Martin Bright leaves New Statesman


7:21 pm - January 22nd 2009

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New Statesman magazine’s political editor Martin Bright is leaving the magazine. He had been political editor since October, 2005.

Update: A press release has statements from the magazine.
Martin Bright said:

I have been very proud to be the political editor of the New Statesman. It’s one of the best jobs in British journalism. I am grateful to have had the chance to work with such a brilliant team of talented and committed individuals, but after more than three years in the job, the time has come to move on.

Editor Jason Cowley said:

I have only worked with Martin for three months, but I know the whole team at the New Statesman value the outstanding work he has done, and wish him the very best for the future. I hope he will continue to contribute to the magazine.

Press release also states: “[Martin Bright] was responsible for a series of scoops on the government’s troubled relationship with radical Islam, and rendition of terror suspects, for which he won the 2006 Magazine Journalism Award for exclusive of the year. He is moving on to work on a film project.”

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I am not suprised Martin Bright has been under pressurre there for a long time and was very nearly forced out before . Watch for a tame New Labour cheer leader to replace him

I am not suprised Martin Bright has been under pressurre there for a long time and was very nearly forced out before . Watch for a tame New Labour cheer leader to replace him

I’m just glad Bright is going, because the only two people I’ve seen outdo him for poorly conceived rubbish (from those supposedly on a left-of-centre viewpoint) are Nick Cohen and Andrew Gilligan.

But here’s the million dollar question; Does anyone read the New Statesman anymore? According to the ABCs, the answer is “not many.”

I find the Fabian Magazine, combined with the New Internationalist and Private Eye, a welcome substitute for the old beast (which refuses to recognise its local NUJ chapel).

OHIOC

Few read the New Statesman and fewer if anyone read the vanity publishing of the Fabian society .
The thing is ( psssst ) Its entertainment for children anyway . No adult takes any of it seriously . When you have a job and a family you will understand meanwhile you make me laugh

The comparison with Nick Cohen is spot on.

I don’t think it is. Martin has always remained part of the mainstream left and never supported the war in Iraq. I think he will be a loss to the New Statesman – he was quite a strong voice.

I wonder if it had anything to do with the ongoing internal tension over redundancies and NUJ recognition.

Agree with you there, Sunny. I wrote for Martin a few times at the New Statesman and thought he was a very good guy – generous with his time, not at all precious, and committed to the idea of journalism. He let a number of us use his blogspace on the New Statesman site and didn’t question what we wrote for a second. Best of luck to him.

I think he will be a loss to the New Statesman – he was quite a strong voice.

Indeed, he was one of the main reasons I read it.

Bright was not a member of the mainstream left. He was a insider at the neo-con Policy Exchange where he ran a consistent pro Israel, anti-Muslim, anti-Ken Livingstone line.

Bright last blog on Gaza is a disgrace to the New Statesman

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/martin-bright/2009/01/israel-britain-hamas-gaza

where Bright excuses even BICOM (who funded his pro-Zionist trip to Israel) and the egregious Mark Regev.

He won’t be missed by anyone on the real left.

Martin Bright’s attitude to the mayoral elections was appalling, it destroyed my impression of him as an astute political journalist.

Oh, don’t be such pillocks.

Any journalist who dares question Islam is a neocon toady as far as you lot are concerned. I talked about this with Bright when I first met him, because we both shared a deep concern about Islam, and we were both talking about how various nutty members of the far left equated any questioning of Islam with a wholesale abandoning of any claim to socialism. Questioning religion/the various mad sects around the place doesn’t actually mean you’re not a socialist, people. It means you ARE a socialist.

And good on him for looking into Livingstone. A good journalist follows the story, not a party line.

Good grief.

True Kate but he is on what I call the Orwell Road with Nick Coen and others . It ends with becoming a Conservative in all but name

Few read the New Statesman and fewer if anyone read the vanity publishing of the Fabian society .
The thing is ( psssst ) Its entertainment for children anyway . No adult takes any of it seriously . When you have a job and a family you will understand meanwhile you make me laugh

I wouldn’t really call the Fabian Soicety’s publications “vanity publishing” any more than I would call that of Policy Exchange vanity publishing. It serves a purpose like any political thinktank.

As to your jibes about children’s entertainment, I recommend you work on your lines a bit more, they’re not up to scratch.

