THE BLOG

The Launch of The New European

15/07/2016 15:54

Our new government may be united that 'Brexit means Brexit' but Britain is still divided. No question. But along what lines?

I believe the new lines of division are not political. They are attitudinal.

Behind the façade of unity created by the Conservative's new leadership, the established political structures in the UK are in open chaos - struggling to compute what just happened, out there, in the real world. Because out there, in the real world, is not a place they very often visit.

And in the real world, along the fault line itself, the division is intense; tolerance versus intolerance, hope versus hatred. Nasty, dangerous, stinking stuff bubbles up to the surface with alarming regularity.

On the broader plains, where most of us choose to exist, the lines of division are less harshly drawn, but fundamental all the same.

Open versus withdrawn. Expansive versus defensive.

The sense of dismay and disenfranchisement of the 48% appears to continue without any sign of fading.

The fact that Leave politicians appear clueless about what to do now the vote is won, only adds to the sense that this is a self-inflicted wound of elephant gun proportions.

Add to that the chronic, oppressive admonitions to the 48% to shut up, quit whining, move on and just accept democracy, and the sense of injustice seems to swell.

The New European was conceived for those of us who feel we are better off within; maybe because for most of our lives Europe is all we've known and we didn't see any great reason to cut loose a bond that has led to sustained peace and prosperity for a continent with a shudderingly violent history, given us membership to the world's largest trading block and the right of freedom of movement to live, work, learn and love wherever we choose without boundary.

That's what The New European stands for, ultimately. An attitude. No more, no less.

Why a printed newspaper? One of the magic elements of print is that it is a visible indicator to the world about who you are. Print is committing. The price of the paper is your membership subscription to a club, a community.

And, frankly, we thought the 48% have not been particularly well served by the existing national media. (Nor do we think they did a great job for the 52, incidentally).

The New European has been assembled with unprecedented haste for a national newspaper launch. Ten working days from idea to newsagent shelf is a ridiculous schedule, but it had to be done. We are a paper of the moment. The zeitgeist, if you want to be really European about it.

We call it pop-up publishing, and if successful I think this new model of low-costbase, short lifespan printed products could be an interesting model for our industry and part of the much-needed new revenue mix we are all depending on arriving, like the cavalry, very soon.

Matt Kelly is Chief Content Officer of Archant and launch editor of The New European

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