in the ...

Fascist vs Opportunist? Don't underestimate French disgust for their political class

The Republic may well be secular ‚Äď yet when the results of the first round came in that evening, many electors must have offered up a prayer in gratitude. On a M√©tro heading west from Bonne Nouvelle in the centre of Paris, the Saturday-afternoon travellers were unusually talkative, their ...

Five of Scotland's most exciting general election battles

Will unionists hook the big Salmond in Gordon? And can the Tories overrun the Scottish Borders? Everything's up for grabs.  In 2015, the Scottish National Party won Scotland in a landslide. With the next election expected in 2020, politics for the next five years looked homogenous, managerial and ...

Tim Farron interview: Theresa May is "the prisoner of the Ukip wing of her party"

The Lib Dem leader on his faith, Blairism and his plan to replace Labour as the opposition.  This is Tim Farron's seventh general election. His first was in 1992, when his Tory opponent was a 36-year-old called Ther­esa May. He was just 21 and they were both unsuccessful candidates in the Labour ...

The problem with Theresa May's Brexit message is that isn't true

By refusing to level with the public, May is storing up Blair levels of disillusionment for the future. You can get an idea of how low-wattage the election is so far from the amount of attention being paid to Boris Johnson, who has returned to the scene, not to talk about the ongoing tensions ...

Commons Confidential: Could Corbyn's El Gato kick Larry out of Downing Street?

The No 10 cat fight. A rolling revolt is gathering speed, as the suspicion grows that Theresa May called her snap poll to escape potential by-elections, should the Crown Prosecution Service find that her MPs were involved in electoral fraud during the 2015 campaign. A growing number of Tory MPs are ...

Former MP Bob Marshall-Andrews: Why I'm leaving Labour and joining the Lib Dems

A former political ally of Jeremy Corbyn explains why he is leaving Labour after nearly 50 years. I'm leaving home. It's a very hard thing to do. All of my¬†natural allegiances have been to Labour, and never had I contemplated leaving the party ‚Äď not even in the gloomy years, when we were fighting ...

Fewer teachers, more pupils and no more money. Schools are struggling

With grammars and universal school meals, both main parties have decided to answer policy questions no one is asking. If you ask people in Britain what the ­biggest political issues are, schools don't make the top five. Yet last week Labour set its first party political broadcast in a fictional ...

The NS leader: Cold Britannia

Twenty years after the election of New Labour, for the left, it seems, things can only get worse.  Twenty years after the election of New Labour, for the left, it seems, things can only get worse. The polls suggest a series of grim election defeats across Britain: Labour is 10 points behind the ...

Is Labour really as doomed as it seems? The polls have got it wrong before

Pollsters often overrate Labour's performance. But in two elections, the opposite happened.  Few moments in the Labour Party's history can have felt as gloomy as this one. Going into a general election that almost no-one expects them to win, their overall opinion polling is appalling. Labour seems ...

Two referendums have revived the Tories and undone Labour

The Scottish vote enabled the Conservatives' rebirth as the party of the Union; the Brexit vote has gifted Theresa May a project to reunite a fragmented right. In the final week of the Scottish independence referendum campaign, as the Union appeared in peril, David Cameron pleaded with voters to ...