To elaborate on my comparison to Cohen, it is the mindless equation of Islam, particularly Islam in Britain, to Qu’tbism and the most strict and punishing forms of Sharia law. There’s the distinction between questioning Islam, which is the same as questioning any other religion, and what Cohen and Bright have done. It has become that they present us with their reality, wherein the extreme fringe of Islam represents the entirety of the religion. As if the whole of Muslim society is an authoritarian threat to us all. That is not a socialist.

The ideology of those groups born out of Sayiid Qutb’s ideas and the reaction to Nasser and Middle Eastern dictators like the Shah are a threat and they are dangerous, but they are almost certainly not representative of Islam as a religion, in the same way Wahhabism and the Saudi Royal Family aren’t.

On reflection, I’ve never had any other major points of disagreement with what he has had to say, which has usually been insightful and engaging, but the attitude to Islam and the hatchet job of a documentary into City Hall (which Channel 4 was right to do, because the GLA structure is completely broken, but to personalise it onto Livingstone was pathetic and misleading) means that he is unpalatable to me.

wherein the extreme fringe of Islam represents the entirety of the religion

Do you recall the world wide rejoicing including by sophisticated Turks at 9.11 ? Have you seen some of the statistics about Muslim support for Al Kayeda especially amongst the young. As far as the programme on Ken Livingstone is concerned I`m not sure how aware you are of the reality of left politics and its empire of sinecures in London but he hardly scratched the surface .
Furthermore , his exit from New Statesman has been predicted for a long time and is the end result of along campaign lead by Brown lackeys that was only stalled before because Robinson pulled out his soft funding .

This is New Labour’s work , they are shutting down opposition as the left eventually always do. Its civilised and subtle but a purge nonetheless. I suspect it will take MB further away from Labour

Do you recall the world wide rejoicing including by sophisticated Turks at 9.11 ?

It was largely made up by the media.

Have you seen some of the statistics about Muslim support for Al Kayeda especially amongst the young.

It’s remarkably low.

This is New Labour’s work , they are shutting down opposition as the left eventually always do.

How exactly is a Decentist being laid off from a private sector magazine by its two private sector millionaire owners ‘New Labour’s work’?

Do you recall the world wide rejoicing including by sophisticated Turks at 9.11 ? Have you seen some of the statistics about Muslim support for Al Kayeda especially amongst the young. As far as the programme on Ken Livingstone is concerned I`m not sure how aware you are of the reality of left politics and its empire of sinecures in London but he hardly scratched the surface .
Furthermore , his exit from New Statesman has been predicted for a long time and is the end result of along campaign lead by Brown lackeys that was only stalled before because Robinson pulled out his soft funding .

This is New Labour’s work , they are shutting down opposition as the left eventually always do. Its civilised and subtle but a purge nonetheless. I suspect it will take MB further away from Labour

Do you recall how they held candlelight vigils for the victims of 9/11 in Tehran? Or how the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the groups Bright criticised (with some justification), openly condemned the attacks on the United States? Syria, Hamas, Egypt and Muslim countries all extended their sympathy and condolences to the United States, not snubs or celebration. I’m not going to claim that there were no celebrations, but to claim that they represented the entire Muslim world is ridiculous. My particular issue is how British Muslims have come to be seen as part of the problem; there is no doubt that there is an extremist fringe in this country, but no more so than the loonies at Christian Voice represent the majority of Christians. Can you honestly claim that there is a direct ideological link between Abu Hamza and Sadiq Khan?

Also, I’ve never seen that spelling of Al-Qaeda before. Is it one they made up at ConHome?

As far as the programme about Livingstone is concerned, for someone who claims that leftist intellectualism is childish entertainment, you seem quite determined to portray the left’s politics as one giant conspiracy. If you look at the current mayoral administration, it is clear that the system, not the politics, is the root cause of the GLA’s problems. The lack of accountability to the Assembly, the influence unelected members like Tim Parker can have and the way you can direct funds without consultation undermines London democracy. But it is the system, not the ideology of the left which is at fault. Local democracy as a whole needs restructuring.

Again, can you explain how, on the one hand, you see leftist intellectualism as child’s play, yet on the other hand see a massive NuLab, Blairite-Brownite-Mandelsonian conspiracy against the left itself? To test your theory, I will say something critical of Labour next time I am out in the street and if I an unmarked black van suddenly pulls up in front of me and I am bundled into the back and extradited to Gitmo, I will know you’re right. Thanks to Obama, I’ll be back within a year or so to tell you if that’s happened or not.

