Cameron co-opts Gandhi

Election 2010: Guffwatch.

Dave's up next, inevitably. There's a lot to choose from, but let's stay topical and look to today's launch of National Citizen Service with Michael Caine. (On that point, Dave really should have worn a sign round his neck saying: "Hurrah! Bona fide film star!" What a step up from Carol Vorderman, though -- the Tories must be thrilled . . . )

Anyway, there was a lovely, reflective moment as Cameron considered the principle of the project:

Gandhi put it beautifully, as he did so often: "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."

Oh, Da-ave! You've already got Caine, do you really need to co-opt Gandhi, too? The "as he did so often" -- so knowing, so wise -- particularly grates.

The other good bit was the effect the new plan would have on disaffected teens, giving them fire in their bellies, steel in their backbones, joy in their souls. I quite like the bellies and souls: solid, stirring stuff. But steel in their backbones? It sounds like a Victorian torture. Still, a good one to win back all those ex-army majors from Ukip.

So far in the Guff Wars, it's 1-1 Brown-Cameron. (Clegg, don't you worry. We'll come to you soon.)

Sophie Elmhirst is features editor of the New Statesman

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New Digital Editor: Serena Kutchinsky

The New Statesman appoints Serena Kutchinsky as Digital Editor.

Serena Kutchinsky is to join the New Statesman as digital editor in September. She will lead the expansion of the New Statesman across a variety of digital platforms.

Serena has over a decade of experience working in digital media and is currently the digital editor of Newsweek Europe. Since she joined the title, traffic to the website has increased by almost 250 per cent. Previously, Serena was the digital editor of Prospect magazine and also the assistant digital editor of the Sunday Times - part of the team which launched the Sunday Times website and tablet editions.

Jason Cowley, New Statesman editor, said: “Serena joins us at a great time for the New Statesman, and, building on the excellent work of recent years, she has just the skills and experience we need to help lead the next stage of our expansion as a print-digital hybrid.”

Serena Kutchinsky said: “I am delighted to be joining the New Statesman team and to have the opportunity to drive forward its digital strategy. The website is already established as the home of free-thinking journalism online in the UK and I look forward to leading our expansion and growing the global readership of this historic title.

In June, the New Statesman website recorded record traffic figures when more than four million unique users read more than 27 million pages. The circulation of the weekly magazine is growing steadily and now stands at 33,400, the highest it has been since the early 1980s.