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    Details emerge of George Osborne’s Isis editorship

    Remaining copies of the new Evening Standard editor’s 1992 ‘Hemp Edition’ had mysteriously vanished from the Oxford Union archives

    George Osborne, who was announced yesterday as the editor of the London Evening Standard newspaper, had his most recent editing experience producing a “hemp edition” of the Oxford magazine the Isis.

    According to the University’s SOLO library system, the copy of the Trinity 1992 magazine, which is archived in the Oxford Union library, has been “reported missing”.

    However, a surviving copy has since been unearthed.

    The former chancellor, who studied History at Magdalen between 1990 and 1993, edited the Isis in 1992, producing the first-ever “hemp edition” of the magazine. The front cover displayed two large cannabis leaves with the words “read it and reap”. It was completed with a “government health warning” not to smoke it.

    Osborne’s editorial, Trinity 1992. Credit: BuzzFeed

    The magazine’s editorial claims “For the first time in the history of the magazine, The ISIS has been printed on hemp paper.” This, however, turned out to be two pages in the middle of one Trinity term edition of the magazine.

    Osborne co-edited the magazine alongside fellow Bullingdon Club member Chris Coleridge. The features editors of the same edition included Jo Johnson, the current Universities Minister and brother of Boris.

    In the edition, Osborne wrote an essay investigating “the secret world of Britain’s security services”.

    “MI5 can decide to tap your telephone, open your mail, record intimate details of your private life in its computers (which have the capacity to hold 20 million files), and even scupper your prospects of ever being employed by a major company, if, in its judgement, you might constitute a threat to that wonderfully nebulous concept of our ‘national security’,” he wrote.

    Credit: BuzzFeed

    He lamented the apparent public apathy about being “under the watchful eyes of Big Brother.”

    After leaving Oxford, Osborne was rejected from graduate journalism schemes at the Times and the Economist.

    The Isis, which was first established in 1892, is the sister publication to Cherwell, and is published under the same publishing house, Oxford Student Publications limited.

    Osborne will take up his position at the Evening Standard in May.


    The article was amended on 22/03/17. It had stated: “According to the University’s SOLO library system, all remaining copies of the Trinity 1992 magazine, which are archived in the Oxford Union library, have been “reported missing” – Osborne’s year is the only to have been lost.” However, the Bodleian Libraries never received a copy of this edition of Isis (Trinity term 1992).

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