The Spectator

5 December 2020 Aus

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Leading article Australia

Chamberlain of the culture wars

During the second world war, a group of English-speaking Japanese female radio broadcasters, collectively known as ‘Tokyo Rose’, spread Japanese…

Guest Notes

Media Notes

Where are all the journalists? Please could someone just clarify a point of law for me: is theft no longer…

Australian Features

Features Australia

They are spitting in our face

China has no problem with flouting international rules and laws

Features Australia

Playing politics with mental health

The Productivity Commission’s report misses the mark

Features Australia

Bad trip, man

No wonder Joe Biden has Georgia on his mind

Features Australia

Dismissing Pearl

Why Kerr really was the villain of the piece

Features Australia

Military madness

Our SAS have been appallingly treated

Australian Books

Books Australia

In the land of the blind

Carter William Page, born in 1971, is the former United States Navy officer with personal, business, scholarly and government connections…

Australian Columnists

Brown Study

Brown Study

The Spectator Australia Diplomatic Research Unit has laboured away in secret for years on projects too sensitive to mention in…



Iran vs the rest: the Middle East has reached a tipping point

The next six weeks will be crucial for the Middle East

Notes on...

The traditional cricket tea is under threat

Cricket is not renowned for embracing change. The introduction of the middle stump, overarm bowling and Kevin Pietersen were all…


The problem with ‘immunity passports’

The many dangers of ‘immunity passports’


Why has eBay banned me for life?

The auction site has banned me and won’t tell me why


The ‘anti-racism’ movement is sowing deeper divisions

Why the ‘anti-racism’ movement is dangerous

The Week


Letters: Labour’s left vs left struggle

Left vs left Sir: Your leading article (‘Comfort spending’, 28 November) makes the classic mistake about modern politics which prevents…

Ancient and modern

Will we end up with a Paphlagonian Brexit deal?

Freed from the bonds of the European Union, Britain is now in a position to sign whatever trade deal it…


How the green-ink brigade is destroying the arts

I’m often asked why Channel 4 recently banned an episode of my show The IT Crowd because of ‘transphobia’. I…

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week: Tiers, Scotch eggs and a devastated high street

Home The Commons voted by 291 votes to 78 for new coronavirus regulations putting 55 million people in England into…

Leading article

The government is sending the high street to an early grave

Does it matter that Debenhams and the Arcadia group have gone under this week, taking 25,000 jobs with them and…


What are the best pandemic board games?

Dangerous games Sage scientists advised against playing board games at Christmas. Some games to consider if you are feeling subversive:Pandemic…



The Tavistock is a national scandal

How noble of the British Library to have apologised to the family of the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes for…

Any other business

Philip Green will be remembered as a nasty stain on capitalism

There really isn’t much left to be said about Sir Philip Green as his Arcadia fashion empire collapses into administration,…

The Spectator's Notes

In defence of Eton’s headmaster

My inbox is crowded with messages from Old Etonians attacking Simon Henderson, the headmaster of Eton. They are furious that…


The texture of our country is changing before our eyes

On Saturday night we sat around the kitchen table, my family and I, and had a takeaway from the Turkish…


The case for Chinese reparations

It is time we started to talk about reparations. I am not of course referring to the demands made by…


Can Boris win round his rebel MPs?

The beginning of the end for Theresa May was when she tried to see if she could pass her Brexit…


Books Australia

In the land of the blind

Carter William Page, born in 1971, is the former United States Navy officer with personal, business, scholarly and government connections…

More from Books

Who killed Jane Britton in 1969?

