Standpoint magazine

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Standpoint is a monthly cultural and political magazine published by Social Affairs Unit Magazines Ltd, a subsidiary of the Social Affairs Unit.[1]It was launched in May 2008.


Standpoint's editorial line will reflect typically neoconservative positions.

Standpoint's editor, Daniel Johnson, says it's time the West stood up for itself: "There are certain dangerous fallacies that have grown up over the past few years, which Standpoint will challenge - myths such as multiculturalism or political correctness, which is stifling comment on anything from the environment to religion."
Conservative with a small c, the magazine is staking out similar ground to Prospect, the centre-left monthly for which Johnson still writes. A former assistant editor at The Times and a writer for the Telegraph, he adds: "The old left and right divide is no longer valid. You have the spectacle of Ken Livingstone on the left finding common cause with the Islamists, while many on the liberal left have been made homeless by the Iraq war. The anti-US or anti-West view dominating the left is alien to them - this magazine will be a new home for them."[2]

Johnson stated in a June 2008, New York Sun promotion of the publication: "I wanted to emulate this very rich, very vibrant spectrum of magazines in America [...] I wanted to combine the best of these magazines, which represent a particular camp or orientation, and to have their arguments take place in our pages.”[3] The article also observed that:

Standpoint’s starkest model is Encounter, the brilliant Cold war journal edited by Irving Kristol and Stephen Spender that dealt in Anglo-American themes and survived the not-so-minor scandal of being secretly funded by the CIA for part of its tenure. “We’re open to their calls.”[4]

Johnson (a former assistant editor at The Times and a writer for The Telegraph, The New Criterion and Commentary) also outlines the Atlanticist nature of the production (which is funded by “Britain’s largest shipping magnate Alan Bekhor”):

...the transatlantic bridge had to some extent frayed. There were terrible tensions and misunderstandings and actual lies. One of the many functions of Standpoint is to rebuild that bridge, without which the West really is in big trouble.” Enlisting the poetry of Robert Conquest is surely one way to fashion a rampart.[5]

The article touches on another comparable publication (in Britain) Prospect, founded in 1993 by David Goodhart, and adds that in the 1980s both Goodhart and Johnson, (which it adds was a contributor to Encounter), were stationed in Bonn as Cold War correspondents, and had the idea of starting a new magazine “for the post-Cold War age”. Despite coming under the auspices of the highly political SAU Standpoint has charity status.

Daniel Johnson is alleged to have been involved in attempts to discredit Barack Obama, whereby the website Wikileaks released a document challenging claims that a Kenyan politician close to, then Senator, Obama “sought votes by virtually pledging to turn the Christian country into a militant Muslim stronghold.”[6][7]

According to Wikileaks aspects of the story were also run by Melanie Phillips, in The Spectator.[8][9]


The Standard's Londoner's Diary today refers to a new magazine being published by the Social Affairs Unit - Stand Point - a serious monthly journal like Prospect that caters to people on the Right...
...The Londoner quotes someone involved in Stand Point saying that The Spectator had become too "syrupy" and "socialite". Is that unfair? What isn't mentioned is that Stand Point is largely funded by Alan Bekhor, a businessman in the shipping industry. I'm sceptical about the idea of investing in magazines with the advent of the internet, but I do hope it succeeds. With an impressive initial print run of 30,000 and contracts with shops like WH Smith's it certainly won't be small beer.[10]
The mention of Paul Johnson as a recipient of the Medal of Freedom also made me think of his son Daniel, another kept journalist, who is about to launch, with Miriam Gross, a former assistant to Melvin Lasky at Encounter, a British equivalent of the Weekly Standard. A prominent Zionist and a London metal-trader, Alan Bekhor, is contributing to the project now underway an initial installment of 6 million pounds. I wish his enterprise every possible success, on the grounds that the British deserve this American import, for having pushed us into World War One.[11]

According to The Independent, Standpoint's first edition sold 3,000 copies and the magazine has around 1,000 subscriptions.[12]


Advisory Board


Former staff:


Contact, References and Resources

11 Manchester Square




  1. About Us, Standpoint Accessed: 7 October 2008
  2. Margareta Pagano, Can 'Prospect' and 'Standpoint' be the best of enemies?, The Independent, 20 April 2008.
  3. Michael Weiss (2008) Arguing the World: Standpoint, A New British Periodical, New York Sun, June 30.
  4. Michael Weiss (2008) Arguing the World: Standpoint, A New British Periodical, New York Sun, June 30.
  5. Michael Weiss (2008) Arguing the World: Standpoint, A New British Periodical, New York Sun, June 30.
  6. Daniel Johnson (2008) The Kenya Connection, New York Sun, January 10,
  7. Joel Whitney (2008) The New York Sun's Obama Frame-Up, Wikileaks, August 16.
  8. Joel Whitney and Julian Assange (2008) Framing Obama: what the Spectator and the New York Sun won't tell you, Wikileaks, July 15..
  9. Melanie Phillips (2008) The Kenyan jihad, Spectator, January 6. See also: Melanie Phillips (2008) The Kenyan connection, Spectator, February 26.
  10. New magazine from the Right coming soon..., CentreRight, ConservativeHome, 20 February 2008.
  11. Tarnished Medals, by Paul Gottfried, Lew, 19 December 2006.
  12. Will Standpoint fall at the first hurdle?, by Amol Rajan, The Independent, 29 December 2008.
  13. Also on board is the 85-year-old US historian Gertrude Himmelfarb, whose husband, Irving Kristol, is considered the godfather of neo-conservatism, while she is its queen bee.
  14. The Feral Beast, The Independent, 4 May 2008.
  15. His father is Paul Johnson, the writer and historian, who famously crossed from left to right.