In this week's New Statesman: could the recession return?

Is this the double-dip recession? | John Pilger: Obama’s permanent war | Rufus Wainwright interview.

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Following the final Budget before the election, this week's New Statesman warns of stormy waters ahead for the British economy. In our cover story, David Blanchflower predicts that the economy could suffer a "double-dip" recession if public spending is cut too early.

Elsewhere, our political correspondent, James Macintyre, tells the story of how Alistair Darling fought off his Labour opponents and earned a reputation as a man you could trust in a crisis. But he reports that Darling may walk away from politics altogether if Labour loses the election.

In the columns, John Pilger attacks Barack Obama's "permanent war"; Rafael Behr looks at the political implications of the lobbying scandal; Sophie Elmhirst explores the rise of the political wife; and Andrew Stephen warns that Obama's health-care reform bill is riddled with flaws.

In The Critics, Rufus Wainwright discusses death, failed love and Lady Gaga with Suzy Klein; Rachel Cooke gives her verdict on Sophie Dahl's new television series; and Ryan Gilbey reviews the latest superhero film, Kick-Ass.

Also don't miss our special feature on the greatest political songs of all time. You can listen to the top 20, including Bob Marley, John Lennon, the Who and Marvin Gaye, on our website now.

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George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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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 was the best person to lead the country, instead urging voters not to give Theresa May a "blank cheque". 

If this seems shocking, it's worth remembering that Corbyn refused to say whether he would pick "Trotskyism or Blairism" during the Labour leadership campaign. Corbyn was after all behind the Stop the War Coalition, which opposed Blair's decision to join the invasion of Iraq. 

For some Corbyn supporters, it seems that there couldn't be a greater boon than the thrice-elected PM witholding his endorsement in a critical general election. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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