Pat Coyne obituary


“How do you fancy enhancing the New Statesman?” shouldn’t be a query I ever anticipated to be requested, however that’s what Pat Coyne, who has died aged 77, put to me in 1990 in a Fitzrovia pub as soon as frequented by George Orwell.

As chief govt of New Statesman and Society (he had managed a merger with New Society in 1988), Pat wanted somebody to take up the reins. For the second time in three years, the journal was in disaster: the Joseph Rowntree Belief, which had bankrolled the merger, was pulling out, and Stuart Weir had stop as editor.

I mentioned sure, and in two years we halted a 25-year circulation hunch, absorbing Marxism Right this moment and delivering a revenue in 1992. On a roll, we relaunched in 1993 – nevertheless it all went horribly fallacious. The prime minister, John Main, eager to hide his Eighties affair with Edwina Currie, sued us for libel over a narrative about rumours of him having an extramarital relationship with one other girl. Nonetheless, we had no libel insurance coverage: the printers and distributors paid up and handed on the payments – touchdown us in serious trouble.

For 3 years Pat rallied the NSS troops together with his irrepressible optimism and humour – “an India rubber ball of a person” as one reporter described him – in addition to writing columns and recruiting potential buyers. In 1996 he secured a rescue package deal with the businessman Phillip Jeffrey, however the board went with the millionaire Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson, after which Pat and the Statesman parted methods.

Pat was born in Whitehaven, Cumbria, to Patrick and his spouse, Eilish (nee McCoy). The household moved to London when his father took up a job with the Port of London Authority, and after attending John Fisher boys’ college (now the John Fisher college), in Purley, Surrey, he studied physics at Sussex College after which South Financial institution Polytechnic.

Within the early Seventies he was a mainstay of the pioneering various know-how journal Undercurrents – as soon as contributing a satirical article on easy methods to construct an atomic bomb for city guerrilla warfare – then labored for the publishing group IPC on commerce titles, one among which, Vitality Supervisor, he and a few colleagues purchased for a track after IPC determined to shut it. It grew to become the core of a profitable publishing firm, MCM, which they offered for a revenue earlier than he purchased into NSS.

Publish-Statesman, Pat arrange a digital publishing outfit, Electrical Ebook, which spawned the Educational Library, a serious provider of on-line books to academia. He additionally wrote a number of novels beneath the pseudonym Daniel McCoy.

He’s survived by his spouse, Caroline Mayow, an artwork instructor and artist, whom he married in 1979, their kids, Nadja, Patrick and David, and by two grandchildren, Ida and Fedya.


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