Enough is enough #1: The New Statesman

April 10, 2011 at 7:24 pm (class, Guardian, Jim D, media, publications)

Times are hard and economies have to be made. For some time I’ve been wondering why I continue to spend good money subscibing to the New Statesman. Each paranoid piece of reactionary apologia for tyrants from the unhinged Pilger, dishonest relativism from Wilby, anti-human nihilism from Gray, and pro-religion insult to the intelligence from Byrnes, has edged me towards cancelling my subscription. I can hear garbage like that at my local trades council meeting or C of E church (well, maybe not Gray’s philosophical fascism): I don’t have to pay for it.

This week's New Statesman

Of course, the New Statesman has form. Back in the 1930’s it refused to publish George Orwell’s writings on the Spanish Civil War for fear of offending the Comintern and their local agents. Orwell never forgave the then-editor Kingsley Martin, a supple-spined “left” power-worshipper who seems to have uncannily prefigured both Peter Wilby (editor 1998-2005) and the present incumbent Jason Cowley.

The final straw, for me,  came last week with an edition edited by upper class “wadical” Jemima Kahn, largely devoted to promoting the preening anti-semitic loon Julian Assange and other posh friends and relatives like her Tory brother Zac Goldsmith and her ex-hubby Hugh Grant. The high-spot of the issue is Jemima’s own interview with her friend  Nick Clegg , who wails, “I’m not a punchbag: I have feelings.”

NS editor Cowley is quoted in today’s Observer  justifying his decision to hand over the mag (albeit for just one week) to this ruling-class posh-girl by claiming “She’s been underestimated. She’s smart, writes well and she’s a liberal.”

“She’s a liberal”: even if that’s true, what a craven, miserable self-indictment of  Britain’s leading supposedly “serious” SOCIALIST magazine…

At least Khan has some self-awareness, describing herself as “Sister of a Tory, rich twat and acc[ording] to some, more socialite than socialist, I know some NS readers will be irked. Judge the issue, not me“: I have judged both and am cancelling my subscription forthwith.

5 Comments

  1. modernityblog said,

    You’re better spending your money on the Week or the Economist.

    I have never understood the attraction of the NS, always found it too insipid for my taste, but then again it is aimed mostly at the metropolitan elites and their mates….

  2. charliethechulo said,

    And who can forget Wilby’s single memorable contribution to the history of the NS:
    The “Kosher Conspiracy” front cover of 14 January 2002?
    http://radioislam.org/islam/english/jewishp/britain/kosher_conspiracy.htm

  3. Karl Dallas said,

    I sympathise with your feelings, though I do not share them. I am often tempted to unsubscribe from your blog because the intemperate nature of your rants irritate me. But I stay subscribed, because I need to read stuff I don’t agree with, in case you might after all turn out to be right and me wrong. That’s, after all, how I became a Christian after 40-off years of atheism, how I turned from passionate support of zionism to what I feel is a more measured assessment of what’s going on in the Middle East.
    The story isn’t over till it’s over. And, since I’m no Sadducee, I don’t think it’s over, even then.

  4. Harold Reed said,

    The Jemima Khan issue was the best I’ve read for sometime. I continued to subscribe despite the guest editor edition by Alistair Campbell (which I threw away unopened), which was surely the NS’s low point. Whatever criticisms can be aimed at Khan, none can compete with Campbell being chief propagandist for Blair’s Iraq invasion.

  5. Poummm « Poumista said,

    […] Jim D at Shiraz Socialist: Of course, the New Statesman has form. Back in the 1930′s it refused to publish George Orwell’s writings on the Spanish Civil War for fear of offending the Comintern and their local agents. Orwell never forgave the then-editor Kingsley Martin, a supple-spined “left” power-worshipper who seems to have uncannily prefigured both Peter Wilby (editor 1998-2005) and the present incumbent Jason Cowley. […]

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