Welcome to The Staggers

The launch of our new blog

It's an exciting day here at the New Statesman with the launch of our new rolling blog The Staggers. The blog will include posts from across the team with a dynamic mixture of news, views and insight.

From 8am every day we'll round up the best of the day's comment from the morning papers and from 4pm we'll select the highlights from the blogosphere.

In the run-up to the general election, we'll also provide full coverage of the latest opinion polls and live coverage of Prime Minister's Questions.

Our existing bloggers George Eaton and Sophie Elmhirst will continue to blog here and they'll be joined by Samira Shackle and the NS deputy editor, Jon Bernstein.

Sholto Byrnes will post on religion and atheism and Jason Stamper will write a weekly blog on technology and politics. Also look out for guest bloggers from across the centre left.

Elsewhere on the site, Mehdi Hasan and James Macintyre will continue to blog in their normal spaces and our rolling culture blog Cultural Capital will remain as before.

Finally, a note on the name. "Staggers" began as an affectionate (and mildly pejorative) name for the NS but like other terms that originated as insults (democrat, impressionist, intellectual) we plan to reclaim it as a badge of honour.

As ever, we need your involvement to make the blog a success, so do join the debate and let us know your thoughts.

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PMQs review: Jeremy Corbyn hammers David Cameron on green energy – but skips Syria

In a low-key exchange ahead of the Autumn Statement, the Labour leader covered two areas where the government is vulnerable: renewable energy and women's refuges. However, he failed to mention Syria and the Russian plane shot down by Turkey.

When PMQs precedes an Autumn Statement or Budget it is usually a low-key affair, and this one was no different. But perhaps for different reasons than the usual – the opposition pulling its punches to give room for hammering the government on the economy, and the Prime Minister saving big announcements and boasts for his Chancellor.

No, Jeremy Corbyn's decision to hold off on the main issue of the day – air strikes in Syria and the Russian military jet shot down by Turkey – was tactical. He chose to question the government on two areas where it is vulnerable: green energy and women's refuges closing due to cuts. Both topics on which the Tories should be ashamed of their record.

This also allowed him to avoid the subject that is tearing the Middle East – and the Labour party – apart: how to tackle Isis in Syria. Corbyn is seen as soft on defence and has been criticised for being too sympathetic to Russia, so silence on both the subject of air strikes and the Russian plane was his best option.

The only problem with this approach is that the government's most pressing current concern was left to the SNP leader Angus Robertson, who asked the Prime Minister about the dangers of action from the air alone in Syria. A situation that frames Labour as on the fringe of debates about foreign and defence policy. Luckily for Corbyn, this won't really matter as no one pays attention to PMQs pre-Autumn Statement.

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.