New Statesman Internship Auctioned for £1,000
Intern Aware Say Staggers Should be “Ashamed”

At the recent Olympics Ball raising money for Britain’s young athletes, the New Statesman, that paragon of equality of opportunity, auctioned off internships £1,000-a-pop. A great scoop from Dave Lee this lunchtime. “You will have the chance to contribute your ideas and writing to their hugely popular website” gushed Lot 75 with a starting bid of £1,000. Guido is currently trying to find out exactly how much the slave ship ticket actually went for.

Seeing as the Staggers would be getting the free labour from whichever champagne-swilling parent that coughed up for their lucky child’s week of work experience, would they be contributing anything to the deal? “No travel included”.

Last year Helen Lewis gleefully reported on Tom Watson’s attack on the Tories when they tried a similar wheeze:

“The Labour MP Tom Watson told the Mail: “This is a crass example of rich Tories buying privilege. Most young people could only dream of this opportunity. The Conservatives flog them like baubles and fill their coffers with the profits. It is obscene.”” 

Though perhaps it is Laurie Penny, naturally writing in the Staggers, who put it best:

“The Telegraph reports that across the country hundreds of placements are being sold or brokered, often at similar auctions for the wealthy, where the fact that proceeds go to charity gives the new nobility yet another reason to be smug about giving themselves the life chances that previous generations enjoyed for free. For the few of us who are wealthy enough to finance ourselves through work placements, only a firm push is needed to force open the doors of opportunity. Without a co-ordinated effort to reverse this regressive trend, the years to come will be littered with wasted potential and filled with disappointment for young people with nothing to bring to the table but talent, creativity and ambition.”

Intern Aware have slammed the Staggers this afternoon:

“Most people can’t afford to work for free and even fewer people can afford to pay thousands of pounds for the privilege of interning. The New Statesman should be ashamed of operating a practice than puts opportunities out of the hands of hardworking and talented young people.”

They also estimate that “around 1/3 of the editorial staff at any one time are unpaid. Not only do they readily do all the necessary drudgework, they help to depress the wages of paid journalists there.” Shame on them.

Read Dave Lee’s original posting here.

UPDATE: A source tells Guido that the internship went for close to £1,250.

Laurie Penny Leaves Indy

An intriguing media move today as Laurie Penny leaves her post at the Indy:

Could it possibly be that Indy bosses wielded the axe? Or maybe £23,000 was just not enough…

Ed Not So Intern Aware

The papers are all going with Millionaire Miliband this morning, as the fine details of Tuesday’s speech begin to unravel. It’s also worth noting how Ed pledged to “crack down” on unpaid internships in Manchester. Just who are these evil predators who don’t pay their exploited young staff?

Guido is sure an upstanding paragon of virtue such as the New Statesman would never offer unpaid positions, and with all that union gold Political Scrapbook can surely afford to fork out for more than the odd lunch. It would be pretty bad if, say, the Guardian offered ethnic minority kids work without pay, and Intern Aware-backing Left Foot Forward would have to pay their own interns, right? And what about two-faced Chuka? Guido is still waiting to hear whether Labour HQ pay their interns. Ed needs to look a bit closer to home…

Which Magazines the Beeboids Buy

Following the news last month that the BBC buys more copies of the Guardian than any other newspaper, Guido thought he would have some more FOI fun. It turns out the BBC’s love for lefty rags doesn’t extend to the New Statesman – the Beeb bought more copies of the Speccie than the Staggers between January and July this year. An ideological shift to the right? More likely they’ve just realised there’s nothing worth reading in the Staggers any more…

Meanwhile Ian Hislop clearly hasn’t sorted out his BBC colleagues with any free copies of Private Eye, with the Beeb having to fork out for 155 in the last seven months. They aren’t buying James MacIntyre’s predictions that never come true though – Prospect fares pretty badly at a sobering seven a month. And as for Total Politics? Oh dear…

Shambles at Staggers Towers

The New Statesman has been left with egg on its face this morning.

Read all about it over on MediaGuido

Staggers Shambles as NHS Remains State Run

The New Statesman site descended into a shambles this morning after they ran a story on an apparent hushed-up plan to privatise the NHS that turned out to be complete and utter rubbish. It sounded too good to be true…

George Eaton reported that Andrew Lansley was sneakily set to announce that the 49% cap on private work done by NHS trusts would be abolished:

“When the government unveils a policy change on a Friday it’s a sure sign that it doesn’t want you to notice. Today, Andrew Lansley will announce that the 49% cap on private work done by NHS hospitals, which his bill introduced, will be abolished. In other words, the Health Secretary has just opened the door to the full-scale privatisation of the NHS, with hospitals able to raise 100% of their income from private healthcare.”

The left exploded in uproar, even Labour MPs got involved:

https://twitter.com/marycreagh_mp/status/223707457296408576

Unfortunately for the Staggers, the whole story turned out to be entirely untrue. They updated their post with a statement from the Department of Health, leaving Eaton and co with egg on their faces: “The Department of Health has been in touch to say that the cap is not being removed, rather that the planned 49% limit will be introduced from 1 October 2012″. Guido is disappointed that it was just rumour of an NHS privatisation, but a little Staggers schadenfreude provides some consolation…

UPDATE: The New Statesman are now trying to blame the cock-up on some sloppy churnalism from the FT, but the LibDems are in no doubt as to where the blame lies:

IPPR, the Staggers and the €800,000 Bung

Guido was amused to read Will Straw’s Staggers piece today asking: “Europe, what have you done for me lately?“.

His gushing tribute to the EU’s legislation on mobile charges was as sickly as it was suspicious – after all, his organisation IPPR is hardly renowned for its tech prowess.

Perhaps the real answer to Straw’s question lies in the fact that Brussels has bunged his wonk-shop €800,000

Hodges Returns to the Staggers

Guido understands that Dan Hodges is returning to the New Statesman. The move comes weeks after his old foe Mehdi Hasan was “promoted” to the Huffington Post. Guido is told he’ll be an occasional columnist. Ed will love that…

UPDATE: Guido has just spoken to Hodges, who confirms he will continue to write for the Telegraph while contributing fortnightly to the New Statesman magazine.

New Statesman Declining into Irrelevance

A few years ago the New Statesman withdrew from having circulation for the print edition independently audited by the industry’s Audit Bureau of Circulation. This caused a lot of raised eyebrows in the trade. Guido has managed to get his […]

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Mehdi’s Muddle on Iran’s ‘Bombastic’ President

Followers on Twitter will have enjoyed many, many Twitterspats between Guido and the New Statesman’s Mehdi Hasan. They follow a familiar pattern with Mehdi usually citing someone who wrote something in the New York Times once and then calling Guido […]

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Labour HQ’s Cheltenham Loser

Following the car crash of a staff meeting on Monday at Labour HQ, staff were further outraged to learn the reason Iain McNicol was not in the office the following day (Tuesday) was, in true David Brent fashion, that he […]

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Ed’s Guru Glasman Goes For Jugular

Ed Miliband seems to have missed out on those popular few months that even Gordon managed to achieve in the summer of 2007 and has gone straight to the continual leadership crisis stage. Just when Guido thought the Don’t Unseat […]

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