30 episodes

The New Statesman is the UK's leading politics and culture magazine. Here you can listen to a selection of our very best reported features and essays read aloud. Get immersed in powerful storytelling and narrative journalism from some of the world's best writers. Have your mind opened by influential thinkers on the forces shaping our lives today.
Ease into the weekend with new episodes published every Saturday morning.
For more, visit www.newstatesman.com/podcasts/audio-long-reads

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Audio Long Reads, from the New Statesman The New Statesman

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

The New Statesman is the UK's leading politics and culture magazine. Here you can listen to a selection of our very best reported features and essays read aloud. Get immersed in powerful storytelling and narrative journalism from some of the world's best writers. Have your mind opened by influential thinkers on the forces shaping our lives today.
Ease into the weekend with new episodes published every Saturday morning.
For more, visit www.newstatesman.com/podcasts/audio-long-reads

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    What drives Liz Truss? The people and ideas behind the PM’s economics

    What drives Liz Truss? The people and ideas behind the PM’s economics

    On 23 September 2022, the UK’s new prime minister and her chancellor delivered their explosive “mini-Budget”, cutting taxes for the richest in society and increasing government borrowing. Global markets were alarmed – but should the reality of Trussonomics have taken anyone by surprise?
     
    In this reported long read, the New Statesman’s writer at large Jeremy Cliffe looks at the ideas, institutions and thinkers who have shaped Truss’s politics for decades, from a society of free-market thinkers who gathered at Lake Geneva in 1947, to today’s libertarian think tanks in Massachusetts Avenue, Washington DC, and Tufton Street, London (where many of the current cabinet have worked). 
     
    Cliffe talks to those who have followed Truss’s rise most closely, and who detect the influence of Thatcher, Reagan and even Khrushchev in her thinking. But is her government now too radical even for her former colleagues? And where will a prime minister who some believe “actually wants to destabilise things” go next?
     
    Written by Jeremy Cliffe and read by Rachel Cunliffe.
     
    This article originally appeared on 28 September on newstatesman.com and in the 30 September – 6 October issue of the magazine. You can read the text version here.
     
    If you enjoyed this, you may enjoy “Boris Johnson: The death of the clown” by Ed Docx
    Podcast listeners can subscribe to the New Statesman for just £1 a week for 12 weeks using our special offer. Just visit newstatesman.com/podcastoffer.

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    • 28 min
    The making and meaning of Giorgia Meloni

    The making and meaning of Giorgia Meloni

    Giorgia Meloni started out as the awkward outsider, a woman from humble Roman roots in an Italy whose politics have long been dominated by alpha men from the north – Silvio Berlusconi, Matteo Renzi, Beppe Grillo, Matteo Salvini. Now the post-fascist party she fronts - Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy, or FdI) – is widely expected to take the largest share of the vote in the 2022 general election. How did it get there, having scraped 4% in 2018? 
     
    Earlier this month, the New Statesman writer at large Jeremy Cliffe travelled to Italy to find out, starting with a Turin rally more heavily policed than any he had covered before. In this richly reported essay, he traces Meloni’s ideological journey, as well as that of the far-right in Italy, from the fascist war years to today’s political landscape – one that is described to him as “extreme political fickleness combined with institutional stability”. Is Meloni’s rise explained by Salvini’s fall, as one newspaper editor tells him, or is there more at play? What does this mean for the rest of Europe?
     
    Written and read by Jeremy Cliffe.
     
    This article originally appeared in the New Statesman’s 23 September 2022 issue. You can read the text version here.
     
    You might also enjoy listening to Nixon, Trump and the lessons of Watergate.
    Podcast listeners can get a subscription to the New Statesman for just £1 per week, for 12 weeks. Visit www.newstatesman.com/podcastoffer

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    • 24 min
    Would there have been climate change under socialism?

    Would there have been climate change under socialism?

