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25 January 2023

Subscriber of the week: Peter Davis

Please email if you would like to be the New Statesman’s subscriber of the week.

By New Statesman

What do you do?

I am repurposed: a retired academic now chairing the board of an independent public policy think tank.

Where do you live?

Auckland, New Zealand.

Do you vote?

Yes, even in local-body elections and referendums (including the ones that secured us PR!).

How long have you been a subscriber?

About half a century. When I started reading the NS the main text started on the front page!

What made you start?

Coming from a conservative home, I was looking for a way somewhere between the Marxists to the left and the Liberals to the right.

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Is the NS bug in the family?

My wife, Helen Clark, as a former New Zealand prime minister and head of a UN agency, has accepted a few tips from the New Statesman.

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What pages do you flick to first?

With the paper version I used to start at the back, but it is hit and miss with the digital.

[See also: Subscriber of the week: John Bangs]

How do you read yours?

I usually get through it in a single sitting, at the weekend.

What would you like to see more of in the NS?

Public policy. It shouldn’t all just come down to politics, opinion and commentary.

Who are your favourite NS writers?

John Gray, who challenges us to be solution-finders.

Who would you put on the cover of the NS?

John Maynard Keynes. He turned the dismal science into something we could work with.

With which politic figure would you least like to be stuck in a lift?

Viktor Orbán. Almost single-handedly he is trying to sow chaos in a great civilisation project.

All-time favourite NS article?

Hard to say, but Martin Fletcher has provided some insightful profiles.

The New Statesman is…

an intellectual touchstone in a world troubled by autocracy and violence.

Peter Davis is the chair of the board of trustees of the Helen Clark Foundation

[See also: If only all political leaders resigned with dignity like Jacinda Ardern by Martin Fletcher]

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This article appears in the 25 Jan 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Why Germany doesn’t do it better