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The Spectator

21 September 2019 Aus

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Australia

Leading article Australia

Conversation stopper

A s heavy snow fell in southeastern Australia this week, for the third time this year, preparations were still underway…

Diary Australia

Diary

When a few months ago my friend Tom Switzer – former editor of this magazine and now director of the…

Guest Notes

Euro notes

Hungary rhapsody for Tony Abbott If only the voters of Warringah had been Hungarian. The land of goulash and paprika,…

Australian Features

Features Australia

Deserter dads

Nearly everyone in New Zealand has been made to feel they could play a part in the forthcoming Royal Commission…

Features Australia

Worse than 18C

The federal government’s draft religious discrimination bill highlights – no doubt unconsciously – some of the limitations on freedom of…

Features Australia

Iran’s hostage chess

The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become until he goes abroad,’ wrote Mark…

Features Australia

Campus of dunces

Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind (1987) showed higher education failing democracy and impoverishing students. Forty years later,…

Features Australia

Our unique opportunity

Australia, more than any other, is a child of the two great English-speaking nations. They have for two centuries successively…

Australian Books

Books Australia

What to do to grinning do-gooders

In the 1860s, Australian colonies adopted, virtually unaltered, the English Companies Act 1862. Despite initial distrust of this new corporate…

Australian Columnists

Culture Buff

In Vogue

A kangaroo on the beach with a model was the unsubtle cover of Vogue in December 1965. It will be…

Simon Collins

Woodstock woes

Thanks to the refusal of Australian weather to stick to the IPCC script, Sydneysiders have just experienced one of the…

Brown Study

Brown study

I have recently been reading two political books each of which was a complete waste of time and money. Then…

Features

Features

Judgment day: the danger of courts taking over politics

Who runs Britain? When Boris Johnson’s lawyers made their case in front of the Supreme Court this week, defending his…

Features

How to stop drones

Drones have come of age in the war on terror. When the United States and Britain invaded Afghanistan in 2001,…

Features

I’m sorry because I failed: An interview with David Cameron

‘How have you been?’ David Cameron asks, bounding up to meet me. Fine, I say, then make the mistake of…

Features

I was a Remainer – but I now want no deal

When I told two neighbours that I had become a no-deal Brexiter they physically recoiled from me. ‘You can’t.’ ‘But…

Features

How to live life like a drunk

Since I’m not an alcoholic, recovering or otherwise, I don’t belong to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) but I am close to…

Features

As Greta and Malala show, the children know best

The first book I ever produced, some 50 years ago, was a collection of poetry written by children. I called…

Notes on...

My puppy-training advice for Boris Johnson

President Harry Truman once observed: ‘If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.’ Boris Johnson, as Prime Minister…

The Week

Leading article

Why would Britain want to be a member of a club like the EU?

The past three years of agonising non-progress on Brexit have damaged Britain in many ways. Our political institutions have looked…

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week: EU negotiations, genderless babies and Brexit in court

Home ‘I will uphold the constitution, I will obey the law, but we will come out on 31 October,’ Boris…

Diary

Nick Robinson: Am I the new John Humphrys?

The nation is deeply divided. We can, it seems, talk of almost nothing else. Passions could scarcely be higher. No…

Barometer

How many Britons now vape?

Talking Turkey David Cameron again accused the Leave campaign of ‘lying’ about the prospect of Turkey joining the EU. A…

Ancient and modern

David Cameron would be a winner in Ancient Greece

David Cameron is convinced he was right to call a referendum and to promise to enact it. Justifiably: there was…

Letters

Letters: parliament has a responsibility to stop Brexit

Parliament’s responsibility Sir: I always enjoy reading the intelligent and outspoken Lionel Shriver. But her latest article (14 September) puts…

Columnists

Politics

Why there’s still a chance of a deal

One of the reasons why Boris Johnson is Prime Minister is that he is an optimist. After the negativity of…

The Spectator's Notes

Why didn’t Cameron realise the ‘strength of feeling’ about Brexit?

In his memoirs, David Cameron admits that he ‘did not fully appreciate the strength of feeling’ in favour of Brexit,…

Rod Liddle

The Lib Dems have revealed the extreme side of modern liberalism

A friend’s seven-year-old daughter was asked by her school to write something about the NHS. Her only experience of it…

James Delingpole

Letting China join the WTO was the worst decision the West ever made

It’s not often that you come across a book that completely transforms your understanding of the world. Just recently I’ve…

Mary Wakefield

The screaming souls on London’s streets

When I first moved to London N1  four years ago, no one seemed to notice let alone discuss all the…

Any other business

An oil price spike doesn’t mean a recession is on the way

An oil price surge from $60 to $72 per barrel, as happened after the drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq…

Books

Lead book review

The best of journeys: Justin Marozzi’s monumental trek through the history of the Muslim world

This impressively clever, careful, and often beautiful book is the best sort of journey. It takes us through 15 cities…

