Editor-in-chief Jason Cowley Head of Digital Tom Young Deputy Editor Tom Gatti International Editor Jeremy Cliffe Political Editor Stephen Bush US Editor Emily Tamkin Creative Editor Gerry Brakus Business Editor Will Dunn Associate Editor Michael Prodger Senior Online Editor George Eaton Online Editor, International India Bourke Deputy Online Editor Rachel Cunliffe Culture Editor Anna Leszkiewicz Special Projects Editor Alona Ferber Britain Editor Anoosh Chakelian Commissioning Editors Gavin Jacobson Lola Seaton Special Correspondents Harry Lambert Sophie McBain Political Correspondent Ailbhe Rea International Correspondent Ido Vock Head of Production Peter Williams Chief Sub-Editor Pippa Bailey Sub-Editors Christiana Bishop Katherine Cowles Social Media Editor Eleanor Peake Senior Writers Sarah Manavis Kate Mossman Assistant Culture Editor Ellen Peirson-Hagger Editorial Assistant Emily Bootle Contributing Writers John Bew Philip Collins Chris Deerin Edward Docx Matthew Engel Martin Fletcher John Gray Helen Lewis Shiraz Maher Paul Mason Adrian Pabst Louise Perry David Reynolds Leo Robson Brendan Simms Ed Smith Amelia Tait Johanna Thomas-Corr Helen Thompson Erica Wagner Phil Whitaker Rowan Williams

Contents Free thinking since 1913

Make or break: Chris Deerin speaks to Nicola Sturgeon 22 Days past: Sophie McBain on lockdown nostalgia 26

Up Front

3 Leader 10 Correspondence


7 Philip Collins on how Labour is becoming a zombie party 9 Jeremy Cliffe on why foreign policy is tilting towards realism over idealism 19 Alan Duncan writes this week’s Diary 21 Helen Thompson asks how an independent Scotland would work as an EU member state 36 Louise Perry on why hyper-sexualisation ruined our love lives


12 In the Picture 13 Comment: David Gauke on how the British economy is already paying for Brexit 14 Commons Confidential: Kevin Maguire This week’s pick of the best gossip from Westminster 16 Encounter: George Eaton speaks to the progressive thinker Mathew Lawrence about how ecosocialism can save the planet 17 First Thoughts: Ailbhe Rea on the voters of Hartlepool and Boris Johnson’s money woes

The Critics: Books 38 Ross Douthat wonders where all the great thinkers have gone 42 Johanna Thomas-Corr on how Rachel Cusk turned midlife crisis into an art 44 The NS Poem “from uncivil” by Andrew McMillan 45 Reviewed in Short A selection of notable new titles 46 Simon Kuper on The Bomber Mafia, Malcolm Gladwell’s history of the men who reinvented warfare


22 Chris Deerin speaks to Nicola Sturgeon and asks if now is the time for Scottish independence 26 Sophie McBain on the curious condition of lockdown nostalgia 28 John Simpson on 100 years of the Chinese Communist Party 32 Leo Robson on Blake Bailey, Philip Roth and whether the work should be judged by the standards of the life

New Statesman Vol 150, No 5618 ISSN 1364-7431 USPS 382260

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4 | NEW STATESMAN | 7-13 MAY 2021