New Statesman

Daedalus/Oppenheimer

A new poem by John Sibley Williams.   All labyrinths, like those first fires rising over a red New Mexico sky, were intended to trap their creators. Even in their...

New Statesman

The lure of getting lost: why mazes draw us in

Mazes are the epitome of a designed environment, of complexity, and yet they seem to emerge from somewhere dark and organic and basic in human nature.   Mazes are ma...

New Statesman

Letter of the week: John McDonnell’s long march

A selection of the best letters received from our readers this week. Email letters@newstatesman.co.uk to have your thoughts voiced in the New Statesman magazine. It wa...

New Statesman

The row over Labour’s rule changes pits Momentum against the machine

Planned reforms could make it harder for future Corbynite candidates to qualify for a leadership election.  Jeremy Corbyn is the leader of an unfinished revolution. T...

New Statesman

The family business: how brothers-in-law Mantegna and Bellini became two of the greatest artists of the Renaissance

The history of art is filled with family relationships: but perhaps the most distinguished is that between brothers-in-law Andrea Mantegna (c1430-1506) and Giovanni Bellini...

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The revolution starts here: why Killing Eve is the future of television

Creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge really might, after all, be the best thing to happen to women and TV in 45 years. Only if you’ve been away visiting another planet will...

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The Little Stranger lacks the life that makes a truly great horror film

It’s creepy and claustrophobic, but a depressing and bitter lead (Domhnall Gleeson) robs  the film of the electrical charge vital for fully effective horror. The ve...

New Statesman

The adolescent scent of Elon Musk

If lots of people dream of the visionary nature of a Tony Stark, those who really like Elon Musk are effectively teen boys who believe the world’s problems might be solve...

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The National Theatre’s The Prisoner is a moving example of Peter Brook’s “late style”

The playwright’s latest work nods most fondly to two classical texts he is connected with: Oedipus and Hamlet. Two Peters – Brook and Hall – were the leading dir...

New Statesman

With Killing Eve, has Jodie Comer proved herself the most exciting actor of her generation?

Comer’s turn as Villanelle is a piercing jolt of a performance that hits you like a hairpin to the eyeball. You might not know the name Jodie Comer, but you’ve pro...

New Statesman

How Vietnam was America’s avoidable war

We call the Vietnam War a tragedy. But it wasn’t a matter of fate: it was a choice. In 1962, an idealistic young American named Frank Scotton joined the US Informati...

New Statesman

On the train to Uttoxeter, to have a look at Sting and Trudie’s dining table

“If tables could speak, this one would doubtless have a tale or two to tell.” I don’t get much mail from the antiques trade, so I opened the message from the pr...

New Statesman

How an influx of eastern European athletes brought British wrestling back from the brink

A 21st-century story of immigration, identity and the Olympic dream.     In May 2004, the European Union enlarged, chiefly eastwards. Existing EU members had the...

New Statesman

Ben Okri Q&A: “I can’t live without good conversation, or love”

The poet and novelist talks enjoying getting lost, the art of living, and Mandela, Obama and Lincoln. Ben Okri was born in Minna, Nigeria, in 1959 and spent his ear...

New Statesman

The only caveat to having a roaring coal fire is that you have to buy the Telegraph

The tabloidisation of papers means the Torygraph is the only one big enough to open out and spread against the chimney. So in the end, I didn’t go down to That Lon...

New Statesman

How the decline of the working class made Labour a party of the bourgeois left

Progressive politics in the 1990s turned away from class politics and solidarity in favour of group identities and self-realisation. The future of British politics wil...

New Statesman

Student culinary habits may be the greatest sign of our generational divide

When I was at university I cooked pasta in a kettle. Today’s students share their carrot and coconut porridge, and home-made bread on Instagram. I recently received...

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Keynes’s biographer Robert Skidelsky: “I’ve become more and more persuaded by Marx”

The economist and peer on the cost of austerity and how “power structures” limit debate.    In 2009, as the West was afflicted by the worst recession since th...

New Statesman

The German left is feeling blue, as a new Momentum-like movement polarises opinion

Aufstehen hopes to attract alienated voters to a struggling left, including those who have drifted to the right.  Aufstehen or “Stand Up” is the name of the mov...

New Statesman

Technology can’t save an overstretched NHS in desperate need of more GPs

The Health Secretary’s enthusiasm for “GP at Hand”, a smartphone app, suggests he’s forgotten that we’ve been here before with NHS 111. GPs are not infallib...

New Statesman

Why we should be wary of using animal behaviour in trying to explain our own

Odd that Jordan Peterson didn’t choose giraffes, for whom most sexual encounters are male-male with penetration.  I have spent much of the last few days  destroyi...

