MATT KELLY: We wish we didn’t need to exist. We’re glad we do
PUBLISHED: 17:26 21 June 2018 | UPDATED: 20:29 23 June 2018
Every week, for 100 weeks now, The New European have been energetically campaigning against Brexit – the only newspaper in the UK to do this consistently says Editor, MATT KELLY
You don’t read The New European. You step into it like a hot bath*.
Every week, for 100 weeks now, we’ve been energetically campaigning against Brexit – the only newspaper in the UK to do this consistently. Our reward has been an extraordinary level of interest, passion and support from you, our readers.
We are a very small team, but over the last two years we have been joined in our efforts by a quite extraordinary cast list of experts, writers, thinkers, cartoonists and designers.
It would be wrong to single any out, but they all share our determination that this country needs a vibrant newspaper to express the loathing of Brexit so many feel, but which is barely represented in mainstream media.
Launching The New European in such a flurry, just nine days after the referendum, inevitably meant we were making it up as we went along. And we haven’t stopped.
The paper continues to evolve in both format and content, but there are, despite the real changes we’ve made on the hoof as we’ve published these 100 issues, certain consistencies. Expertise, conviction, passionate argument… and a certain irreverence towards some of Brexit’s sacred cows.
I’m proud to say it’s a recipe that’s pleased you (most of the time, anyway – the Arron Banks column was, in hindsight, a case of thinking too far out of the box).
And we’ve wound-up all the right people too.
We’ve had to tolerate the full spectrum of Brexiteer characteristics; the hectoring, the absence of critical thinking, the arrogance, the bile, the attempts to shout down the argument, the wilful blindness to facts and, far too often, the plain-old downright stupidity. And that’s just John Humphrys.
Fortunately, the encouragement we get from you, our readers, more than sustains our enthusiasm for the cause. More often than not, it’s our front pages you react to. Every week we try our best to capture both the mood of the Remainers, and the attention of the casual newspaper buyer browsing the newsstand.
Since securing advertising in The New European remains a challenge (if you happen to have any spare change in the marketing budget of a business you are involved in, we’d love to hear from you!) it’s our subscribers and newsstand buyers who keep us going.
So attracting attention in the most competitive news market in the world is important. But so too is having a laugh, and although there are a few stinkers in the 100 covers contained in the following pages, we still look at the majority with pride.
We’ve never tried to be a newspaper in the traditional sense of the word. Though we insist on accuracy, and strive to provide an entertaining and enlightening package of content each week, we’ve never really tried to cover the week’s news in a thorough way.
Instead we prefer to think we are giving voice to the eclectic arguments, insight and analysis, across a vast spectrum of topics, that keep alive the idea that Brexit should, and can, be stopped.
That is our unequivocal manifesto.
In so many ways, we wish this newspaper never had cause to exist. But in the circumstances, we are very glad it does.
One small anecdote: At a conference last October, a man in a Stop Brexit t-shirt approached me and urgently enquired if I was indeed the editor of The New European. Before I could shout for security, he had grabbed my arm and said: “That paper has kept me sane.”
I laughed and said something blithe in reply. “No,” he said, very earnestly. “I’m not kidding. Each week, The New European has kept me sane.” I was in no doubt he meant it.
This curiosity you’re holding right now, this forty-two gram per square metre paper spun through a press at three thousand feet a minute, smeared with black ink, yellow, magenta, cyan, is certainly a newspaper.
But it’s much else besides; a gap in the market, a community of readers, an articulated rage.
It’s not the quality of its journalism that makes The New European special, but the quality of its hope.
* With apologies to Marshall McLuhan