Charming little spat between the Conservative Party and George Orwell’s old literary haunt, Tribune. The magazine, which is edited by a former Labour councillor, is up in arms because the Tories will only give it one free pass to their autumn conference.
Given that the periodical has only three members of staff and is the chosen reading matter of what’s left of the very left, Steerpike can see why the Tories reckon that one freeloading tribune of the people will be enough. But former Tribune editor Mark Seddon says: ‘It’s an outrage that they should pick on a small paper because it happens to be left-wing.’ A Tory insider hit back this afternoon: ‘This is typical of Labour’s something for nothing culture. Tribune believes everyone should pay apart from them.’
Steerpike’s attention was also caught by a piece in the Evening Standard, which included this claim: ‘With a circulation of 5,000, Tribune says it is the most read/requested journal in the Commons after The Economist.’ My flabber is gasted.
Tribune nearly snuffed it in 2011, when its numbers barely touched 4,000. It was saved by a staff cooperative and various bailouts from the union movement. Perhaps the Brothers suggested to their placemen MPs that the mag was required reading. In which case, the three musketeers at Tribune can expect to become even more influential around the Palace of Westminster come 2015.