Saturday, April 09, 2011

Jemima Khan: Why is a rich, connected socialite guest editing the New Statesman?

Jemima Khan
The divine newspaper columnist Suzanne Moore has made her thoughts known on the topic of Jemima Khan guest editing the current issue of the New Statesman. As a former writer on the little-read publication, who departed amid some acrimony, she's entitled. Suzanne has no personal beef with the fragrant Jemima but does wonder on a social network site, slyly, whether the magazine may 'walk the walk on social mobility.'

By this I assume she means: when will the left-wing organ open up the editorial floodgates to talents who are not the spawn of very famous rich families and/or international socialites with a lot of crawly friends? Suzanne speculates aloud whether Peaches Geldof might succeed Jemima (next time editor and former Durannie Jason Cowley fancies undertaking some Big Society work).

I must say Jemima wins the Madame Arcati Award for Self-Promotion. Just about every piece she either wrote or commissioned was pushed on Twitter - I adore the musk of ambition and cannot criticise the poppet. Thanks to Jemima we now know that Nick Clegg blubs to music; though student face-readers will have already discerned the moany cry-baby countenance in repose. In May he will be crying an awful lot, alas.

Now that Jemima has reminded us that non-editors tend to do a better job than editors as editors, may I suggest that Suzanne Moore be invited to guest edit an edition of the New Statesman in the not too distant future. Her brief reign would be a reminder of what this magazine once stood for - and exemplify the meritocracy Mr Clegg now espouses (without a mandate, natch).

PS Helen Lewis, assistant editor of the New Statesman, tweets me: 'Well, I worked with her [Jemima] on it, and thought she was lovely (and brought in great articles). You can quote me on that!'

PPS Another tweet: mailto:'tlcSW7@Madame_Arcati re guest ed "it was an ironic move in a week when the gov't announced an end to upaid internships for the rich"'

PPPS Suzanne Moore tweets: 'My issue with Jemima is not at [all] personal. She did a good job .It is entirely political. I want jobs to go to unemployed talents.'

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

The cheap point you're trying to make is deafeated by the excellence of Jemima's issue. She cannot unmake herself.

Rachelat CatalanCooking said...

Dear Anon,
Its not a cheap point. It's a very relevant political one, lots of people could have done a good job guest editing The New Statesman.
Did it have to be a rich heiress socialite, who has previously shown no aptitude for anything other than that?
Seems to me that the New Statesman has lost itself in a fug of celebrity.

Ciaran Rehill said...

She was at Manor Hall at Bristol under the reign of Crossley-Evans. Wasn't it queer that all his hall wardens (or most) were good looking boys?

Madame Arcati said...

One has to get the interior decor right, I guess.

Elly said...

Hi

I am not sure about 'personal' but Suzanne Moore does have a 'beef' with Jemima Khan. Suzanne is pissed off with Khan for supporting Assange and providing bail during his trial over the rape allegations.

I am afraid I see Moore's critique in the context of that political disagreement.

Anonymous said...

If a talent is unemployed it probably is a no-talent. Talent is thrusting and go-getting, not wimpish. I hope the next guest-editor will be Princess Anne.

Not a Fan of Suzanne said...

Suzanne Moore is not an editor.
Suzanne can barely string a lucid sentence together and has difficulties remembering what she did last night.
She has "beef" with Jemima because Jemima is talented, beautiful, rich and people care what she writes unlike Suzanne's writing which is like looking at tatty clothes that need to go in the delicate cycle.
And when did this emerald isle become a meritocracy? If there was any tonic in the statement about talent having mileage Suzanne would have been ditched. Eons ago. Reading Suzanne "look at me and my sluttish shoes" Moore is like watching one of your mother's old school friends get v pissed and make a total tart of herself. Or a caricature on Spitting Image with a slash of red lipstick where her brain should be. Oh come on Suxzanne, you have to be able to take it like a woman if you want to dish it out.
Just saying.

suzanne moore said...

As for Elly's remark I have no "beef" with Jemima. I dont agree with her on Assange nor the NS take on him as a whole. But we have tweeted about nits of all things and always been perfectly friendly.
I am usually able to get on with those I dont agree with and had a chat with Helena Kennedy about the case , again on the "opposing " side to me who I very much admire.
I do have strong feelings about the magazine however having written for it under various editors for 20 years. And my concern with social mobility and the left is not new. Indeed I did a a big essay on it after 10 years of Blair For the New Statesman. Its on their archives if anyone wants to read it.

A writer said...

Jason Cowley has steered the NS into a kind of Coalition neutrality that Blair might have cooked up. It's now possible for anyone to 'guest-edit' the magazine provided he or she is not a dogamtic or committed member of the labour party; a unionist or some other kind of leftish ideologue.

Oddly enough, Jemima Khan is soft-left - quite extreme by Colwy's standards.

Why Durannie?

Anonymous said...

Here is an example of Suzanne's desperate need to be recognised as part of the cool gang. She is on Tweeting terms with the adorable Jemima Khan.

I wonder if Jemima has considered de-lousing herself post-discourse with La Moore?

You're a middle class bint from Norwich. Deal with it.

Elly said...

I am sure you get on with people you disagree with Suzanne. Some of them.

I haven't read this edition anyway. But I don't expect anything more from the 'left' media than I do from the 'right'. It tends to be the same people writing for both as far as I can see...

Madame Arcati said...

Now, now. That's enough abuse of Suzanne. Let's focus on Prince Andrew guest-editing the Staggers.