New Statesman

Commons confidential: Labour’s unlikely peacemaker, John McDonnell

Your weekly dose of gossip from Westminster. Brextremist plastic patriots heard the sound of disapproving silence in Gibraltar, where leaving the EU is viewed as the b...

New Statesman

So Ruth Davidson doesn’t want to be PM? Only a chancer, messiah or masochist would

No wonder the job doesn’t appeal to Davidson; she’s far too normal.  Following MPs on Twitter is not something I could honestly recommend to any normal human (if...

New Statesman

Labour's radical left must fight the rise of a new machine politics

In the face of the NEC's bureaucratic elitism - and the nightmare legacy of Stalinism - the democratic and humanist left needs to be more assertive.  One of the...

New Statesman

When is a terror attack not a terror attack? When it terrifies Muslims

Is a hit and run accompanied by hateful speech a hate crime or something more?  What is the difference between terrorism and hate crime?” This was the message I rec...

New Statesman

The New Statesman Podcast: Party Conference Deja Vu

The New Statesman podcast with Helen Lewis, Anoosh Chakelian and Jonn Elledge. Welcome to the early access, ad free edition of the New Statesman podcast. Click here...

New Statesman

The three flashpoints that will dominate Labour conference

Labour's week in Liverpool will be dominated by Brexit, anti-Semitism, and internal party democracy.  Is anybody in Labour looking forward to its conference next...

New Statesman

Theresa May’s social housing plans show how British politics is moving to the left

Faced with the threat of Labour, the Tories have abandoned the ideological ambition of remorselessly shrinking the state.  The problem with social housing, David Came...

New Statesman

The Circle says a lot more about the evils of reality TV than it does about social media

it’s difficult to justify handwringing about people pretending to be something they’re not when that’s exactly what you’ve cast them to do. “What if smartph...

New Statesman

Why using an app to track your sleep could make your insomnia worse

Achieving “good sleep” is becoming a new source of stress, which has been termed “orthosomnia”.   Sleep is the obsession of the self-improving classes. Bes...

New Statesman

How grime became king

From the Crossways estate in Bow to the Royal Albert Hall, grime music has fought its way to the centre of British culture. In 1985, following rioting in Tottenham, n...

New Statesman

In Sylvia Plath’s final letters, Ted Hughes comes across as a monster

The force of the second volume of Plath’s letter comes as Plath vents her fury towards Hughes repeatedly, letter after letter building into a fugue of sorrow and anger...

New Statesman

Lewis Goodall’s Left for Dead? asks if Labour can win again

It’s a good question, and one that will define the direction of British politics in the coming decade. Since its publication in 1935, The Strange Death of Liberal En...

New Statesman

Corbynism 2.0: How the Labour left is planning a more radical future

After fighting the 2017 election on policies drawn its social democratic past, the party is now championing worker ownership, universal basic income and a four-day week. ...

New Statesman

I am accused of being a Putin apologist – and is the “deep state” trying to undermine Corbyn?

The denial to me of Commons security clearance and a raft of hostile stories suggests the intelligence services may be working to block the election of a Labour government...

New Statesman

Emily Thornberry’s Diary: Brexit paralysis, facing the anger of Jewish voters – and coming home to an empty nest

Our only response as a party must be to listen to the anger, understand it, act on it, and fix the problem we’ve created. In this day and age, you can never guarante...

New Statesman

The real reason the SNP won’t back a referendum on the Brexit deal

The mysterious case of an anti-Brexit party’s aversion to a People’s Vote.  When it comes to second referendums, the SNP are ahead of the pack, having been debati...

New Statesman

As Labour heads to conference, the scale of John McDonnell’s ambition is becoming clear

The “Corbyn project” could continue without Corbyn as leader but it is harder to imagine it succeeding without the shadow chancellor.  What is John McDonnell up...

New Statesman

Cut-price private schools, Coca-Cola’s special ingredient and free movement, 1930s-style

James Tooley argues that by renting low-cost buildings and cutting out “frills”, private education can be brought within the means of many more families. Is it p...

New Statesman

Leader: How modern life conspires to rob us of sleep

New term “orthosomnia” describes the insomnia brought on by paying too much attention to sleep-tracking apps. Shakespeare called sleep “the honey-heavy dew of...

New Statesman

Leader: The Conservatives’ appeasement of Hungary reveals an immoral alliance

Tories’ refusal to condemn Viktor Orbán’s authoritarian and anti-Semitic government leaves them in no position to lecture Labour.   The greatest threat to the...

New Statesman

With £2bn for pledged housing associations, could the Autumn Budget topple the government?

Having already announced £20bn for the NHS, the Chancellor is going to struggle to find the money for the extra spending commitments. Theresa May will announce £2bn...