Right I cannot prove Martun BRight is Talibrown scalp but here is my evidence :

On September 2008 Matin Bright ended a post thusly

As someone who has experienced at first hand the inept mafioso tactics of Brown’s political gangsters, I could not agree more.
The problem began after the channel 4’s Dispatches programme on Ken . To recap it criticised King Ken for his use of a clique of Trotskyists to run London, his obsession with Jews, his embracing of a ultra-reactionary Islamist cleric, corruption , and contempt for democratic accountability. Fair enough you would think
Brown had jammed on the hate-Ken brakes because he had to defeating Boris Johnson was vital to Brown .It would stop momentum and it was going to be his last chance for a victory London being so comparatively dependent on state hand outs
The owner of New Statesman was , Geoffrey Robinson. Robinson, who of course, is also the Labour MP for Coventry North West and a New Labour insider . Probably what John B would call private sector millionaire …yeah just any old millionaire ( you cretin )
A hate campaign ensued organised by Whelan, soon trade unions were drafted in threatening to withdraw their advertising unless Martin Bright was fired . I followed this in Private Eye
By April 2008Private Eye was onto this story, and identified what has saved Bright’s bacon so far:
Michael Danson . However, the demands for Bright’s head did not abate .The Tribune noted:
“RANCOUR in the ranks at the New Statesman where new editor Jason Cowley is adopting the old Fleet Street ways with his new broom and axing the magazine’s columnists in what one victim describes as a “bloody massacre”. Mr Cowley, late of briefly editing Granta, even tried to ditch the weekly column penned by political editor Martin Bright, who at one time was tipped for the top job. Mr Bright’s column, which is usually the only item appearing under his name, has apparently survived due to the fact that it is protected by contract.”
These wore the closing words in the Tribune

Watch that renewal date. Discord has been stirred further by Mr Cowley’s decision to delegate the dirty work to the acting editor for nine months, Sue Matthias, who is both popular among the staff and is considered to have improved the politically barren organ while in the editor’s chair. He is now known as Jason Cowardly.
That is my evidence that Martin Bright`s departure is the work of New Labour and in particular allies of Gordon Brown , As we know plenty more beef has been added to his inter galactic spin team since and I have no doubt the pressure has been turned up and up . Brown must have know that Bright was his mortal enemy and he would not have such man in situ on what is after all a Labour propaganda rag which could not survive without soft funding.

Are we done on Martin Bright then

Good

Ahem missed a bit from Private Eye

By April, Private Eye was onto this story, and identified what has saved Bright’s bacon so far:
“CHARLIE WHELAN, Gordon Brown’s former spin doctor, still acts as an enforcer for his old boss and at the British Press Awards was on his usual thuggish form. Late in the evening, when Whelan was a little tired and emotional,……..“I’m no fan of Livingstone, but Martin Bright should not be political editor after what he did,” he said. “I’m going to talk to Geoffrey… He can’t allow criticism of Gordon. If Geoffrey’s got any sense, he’ll listen.”

You’re not covering yourself in glory by calling people cretins you cretinous cretin, you. I appreciate you’re here to re-educate the cretinous leftist-liberal hordes which you see as the root of all evil and responsible for all problems in this country, but you’d win more respect if you showed that you thought other people were humans, as opposed to your current treatment as if we are all cretinous abstract vessels, only good for regurgitating ideology.

As to your theory that Bright is a Brownite scalping, it holds some merit, because politicians have exercised power and influence like this before. But, I seriously doubt it is a concerted effort to Get Carter Bright. It is like a conspiracy theory, which assumes that the people in power are a pervasive and co-ordinated power, an assumption which is slightly weird coming from you given you spend a lot of your time telling us how god awful Labour are.

What Private Eye’s articles show is not a conspiracy against Bright, but how corrupt the entire PR/Media Management part of politics is and it isn’t just Labour. Need you be reminded of the Conservative spin doctor, Andy Coulson, and his behaviour at Screws of the World? Accusations of bullying, abuse and the wiretapping scandal formed his legacy at News International.

