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The battle for Paisley: will a 20-year-old SNP student defeat Labour’s chief election strategist?
By Helen Lewis - 10 April 10:01

Douglas Alexander, shadow foreign secretary and Labour’s election strategy, is fighting to hold on to his seat.

Students graduate at Liverpool's John Moore university. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Life is full of people with bad ideas and awful opinions. Try to meet as many at university as you can
By Helen Lewis - 02 April 14:13

Universities should be havens of free speech. After all: where else can you find out what the Other Buggers Are Thinking?

Tony Blair. Photo: Sang Tan - WPA Pool/Getty Images
When Labour comes to terms with embarrassing Uncle Tony, it can finally start to defend its record
By Helen Lewis - 26 March 16:53

Blair's most memorable legacy, the Iraq war, has Labour MPs distancing themselves from their own time in power. But there's a lot more to the post-1997 years - and some of it's pretty good.

Drag is creative and subversive. Photo: Getty
The NUS bans drag as fancy dress - except it doesn't
By Helen Lewis - 25 March 10:25

The National Union of Students wants zero tolerance for students who cross-dress for "shock value". But cross-dressing is subversive and liberating - even when rugby players do it.

A protest over police practices in Ferguson, Missouri. Photo: Getty
The digital ducking stool
By Helen Lewis - 11 March 12:57

As Jon Ronson's new book shows, public shaming is cruel, random and effective - and it flourishes when we have lost trust in the system.

The state opening of Parliament. Photo: Getty
Maybe we don't need to move Parliament to Hull. But we do need to overhaul its alienating traditions
By Helen Lewis - 05 March 12:28

Woven into the very fabric of Westminster are assumptions about who the building – and, by extension, our democracy – is intended to serve. The lack of convenient disabled access and the shortage of ladies’ loos in the old palace are daily reminders that parliament wasn’t built with those groups in mind.

Fast lives: Galliano (left), Mcqueen and friends. Photo: Rex images
The dark side of fashion: on the lives of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano
By Helen Lewis - 26 February 11:37

With the genius of fashion increasingly subsumed by the demands of mass commerce, it's hard not to implicate the industry in Galliano and McQueen's fates.

Iain Duncan Smith. Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Welfare reform: proof that you can get away with failure if it's boring and it doesn't affect People Like Us
By Helen Lewis - 18 February 11:47

Don't believe the hype about the rollout of universal credit and how the Tories are finally "making work pay" - Iain Duncan Smith has presided over perhaps the failure of this parliament.

In the frame: David Cameron. Montage: New Statesman/Getty Images
What the Leonardo and the loo paper can teach us about modern politics
By Helen Lewis - 12 February 12:12

In painting and parliament, the best frames make themselves invisible.

Ed Miliband being patronised by Harriet Harman's pink sign. Photo: Getty
Beyond the pink bus: why we still need to talk about "women's issues"
By Helen Lewis - 11 February 12:59

The Labour women's campaign launch has been obscured by criticism of their pink bus. But ask yourself: would you rather be mildly patronised - or totally ignored?

A goldfish in a bag. Photo: Getty
Memo to the right: if Labour is as rubbish as you say, why aren’t the Tories streets ahead?
By Helen Lewis - 04 February 10:26

Kicking Red Ed is reassuring, like group therapy. Meanwhile, the Tories have gained no significant blocks of support since 2010. In the glee over Labour's troubles, the right are ignoring the bleak future of the Conservative party.

David Blunkett's guide dog Sadie at Labour conference. Photo: Getty
How can we make parliament more representative when we've scrapped the fund for disabled MPs?
By Helen Lewis - 23 January 11:39

For the last few years, aspiring MPs and councillors who have a disability have been able to get help from the Access to Elected Office fund. But it's being closed in March. 

Alex Garland with Alicia Vikander on the set of Ex Machina. Photo: Universal
Alex Garland’s Ex Machina: can a film about an attractive robot be feminist science fiction?
By Helen Lewis - 22 January 7:16

In Ex Machina, Alex Garland – writer of The Beach and 28 Days Later  suggests that the brave new dawn of artificial intelligence will not kill off our crappy old gender dynamics. Helen Lewis meets him.

Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor. Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for AACTA
From a black James Bond to a female Sherlock, diverse casting isn’t PC gone mad – it makes stories better
By Helen Lewis - 15 January 10:39

There was a bit more to Agincourt than a dozen Rada graduates standing around between two curtains.

Sound and Fury: A civil correspondence about online rage
By Helen Lewis - 12 January 12:12

Keith Kahn-Harris, editor of the Jewish Quarterly, and Helen Lewis, deputy editor of the New Statesman, discuss the anger that permeates the online world and how, as editors, they respond to it.

