Four years on, The New European will keep asking the questions that matter

PUBLISHED: 13:52 25 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:03 25 June 2020

The New European. Photo: Archant

The New European. Photo: Archant

Archant

The newspaper’s founder MATT KELLY on how its guiding focus remains as relentless now as it ever was.

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Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.

In a famous scene from Withnail and I – Bruce Robinson’s 1987 masterpiece following two bohemian actors’ weekend break in a wild Penrith fellside cottage – Richard E Grant’s Withnail accosts the local farmer, pleading with him for food.

“We’ve gone on holiday by mistake,” he explains, desperately.

There have been many times in the past four years when I and the small team who produce The New European each week have understood the sentiment all too well.

We’ve launched a newspaper by mistake.

The New European still bears the words “a pop-up publication” in every issue, but in truth this has become an affectation. What started life nine days after the referendum as a four-issue project, this week publishes issue number 200.

It’s a milestone we are very proud of, and hope that you – our readers – are equally proud. Your support is our lifeblood.

Since I stepped aside as editor, I can now put away any false modesty and
heap praise on my successor – Jasper Copping.

The New European under his editorship has continued to improve, week after week. It is a consistently terrific newspaper; as broad in its coverage of arts and culture as it is focussed in its determination to provide a platform for ideas that can lead our great country from the political mess in which it is currently mired.

Together with Chris Barker, our cover artist extraordinaire, Jasper’s New Europeans are consistently combative, intelligent, witty, revelatory, and – a quality some newspapers seem to have forgotten about – bloody interesting reads.

I am all too conscious that The New European has, at times in the past, seemed to be trapped in the fuzz of an angry rage. Brexit does that to you now and again. I’m sure you don’t need telling that.

There was, and is, plenty to rage about. We’ve never had any time for Boris Johnson (and we believe his government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis is making our case in horrifically costly fashion) and Jeremy Corbyn proved, as we feared, hopeless as the leader of the opposition and poisonous as the leader of the Labour Party.

So many people – and I’m supposing the majority of regular New European readers fall into this category – felt politically homeless in those bewildering years.

The umbrella of ‘Remain’ provided a degree of shelter, but however strongly you feel about our membership of the European Union (and I hope our credentials here can go unsaid) the challenges facing the country don’t end there.

Our schools need refunding, our health service needs restructuring, our infrastructure – especially in those places that will suffer the most from Brexit – needs rebuilding.

Our society, which has been exposed in recent years as something far short of the hubristic myth of British exceptionalism, needs challenging.

Our Union needs reinforcing, or replacing with a new relationship founded on maximising opportunity for all our citizens, wherever they live, whatever their demographic, skin or gender.

Britain needs radical new ideas.

We need leaders with enough sense to put political dogmas aside and enough humility to look beyond Westminster for the answers to the one question that matters. The only question that ever mattered:

How can Britain emerge as a better, fairer, happier country than the one that went to the polls on June 23, 2016?

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Thank you for your support (and the best way to support us is to take out a subscription – see page three for details of our absurdly generous introduction offer).

We look forward to the next 100 issues of The New European bursting with radical ideas to remake our country. And an awful lot of interesting distraction besides. In a famous scene from Withnail and I – Bruce Robinson’s 1987 masterpiece following two bohemian actors’ weekend break in a wild Penrith fellside cottage – Richard E Grant’s Withnail accosts the local farmer, pleading with him for food.

“We’ve gone on holiday by mistake,” he explains, desperately.

There have been many times in the past four years when I and the small team who produce The New European each week have understood the sentiment all too well.

We’ve launched a newspaper by mistake.

The New European still bears the words “a pop-up publication” in every issue, but in truth this has become an affectation. What started life nine days after the referendum as a four-issue project, this week publishes issue number 200.

It’s a milestone we are very proud of, and hope that you – our readers – are equally proud. Your support is our lifeblood.

Since I stepped aside as editor, I can now put away any false modesty and heap praise on my successor – Jasper Copping.

The New European under his editorship has continued to improve, week after week. It is a consistently terrific newspaper; as broad in its coverage of arts and culture as it is focussed in its determination to provide a platform for ideas that can lead our great country from the political mess in which it is currently mired.

Together with Chris Barker, our cover artist extraordinaire, Jasper’s New Europeans are consistently combative, intelligent, witty, revelatory, and – a quality some newspapers seem to have forgotten about – bloody interesting reads.

I am all too conscious that The New European has, at times in the past, seemed to be trapped in the fuzz of an angry rage. Brexit does that to you now and again. I’m sure you don’t need telling that.

There was, and is, plenty to rage about. We’ve never had any time for Boris Johnson (and we believe his government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis is making our case in horrifically costly fashion) and Jeremy Corbyn proved, as we feared, hopeless as the leader of the opposition and poisonous as the leader of the Labour Party.

So many people – and I’m supposing the majority of regular New European readers fall into this category – felt politically homeless in those bewildering years.

The umbrella of ‘Remain’ provided a degree of shelter, but however strongly you feel about our membership of the European Union (and I hope our credentials here can go unsaid) the challenges facing the country don’t end there.

Our schools need refunding, our health service needs restructuring, our infrastructure – especially in those places that will suffer the most from Brexit – needs rebuilding.

Our society, which has been exposed in recent years as something far short of the hubristic myth of British exceptionalism, needs challenging.

Our Union needs reinforcing, or replacing with a new relationship founded on maximising opportunity for all our citizens, wherever they live, whatever their demographic, skin or gender.

Britain needs radical new ideas.

We need leaders with enough sense to put political dogmas aside and enough humility to look beyond Westminster for the answers to the one question that matters. The only question that ever mattered:

How can Britain emerge as a better, fairer, happier country than the one that went to the polls on June 23, 2016?

Thank you for your support (and the best way to support us is to take out a subscription – see page three for details of our absurdly generous introduction offer).

We look forward to the next 100 issues of The New European bursting with radical ideas to remake our country. And an awful lot of interesting distraction besides.

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

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