New Statesman magazine circulation rises

Latest ABC figures show circulation of nearly 25,000.

The latest Audit Bureau of Circulation figures, released today, show that the circulation of the print edition of the  New Statesman rose by more than 1,000 in 2012 to 24,910. The ABC figures do not include the Kindle or digital editions, which have an additional 2,000 subscribers. 

New Statesman will be 100 years old on 12 April. It was founded by Beatrice and Sidney Webb, with £5,000 of donations from friends, including £1,000 from George Bernard Shaw. Beatrice Webb was pessimistic about the prospects of her weekly review of politics and the arts. “If I were forced to wager, I should not back our success,” she wrote in a diary entry. 

 

One hundred years later, because of the success of its website (Newstatesman.com has just announced record traffic growth, with more than 1.15 million unique monthly users) and its availability on digital formats such as Kindle, the New Statesman is reaching more readers than ever. Even the circulation of the paper magazine is rising again, without marketing, at a time when so many print titles are struggling. The business of the business is improving and, after a successful 2012, the New Statesman is now broadly breaking even.

The circulation of the New Statesman has been broadly stable, with the odd fluctuation up or down, since the early 1990s - over a period when printed publications generally have seen a dramatic decline. As it approaches its centenary, with the website so buoyant, the magazine as strong as it has been for many years and winning awards, and a new app in the pipeline, the New Statesman is set fair. 

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What Jeremy Corbyn gets right about the single market

Technically, you can be outside the EU but inside the single market. Philosophically, you're still in the EU. 

I’ve been trying to work out what bothers me about the response to Jeremy Corbyn’s interview on the Andrew Marr programme.

What bothers me about Corbyn’s interview is obvious: the use of the phrase “wholesale importation” to describe people coming from Eastern Europe to the United Kingdom makes them sound like boxes of sugar rather than people. Adding to that, by suggesting that this “importation” had “destroy[ed] conditions”, rather than laying the blame on Britain’s under-enforced and under-regulated labour market, his words were more appropriate to a politician who believes that immigrants are objects to be scapegoated, not people to be served. (Though perhaps that is appropriate for the leader of the Labour Party if recent history is any guide.)

But I’m bothered, too, by the reaction to another part of his interview, in which the Labour leader said that Britain must leave the single market as it leaves the European Union. The response to this, which is technically correct, has been to attack Corbyn as Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland are members of the single market but not the European Union.

In my view, leaving the single market will make Britain poorer in the short and long term, will immediately render much of Labour’s 2017 manifesto moot and will, in the long run, be a far bigger victory for right-wing politics than any mere election. Corbyn’s view, that the benefits of freeing a British government from the rules of the single market will outweigh the costs, doesn’t seem very likely to me. So why do I feel so uneasy about the claim that you can be a member of the single market and not the European Union?

I think it’s because the difficult truth is that these countries are, de facto, in the European Union in any meaningful sense. By any estimation, the three pillars of Britain’s “Out” vote were, firstly, control over Britain’s borders, aka the end of the free movement of people, secondly, more money for the public realm aka £350m a week for the NHS, and thirdly control over Britain’s own laws. It’s hard to see how, if the United Kingdom continues to be subject to the free movement of people, continues to pay large sums towards the European Union, and continues to have its laws set elsewhere, we have “honoured the referendum result”.

None of which changes my view that leaving the single market would be a catastrophe for the United Kingdom. But retaining Britain’s single market membership starts with making the argument for single market membership, not hiding behind rhetorical tricks about whether or not single market membership was on the ballot last June, when it quite clearly was. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.