This week's New Statesman: faith, science and belief

50 greatest political photographs | Terry Eagleton on evil | Slavoj Žižek on religion.

god-5:NS.qxd

This week's New Statesman, a special collector's double issue for Easter, looks at faith, science and what we believe today. John Cornwell begins our coverage by looking at the child abuse scandal that has engulfed the Catholic Church. He writes that it may become the greatest catastrophe to afflict the Church since the Reformation.

Elsewhere, the philosopher Slavoj Žižek argues that religion remains a potentially revolutionary force and admires the radicalism of St Paul. Meanwhile, following the return of the Bulger case to the front pages, the literary critic Terry Eagleton explores the meaning of evil and asks whether we need religion to explain the ills of the world.

In the columns, Steve Richards challenges David Cameron's claim to have changed the Conservative Party; David Blanchflower argues that now is no time to go on strike; Peter Kellner explains why the polls are narrowing; and Mehdi Hasan responds to news that Simon Cowell may convert to Islam.

In The Critics, Michael Rosen visits the reopened Jewish Museum; A C Grayling reviews a new study of the origins of religion; David Belton looks at the resurrection of Tiger Woods; and Will Self explores the popularity of the charity sponsored event.

Also don't miss our remarkable free magazine on the 50 greatest political photographs of all time, featuring selections by John Pilger, Jon Snow and Jonathan Dimbleby.

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

Sign up now to Comment Plus for the pick of the day's opinion, comment and analysis in your inbox at 8am.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

Getty
Show Hide image

Lord Sainsbury pulls funding from Progress and other political causes

The longstanding Labour donor will no longer fund party political causes. 

Centrist Labour MPs face a funding gap for their ideas after the longstanding Labour donor Lord Sainsbury announced he will stop financing party political causes.

Sainsbury, who served as a New Labour minister and also donated to the Liberal Democrats, is instead concentrating on charitable causes. 

Lord Sainsbury funded the centrist organisation Progress, dubbed the “original Blairite pressure group”, which was founded in mid Nineties and provided the intellectual underpinnings of New Labour.

The former supermarket boss is understood to still fund Policy Network, an international thinktank headed by New Labour veteran Peter Mandelson.

He has also funded the Remain campaign group Britain Stronger in Europe. The latter reinvented itself as Open Britain after the Leave vote, and has campaigned for a softer Brexit. Its supporters include former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Labour's Chuka Umunna, and it now relies on grassroots funding.

Sainsbury said he wished to “hand the baton on to a new generation of donors” who supported progressive politics. 

Progress director Richard Angell said: “Progress is extremely grateful to Lord Sainsbury for the funding he has provided for over two decades. We always knew it would not last forever.”

The organisation has raised a third of its funding target from other donors, but is now appealing for financial support from Labour supporters. Its aims include “stopping a hard-left take over” of the Labour party and “renewing the ideas of the centre-left”. 

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. 

0800 7318496