The Spectator

6 March 2021 Aus

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Leading article Australia

Presumed innocent

Scott Morrison has famously declared that he has no time for fighting the culture wars and that ‘free speech never…

Australian Columnists

Australian Notes

Australian notes

Smiling Prince of Victoria Even in these authoritarian times, life can still be unpredictable. I was in Melbourne recently and,…

Australian Features

Features Australia

Sex, lies and the spirit of Salem

Pitchforks and pyres as a miserable ghost fans the flames

Features Australia

Re-thinking Covid-19

It’s time to recognise the destruction caused by the politicisation of the virus

Features Australia

The Covid Macguffin

Why do current events read like a bad movie?

Features Australia

Turning conservatives into sub-humans

The Left, aided by the media, has embarked upon a sinister crusade

Features Australia

Business/Robbery, etc.

Good news! BHP takes on the greenies

Features Australia

Cultural cleansing

Rather than preserving our history, museums are wiping it out

Features Australia

Trump: best yet to come (part 2)

The question of legitimacy clouds the Biden and Harris administration



The chilling rise of ‘IRA TikTok’

The chilling rise of ‘IRA TikTok’


The moral debate over Covid jabs for children

The ethics of Covid jabs for children

Notes on...

Devil of a job: the curious occupations recorded in the census

Even before the first census was made in 1801, the plan was regarded with fear, hatred and ridicule. And this…


Did I give Russ Abbot Covid?

For the past few weeks there’s been a 7 p.m. curfew in Barbados as part of what the government calls…


The provocative writer who could be the next French president

The French journalist who could unseat President Macron

The Week

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week: A Covid Budget, a Cotswold meteor and Angelina Jolie sells Churchill’s painting

Home First-dose coronavirus vaccinations totalled more than 20 million. A study suggested that in the over-eighties, a single dose of…


Which countries still haven’t had a single case of Covid?

French lessons France’s former president Nicolas Sarkozy was sentenced to three years in jail, with two of them suspended, for…


Letters: The key to Scotland’s future

The key to the Union Sir: ‘Love-bombing’ the Scottish electorate with supplemental spending in devolved areas (‘The break-up’, 27 February)…

Ancient and modern

Cicero knew that we should study the past, not cancel it

Modern historians, excoriating the past evils of e.g. slavery and imperialism are taking the understanding of history back to its…

Leading article

The Sturgeon case exposes the fatal flaw in Scottish devolution

The campaign for a Scottish parliament was rooted in the notion of a ‘democratic deficit’. Scotland kept voting Labour but…


Hollywood can’t believe Harry’s dissed Queen Oprah

Santa Monica is a soothing place to be locked down. I moved here from New York for four months in…


The Spectator's Notes

Emmanuel Macron’s vaccine muddle

In 2000, this magazine dipped its toe in murky Irish water. Stephen Glover wrote three articles, one provocatively entitled ‘The…


The war on cars is backfiring

For most London-based politicians, there’s a threat that’s worse than Covid. You’ll begin to notice it as we ease out…

Any other business

The case for keeping business taxes low

Why should business pay tax at all? That’s a provocative but forlorn question to ask in Budget week. Business pays…


The real reasons children are going hungry

‘We’re idiots, babe, it’s a wonder we can even feed ourselves.’ I listened to The Food Programme on Radio 4…


What Rishi Sunak could learn from the vaccine rollout

Barely a year has passed since Rishi Sunak’s first Budget. Its centrepiece was a £30 billion stimulus designed to calm…


There is no justification for supporting the IRA

Roy Greenslade held a number of prominent positions in Fleet Street over the course of a long career. But he…


Lead book review

Chips Channon’s diaries can read like a drunken round of Consequences

Chips Channon was conceited, snobbish, disloyal, voyeuristic and wrongheaded – all qualities most helpful to a great diarist, says Craig Brown

More from Books

Walls go up after the Berlin Wall comes down

In her 2017 travelogue Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe, the writer and poet Kapka Kassabova meets Emel,…

More from Books

The robot as carer: Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro, reviewed

The world of Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel — let’s call it Ishville — is instantly recognisable. Our narrator, Klara, is…

More from Books

Why autocracy in Russia always fails in the end

Churchill was wrong: Russia is neither a riddle nor an enigma. Russians themselves concoct endless stories to glorify their country’s…

More from Books

My father, the tyrant: Robert Edric describes a brutal upbringing

In a career stretching back to the mid-1980s, Robert Edric has so far managed a grand total of 28 novels,…

More from Books

Ghosts in a landscape: farming life through the eyes of Thomas Hennell

Thomas Hennell is one of that generation of painters born in 1903 whose collective achievements are such an adornment of…

