New Statesman teams up with New Republic

The two historic left-leaning weeklies announce groundbreaking partnership.

The New Statesman has embarked on a groundbreaking collaboration with the weekly US magazine The New Republic. From this week, both magazines will be sharing some of each other's best content with their own audiences, ensuring that our great mix of commentary, analysis and cultural criticism is read on both sides of the Atlantic. 

The tie-up marks a unique partnership between two magazines with a shared history and purpose: to bring the best progressive thought, debate and reporting to as wide an audience as possible.

The New Statesman was founded in 1913, and the New Republic a year later. A century on, both are now in a strong position in both print and online. In 2012, the New Republic was bought by Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, who rejuvenated the title and relaunched an innovative website; meanwhile, the New Statesman has grown both its print subscription figures and its website traffic (by 70 per cent) in the last year.

Every week, we'll be bringing you three pieces from the New Republic - and vice versa. We hope you enjoy reading even more thought-provoking, intelligent writing. 

“Our relationship with the New Statesman is a perfect fit – its sensibility, readership, topical focus, and belief in the importance of both politics and culture all echo that of The New Republic,” said Frank Foer, editor of The New Republic.

Helen Lewis, deputy editor of New Statesman, added: "The New Statesman and New Republic were founded within a year of each another, and have a shared mission - to bring thought-provoking, intelligent political and cultural writing to the widest possible audience. Here's to a new Special Relationship!"

About the New Statesman

Irreverent, beautifully written and witty, the New Statesman is the essential read for bright thinkers everywhere. It is Britain’s leading, best written and most authoritative weekly political, cultural and current affairs magazine. The magazine’s award-winning team of editors and contributors seek to engage readers with great writing, arresting photography, intelligent analysis, bold campaigns and trenchant argument. 

For a century, our mission has been to provide readers with a rigorous examination of political culture as well as to amuse and entertain. Our provocative and acclaimed reports, columns and essays explore the issues that lead our national conversation, from politics to economics, the arts or the environment. The magazine is celebrated for its progressive politics, boldness, independence and skepticism. Subscribe today.

About The New Republic

Tailored for smart, curious, socially aware readers, The New Republic covers politics, culture and big ideas from an unbiased and thought-provoking perspective. Well-known for its century-old tradition of providing context and analysis beyond the daily headlines, The New Republic has been reimagined for the 21st century with fresh and compelling design across print, digital, and mobile devices.  If you like timely journalism that sparks important conversations, you'll love rediscovering The New Republic. Subscribe today.

 

New Statesman and New Republic.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.

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Labour's establishment suspects a Momentum conspiracy - they're right

Bernie Sanders-style organisers are determined to rewire the party's machine.  

If you wanted to understand the basic dynamics of this year’s Labour leadership contest, Brighton and Hove District Labour Party is a good microcosm. On Saturday 9 July, a day before Angela Eagle was to announce her leadership bid, hundreds of members flooded into its AGM. Despite the room having a capacity of over 250, the meeting had to be held in three batches, with members forming an orderly queue. The result of the massive turnout was clear in political terms – pro-Corbyn candidates won every position on the local executive committee. 

Many in the room hailed the turnout and the result. But others claimed that some in the crowd had engaged in abuse and harassment.The national party decided that, rather than first investigate individuals, it would suspend Brighton and Hove. Add this to the national ban on local meetings and events during the leadership election, and it is easy to see why Labour seems to have an uneasy relationship with mass politics. To put it a less neutral way, the party machine is in a state of open warfare against Corbyn and his supporters.

Brighton and Hove illustrates how local activists have continued to organise – in an even more innovative and effective way than before. On Thursday 21 July, the week following the CLP’s suspension, the local Momentum group organised a mass meeting. More than 200 people showed up, with the mood defiant and pumped up.  Rather than listen to speeches, the room then became a road test for a new "campaign meetup", a more modestly titled version of the "barnstorms" used by the Bernie Sanders campaign. Activists broke up into small groups to discuss the strategy of the campaign and then even smaller groups to organise action on a very local level. By the end of the night, 20 phonebanking sessions had been planned at a branch level over the following week. 

In the past, organising inside the Labour Party was seen as a slightly cloak and dagger affair. When the Labour Party bureaucracy expelled leftwing activists in past decades, many on went further underground, organising in semi-secrecy. Now, Momentum is doing the exact opposite. 

The emphasis of the Corbyn campaign is on making its strategy, volunteer hubs and events listings as open and accessible as possible. Interactive maps will allow local activists to advertise hundreds of events, and then contact people in their area. When they gather to phonebank in they will be using a custom-built web app which will enable tens of thousands of callers to ring hundreds of thousands of numbers, from wherever they are.

As Momentum has learned to its cost, there is a trade-off between a campaign’s openness and its ability to stage manage events. But in the new politics of the Labour party, in which both the numbers of interested people and the capacity to connect with them directly are increasing exponentially, there is simply no contest. In order to win the next general election, Labour will have to master these tactics on a much bigger scale. The leadership election is the road test. 

Even many moderates seem to accept that the days of simply triangulating towards the centre and getting cozy with the Murdoch press are over. Labour needs to reach people and communities directly with an ambitious digital strategy and an army of self-organising activists. It is this kind of mass politics that delivered a "no" vote in Greece’s referendum on the terms of the Eurozone bailout last summer – defying pretty much the whole of the media, business and political establishment. 

The problem for Corbyn's challenger, Owen Smith, is that many of his backers have an open problem with this type of mass politics. Rather than investigate allegations of abuse, they have supported the suspension of CLPs. Rather than seeing the heightened emotions that come with mass mobilisations as side-effects which needs to be controlled, they have sought to joins unconnected acts of harassment, in order to smear Jeremy Corbyn. The MP Ben Bradshaw has even seemed to accuse Momentum of organising a conspiracy to physically attack Labour MPs.

The real conspiracy is much bigger than that. Hundreds of thousands of people are arriving, enthusiastic and determined, into the Labour party. These people, and their ability to convince the communities of which they are a part, threaten Britain’s political equilibrium, both the Conservatives and the Labour establishment. When the greatest hope for Labour becomes your greatest nightmare, you have good call to feel alarmed.