Elly said...

I think Prince Andrew might do a better job than whoever is editing Staggers at the moment. I thought they didn't even have editors the quality of writing is so poor. But apparently they do.

And half of them are up for Orwell Prizes for blogging.

Poor George must be turning in his grave.

Madame Arcati said...

Cowley vowed to make the NS a strong literary mag and dilute the politics, which suits the owner. I'm not sure that the mag has yet recognised the unions - perhaps someone can update on this.

hack_daniels said...

No, no NUJ recognition and around 1/3 of those putting the mag together are unpaid. And Cowley makes 100k. (All this from the Eye ages ago. Has never been challenged by anyone from the NS).

Madame Arcati said...

Thank you hack for this info. A £100k for selling a few copies a week? Wonders.

Anonymous said...

Jemima's editorship worked cos it's got you lot worked up about it. Lots of free publicity. You're all a bunch a of moth-eaten old lefties out of touch. And ancient madame is a fucking medciaeval astrologer for chrissakes. Are you mad?

valerie said...

I know Elly has a beef with me.
The other cowards should check their facts. I cant write but have 2 columns in national newspapers while they publish where exactly?
I dont come from Norwich??? That is below the belt.
Hack is right . No union and ex -eds gagged . But today NS hosting discussion on whistle-blowing with St Julian himself....

Not a Fan of Suzanne said...

Ipswich Norwich. Who cares?
Grow old gracefully.
Actually just go away.
No one cares Suzanne.

theundergroundrestaurant said...

Delicious gossip as ever Victor.
I concur with Suzanne's point but have to admit Jemima did a great job. I loved the Hugh Grant reportage with a newspaper pap now pub owner.

Old Fart said...

Because of Jemima I bought a copy of the NS for the first time in years and greatly enjoyed it. I have absolutely no interest in her wealth, family, celebrity or any other irrelevance, on in whether she can put a magazine together. She has the contacts to pull in big names and big names sell copies. It's a no-brainer. An issue edited by Suzanne Moore in all likelihood would be preachy, worthy and rather dull. The left lost its sense of humour with Willie Hamilton.

Elly said...

'Valerie' is that you Suzanne?

Why are you calling yourself Valerie is that your drag name?!

I do have a 'beef' with you yes. Especially when you always bring on your 'status' as a columnist to prove your worth. There are plenty of columnists who I believe can't write for toffee. As you have pointed out yourself, the media, like politics is not a 'meritocracy' but a rich/upper-middle-class boys' and girls' club. It has little to do with talent I am afraid.

Here is a letter to the New Statesman regarding the boys' club aspect of the left wing media:

http://footstepsinthedarkzine.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/an-open-letter-to-the-new-statesman-re-httptinyurl-com6dxnpvx/

The late Pilger said...

Why go for the New Statesman when you should be directing your frustrations at the privileged Tory boys on the Telegraph? Their blogs contain content that's borderline racist, downright sexist, imperialistic, pig-ignorant and denialist (from global warming to any kind of faith). All the writers are Oxbridge daddy's boys from the same cut who rehearse their best lines in wine bars around the Spectator neighbourhood. Know your friends and your enemies. The NS is imperfect but a lot better than the scum who toil for the tax exiles Barclays.

Anonymous said...

To my knowledge, Suzanne does not owe her current status as a leading newspaper columnist to privilege or wealth. She is self-evidently blessed in the art of articulating reader thoughts and pursuing agendas unfashionable in our generally conservative media. Even supposedly leftwing publications, such as the NS, is basically tradition-based with the same kind of 'professional' journalists doing what their owners tell them to do. That Suzanne has survived on the borderline Nazi Mail on Sunday is itself a miracle. I rest my case.

Elly said...

Agreed Anonymous. But Suzanne is making out that having a newspaper column qualifies her to speak on issues, and indicates her worth as a writer.

I know many brilliant writers who do not have newspaper columns! And I know many columnists who cannot string a sentence together.

Not Alastair Campbell or his Ex. said...

"I had no idea she worked for the New Statesman. I don't read the Mail on Sunday. But professing commitment to leftwing values in that rightwing rag lends a somewhat weakened credibility to anything she says."
Alastair Campbell.
There. I rest my case.
Who actually READS anything Suzanne Moore writes? Anywhere? The Guardian column is surely a piss-take.

moth eaten old leftie said...

Why doesn't Ms Moore agree with Jemima re; Assange ?. He's a most unlikable character but he's been done wrong.

Anonymous said...

I had been informed that Madame Arcati had passed away sometime ago. Now I see she's back from her wrongly reported death and as devious as ever. I'm telling Rachel Johnson everything.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who writes or has written for the Daily Mail loses any right whatsoever to comment on the politics or credibility of anyone else

One-time NS writer said...

The New Statesman lost its way politically years ago. So Jemima Khan is as good an editor as any and at least has the contacts to phone up useful or powerful people to do things for next to nothing. The magazine would benefit from glamour and polish in fact. For too long it's been a synonym for dreariness.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable bitching in the commentary here, esp. towards Suzanne Moore. Really, it is unbelievable how mean people become when online in comparison to the usual norms of social conducti n every day life. Forget 'road rage', we ought rename this form of equivalent behavious' as 'cyber-rage'...

Ciaran Rehill said...

Gimme a job!

Anonymous said...

Wow, looks like Jemima has a lot of "friends' here or is Jemima defending herself....