G. Robinson of Smith Institute New Statesman and off shore cash infamy cannot be described as a “Private Sector Millionaire” in this context and as such showing this has nothing to do with New Labour without an accusation of mental enfeeblement . Its only John B anyway he will not burst into tears I assure you.

OHOC , I may have been a little overly combative but come on there is always a , yes but , yes but , Look at the Tribune piece again and decide for yourself what has happened here I mean come on. On Islam I will if I get a moment get out the figures and knock your Mooslim points into a cocked hat . I used to live near Fins bury Park Mosque under which a cache of arms was discovered . Of course it might just as easily been under the Methodist church according to you ( not ).

Brown has dark malignant talent for spin and power and in every other way he is a clown show . Its not an unusual combination actually , the incompetence of authoritarian loons is a small comedy played out behind larger concerns but its pretty funny in its way. The truth is Stalin was like a giant murderous Mr. Bean .

OHOC , I may have been a little overly combative but come on there is always a , yes but , yes but , Look at the Tribune piece again and decide for yourself what has happened here I mean come on. On Islam I will if I get a moment get out the figures and knock your Mooslim points into a cocked hat . I used to live near Fins bury Park Mosque under which a cache of arms was discovered . Of course it might just as easily been under the Methodist church according to you ( not ).

Brown has dark malignant talent for spin and power and in every other way he is a clown show . Its not an unusual combination actually , the incompetence of authoritarian loons is a small comedy played out behind larger concerns but its pretty funny in its way. The truth is Stalin was like a giant murderous Mr. Bean .

There’s a difference between overly combative and out and out abuse.

Do you know what there’s always a “yes, but?” It’s because things aren’t black and white, it is because there are so many levels of nuance that you have to otherwise you look like an absolutist fool.

As to Islam, you’ve had your moment, but feel free to take some more. But according to you, every mosque in the country is like Finsbury Park mosque and every Muslim is a version of Mohammed Sadiq Khan or Abu Hamza. It is just the politics of fear; every Muslim is a potential threat, every beard or burqa is either listed as a refusal to integrate (which is wrong, what you mean is assimilate) or a dangerous threat to our society.

Congratulations on the last paragraph though, you’ve earned yourself a nomination for inappropriate totalitarian comparison of the week. You’re up against some tough competition though, Brian Coleman has most of the other nominations.

Blimey give me a break I do have a family to amuse all day. On nuance, as CS Lewis put it there are endless answers to a question until you know the right one , then there is one . Prepare to hear it .
Initially I must ask how you feel confident to make judgements about a community whose brothers and mothers are unable to spot murders at breakfast until after they have attempted to dump planes all over American Cities ? Do tell….
Facts
The Deobandi the ultra conservative sect responsible for spawning the Taliban has succeed in taking over 600 of Britain’s 1350 Mosques and 17 of Britain’s 26 Seminaries
MI5 boss (2007) Jonathan Evans said there were , then at least 4000 active terrorist plotters in Britain at that time . ( Think how may active IRA members there were and the support at entailed ),At that time he predicted a rise of 400 per year .
This was a steep rise but also another layer to an inner core which in 2006 April was put at 400 trained and ready to attack by The Home office . An estimated 16000 at that time were involved in a wider network at that time with 3000 having passed through training camps at some time
( Populus Survey 2007 – 40% of Muslims between 16 and 24 would prefer to live under Sharia Law ).
One in eight young Muslims admire -Al qa`eda and are “prepared to fight the West .
Three out of four young Muslims would prefer women to wear the veil or hijab. 40% of young Muslims said they would prefer their children to attend an Islamic school. .
Times 2006 -7% of Muslims thought suicide bombing was justified under some circumstances and that rose to 16% if there was a military target . This remember is UK Muslims talking about suicide bombing the UK. 13% though the 7.7 bombers were Martyrs , that’s about 256000
2004 Home office survey found that 26 % of British Muslims felt no loyalty to Britain at all(520,000).13% defended Terrorism
In 2001 15% of UK Muslims supported the terrorist attacks on thre USA and in 2004 13% felt further attacks on the USA were justified
1 in 10 actually supported the 7 ,7 attacks on our own country (200,000 ?)Another Poll found that in 2004 found that 32 % believed Western society is decadent and Muslims should, seek to bring it to an end
Opinion
So we have a picture of a core of trained fighters in the hundreds , thousands further who can be called on to fight and a wider active support system of about 16000. Outside that there is enthusiastic support from up to 250000 ? That at least is what they say in surveys . This by the way is rapidly worsening , the young being significantly more radical than the old .Moving to the so called moderate voices we cannot know but it does not appear they are actually opposed in an real way to this large minority within their community
Anecdotal Evidence
The BCM denied the London bombings had anything to do with Islam
Mohamed Nasseem ( Birmingham Central) denied there was any proof the bombers were Muslims
Dr. Azzam Tammini of the Muslim Association said “ God Knows what will happen after , …as long as we are in Iraq “
The marketing manager for Muslims Weekly said At the end of the day these things are going to happen if current British foreign policy continues ….”
No outright condemnation
Murder has specific support from thre Koran …” Those who make war von god and his apostle and spread disoeerder in the land shall be slain crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides or be banished from the land .
Speculation
I think it would be fair to take the IRA as a model and extrapolate likely outer rings of support or tolerance from their numbers which are easier to get at as the IRA has an open political wing . I have not done it yet but thats the sort of approach I would take anyway . . Its really hard to say what the equivalent to a Sinn Fein vote would be , I `d guess about 750,000 but you have all my evidence what do you think ?
Perhaps you think that’s fine. I think it is shocking and frightening .It is certainly not a position that has a parallel as you suggested in the UK`s Christian groups ?

