Charles Leadbeater has won the Rio Tinto David Watt Memorial Prize, 1999, for his New Statesman essay, “Goodbye, Inland Revenue”, published on 3 July 1998.
The annual award, one of the most prestigious in journalism, is for “a writer judged to have made an outstanding contribution . . . towards the clarification of national, international and political issues”. Previous winners include Simon Jenkins, Neal Ascherson, Timothy Garton Ash and John Lloyd, NS associate editor.
Leadbeater, whose essay was about how electronic commerce and globalisation could dramatically shrink tax revenues, is a highly influential thinker in modern Britain, frequently called in to advise the Prime Minister. Tony Blair has said that his newly published book Living on Thin Air “raises critical questions for Britain’s future”; Peter Mandelson says it “sets out the agenda for the next Blair revolution”. In this issue, on page 25, we print an extract.