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

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

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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.

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George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Voters are turning against Brexit but the Lib Dems aren't benefiting

Labour's pro-Brexit stance is not preventing it from winning the support of Remainers. Will that change?

More than a year after the UK voted for Brexit, there has been little sign of buyer's remorse. The public, including around a third of Remainers, are largely of the view that the government should "get on with it".

But as real wages are squeezed (owing to the Brexit-linked inflationary spike) there are tentative signs that the mood is changing. In the event of a second referendum, an Opinium/Observer poll found, 47 per cent would vote Remain, compared to 44 per cent for Leave. Support for a repeat vote is also increasing. Forty one per cent of the public now favour a second referendum (with 48 per cent opposed), compared to 33 per cent last December. 

The Liberal Democrats have made halting Brexit their raison d'être. But as public opinion turns, there is no sign they are benefiting. Since the election, Vince Cable's party has yet to exceed single figures in the polls, scoring a lowly 6 per cent in the Opinium survey (down from 7.4 per cent at the election). 

What accounts for this disparity? After their near-extinction in 2015, the Lib Dems remain either toxic or irrelevant to many voters. Labour, by contrast, despite its pro-Brexit stance, has hoovered up Remainers (55 per cent back Jeremy Corbyn's party). 

In some cases, this reflects voters' other priorities. Remainers are prepared to support Labour on account of the party's stances on austerity, housing and education. Corbyn, meanwhile, is a eurosceptic whose internationalism and pro-migration reputation endear him to EU supporters. Other Remainers rewarded Labour MPs who voted against Article 50, rebelling against the leadership's stance. 

But the trend also partly reflects ignorance. By saying little on the subject of Brexit, Corbyn and Labour allowed Remainers to assume the best. Though there is little evidence that voters will abandon Corbyn over his EU stance, the potential exists.

For this reason, the proposal of a new party will continue to recur. By challenging Labour over Brexit, without the toxicity of Lib Dems, it would sharpen the choice before voters. Though it would not win an election, a new party could force Corbyn to soften his stance on Brexit or to offer a second referendum (mirroring Ukip's effect on the Conservatives).

The greatest problem for the project is that it lacks support where it counts: among MPs. For reasons of tribalism and strategy, there is no emergent "Gang of Four" ready to helm a new party. In the absence of a new convulsion, the UK may turn against Brexit without the anti-Brexiteers benefiting. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.