I’m not sure why I’m bothering to engage with the loony in the room… but Robinson doesn’t have a significant involvement with the NS these days, it’s Danson’s publication and run more or less as part of Danson’s media group. The suggestion that it’s a Broonite conspiracy is utter madness.

(and the AQ-friendly numbers are still way lower than Boston Catholics’ IRA-ness pre-2001…)

John , can you not just admit you are , on this occasion wrong ..I gather Danson is going to buy Robinson out in three years but Robinson is the 50% owner and chairman so that is irrelevant . Danson in any case is a Labour insider who put a five figure sum into Labour Home . He is not just a ‘Businessman’ he is a New Labour Ashcroft providing soft funding .Naturally he will be in discussions with New Labour about how that would be best used . That makes your original silly remark so wrong you are making yourself look a prat clinging onto it.( Just private Sector Millionaires …. )
Also that’s without the Unions making threats ,the editor , recently appointed by both , edging Bright out . Perhaps this has nothing to do with his criticism of Brown and Livingstone . Perhaps there is nothing in the Tribune story , the Private Eye rumours and what Bright has said himself . Perhaps John B is going to wake up with a brain run out backwards and join the Conservative Party . Its all possible …..
……………..but I doubt it . Yeeeesh .

I think you are agreeing with me on the IRA Mooslim comparison then ? The IRA has Sinn Fein and supporting its ends is , from a certain perspective ,(especially from miles away) a respectable position , You choice of group is designed to mislead of course .This is a well known oddity because of a special historical tie and the bombs are not going off in Boston. Sticking to the UK ,I was arguing that the Muslims support for Terrorism and levels of sympathy from a core was something comparable with the IRA/Sinn Fein in N Ireland and not a tiny isolated minority as was suggested .
I think you are agreeing . I have provided evidence my guess is the “Sinn fein” vote would be say 600,000 to 700,000 the number who say they have no loyalty to this country at all ?
Its not a few bad apples is it. New Labour have imported a lethal problem which they now require more and more authoritarian measures to control. Good job. Nice work . Well done .

He is not just a ‘Businessman’ he is a New Labour Ashcroft providing soft funding

No, he’s bought two independent Labour-leaning media properties. AIUI he’s not given any money at all to the party.

oops

….
This guff also found its way into the New Statesman under Bright`s name . I took Martin Bright to task on it and had a most interesting exchange( he said he had voiced his own doubt and produced evidence ) . This is suggestive because under Bright NS veered wildly from hilarious Brownite hagiography to sharp criticism. The Smith Institute rents office space from the New Statesmen you know .

Its probably , as you say just a business decision ….arf arf

Can I get some source(s) with comment no.21?

27. david brough

OK, if Islam is as bad as you say it is, what would you do about it? What would Cameron do? You can sit here whining, or you can make some constructive comments if you’re able.

Look who’s writing for the Daily Mail…

http://tinyurl.com/ca7232


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