Labour have announced which news organisations have been invited to chair each of their regional leadership hustings, which are taking place in addition to the ones on TV and radio:
Anushka Asthana, Sky News
David Clegg, Daily Record
Matthew d’Ancona, The Guardian
Isabel Hardman, The Spectator
Gaby Hinsliff, Political Editor, Grazia
Chris Lloyd, Northern Echo
Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph
Tim Shipman, The Sunday Times
Jim Waterson, Buzzfeed UK
Paul Waugh, HuffingtonPost UK
The Speccie and the Telegraph get one each, even Buzzfeed are on the list. Yet the New Statesman, Labour’s in house magazine, are nowhere to be seen. Was it something they said?
To discuss PMQs on Sky News, a wide range of hacks were put on air. In the lefty corner we have the New Statesman’s Harry Lambert and on the centre left we have Stephen Bush from the, er, New Statesman.
YouGov have done some drilling down into the public’s expectations and perceptions for The Sun; the numbers are terrible for Ed Miliband. With six months to election day a mere 19% think he is up to the job of being Prime Minister. This compares with 28% saying that of Gordon Brown six months before the last election, before the former Prime Mentalist went on to deliver Labour’s worst poll result in generations. The Tory press have never liked Ed, what will dismay Team Miliband is that his few media allies have lost faith. The Guardian is persistently sceptical of Ed’s merits, Owen Jones is scathing, the only national newspaper to back Ed for leader – the Sunday People – is despairing, the once fervent New Statesman now damns him.
So many Labour MPs openly admit that Ed is just not up to it that CCHQ has gleefully set up a dedicated website to highlight Labour MPs’ complaints. At PMQs Ed’s weakness is broadcast weekly to the nation. So what does Ed do? He has had a mini-reshuffle of his campaign team and brings in his friends…
Here is Mehdi Hasan sparring with Douglas Murray on Question Time back in 2011, on the sensitive subject of forced marriages. Mehdi could not have been clearer where he stood on the issue:
“Four years later he [David Cameron] turns up in Munich of all places to tell us we need this muscular liberalism and to tell us, like Douglas, about forced marriages! Sorry, how many people have forced marriages in this country? And show me which cultural group defends forced marriages?”
Well those questions are answered, you might say, with passion, rigour and boldness by an article in this week’s New Statesman, written by one Mehdi Hasan.
“Child, or underage, marriage is very much a part of British society. And the inconvenient truth is that it is Muslims – not Christians, Jews or Hindus – who are responsible for much of it. There is no point pretending otherwise. Nor is it morally tenable to stand idly by as young girls in the UK are forced into marriages before they are physically or psychologically ready, against their will and against the law…
I can’t stay quiet. I’m the father of two young girls. When I hear of forced, underage marriages being carried out in the heart of major British cities, I think of my own daughters. And I feel sick.This is 2013. Not 613. Or 1813. Child marriage is a form of child abuse. It must be stopped.”
“There is no point pretending otherwise.”
A belter of a conference cartoon special from Peter Brookes on the front page of this week’s Speccie. Guido would like to put in a bid for the original.
By delicious coincidence, this week’s New Statesman also goes the Wallace and Gromit theme on its cover.
It’s almost as if Miliband was a dead ringer for Wallace.
Like two drunks staggering home propping each other up, loss-making magazines the New Statesman and New Republic have agreed a transatlantic tie-up. New Republic is owned by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, worth an estimated $700 million, so he is only slightly richer than Staggers‘ owner Mike Danson, worth some £300 million. They are certainly appropriate bedfellows, New Republic is haemorrhaging $3 million a year or some $5 a copy, while the New Statesman loses a mere £1.35 a copy. They will each publish three of the other’s articles every week. Apparently it’s a new Special Relationship. Groan.
The New Statesman are having lots of fun spoofing this morning’s Sun front page, but they appear to have forgotten to do a mock up of their own cover. Guido decided to draw on the magazine’s chequered history and current editorial output to produce this:
Guido’s would probably look quite similar to the Sun’s.
Maybe without the red hand of Ulster…
Looks like there is still some money left over for £300 million Mike Danson, despite all the cash loaned to the New Statesman interest free and with no repayment date. Sky’s Mark Kleinman reports that Danson is in talks for […]