The Spectator

15 February 2020 Aus

Dog of a fight

Barnaby takes on the Pinkish-Green Baron

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Leading article Australia

Will Morrison fight?

To ‘culturally appropriate’ General George S. Patton: No bastard ever won a war by refusing to fight the battle. Slowly,…

Australian Features

Features Australia

Entebbe: the sequel

Arab reaction to Trump’s plan strengthens Israel and further isolates the Palestinians

Features Australia

Go slow ScoMo

What has this government actually achieved?

Features Australia

Beagle love

70 years of unrequited cartoon lust

Features Australia

Dog of a fight

Barnaby takes on the Pinkish-Green Baron

Features Australia

Thought control through fear

Let therapists be free of ideological interference

Features Australia

Aux Bien Pensants

Media sacrifices independence and prestige

Australian Columnists

Australian Notes

Fighting fires

The richest man in Rome at the time of Julius Caesar was Marcus Licinius Crassus. Crassus made his fortune through…

Simon Collins

Fear itself

‘A very merry Christmas,’ sang John Lennon in 1971, ‘and a Happy New Year; let’s hope it’s a good one,…

Culture Buff

No Pay? No Way!

As a sort of protest, I am not going to the opening of No Pay? No Way! at the Sydney…

Brown Study

Masochism and sadism

STOP PRESS We have just had to stop the presses that were printing the new edition of Brown’s Political Dictionary…



The death of the centre in European politics

What happens when times change, but parties don’t?


The Korean wave: how Seoul film and music won over the world

Seoul’s culture has become a global phenomenon


Will Brexit make Valentine’s Day flowers less expensive?

Will Brexit make Valentine’s Day less expensive?

Notes on...

The fight to save G. K. Chesterton’s home from demolition

It’s a quiet Wednesday afternoon in Britain’s most expensive market town, and there’s a sense of foreboding in the air.…

The Week

Leading article

Borrow-and-spend Boris risks repeating Gordon Brown’s mistakes

The nature of the Johnson government is still not clear, but has become more so with the announcement this week…

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week: Britain rules on coronavirus, HS2 is approved and Bernie Sanders powers ahead

Home The Department of Health classified the novel coronavirus (named by the World Health Organization Covid-19) as a ‘serious and imminent…


Susan Hill: The brilliance of the NHS cancer service

Exactly 50 years ago I drove, for the first visit of many, across country to Aldeburgh in Suffolk, following the…


The brands regretting calling themselves ‘Corona’

Going viral A few of the businesses which chose ‘Corona’ as a brand name and now have a bit of…

Ancient and modern

Ancient Athens would have been horrified by Trump’s impeachment

An impeachment trial is overseen by Congress and Senate, who both make the law and (in this case) sit in…


Letters: Britain can be zero carbon – but only by becoming poorer

A green and poor land? Sir: Your editorial (8 February) is a timely warning about what the government’s headlong drive…


The Spectator's Notes

Does anyone really think HS2 will be good for the country?

How depressed should one be about the HS2 go-ahead? The cost is stupefying. The offering to the north — considered…


Boris wants a 2024 election – and wants to start his building boom now

‘The clock is ticking.’ It is surely only a matter of time before Michel Barnier returns to his notorious catchphrase…

Rod Liddle

The last working-class people in the Labour party

A couple of people in the Hornsey and Wood Green Labour party have come up with a fascinating suggestion —…

Freddy Gray

Is Trump scared of Crazy Bernie Sanders?

 Manchester, New Hampshire Democrats almost all agree that Donald Trump is ruining America and must be removed from the White…

Douglas Murray

Why I’ll never become an MP

Every now and then someone asks me if I have ever thought of becoming an MP. My response tends to…

Any other business

Never mind the numbers – the boardroom gender battle has barely begun

It’s the way the world’s going, but still it looks quite impressive that the number of women directors of FTSE100…


Lead book review

Unspeakably prolix and petty: will anyone want to read John Bercow’s autobiography?

In his autobiography, John Bercow takes his peerage as a given. But that might be scuppered by accusations of bullying, says Lynn Barber


Death in the Cape – the lonely fate of Mary Kingsley

What compelled three well-known British writers to leave their homes and travel 6,000 miles to participate in a nasty late-19th-century…


The stomach for the fight: cooking for Churchill during the war

Georgina Landemare cooked for the Churchill family in all their kitchens, during the 1930s and 1940s. She got as close…


There’s something hot about a hat

When an American describes a woman as wearing a ‘Park Avenue Helmet’ you know exactly what is meant. This is…


Philip Hensher’s latest novel is a State of the Soul book

This is a very nuanced and subtle novel by Philip Hensher, which manages the highwire act of treating its characters…


A dark emerald set in the Irish laureate’s fictional tiara: Actress, by Anne Enright, reviewed

Actress is the novel Anne Enright has been rehearsing since her first collection of stories, The Portable Virgin (1991). It…


Hiding from the Gestapo in plain sight in Berlin

Of the many bleak moments that have lodged in my mind since reading this extraordinary book the most unshakeable is…


How long is long enough to look at a work of art?

