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Editor-in-chief Jason Cowley Head of Digital David Tomchak 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 Designer Emily Black 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

Directionless: Robert Colls on Boris Johnson’s UK 32 A fragmented kingdom: Chris Deerin on the Union 20

Up Front


3 Leader 10 Correspondence


7 Stephen Bush on how only a change of UK prime minister can avert Scottish independence 9 Joanna Cherry writes this week’s Diary 19 Philip Collins on how Keir Starmer can avoid becoming another failed Labour leader 25 Louise Perry on France’s reckoning with historic child sex abuse cases 31 Helen Thompson on how the vaccine crisis has revealed the EU’s true nature 36 Jonathan Liew on whether the world still needs the Olympics 20 Chris Deerin on whether

12 In the Picture 13 Comment: Nick Burns on why the US is ideally placed to meet the demands of a coronavirus world 14 Commons Confidential: Kevin Maguire This week’s pick of the best gossip from Westminster 16 Encounter: Anoosh Chakelian speaks to the pioneering epidemiologist Tim Spector 17 First Thoughts: Peter Wilby on Andrew Neil’s GB News 18 Newsmaker: India Bourke on the late Nobel-winning scientist Paul Crutzen


Westminster can prevent a second Scottish independence referendum 26 Brendan Simms and Charles Clarke on why the UK’s alliance with the Baltic states matters 32 Robert Colls on how the pandemic has left Britain in the middle of nowhere

The Critics: Books

38 Leo Robson on why Joan Didion’s writing on American culture was so revealing about herself 42 Johanna Thomas-Corr relishes Francis Spufford’s novel of postwar Britain, Light Perpetual 43 NS Recommends A selection of the best new reading 44 Stephen Bush on two books that examine empire and its legacy by Sathnam Sanghera and Kehinde Andrews 47 The NS Poem “Midland” by Grey Gowrie

New Statesman Vol 150, No 5606 ISSN 1364-7431 USPS 382260

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