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In recent years the New Statesman has developed an unrivalled reputation for investigative journalism. Whether it was Stephen Gray's revelations about CIA rendition flights, Martin Bright's string of stories exposing the link between the Foreign Office's and radical Islamists or Chris Ames's work on the government's notorious dossier on weapons of mass destruction, the NS has a trackrecord of being there first.

Now we want to get you involved. In a unique experiment in British journalism we will be asking our readers to tell us what they believe our priorities should be.

We already have five areas we believe need investigating, but we also want your views. Please vote for the investigation you want us to pursue as a matter of priority, but also suggest your own if you believe we have missed out a crucial subject.

The five investigations we have in mind are as follows. Each has already been touched on by the New Statesman, so click on the links for background information.

  • 1 Conservative Party Funding.
  • There has been an understandable focus on Labour Party donors, but with the Tories resurgent, should we take a close look at the funders of Cameron's Conservative. Tory Party treasurer Lord Ashcroft effectively owns the party. Is this right? And what about other high value donors?

    Conservative Party funding: "The Darker Side of Dave"

  • 2 Lobbying.
  • What has the lobbying industry been up to since the "Drapergate" investigation 10 years ago? The field is now dominated by giant multinational PR companies, each with their own political arm. What is the influence of giant machines of influence such as Hill and Knowlton, Weber Shandwick and Brunswick?

    Lobbying: "The Nuclear Charm Offensive"

  • 3 Prince Charles.
  • How much influence does the heir to throne wield? How often does he intervene in Whitehall and why is he exempt from the Freedom of Information Act? Will Prince Charles stop his meddling in the areas of agriculture, architecture and education when he becomes king?

    Prince Charles: "God Save the Queen Beware the Heir"

  • 4 The State of British Childhood.
  • Why is it that British children always end up near the bottom of international "happiness" comparisons? Despite reports into cases of serious abuse such as Victoria Climbie, professionals still warn it could happen again. Do we need an investigation into the failure of our schools, police and social services in this area?

    British Childhood: "A New Deal for British Children"

  • 5 Asylum Crisis.
  • The government's crackdown on asylum seekers means that many whose applications have failed are left destitute on the streets with no access to benefits. How can this be right in one of the richest countries in the world? Should the NS investigate this scandal?

    Asylum Crisis: "Work and Amnesty are Answer to Asylum Disarray"

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(View all comments and suggestions from this poll)

Your suggestions

Please feel free to suggest other areas you feel are ripe for investigation in the comment box below.

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The New Times: Brexit, globalisation, the crisis in Labour and the future of the left

With essays by David Miliband, Paul Mason, John Harris, Lisa Nandy, Vince Cable and more.

Once again the “new times” are associated with the ascendancy of the right. The financial crash of 2007-2008 – and the Great Recession and sovereign debt crises that were a consequence of it – were meant to have marked the end of an era of runaway “turbocapitalism”. It never came close to happening. The crash was a crisis of capitalism but not the crisis of capitalism. As Lenin observed, there is “no such thing as an absolutely hopeless situation” for capitalism, and so we discovered again. Instead, the greatest burden of the period of fiscal retrenchment that followed the crash was carried by the poorest in society, those most directly affected by austerity, and this in turn has contributed to a deepening distrust of elites and a wider crisis of governance.

Where are we now and in which direction are we heading?

Some of the contributors to this special issue believe that we have reached the end of the “neoliberal” era. I am more sceptical. In any event, the end of neoliberalism, however you define it, will not lead to a social-democratic revival: it looks as if, in many Western countries, we are entering an age in which centre-left parties cannot form ruling majorities, having leaked support to nationalists, populists and more radical alternatives.

Certainly the British Labour Party, riven by a war between its parliamentary representatives and much of its membership, is in a critical condition. At the same time, Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has inspired a remarkable re-engagement with left-wing politics, even as his party slumps in the polls. His own views may seem frozen in time, but hundreds of thousands of people, many of them young graduates, have responded to his anti-austerity rhetoric, his candour and his shambolic, unspun style.

The EU referendum, in which as much as one-third of Labour supporters voted for Brexit, exposed another chasm in Labour – this time between educated metropolitan liberals and the more socially conservative white working class on whose loyalty the party has long depended. This no longer looks like a viable election-winning coalition, especially after the collapse of Labour in Scotland and the concomitant rise of nationalism in England.

In Marxism Today’s “New Times” issue of October 1988, Stuart Hall wrote: “The left seems not just displaced by Thatcherism, but disabled, flattened, becalmed by the very prospect of change; afraid of rooting itself in ‘the new’ and unable to make the leap of imagination required to engage the future.” Something similar could be said of the left today as it confronts Brexit, the disunities within the United Kingdom, and, in Theresa May, a prime minister who has indicated that she might be prepared to break with the orthodoxies of the past three decades.

The Labour leadership contest between Corbyn and Owen Smith was largely an exercise in nostalgia, both candidates seeking to revive policies that defined an era of mass production and working-class solidarity when Labour was strong. On matters such as immigration, digital disruption, the new gig economy or the power of networks, they had little to say. They proposed a politics of opposition – against austerity, against grammar schools. But what were they for? Neither man seemed capable of embracing the “leading edge of change” or of making the imaginative leap necessary to engage the future.

So is there a politics of the left that will allow us to ride with the currents of these turbulent “new times” and thus shape rather than be flattened by them? Over the next 34 pages 18 writers, offering many perspectives, attempt to answer this and related questions as they analyse the forces shaping a world in which power is shifting to the East, wars rage unchecked in the Middle East, refugees drown en masse in the Mediterranean, technology is outstripping our capacity to understand it, and globalisation begins to fragment.

— Jason Cowley, Editor 

Tom Kibasi on what the left fails to see

Philip Collins on why it's time for Labour to end its crisis

John Harris on why Labour is losing its heartland

Lisa Nandy on how Labour has been halted and hollowed out

David Runciman on networks and the digital revolution

John Gray on why the right, not the left, has grasped the new times

Mariana Mazzucato on why it's time for progressives to rethink capitalism

Robert Ford on why the left must reckon with the anger of those left behind

Ros Wynne-Jones on the people who need a Labour government most

Gary Gerstle on Corbyn, Sanders and the populist surge

Nick Pearce on why the left is haunted by the ghosts of the 1930s

Paul Mason on why the left must be ready to cause a commotion

Neal Lawson on what the new, 21st-century left needs now

Charles Leadbeater explains why we are all existentialists now

John Bew mourns the lost left

Marc Stears on why democracy is a long, hard, slow business

Vince Cable on how a financial crisis empowered the right

David Miliband on why the left needs to move forward, not back

This article first appeared in the 22 September 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The New Times