New Statesman

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The New Statesman is a British weekly political newspaper published in London . The paper, which was founded in 1913 , has championed many different positions in its history, which have always been left of center. Since 2008 the sheet has belonged to the Progressive Digital Media of the British entrepreneur Mike Danson .

1913 to 1945

In 1913, Sydney Webb and Beatrice Webb founded the New Statesman with the assistance of George Bernard Shaw and other members of the Fabian Society . In the first few years, editor-in-chief Clifford Sharp shaped the paper. While the editors were close to the Labor Party, Sharp leaned more and more towards the Liberal Party . A prominent employee during this time was Leonard Woolf .

In 1930 the Statesman merged with the liberal weekly The Nation and changed its name to New Statesman and Nation by 1964 . In the same year, Kingsley Martin became editor-in-chief. The nation's chief editor at the time was the economist John Maynard Keynes , who also played an important role in the merged paper.

The newspaper moved strongly to the left during this period. She advocated a combative anti-fascist course and vehemently criticized the appeasement policy. She was also notorious for defending Joseph Stalin's policies . For example, she vehemently criticized George Orwell's book Mein Katalonien, as “any criticism of the Soviet Union is currently a criticism of socialism per se.” During this time, the circulation rose from 13,000 to 70,000 copies.

1945 to 1970

The paper became a major influence on discussions within the Labor Party. Among other things, it published the Keep Left Manifesto by members of the House of Commons Richard Crossman , Michael Foot and Ian Mikardo , in which they demanded that the United Kingdom should follow a path between the USA and the Soviet Union and not ally itself with the USA. Although Martin never got along with the leader of the union left Aneurin Bevan , the paper harshly criticized the less radical union leadership of the time. It fought against the Korean War , and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament got its founding impetus from an article in the paper.

Under the subsequent editors-in-chief John Freeman and Paul Johnson , the paper reached its highest circulation with 90,000 copies, but little changed in terms of the editorial line.

Since 1970

It wasn't until after Johnson left his post in 1970 that things went downhill. Various editors-in-chief positioned it between radical left and left-centered, and at times proven opponents of socialism wrote in the paper. Although the paper also bought the New Society in 1988 and became the New Statesman and Society by 1996 , the circulation fell to 23,000 by the same year. After the paper claimed in 1993 that the then ( Conservative ) Prime Minister John Major was in an extramarital relationship, the subsequent process brought the paper to the brink of ruin.

In 1996 Labor MP Geoffrey Robinson bought the paper, fired most of the left-wing journalists and supported Tony Blair's line . This did not take long, however, in 1998 under the new editor-in-chief Peter Wilby it pursued a more left-wing direction, which also persisted under his successor and former politics editor John Kampfner (from 2005).

In April 2008, Progressive Digital Media , headed by British entrepreneur Mike Danson (founder and until it was sold to Informa, head of the software company DataMonitor), acquired 50% of the shares in New Statesman , and the remaining shares in the following year.

Since 2013, the awards Goldsmiths College in cooperation with the New Statesman the 10,000 pounds sterling Literature Prize Prize Goldsmiths .


  • Hyams, Edward: The New Statesman: the history of the first fifty years 1913-63 . Longman. 1963.
  • Rolph, C. H (Ed.): Kingsley: the life, letters and diaries of Kingsley Martin . Victor Gollancz. 1973. ISBN 0-575-01636-1 .
  • Howe, Stephen (Ed.): Lines of Dissent: writing from the New Statesman 1913 to 1988 . Verso. 1988. ISBN 0-86091-207-8 .
  • Smith, Adrian: The New Statesman: Portrait of a Political Weekly . Frank Cass. 1996. ISBN 0-7146-4645-8 .

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