Ched Evans during his time at Sheffield United. Photo: Getty
If Ched Evans gets a second chance, his victim should have one too
By Helen Lewis - 07 January 10:43

As the footballer Ched Evans tries to sign for a new club, the woman he raped has had to move house five times. When will she have the chance of a normal life again?

Shark and santa.
Merry Christmas to all our readers (and some nerdy news and stats about this website)
By Helen Lewis - 23 December 12:32

In the year the NS launched two new sites, and hired several new faces, here's what else has been happening behind the scenes at NS towers.

Helen Lewis: Wonder Woman’s complex, contradictory origin story
By Helen Lewis - 22 December 15:57

Wonder Woman is riddled with contradictions: sexless, yet sexy; strong, yet vulnerable; a feminist hero created by a man.

A sign at the entrance to the Yarl’s Wood detention centre. Photo: Aliya Mirza/Women for Refugee Women
Helen Lewis on Yarl’s Wood: we are detaining people indefinitely who have committed no crime
By Helen Lewis - 19 December 15:58

There are 13 immigration detention centres in Britain but only the name of Yarl’s Wood really resonates – it’s where nearly 400 stateless, powerless women – the majority of whom say they are previous victims of sexual violence – are held.

Candy Crush. Photo: Getty
Pity the MP caught playing Candy Crush in a committee - he's only doing what evolution demands
By Helen Lewis - 10 December 14:47

My contention is this: Nigel Mills was unlucky - the frivolousness of the way he chose to divert himself was not sufficiently disguised. The rest of us just zone out by checking our emails.

Anonymous activists meet in Brisbane wearing signature Guy Fawkes masks, 14 November. Photo: Getty
The limits of hacker activism: if you really want to change the world, you need not to be Anonymous
By Helen Lewis - 04 December 10:00

Activism is utterly impossible if you have no way of keeping track of your fellow activists and of forming even weak ties with them.

Face-off: detail of Self-Portrait (2014) by Derren Brown
Derren Brown’s tricks of the eye
By Helen Lewis - 04 December 10:00

Helen Lewis meets the illusionist and secret portrait painter. 

Five killer whales performing at “Marineland” in Antibes, southern France in 2008. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty
What hubris makes us think we can imprison a 22ft killing machine?
By Helen Lewis - 26 November 12:20

Be careful if you watch Blackfish, a 2013 documentary that tells the story of orcas in captivity, framed around the experiences of a 33-year-old male called Tilikum. By the end, you’ll want to stop people in the street to warn them not to visit marine amusement parks.

A child in India during World Toilet Day in New Delhi, 2012. Around 130 million households in India have no toilets. Photo: Getty
Choose your friends wisely – their friends could be bad for your health
By Helen Lewis - 06 November 10:00

A seriously ill patient’s condition affects not just their ­immediate family and friends but the next circle out, their children’s spouses, say, and the one after that, of those spouses’ friends.

A woman in shoes by Christian Louboutin. Photo: Getty
The empress’s old clothes: who are women dressing for, anyway?
By Helen Lewis - 05 November 13:09

Most of us will have had the sensation, at one time or another, of feeling as though we were dressed up as someone else. A new book and an exhibition explore what it means to be a "woman in clothes".

 

Tim Minchin: The satirist who ran out of upwards to punch
By Helen Lewis - 27 October 8:59

What happens when a satirist becomes a superstar? His targets have to get bigger, too – as Tim Minchin is finding out.

A harmless troll, via flickr.com/valeriebb, licensed under Creative Commons.
The battle against internet trolls shows that a compelling story will always beat cold, hard facts
By Helen Lewis - 15 October 12:58

The fightback against online abuse reminds me of the screenwriters’ adage: no villain knows he’s the villain. He thinks he’s the hero in a different film. So if you want to fight trolls, you have to counter the narrative they are pushing about what trolling is.

The Mount Pleasant sorting office in London, shortly to become “buy to leave” flats. Photo: Getty
If he thinks £2,800 a month in rent is “affordable”, Boris Johnson must be from the Planet Zog
By Helen Lewis - 14 October 11:30

Offering sky-high “affordable” rents instead of building more social housing is absurd. For the younger generations locked out of buying, the consequences are catastrophic.

Mother and child: Catherine Atkinson, Labour PPC for the Erewash speaks at the Labour Party Conference, 24 September. Photo: Getty
How do we get questions of care up the political agenda, when carers are too knackered to complain?
By Helen Lewis - 07 October 16:00

The toll exerted by caring – and how little a capitalist society values such a vital activity – should be one of the key issues for feminism. 

Lena Dunham, whose memoir has just been published. Photo: Getty
Lena Dunham is not real
By Helen Lewis - 24 September 10:56

Lena Dunhams Not That Kind of Girl is a confessional book where you cannot be sure if the confessions are true: it’s either a brilliantly ironic subversion of the form, or a deeply wearying put-on by someone who has no sense of who they are when no one is watching.

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