Books

Rushdie at his best – Quichotte reviewed

It’s hard to get your head around Salman Rushdie’s latest novel Quichotte, which has been shortlisted for the Booker. It’s…

Books

Welcome back to Gilead: Margaret Atwood’s triumphant reclaiming of her work

‘Penises,’ Aunt Lydia muses, ‘them again.’ Penises are always causing trouble, even in the God-fearing dystopian state of Gilead. The…

Books

The great American trauma in minute detail

Why, I asked some months back in these pages, do the protagonists in American fiction these days seem so lost?…

Books

Rod Liddle on Brexit: The Great Betrayal reviewed

Rod Liddle has taken a huge gamble with this book. It could be out of date very soon. The book’s…

Books

Two faces of a single calamity: how the war against inequality backfired dramatically

In 2015, Daniel Markovits, a professor at Yale Law School, delivered a commencement address to that year’s graduating class in…

Books

The tsunami of stuff we have and want is based on culture and economics

In 1993, the photographer Peter Menzel travelled across the globe to capture our material world. In each country, he asked…

Books

Hitler’s legacy: two books examine different aspects of the horror that was Germany, 1945

Two new books offer very different takes on the utter ruination of Germany in 1945. Each in its own way…

Arts

Arts feature

The untold story of Judy Garland

Judy Garland is now a myth, a paradigm and a warning: don’t let your daughter on the stage! It’s the…

Music

Simon Rattle’s Messiaen is improving with age

Two flutes, a clarinet and a bassoon breathe a chord on the edge of silence. As they fade, the sound…

Theatre

How refreshing to see a show about prejudice that barely mentions white people

Lynette Linton opens her stewardship of the Bush with a drama about racial and sexual bigotry. Four British women decide…

Radio

What’s the point of the Today programme?

What else is there to write about in the week that John Humphrys, that titan of the BBC airwaves, retires…

Exhibitions

The rare gifts of Peter Doig

‘My basic intention,’ the late Patrick Caulfield once told me, ‘is to create some attractive place to be, maybe even…

Television

Abba, Twitter vs Instagram, and papal selfies: the modern face of the Catholic Church

As a lifelong Catholic, I’ve often thought that two of the Church’s chief characteristics are a) how weird it is…

Pop

An eight-year-old’s dream: Muse at the O2 reviewed

‘Butterflies and Hurricanes’ by Muse was on heavy rotation on MTV at a time, 15 years ago, when my infant…

Theatre

Is it time to give up on the Ibsen adaptations?

Pub quiz question: what do John Osborne, Brian Friel and Patrick Marber have in common? The answer is they’ve all…

Cinema

Painful, funny — and with a brilliant twist: The Farewell reviewed

The Farewell is a quiet film that builds and builds and builds into a wonderful exploration of belonging, loss, family…

Life

High life

Why I prefer cows to humans

Gstaad   The cows are coming down, the cows are coming down, and I’m off to the Bagel. My Swiss…

Low life

Semi-recluse (me) seeks dilapidated cottage on Dartmoor to rent

So now I must find somewhere else to put my books and live sometimes. Dartmoor, I thought: one of the…

Real life

What Brexiteers can teach Remoaners about good manners

‘If we are going to Westminster to riot,’ I told my Brexit-voting friends over dinner at the Thai restaurant at…

Bridge

Bridge

The bridge world championships are underway in Wuhan in China, and I’m obsessively following the action online. Fortunately it’s taking…

Chess

Adopt a hero

I am often asked which players I admire most and which grandmasters, writers and champions exerted the most influence on…

Chess puzzle

No. 572

White to play. This is from Nguyen-Alekseenko, Khanty-Mansiysk 2019. White’s queen and rook are both attacked. How does he maintain…

Competition

Moggisms

In Competition No. 3116 you were invited to submit an extract from a government memo whose language would meet with…

Crossword

2426: Her love

The unclued lights (including one of three words, two of two words, and a pair) are names for or are…

Crossword solution

to 2423: Redheads

The unclued lights were all leaders of the USSR.  First prize Wendy Atkin, Sleaford, LincsRunners-up Robert Burgon, North Berwick, East…

No sacred cows

David Cameron is more authentic than Boris Johnson

I don’t recall exactly when I first met David Cameron, but it must have been in Oxford in 1985 shortly…

Spectator sport

Farewell, Garry Richardson. We’ll miss you

A day of sporting shocks this Sunday past. As if the news of Tracey Horrobin’s bewitching performance with the ball…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: Can I ask my vegan friend to buy eggs and bacon when I stay with her?

Q. The other day a dear friend rang from her car with all the time in the world to burn…

Food

It’s so easy to go mad in Oxford: Chiang Mai Kitchen reviewed

Oxford is a pile of medieval buildings filled with maniacs, and is therefore one of the most interesting places on…

Mind your language

The link between politics, moisturiser and your air conditioning unit

I asked my husband if I should spend £59 on 20 millilitres of Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset…