|Categories||politics, world affairs, arts and culture|
|First issue||June 2008|
|Company||Social Affairs Unit Magazines Limited|
Standpoint is a monthly British cultural and political magazine. Its premier issue was published in June 2008. Standpoint is based in London and was co-founded by Daniel Johnson, Miriam Gross, Jonathan Foreman and Michael Mosbacher; Johnson was its first editor, but announced on 11 December 2018 that he was standing down, and that a new editor would be announced shortly.
The magazine describes its core mission as being "to celebrate western civilisation", its arts and its values – in particular democracy, debate and freedom of speech – at a time when they are under threat. The magazine is broadly centre-right in orientation, but aims to include a "broad church" and to capitalise on the realignment of political attitudes in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The magazine has sought to revive the art of the essay in Britain, calling itself a response to "a market swamped by the journalistic equivalent of fast food".
The magazine features dialogue interviews, in which two experts, often with opposing views, discuss an issue of contemporary importance. An edited transcript of the conversation is then published in the magazine. Examples include playwright Simon Gray discussing the role of theatre in society with critic Charles Spencer, the former Chancellor Nigel Lawson discussing global warming with Tory policy chief Oliver Letwin, Lionel Shriver discussing NHS challenges with Karol Sikora, the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove debating school reform with Chris Woodhead, and Nicholas Mosley and Sir Raymond Carr discussing the rise of fascism in Britain. The magazine also devotes significant space to new poetry and the visual arts. The first edition included new drawings by David Hockney and a 2011 issue included new poems by Geoffrey Hill.
Standpoint is self-consciously transatlantic in both style and content, and has been compared to America's National Review, which greeted the launch of Standpoint by publishing an article ending with the words "Rejoice, and subscribe!". Considering itself a rare pro-American voice in the UK, it aims to introduce American writers and American intellectual style to British readers.
Contributors to the magazine have included Clive James, Jonathan Bate, Michael Burleigh, Ian Bostridge, Joseph Bottum, Julie Burchill, Robert Conquest, George Walden and Douglas Murray, Paul Wolfowitz, Allan Massie, Piers Paul Read, Craig Raine, Joseph Epstein, and Tibor Fischer. Bloggers on the StandpointOnline website include Michael Burleigh, Nick Cohen, Peter Whittle, Jessica Duchen and Joshua Rozenberg.
Standpoint ignited nationwide controversy with its first issue, in which Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, called for the Church to regain a prominent position in public life and blamed the "newfangled and insecurely founded doctrine of multiculturalism" for entrenching the segregation of communities. Nazir-Ali claimed that the decline of Christianity and the rise of liberal values in the UK during the 1960s had created a moral vacuum which Islamic extremism threatened to fill. "We have argued that it is necessary to understand where we have come from, to guide us to where we are going, and to bring us back when we wander too far from the path of national destiny", the bishop wrote. The Guardian newspaper devoted its leader (lead editorial) to criticising the bishop, although it described his writing as "neatly underlining [Standpoint]’s expressed intent ‘to defend and celebrate Western civilisation’". Nazir-Ali was condemned by the Ramadhan foundation and the President of the National Secular Society, who accused him of "doing the BNP’s work", but was praised by The Daily Telegraph.
Standpoint was founded in May 2008. The advisory board includes, amongst others, playwright, Tom Stoppard; tenor Ian Bostridge; the Labour MP and former minister, Frank Field; artist David Hockney; Nigel Lawson, the former Chancellor; novelist, V. S. Naipaul; and the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove.
- The first issue included art by David Hockney, poetry by Robert Conquest, criticism by Andrew Marr, articles by Ian Bostridge, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, Jung Chang, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Tim Congdon, Michael Burleigh, Douglas Murray, Edward Lucas, Jay Nordlinger, Bruce Bawer, and Jonathan Bate.
- The second included an article by Melanie Phillips about the Muhammad al-Durrah incident, claiming the boy was not dead and that it was a "deadly fabrication".
- "The Mole", a different anonymous whistleblower each month, exposing scandals in government or industry.
- "Marketplace", economic analysis by Tim Congdon
- "Points East and West", international politics commentary by Emanuele Ottolenghi
- "The Outsider", political notes by Douglas Murray.
- "On the Contrary", musings on life's trials and tribulations by Lionel Shriver
- "Living History", international politics commentary by Michael Burleigh
- "European Eye", notes from the Continent by Mara Delius
- "Jurisprudence", legal commentary from Joshua Rozenberg
- Semenchenko, Oleksa (June 1, 2008). "World: 'Standpoint' Looks To Move The Earth". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "After more than ten years, founder of Standpoint magazine Daniel Johnson stands down as Editor", Standpoint website, accessed 13 January 2019
- Standpoint magazine's mission statement Archived June 1, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Standpoint Media Pack
- "Welcome to Standpoint". Standpointmag.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_11_60/ai_n25489364M[dead link]
- Pigott, Robert (May 28, 2008). "Britain left with 'moral vacuum'". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "Bishop's move". The Guardian. Leader. May 30, 2008. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- Beckford, Martin (May 29, 2008). "Bishop of Rochester 'doing the BNP's work'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "Right or wrong, the Bishop of Rochester named our ills". The Telegraph. May 30, 2008. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "Welcome Standpoint". CentreRight. ConservativeHome.blogs.com. 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- Faking a Killing, Standpoint, July 2008