New Statesman website marches onward to victory

Two new bloggers join the NS team, capping a record month's traffic figures.

It's back-to-school week in Politicoland, with party conference season - traditionally the magazine's busiest time - on the horizon. 

And here at the New Statesman website, we're undergoing a few changes, too. In August, we had record traffic figures yet again: 1.84 million unique visitors and 3.8 million pageviews (compared with just over a million visitors and 2.6m pageviews for the same month in 2012). That is down to our phenomenal in-house team - web editor Caroline Crampton, Staggers editor George Eaton, business blogger Martha Gill and economics blogger Alex Hern. Sadly, Alex is leaving us for the Guardian tomorrow, but he will be replaced by a dedicated Science/Tech blogger very soon. 

We're also saying goodbye to David Allen Green, who has been an outstandingly successful legal blogger at the New Statesman, writing on libel reform, the myths around the extradition of Julian Assange, the outing of the police blogger Nightjack, and many other stories. He will be taking up a role at the Financial Times, and we wish him all the best. 

At the same time, we're saying hello to two new hires: Sarah Ditum and Jonn Elledge. Both have written for the website for several months now, covering everything from the foibles of Iain Duncan Smith to why parcel delivery companies are so useless. Ian Leslie, author of the popular Marbury blog and the book Born Liars, will also be contributing a monthly online column. 

You can also hear from our bloggers on our weekly podcast, which can be downloaded on iTunes, or from the website here.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.

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What can you do about Europe's refugee crisis?

The death of a three-year-old boy on a beach in Europe has stirred Britain's conscience. What can you do to help stop the deaths?

The ongoing refugee crisis in the Mediterranean dominates this morning’s front pages. Photographs of the body of a small boy, Aylan Kurdi, who washed up on a beach, have stunned many into calling for action to help those fleeing persecution and conflict, both through offering shelter and in tackling the problem at root. 

The deaths are the result of ongoing turmoil in Syria and its surrounding countries, forcing people to cross the Med in makeshift boats – for the most part, those boats are anything from DIY rafts to glorified lilos.

What can you do about it?
Firstly, don’t despair. Don’t let the near-silence of David Cameron – usually, if nothing else, a depressingly good barometer of public sentiment – fool you into thinking that the British people is uniformly against taking more refugees. (I say “more” although “some” would be a better word – Britain has resettled just 216 Syrian refugees since the war there began.)

A survey by the political scientist Rob Ford in March found a clear majority – 47 per cent to 24 per cent – in favour of taking more refugees. Ford has also set up a Facebook group coordinating the various humanitarian efforts and campaigns to do more for Britain’s refugees, which you can join here.

Save the Children – whose campaign director, Kirsty McNeill, has written for the Staggers before on the causes of the crisis – have a petition that you can sign here, and the charity will be contacting signatories to do more over the coming days.

You can also give - to the UN's refugee agency here, and to MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station), or to the Red Cross.

And a government petition, which you can sign here, could get the death toll debated in Parliament. 

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.