14 February 2008


I have no insider gossip on the shenanigans at the New Statesman that have led to the resignation of its editor, John Kampfner, and I'm not particularly shocked: I didn't think he was any good. Under his watch the paper — with notable exceptions, most importantly the contributions of Martin Bright as political editor — has been terribly predictable and intellectually unchallenging .

But Kampfner's demise is significant, not least because it highlights the role of Geoffrey Robinson as NS proprietor. I'm almost prepared to accept that the millionaire MP for Coventry North West — who is, incidentally, a complete dickhead — doesn't interfere day-to-day with the editorial side of the paper. But he bought it as a favour for Gordon and Tony way back in 1996, and his "non-interventionism" has always on balance favoured his mates (Gordon and his pals). From the paper's point of view, now might be a rather good time to sell out to its readers, as we wanted to in 1996, and regain a little credibility.

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