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27 December 2015

Best of the NS in 2015: Essays and Reportage

Our best pieces from the past year. In this selection, our favourite essays and reported pieces.

By New Statesman


There Won’t Be Blood: Suzanne Moore on the menopause

By Suzanne Moore

The female body can be a mess, so I simply decided to have it – the menopause – one cold November weekend a few years ago. But women my age won’t just melt away and we won’t become invisible.

What does England want?

By Robert Tombs

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Not since the 1640s, when Scottish armies repeatedly marched south against Charles I, has the English establishment been so politically threatened in its heartland.

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The Friedrich Hayek I knew, and what he got right – and wrong

By John Gray

Hayek’s most striking intellectual trait was one uncommon in academic life – independence of mind, which enabled him to swim against some of the most powerful currents of the age.

The day the earth stopped

By Marc Stears

Ed Miliband’s confidant and former speechwriter recalls the terrible shock of election night and tries to make sense of what has happened since.

What Jeremy Corbyn can learn from Orwell

By Robert Colls

Corbyn’s ideas may echo George Orwell’s – but they’d need Orwell’s Britain to work. It’s time Corbyn accepted the British as they are today.

The economic consequences of austerity

By Amartya Sen

The judgements of our financial and political leaders are breathtakingly narrow. Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen considers the alternatives.

Inside the Morning Star, Britain’s last communist newspaper

By Edward Platt

Can a young, Mandarin-speaking Oxford graduate revive the paper Paul Anderson once accused of “bone-headed Stalinism”?

The motherhood trap

By Helen Lewis

It seems like a great time to be a woman in politics – but the fact that childless women are vilified as selfish, while so few mothers make it to the top, reveals an uncomfortable truth about how far we still have to go to achieve equality.

Trotsky, Blair and the new politics

By Geoff Mulgan

The turmoil created by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership could help the Labour Party rediscover its purpose. But another source of renewal is practice – listening and learning from the doers.

The last days of the Big K

By Martin Fletcher

Kellingley Colliery helped keep Britain’s lights on. But now, as the once mighty coal industry dies, the last deep mine in the country is closing.

We all wanted to go to Dreamland

By Caroline Crampton

Margate’s seafront theme park is reopening to the public after years of legal battles, arson and dereliction. Caroline Crampton looks back on a fascinating, troubled history of darkness and fun.

Misunderstanding the present: Ed Miliband wants to govern a country that doesn’t exist

By John Gray

For all their lapses, the Labour leaders of the past had a firmer grasp of reality than their contemporary counterparts.

Why we need a British Europe, not a European Britain

By Brendon Simms

The critical thing for eurozoners to understand is that the United Kingdom is an exceptional power, not prepared to sacrifice its sovereignty.

Between revolution and reform: the challenge facing Jeremy Corbyn

By Andrew Marr

Jeremy Corbyn may be electable – but that would require another financial crash or an improbable swing to the left by Middle England.

“Why sanction children?” – On the road in Wigan

By Anoosh Chakelian

We visit the town made famous by George Orwell for its deprivation in the 1930s and find parts of it standing tall – and others beaten down by the cuts.

Why the pundits got it wrong – and what the parties should do next

By Andrew Marr

As the media try to make sense of the 2015 general election, Andrew Marr explains why predictions were so far off the mark.

In the valley of death

By Nick Pearce

Labour and the disintegration of social democracy.

I have all the incentives I need to stop being ill. It’s called “being ill”

By Rosie Fletcher

Disease isn’t like a gas meter. It has no notion of economics. It doesn’t switch off because you’ve stopped putting money in.

Why it’s time to debunk the Churchill myth

By Simon Heffer

Our unquestioning idolatry of Winston Churchill prevents a true understanding of his life and career.