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In this week’s New Statesman: the big choice

Behind Cameron’s “Big Society” | Philip Pullman interview | On the trail of the BNP.

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With the election campaign now in full swing, this week's New Statesman analyses the race so far and looks forward to the big moments to come.

In the Politics Column, Mehdi Hasan and James Macintyre argue that David Cameron's "big society" rhetoric cannot disguise the fact that the Tories' plans would usher in a new era of privatisation and market rule.

Elsewhere, ahead of the first televised leaders' debate tonight, Dominic Sandbrook says that Brown, Cameron and Clegg should learn from Ronald Reagan's demolition of Jimmy Carter in 1980.

And to prepare you for tonight's event, we've selected the top ten moments from political debates around the world. Head to newstatesman.com to revisit Sarah Palin's clash with Joe Biden, Nicolas Sarkozy's battle with Ségolène Royal and Barack Obama's debate with John McCain.

Meanwhile, back in the magazine, Daniel Trilling reports on the election campaign from Barking, where the BNP threatens to win its first seat in parliament.

In the columns, James Purnell explains why India should be more like Google, Andrew Stephen looks at who Obama will pick to fill the latest Supreme Court vacancy, and David Blanchflower shows that George Osborne's "efficiency savings" just don't add up.

And don't miss our interview with the acclaimed author Philip Pullman as well as Ryan Gilbey's review of Roman Polanski's new film, The Ghost.

The issue is on sale now, or you can subscribe through the website.

Join us for the first TV leaders' debate tonight.