New Statesman

Essayism is ultimately about how literature can make a difference

It is somewhat unseemly for a critic to confess that their immediate reaction to a book is one of unremitting envy. But Brian Dillon’s study of the essay is so careful and precise in its reading of a constellation of authors – Derrida and Barthes, Didion and Sontag, Browne and Burton, ...

today 12:15 open_in_new
Jeremy Corbyn: "wholesale" EU immigration has destroyed conditions for British workers

Mass immigration from the European Union has "destroyed" conditions of British workers, Jeremy Corbyn said today. 

The Labour leader was pressed on his party's attitude to immigration on the Andrew Marr programme. He reiterated his belief that Britain should leave the Single Market, ...

today 12:15 open_in_new
The Tories play Game of Thrones while the White Walkers from Brussels advance

If you’re a fan of asking “who’s that, then?” and “is that the one who killed the other one’s brother?”, I bring great news. Game of Thrones is back for a seventh series. Its vast assortment of characters was hard enough to keep track of before half of them got makeovers. But now ...

today 12:15 open_in_new
The Sad Part Was: this story collection puts the real Bangkok on display

In Bangkok’s budding literary scene, Prabda Yoon sits at the centre. Born in 1973, he’s the scion of a well-known family (his father Suthichai Sae-Yoon is the co-founder of the Nation newspaper) and is known in Thailand as not only an enfant terrible of letters but as an illustrator, ...

today 10:03 open_in_new
Sarah Hall's dark short stories are fragments of lives wrenched out of alignment

There’s no story called “Madame Zero” in Sarah Hall’s new collection: the title floats enigmatically above this dark and memorable set of stories. A passing mention of “Cotard. Capgras. Madame Zero” gives a clue, but the reader has to scurry for it.

In the 1920s a patient ...

today 08:57 open_in_new
In the Tory Game of Thrones, everyone is ignoring the advance of the White Walkers from Brussels

If you’re a fan of asking “who’s that, then?” and “is that the one who killed the other one’s brother?”, I bring great news. Game of Thrones is back for a seventh series. Its vast assortment of characters was hard enough to keep track of before half of them got makeovers. But now ...

today 08:57 open_in_new
What happened when a couple accidentally recorded two hours of their life

If the Transformers series of movies (Transformers; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; Transformers: Dark of the Moon; Transformers: Age of Extinction; and Transformers: the Last Knight) teach us anything, it is that you think your life is going along just fine but in a moment, with a single ...

yesterday 17:33 open_in_new
Fasting and Feasting: the eccentric life of food writer Patience Gray

It is hard, these days, to open a food magazine or a news­paper’s colour supplement without finding an article extolling the charm of foraging. So fashionable has the Instagram-friendly pursuit become that the botanist James Wong recently  wrote of his alarm at finding pictures of food – ...

yesterday 14:15 open_in_new
Why I'll miss Sean Spicer, the tragic hero who couldn't cope with Trump

From the first day he walked up to the White House press podium, in his ill fitting suit like an intern on his first day in the office, my heart went out to Sean Spicer. He did that classic thing you do when you have a very strong brief from your new boss and no idea what you're doing. He went ...

yesterday 13:09 open_in_new
Out with the old: how new species are evolving faster than ever

Human population growth, increased consumption, hunting, habitat destruction, pollution, invasive species and now climate change are turning the biological world on its head. The consequence is that species are becoming extinct, perhaps faster than at any time since the dinosaurs died out 66 ...

yesterday 13:09 open_in_new
Uncommon People sweeps you along as if you were trapped in a mosh pit

First, a warning. It is perhaps best not to tackle David Hepworth’s work if you are the argumentative sort. He presents the central themes of his books in a manner that does not encourage discussion or debate: for maximum enjoyment, you should allow yourself to be swept along as if trapped ...

yesterday 10:57 open_in_new
The UK press’s timid reaction to Brexit is in marked contrast to the satire unleashed on Trump

Faced with arguably their biggest political-cum-constitutional ­crisis in half a century, the press on either side of the pond has reacted very differently. Confronting a president who, unlike many predecessors, does not merely covertly dislike the press but rages against its supposed ...

yesterday 09:51 open_in_new
The Negroni fools no one – it’s easy to make and contains nothing but booze

The cocktail is designed to lie about its origins; no wonder it reached its apogee during Prohibition, which forced everyone with an unrepentant thirst to lie about their cravings. Even today, when only extreme youth, religious belief or personal inclination prevents a person from draining the ...

2017-07-21 19:21 open_in_new
Why is “Despacito” so popular?

It’s the first (mostly) Spanish language song to nab the Billboard Hot 100 top spot since 1996’s “Macarena”. It’s topped the charts in 45 different countries, from Austria to Japan to Uruguay. Its (quite rubbish) video has garnered almost three billion views on YouTube. A video of a ...

2017-07-21 19:21 open_in_new
Disney's failure to find an Arab Princess Jasmine for Aladdin shows the dire state of diversity in film

Production on Disney’s new live-action Aladdin, directed by Guy Ritchie, was expected to begin this month, but the studio reportedly struggled to find actors for its lead roles. “Finding a male lead in his 20s who can act and sing has proven difficult,” the Hollywood ...

2017-07-21 18:15 open_in_new
There's nothing Luddite about banning zero-hours contracts

Unions have been criticised over the past week for our lukewarm response to the Taylor Review.

According to the report’s author we were wrong to expect “quick fixes”, when “gradual change” is the order of the day. “Why aren’t you celebrating the new ‘flexibility’ the ...

2017-07-21 18:15 open_in_new
Is Scottish Labour on the way back, or heading for civil war?

The extraordinary rise of the Scottish Tories and the collapse in SNP seat numbers grabbed most of the headlines in the recent general election. Less remarked on was the sudden, unexpected exhalation of air that came from what was thought to be the corpse of Scottish Labour.

In 2015, ...

2017-07-21 18:15 open_in_new
Linking Chester Bennington's suicide to Linkin Park's music is dangerous and irresponsible

We are so wrong about suicide. What we want more than anything is for it to make sense. To turn the life of the victim into a good story, with all the narrative beats leading up to a satisfying conclusion in their death. No mess and no untidiness. That’s especially true when the person who ...

2017-07-21 18:15 open_in_new
Every single line spoken by actor Harry Styles in the movie Dunkirk, evaluated

When it was announced that Harry Styles had been cast in Dunkirk, most people assumed it was a Drew Barrymore in Scream sort of deal. A big name, who would be plastered over the posters, front and centre at promotional interviews, but given a barely-speaking part and probably killed off in the ...

2017-07-21 17:09 open_in_new
UnHerd's rejection of the new isn't as groundbreaking as it seems to think

Information overload is oft-cited as one of the main drawbacks of the modern age. There is simply too much to take in, especially when it comes to news. Hourly radio bulletins, rolling news channels and the constant stream of updates available from the internet – there is just more than ...

2017-07-21 17:09 open_in_new
You may call me a monster – but I'm glad that girl's lemonade stall got shut down

Who could fail to be moved by the widely shared tears of a five year old whose innocent lemonade stall was brutally shut down by evil bureaucrats? What sort of monster would not have their heartstrings tugged by the plaintive “I've done a bad thing” from a girl whose father tells us she ...

2017-07-21 16:03 open_in_new