New Statesman

Under Trump, the US will admit the lowest number of refugees in decades

The Trump administration has announced it will allow no more than 30,000 refugees to resettle in the US next year, as aid agencies accused it of “abdicating humanitarian...

New Statesman

In 1917, corporate America deported more than 1,000 striking miners. Have we learned anything from Bisbee?

1,186 men, women and children linked to a strike by the International Workers of the World were loaded onto trains from Bisbee, Arizona under armed guard. On July 12 o...

New Statesman

Moocall: the farming tech company modernising cow copulation

In an industry begging to be milked, Moocall is stepping in to turn farming digital.  We’ve all been there. In the middle of the night, you wake up suddenly, drench...

New Statesman

Can train companies really keep my cash? Everything you need to know about railway lost property

From £2 for a filofax to £20 for a laptop, rail lost property fees make very little sense. What kicked off as a complaint about lost property fees has sparked a nati...

New Statesman

Nine times the Tories turned on business because of Brexit

The Conservatives love to claim they’re the party of business – but they keep picking fights with UK companies. The Conservative Party has always loved claiming it...

New Statesman

This MAC report should kill off the net migration target for good

The obsession with looking tough on migration is a smokescreen letting politicians off the hook. Today’s Migration Advisory Committee report is the most comprehensiv...

New Statesman

Vince Cable’s “exotic spresm” moment disguises bigger questions for the Liberal Democrats

Facing a fight for survival, the party knows the change it needs but is deeply unattractive to the agents of such change it wants to attract. And so the Liberal Democr...

New Statesman

Toad killed by a Storm, RIP 1985-2018

One of Nintendo’s beloved characters has been compared to an old man’s penis. Like most people, I wake up each morning unconsciously reaching out to turn my alarm...

New Statesman

What is the point of the Liberal Democrats?

Angels on the head of a pin. One of the oddest things about the Liberal Democrat conference – and goodness me, there are a lot of odd things to choose from; I mean,...

New Statesman

Wolf Alice: “Musicians don’t have the energy left to be rivals anymore”

The rising stars on Jeremy Corbyn, Generation Y, and why they are happy to alienate right-wing fans.  Wolf Alice have received two nominations for the Mercury Prize,...

New Statesman

The problem with the Lib Dems seeming to accuse both Labour and the Tories of being extremists

Almost everybody agrees with one of those statements, but hardly anybody agrees equally with both.  One of the things that the Liberal Democrats will miss about Vinc...

New Statesman

It’s Brexit, not a People’s Vote, that will tear the country apart

It is not as though we can have Brexit and the country will miraculously come back together. If the people don’t want to quit the EU once they know what Brexit means...

New Statesman

1066, Hitler, the Corn Laws… Why are Brexiteers the basic bitches of history?

The sub-GCSE history references of leading pro-Brexit politicians reveal the textbook errors of their project. Why are top Brexiteers’ references to history always s...

New Statesman

Could sexual assault allegations sink Trump’s effort to put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court?

Several influential Republican senators have called for Thursday’s Judiciary Committee vote to be delayed after a woman came forward to accuse him of sexual assault...

New Statesman

The Lib Dems need to focus on the next general election, not a new Brexit referendum

The party’s focus on a People’s Vote ignores the fact that a general election – and the potentially lethal dangers it poses – is more likely. In the dreams tha...

New Statesman

Paedophile cult leader Warren Jeffs tore this town apart. Now his victims are putting it back together

Former members of a polygamous Utah cult struggle with their own #MeToo reckoning. Cottonwood Park, the largest public gathering place in Hildale, Utah, nestles in th...

New Statesman

Why it’s time for a meat tax

We already tax sugar, tobacco, and alcohol – so why not burgers?  If we accept that public policy should reflect public opinion, social need, and scientific evidenc...

New Statesman

Chuka Umunna: a Labour split is “in the hands” of Jeremy Corbyn

The Streatham MP warned that any split would be down to Corbyn and his supporters in a letter to his local party.  Labour has become institutionally anti-Semitic, an...

New Statesman

Wetherspoons scrapping Jägerbombs sums up everything that’s wrong about Brexit

First they came for our champagne, and I said nothing. Then they came for our Jäger.  One of the more eye-catching stories involving Brexit last week was the news th...

New Statesman

The Lib Dems won’t enter a coalition. But how long can the party survive without one?

The party has ruled out the opportunity to hold ministerial office and pass multiple pieces of legislation. It’s the Liberal Democrat conference, though you coul...

New Statesman

The decline of music education threatens to deprive Britain of future talent

A new National Plan is needed to stop cultural subjects being squeezed out of the curriculum.  Last month the talented young cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason became the f...

New Statesman