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28 December 2018

The best of the New Statesman 2018: UK politics

From a fractured Labour Party to the end of austerity. 

By New Statesman

UK politics in 2018 managed to deliver radical activity at the party level and virtually no progress in the biggest issue facing the country – Brexit. Through it all, the New Statesman team were here to act as your guide. Below is just a small selection of our political coverage from the last 12 months. 

Leaving Labour: why a party split is now inevitable

The rise of Jeremy Corbyn has left large swathes of the parliamentary Labour party out in the cold. With divisions over Europe, anti-Semitism and much more, Stephen Bush tackled the question on everyone’s mind, is Britain’s main left wing party set to break apart?

After the suffragettes: how women stormed Westminster

One the centenary of women winning the right to vote, Helen Lewis looks at how far things have come for women’s representation in Westminster, and how far there still is to go.

Jeremy Corbyn’s two universes

While in Westminster Corbyn faced hostility from both the press and sections of his own party, at events over the summer he found in more welcoming crowd in places such as Mansfield and Stoke-on-Trent. Patrick Maguire trailed the leader’s road trip to see the other side of Corbyn’s two worlds.  

The Corbyn ultimatum

In April, Unite Secretary General Len McClusky chose the pages of the New Statesman to deliver a message to Labour MPs – get behind Corbyn or face the consequences.

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Why I hate the Ed Miliband renaissance

Once reviled as the man who lost to David Cameron in 2015, Ed Miliband has seen a return to the public eye in a new, sassy, internet-friendly incarnation. But while online the public have lapped up his renaissance, Annosh Chaeklian was more sceptical of the very British trend of fetishising politicians when they move on from power.

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“Memes are not the way to look at it”: inside the Tory membership crisis

While one of the great successes of the modern Labour party has been a huge expansion of its membership, particularly among the young, the Conservative Party has seen its paid-up supporters dwindle to a small rump of mostly older backers. And as Anoosh Chakelian reported, it will take a lot more than clever use of social media to reverse the trend.

Forget the Tory psychodrama, the real crisis is the threat of a No Deal Brexit

As Conservative infighting over Brexit continued, Stephen Bush provided his regular and urgent reminder that what is at stake is much more than the future of the party or even who becomes prime minister. The Tory psychodrama could easily lead the UK off the cliff edge of leading an unprepared UK out of the EU without a deal.

Austerity: how an ideological project failed on its own terms

Austerity has defined British politics in one way or another since the financial crash over a decade ago. But with promises of an end to belt-tightening remaining unfulfilled, and a visibly fraying public realm even the Conservatives have begun a retreat from their defining stance. George Eaton examines how their supposedly unavoidable project bit the dust.

The New Statesman’s A to Z of the political year

From anti-Semitism to zero Brexit progress, Anoosh Chakelian and  Helen Lewis bring you the New Statesman’s roundup of 2018.