    The idea that, without capitalism, the planet might not be facing so great a climate crisis is well established, appearing in works like Naomi Klein’s bestselling This Changes Everything (2014) and from the growing ranks of “eco-socialist” activists.
    But in this essay, the science writer (and committed socialist) Leigh Phillips argues that an entirely socialist 20th century would have resulted in global heating at least as bad, if not worse. He outlines a counterfactual history in which capitalism is vanquished everywhere by 1930, colonialism willingly unravelled – and industrialisation rolled out for everyone, not for the few. “Housing for all, electricity for all, fast and comfortable transport for all, and yes, even delightful plastic consumer tchotchkes for all,” he writes. “There would absolutely be a People’s Xbox under socialism.” 
    In this clearly argued and imaginative essay, Phillips concedes that, yes, there would have been differences under socialism – and some benefits, once the harms of carbon emissions were realised. But we must start to see the climate crisis as the unintended consequence of largely beneficial (if uneven) economic development – and a problem that is very hard to solve under any single system. What is needed, he says, is not a move towards degrowth, anti-consumerism and other forms of eco-austerity – but a greater role for economic planning.
    Written by Leigh Phillips and read by Hugh Smiley.
    This article was originally published on the newstatesman.com on 10 August 2022. You can read the text version here.
    You might also enjoy listening to The lonely decade: how the 1990s shaped us by Gavin Jacobson.
    Podcast listeners can get a subscription to the New Statesman for just £1 per week, for 12 weeks. Visit www.newstatesman.com/podcastoffer

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    • 21 min
    Queen Elizabeth II and the end of empire

    Queen Elizabeth II and the end of empire

    In 1947, on her 21st birthday, Elizabeth Windsor promised that when she ascended the royal throne she would serve “our great imperial family”. By the time of her coronation six years later, the Crown’s ties with empire were already significantly weaker. Yet for the duration of her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II would remain a human link to old imperial Britain – the original “global Britain” – and its virtues and principles, real and imagined. Her death is a rupture, a breaking of that final connection with an era that is long gone yet remains nation-defining for Britain today.
     
    In this reflection on her reign, the New Statesman's writer-at-large Jeremy Cliffe considers the long shadow of empire and the ways in which it shaped both the second Elizabethan era and the UK’s sense of its place in the world. He looks, too, at the waxing and waning of the Queen’s authority; she was not a political figure, and so has been embraced during politically turbulent times such as these. Will her son, King Charles III, now manage similar feats of unification?
    Written by Jeremy Cliffe and read by Hugh Smiley.
    This article was originally published on newstatesman.com on 9 September. You can read the text version here.
    You might also enjoy listening to The lonely decade, how the 1990s shaped us by Gavin Jacobson.
    Podcast listeners can get a subscription to the New Statesman for just £1 per week, for 12 weeks. Visit www.newstatesman.com/podcastoffer



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    • 17 min
    What is left of Princess Diana?

    What is left of Princess Diana?

    The shock of her death on 31 August 1997 sparked mass public mourning, a crisis within the royal family, and a test of the prime minister Tony Blair’s leadership. A quarter of a century later, how is “the People’s Princess” remembered?
     
    Reporter Tanya Gold goes in search of the woman behind the myths, the movies and the conspiracy theories – visiting the Spencer family home, Althorp, where Diana is buried, and a walking trail of her London haunts and monuments. She meets the keepers of Diana’s flame, including the curator of an online museum of memorabilia (the princess’s Wellington boots, 50 handwritten notes to her hairdresser), a sculptor, a former colleague, and the staff of Madame Tussauds' waxwork museum, where Diana stands “opposite Henry VIII, who would have executed her”.
     
    This article was originally published in the 26 August-1 September issue of the New Statesman; you can read the text version here.
     
    Written by Tanya Gold and read by Alix Kroeger.
    You might also enjoy listening to The making of Prince William by Tanya Gold.
    Podcast listeners can get a subscription to the New Statesman for just £1 per week, for 12 weeks. Visit www.newstatesman.com/podcastoffer.

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    • 21 min
    Archive: I was Joni Mitchell’s “Carey”

    Archive: I was Joni Mitchell’s “Carey”

    For 50 years, the “mean old daddy” immortalised in one of Mitchell’s best-loved songs was an enigma. For the first time, he tells his side of the story to the New Statesman’s lead interviewer, Kate Mossman. Kate and Cary Raditz met in Paris in late 2021 to talk about a love affair that began on the island of Crete in the spring of 1970, continued in California and England, and which became a part of Mitchell’s iconic album, Blue.
     
    Written and read by Kate Mossman.
     
    Read the text version here. It was first published on the New Statesman website on 17 December 2021, and in the magazine on 7 January 2022.
     
    To receive all our long reads, subscribe to the New Statesman for just £1 a week for 12 weeks using our special podcast offer. Just visit www.newstatesman.com/podcastoffer.

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    • 38 min

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