NEWS

Pro-Jeremy Corbyn Group Protests Against New Statesman Magazine Over ‘Treachery’

Camden Momentum has fired up the internet.

07/04/2017 08:40 | Updated 07 April 2017

For those who don’t know, the New Statesman is a political magazine with progressive, left leanings.

Around 35,000 print copies are sold each week, but many more digest its content on a suite of websites, blogs and newsletters.

Yet despite being more favourable to the Labour Party than any other party in British politics, it is not slavishly devoted.

This is its most recent front cover.

Inside included a brutal editorial, penned by editor Jason Cowley, bemoaning the parlous state of the Labour Party in Opposition under Jeremy Corbyn.
While admitting the magazine was opposed to the Corbyn leadership from the start, arguing the serial backbench rebel was “ill-equipped to be leader”, Labour’s ineffectiveness over Brexit seemed to be the last straw. It mused:

“The electorate can smell that something is seriously wrong and is recoiling, but those closest to the triumvirate of the leader, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott seem oblivious to or unconcerned by the stench of failure.

“Meanwhile, as a consequence of Brexit, the fractures in the Union widen and deepen, yet Labour abandons all pretence at competent and unified opposition. And so the question remains: who will speak for liberal Britain?”

To put it in context, Labour’s poll rating stands at 25% - it’s lowest since 1983.

In response, some Corbyn supporters took matters in to their own hands.

Momentum is the campaign group set up to campaign for the veteran MP when he stood for the party leadership.

Since, it has been an avowed supporter of Corbyn and his unapologetically left-wing views - views that are so left-wing that most of the Parliamentary Labour Party thinks it makes the party unelectable.

Camden Momentum yesterday signalled it had ‘The Staggers’, and its east London offices, in its sights. 

A few on Twitter questioned its authenticity.

The protest appears not to have been sanctioned by the national group. So was it real?

BuzzFeed News UK Political Editor, Jim Waterson, was there to bear witness in case anyone thought this was indeed a parody account.

 

The top-line demand appears to be simple.

Some 30 pages of pro-Corbyn coverage should be given to “voices who support the Labour leadership”.

Protester Sam Weinstein, a retired union official, told BuzzFeed News that criticism of the Labour Party leader ahead of crucial local elections was “scabbing”, and undermining Corbyn would make it easier for another coup to succeed.

“We expect it from the Daily Mail. What we don’t expect is to be stabbed in the back by people who claim they’re supporters of ours,” he said. “It’s nothing but treachery.”

On Twitter, people suspected the protest was questionable. 

And the NS editor offered his view.

George Eaton, the magazine’s Political Editor, attempted to act as a peacemaker of sorts.

 

A Conservative MP suggested 30 pages of Corbynite coverage would be useful for one thing at least.

And others suggested the protest was part of a wider problem.

The socialist daily newspaper, The Morning Star, took a different view.

Morning Star

In response, New Statesman’s deputy editor, Helen Lewis, gave this response.

“The normal flatplan is 64 pages, so it would have a pretty severe effect on the critics section. And there’s no way we would drop the crossword, the readers would go mad. Compared with that, being rude about Jeremy Corbyn is really small fry.”

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