The problem with telling stories about Harvard is that Harvard, if it teaches anything these days, teaches distrust of stories.…

More from Books

No one ‘got’ the Sixties better than David Bailey

What caught my eye towards the end of Look Again was this conversation between David Bailey and the shoe designer…

More from Books

Bright and beautiful: the year’s best art books reviewed

When he was a student, the celebrated American modernist master Robert Rauschenberg once told me that his ‘greatest teacher’ —…

More from Books

The plight of the migrant: Crossed Lines, by Marie Darrieussecq, reviewed

‘We should be living in a brave country and on a brave planet that bravely distributes its occupants,’ thinks Rose…

More from Books

The British Empire is now the subject on which the sun never sets

Wrestling with the history of the British Empire is the unfinished and unfinishable project of our history. Time’s Monster takes…

Lead book review

Roy Strong’s towering egotism is really rather engaging

Stephen Bayley recalls his (mainly enjoyable) encounters with the flamboyant former museum director


Australian Arts

Gary Garrels

Let me take you down the strange rabbit hole of contemporary art museum culture. The senior curator of painting and…

Culture Buff

Richard Tognetti

There’s no doubt about the Australian Chamber Orchestra; full of confidence it is sailing into 2021 with its most ambitious…


A hard watch, but ultimately a rewarding one: County Lines reviewed

County Lines is the kind of social realism that the British do so well, if not too well. In other…


Absorbing and beautifully designed: Jane Eyre reviewed

Blackeyed Theatre is another victim of the virus. Its production of Jane Eyrewas midway through a UK tour, and due…

The Listener

Make Status Quo sound like Stockhausen: AC/DC's Power Up reviewed

Grade: C The fear is this: you’re wearing a leather jacket and hipster jeans and think you look cool, but…


The beautiful, haunted symphonies of Franz Schmidt

The sounds that Franz Schmidt made while learning the trumpet were pretty much unbearable, or so the story goes. In…


The genius of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue

I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue has just been voted the greatest radio comedy of all time by Radio Times,…


Watch Andrew Marr stare at places where stuff happened: New Elizabethans reviewed

Congratulations, everyone! It turns out we’re much better than those bigoted old Brits of the 1950s. After all, they were…

Arts feature

How we became a nation of choirs and carollers

Alexandra Coghlan on how we became a nation of choirs and carollers


Kiwi Life

Kiwi Life / Language

David Cohen I often used to ask myself what the ultimate secret is of playing great chess, and I suppose…


What Mr Micawber thinks of Charles Dickens

In Competition No. 3177 you were invited to submit a well-known fictional person’s view of their author. Highlights in a…

No sacred cows

The battle for Eton’s soul

When trying to get my head around the row that has engulfed Eton College in the past two weeks I…

Real life

Was endorsing Boris one of my worst misjudgments ever?

Now that our social lives are a Venn diagram that only mathematicians can understand I am officially becoming a recluse.…


A magical field hospital for vegetables: Turnips reviewed

Turnips is an haute cuisine restaurant inside a greengrocer in Borough Market in London. I suspect others will try this…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: How do I stop the cleaner ‘helping’ with my jigsaw?

Q. Unlike my wife, I am tiring of Netflix. Wanting a project to occupy me during these long dark nights,…

Mind your language

The strange language of this year

‘Forget coronavirus,’ said my husband, ‘the word of the year is strange.’ The strange thing is he’s right. This wasn’t…

Crossword solution

2483: In my soup - solution

Unclued lights are anagrams of animals: PRAENOMINA (1A: Pomeranian), MARTIAN (18: tamarin), LARBOARD (21: Labrador), SHORE (28: horse), PROTEIN (42:…


Chess improvement

The juicy prospect of improvement constantly dangles above a chess player. Those morsels of knowledge one has acquired whet the…


Bridge | 05 December 2020

Many years ago I remember Tor Helness, the great Norwegian champion, going into the semi-final of a world championship saying:…

Low life

I found a confused elderly man in my bedroom

There are several cave houses built into the cliff. Ours is the highest and can be reached only by a…


2486: Ghost companions

In this anniversary year, unclued lights (one of two words) are of a kind. Ignore four accents. Across 1 Regularly…

Chess puzzle

No. 633

White to play. A position taken from Chess Improvement (perhaps from Luchowski–Gridnew, Moscow 1992.) Black’s menacing pieces make the situation…

High life

Why I stopped reading novels

New York I received a letter from a long-time Spectatorreader, James Hackett, enquiring about books I am reading. It is…

Spectator sport

Rugby must try harder

Remember those lazy, hazy, crazy days of last year’s rugby World Cup, when as perfect a performance by England as…