More from Books

Why the first self-help book is still worth reading: The Anatomy of Melancholy anatomised

Footling around on the internet recently, I stumbled on a clip of a young woman singing Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ to…

More from Books

‘Britain’s Dreyfus Affair’: a very nasty village scandal

It has been described as Britain’s Dreyfus Affair — the wrongful imprisonment in 1903 of a half-Indian solicitor George Edalji…


Australian Arts

Christopher Plummer

A few weeks ago that great Canadian actor Christopher Plummer died. Everyone knows him as Captain Von Trapp opposite Julie…

Culture Buff

Botticelli to Van Gogh: Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London

Saint Zenobius was a Florentine nobleman who was converted to Christianity and baptised as an adult, ultimately becoming the first…


It'll please small kids, but they're never to be trusted: Raya and the Last Dragon reviewed

Raya and the Last Dragon has everything you might want nowadays from a major Disney film — feisty kick-ass heroine,…


Unhappy blend of melodrama and allegory: Southwark Playhouse’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice reviewed

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is a musical fantasy set in a Nordic town near the Arctic circle. Johan is a magician…


Claudia Winkleman’s new Radio 2 show gets off to a brainless start

Last Saturday on Radio 2 Claudia Winkleman was inaugurated as the host of what was formerly Graham Norton’s mid-morning spot.…


Astonishing, relentlessly pleasurable rediscovery – tantric opera: Luigi Rossi's Il Palazzo incantato reviewed

I don’t say this lightly, but after 20 years of opera-going, Luigi Rossi’s Il Palazzo incantato might just be the…


How stupid do the script writers of Sky’s Devils think we are?

Here’s a worried question I want to plant in your head: when is TV drama going to start depicting the…

More from Arts

How Algernon Newton made great art out of empty streets and dingy canals

Quite late in life Walter Sickert paid his first visit to Peckham Rye. He was excited, apparently, because he had…


In Chet Baker's albums you can hear America’s romantic self-image curdling

The thing to remember about Chet Baker, an old acquaintance says of the errant jazz musician in Deep In A…

Arts feature

The triumph of bedroom pop

A short history of lo-fi, by Robert Barry


Aussie Life

Aussie Life

If you asked a roomful of Poms to list Winston Churchill’s greatest achievements, few would put ‘introducing the minimum wage’…

Aussie Life

Aussie Language

The expression ‘unconscious bias’ is back in the headlines. First came the good news that Oxford’s Somerville college had rescinded…

High life

Raymond Chandler and his contrarian cat Taki

Gstaad That’s all we needed in a great year: copyright has expired on The Great Gatsby. Some Fitzgerald wannabe has…

Spectator sport

In defence of horse racing

Rugby has enough problems — from baffling rule changes to concussion — without the referees muddying the pitch even more.…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: How do I tell my neighbour she’s let herself go in lockdown?

Q. Recently an old acquaintance, notorious for never penning a ‘thank you’ note, emailed me telling me he was being…


Cornwall, but not as the locals know it: Stein’s at Home reviewed

The Stein’s at Home steak menu box (£65) says ‘Love from Cornwall’: it is not for people who live in…

Mind your language

The word ‘like’ is in crisis

‘Blame Kingsley Amis,’ said my husband, with the carelessness of one defying a man out of earshot. The blame, such…

Real life

The curse of semi-invisible road signs

‘We’re sorry your experience with us has not been a good one,’ said the press officer at Surrey Police. ‘You…


Bridge | 06 March 2021

This is a great time to be a young bridge player. When I took up the game in my twenties,…


Play from home

Is working from home the future of a productive society, or a fleeting aberration? Nobody knows yet, but a significant…

Chess puzzle

No. 643

White to play. Garcia Ramos–Maurizzi, -Barcelona 2021. Black has just played Kg8-h7, to attack White’s queen by unpinning the knight…

Crossword solution

2493: Opposites - solution

‘I WANT TO BE ALONE’ (1A) and ‘COME UP AND SEE ME SOMETIME’ (49/27) were supposedly said by Greta GARBO…


2496: Depart Paddington

Clockwise round the grid from 3 run seven dramatis personae; unclued lights give anagrams of two more. The play’s title…


Spectator competition winners: the hell of a foreign holiday

In Competition No. 3188, a challenge designed to make us all feel better about the looming prospect of another enforced…

No sacred cows

The conservative appeal of drug gangs

According to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, the easing of lock-down will be accompanied by a rise in crime…

Low life

The beauty of French nurses

I was supine on the slab and a nurse was rigging me up via wires and tubes to machines and…

The turf

Ireland’s love affair with horse racing

With the Cheltenham Festival close, the quest for serious punting money intensifies. I had one potential contributor identified at Kempton…