If you haven’t noticed the large gold banner on the cover, it’s our 50th issue.
As the selection of past covers and quotes on p6 indicates, we’ve come a long way in four years.
When we launched in July 2008, Gordon Brown was prime minister – and our first ever cover interview. The full force of the financial crisis would not become apparent until the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September that year.
As British and world leaders grappled with the economic emergency into 2009, the MPs’ expenses scandal ended careers and changed the culture of politics for the new intake arriving after the general election.
Talking about that 2010 election, the failure of any party to win a majority of seats meant we had the first coalition government ruling Britain since 1945. And we have now experienced over two years of the former rival parties trying to govern together with the responsibility of sorting out Britain’s economy.
During our four years, we have seen a change in prime minister, cabinet resignations (once, after we had interviewed the cabinet minister but not yet gone to press) and many careers rise and fall. Most of all, politics has provided an endless capacity to surprise. Who, in July 2008, predicted the result of the next election would be a coalition between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems?
So, while the relationship between the two governing parties in Westminster looks shaky, it would be foolish to stake all your money on the coalition falling apart soon. But politics moves ever faster. In another four years’ time, the landscape could look completely different.
The next Total Politics will be out on 18 September for the party conferences. We now have Anoosh Chakelian on board as our special sections editor. You can see her first contributions in this issue alongside interviews with Harriet Harman, David Davis and Andrew Mitchell. Others topics this month include elected mayors, the Cuban missile crisis, jazz, press standards, epiphanies and Mumsnet.
We’ve decided to finish this term with a smorgasbord of political delicacies. I hope you enjoy it.
Ben Duckworth • Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org