• 2019: New Statesman and Climate Change

    Letter sent to the New Statesman 13 May 2019, but not published.

    Dear Editor,

    Your editorial (“Where two roads diverge”, 10 May) was welcome if somewhat belated. For interminable months your political correspondents like Stephen Bush and Kevin Maguire have lovingly and obsessively chronicled the tedious manoeuvres around Brexit as though nothing on the planet existed outside Westminster and its generally incompetent and sometimes corrupt inhabitants. Meanwhile mentions of climate change have been few and far between. Hopefully the editorial marks a new phase.

    It would, however, have been honest to make at least a mention of Extinction Rebellion, without which the editorial would probably never have been written. It was the willingness of these activists to take direct action which kicked the question into the headlines.

    In the 1930s, under the vile Kingsley Martin, the New Statesman tolerated, and sometimes applauded, the crimes of Stalinism. Climate change will kill far more than Stalin ever did. Let us hope that future historians – if any survive – do not look back and record the New Statesman’s acquiescence.

    Ian Birchall,