There is a vogue at the moment for books which use art as a vehicle for examining the writer’s wider…


Lake Ohrid: an oasis of peace in the war-torn Balkans

Kapka Kassabova’s previous travel book, Border, was rightly acclaimed and won several prizes. The author travelled to the edge of…


It’s not the dark hours the insomniac dreads but the clear light of day

The insomniac may come to dread the night’s solitude, but the next day poses the greater challenge. That’s when you…


Arts feature

Some of the best Austen adaptations are the most unfaithful

You won’t find much Jane Austen in the myriad adaptations of her novels, says Claire Harman


Odd but gripping: BBC1’s The Pale Horse reviewed

Not much was clear in the opening scenes of The Pale Horse (BBC1, Sunday), which even by current TV standards…


A brilliant, unrevivable undertaking: Tom Stoppard’s Leopoldstadt reviewed

History will record Leopoldstadt as Tom Stoppard’s Schindler’s List. His brilliant tragic-comic play opens in the Jewish quarter of Vienna…


This is how theatre should work post-Brexit: Blood Wedding reviewed

Blood Wedding, by the Spanish dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca, is one of those heavyweight tragedies that risks looking a bit…


Pyramids of piffle: Tate Britain’s British Baroque reviewed

British Baroque: it was never going to fly. Les rosbifs emulating the splendour of le Roi Soleil? Pas possible. Still,…


Are we going to have to start taking Calixto Bieito seriously? ENO’s Carmen reviewed

Calixto Bieito’s Carmen: three words to make an opera critic’s heart leap. Until quite recently, Bieito was the operatic provocateur…


You’ll laugh, cry, cringe and covet the hats and bedspreads: Emma reviewed

‘Too pretty,’ blithers Miss Bates in the Highbury haberdasher as she plucks at a silken tassel. ‘Too pretty’ goes for…


High life

The appeal of ugly men

Gstaad Lenin Moreno is in trouble, despite his very unchristian first name. For any of you unfamiliar with the name,…

Low life

How I found salvation in a church in Torquay

Last Tuesday a Mistral wind blowing across the Bay of Angels jerked the plane all over the shop as it…

Real life

The pros and cons of robot vision

Being told I am now both short-sighted and long-sighted feels like someone is playing a very bad joke on me.…

Wild life

What our 500kg house bull taught us about the value of life

Death and failure are more integral to farming than any other experience that I’ve witnessed in my life. Some things…



The annual Icelandic bridge tournament, held in Reykjavik at the end of January, is one of the best on the…


Beasts of the board

The Dutch artist Theo Jansen has a unique speciality. His ‘Strandbeest’ (beach animals) are kinetic sculptures, which he likes to…

Chess puzzle

no. 591

White to play, Dubov–Artemiev, Wijk aan Zee 2020. White is pressing here, but Black seems to have everything covered. Which…


Just the job

In Competition No. 3135 you were invited to submit an application letter for a job at No. 10 from a fictional…


2444: Ones in the country

The unclued entries (three of two words, and two hyphened) share an origin   Across 1    Put an end to…

Crossword solution

to 2441: To and Fro

FRANCIS THOMPSON, born in PRESTON, wrote THE HOUND OF HEAVEN and a poem, AT LORD’S, remembering the run-stealers that flicker…

No sacred cows

Even the Oscars after-parties have lost their shine

Reading about the Oscars this week, I couldn’t help thinking back to a time when they actually meant something. When…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: What is the etiquette about kissing during the coronavirus scare?

Q. I am having a drinks party to celebrate the publication of my latest book. I sent out invitations (to…

Spectator sport

What the Premier League could learn from ski racers

What we have learned in the past few weeks: 1) Don’t play rugby in a howling gale, even though for…


Criminally good food: The Yard at Great Scotland Yard reviewed

The Yard is a defiantly themed restaurant in Hyatt’s new Great Scotland Yard Hotel, an Edwardian red-brick block which once…

Mind your language

The Streatham stabbing is being investigated at pace. But what does that mean?

In Arnold Bennett’s Tales of the Five Towns, a young dog called Ellis Carter takes a girl for a drive…