Steve Platt


Steve Platt is a former editor of the New Statesman and a regular writer for Red Pepper.




A Dionysus for all seasons June 2015

Greek tragedy is enjoying something of a revival with some imaginative stagings of the ancient plays, writes Steve Platt

Beyond the dross July 2010

John Pilger and Steve Platt first worked together during the 1991 Gulf War, when they shared platforms at Media Workers Against the War rallies. Platt, who had just taken over as editor of the New Statesman, asked Pilger to contribute a regular column for the magazine - which he has continued under different editors and proprietors ever since. Best known for his hard-hitting television and newspaper reports, and his excoriating analysis of the global warmongers, injustice and poverty, Pilger discusses here with Platt their shared craft of journalism

Spirits of rebellion May 2010

Voices Against War: A Century of Protest by Lyn Smith and The English Rebel by David Horspool There is a deep-seated myth about the English that insists on a national character that is rarely roused from Wyndham Lewis’s notion of an ideal Englishman: ‘straightforward, tolerant, peaceable, humane, unassuming, patient’. We don’t do rebellion or revolution […]

Epic drama December 2009

With a new adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children at the National Theatre, Steve Platt assesses the legacy of one of the 20th century's greatest dramatists

Shadow on the sun March 2009

At the end of the 1960s a conference of British poets voted for the next poet laureate. Their choice was Adrian Mitchell, who died before Christmas. Some three decades on, {Red Pepper} asked him to don the red and black cloak of 'shadow poet laureate' and write poems regularly for the magazine. He has been 'our' shadow poet laureate ever since

Pitmen painters February 2009

Six days a week they toiled down the mine, making art in their spare time after attending a Workers Education Association art appreciation class. The Ashington Group of miner-artists is the subject of a witty and wise play by Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall, currently showing at the National Theatre, that has much to tell us about art, culture and the working class, writes Steve Platt

Pitmen painters January 2009

Six days a week they toiled down the mine, making art in their spare time after attending a Workers Education Association art appreciation class. The Ashington Group of miner-artists is the subject of a witty and wise play by Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall, currently showing at the National Theatre, that has much to tell us about art, culture and the working class, writes Steve Platt

Big art and Perspex panels August 2008

From graffiti and street art to massive corporate-funded structures such as the Ebbsfleet Landmark (the size of the Statue of Liberty, twice as tall as Antony Gormley's Angel of the North), public art has never been more in vogue. Steve Platt, a reformed 'graffitist', surveys the artistic landscape

Smoking the celestial dream July 2008

Steve Platt looks back at the role of cannabis in the 'counter culture' of the 1960s and 1970s and how people on both sides of the political and cultural divide believed that a hardy psychoactive plant could change the world. He wonders how it could ever have aroused such passions - both for and against its use - and asks why it's still illegal

I’m not racialist but … June 2008

In this article, first published in New Society magazine on 21 February 1985, Steve Platt looked at a row over racism in London's East End. He says it is depressing that he could have written almost the exact same article yesterday






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