The Spectator

24 June 2017 Aus

Reinventing energy policy

Australia

Leading article Australia

Trouble in Libland

The clock is now ticking on Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership. He currently faces active resistance from more than a score of…

Diary Australia

Warsaw Diary

When one first lands in Warsaw, it’s easy to dismiss the prevailing Soviet realist architecture. The endless blocks of flats…

Guest Notes

Thespian notes

Vacancy for a leader, not a comedian Malcolm Turnbull is the latest Australian politician to risk relations with our most…

Guest Notes

Dis-con notes

14 and counting As the Parliament resumed last Monday for its final sitting prior to the winter recess, Newspoll again…

Australian Features

Features Australia

True Islam

Each new Islamic terrorist atrocity is denounced by western leaders such as our Prime Minister as a ‘twisted’ or ‘perverted’…

Features Australia

Men of violence

Almost every other Aboriginal woman I know has been subject to family violence. It is in fact rare for an…

Features Australia

Reinventing energy policy

While the Liberal party tears itself apart over whether a Clean Energy Target as proposed by the Finkel report delivered…

Features Australia

Thou shalt not steal the truth

On 11 May 2017, under the auspices of Dialogue4Peace, I, together with Egyptian Copt, Nadia Ghali, were the main speakers…

Australian Columnists

Australian Notes

Australian notes

The new aristocrats Listen these days to some of the world’s elite politicians, commentators and officials pontificate and you’d think…

Brown Study

Brown study

I should stop saying I am surprised by this or that decision of the Turnbull government. But last week’s one…

Consider This

Consider this…

Theresa May, arsonist Are you aware that Theresa May, UK Prime Minister, set fire to a residential tower in Kensington,…

Culture Buff

Andrew Nicholl A distant view of Derry through a bank of wild flowers

Last week came the welcome announcement of the State Government’s funding of the major extension, indeed doubling, of the exhibition…

Features

Notes on...

The Britten Theatre

When friends from overseas with the slightest interest in music ask for recommendations about what to see in London, I…

Features

An unholy alliance

Israel’s Channel 2 news station improbably made history last week by airing a brief interview with an obscure policy wonk…

Features

Europe’s imploding right

If the British Conservative party is feeling stunned, having calamitously misread the public mood in a general election, then it…

Features

The bigger, better society

The last housing scandal in Notting Hill brought down a Conservative government and transformed the social policy of Britain. Peter…

Features

This uneasy dawn

The Tory party is having the wrong conversation. Whenever two or three Conservative MPs are gathered together, they discuss who…

Features

Harry Potter and the millennial mind

Which Hogwarts house would you be in? There are four options, and everybody fits into one. The brave and chivalrous…

Features

To a young Corbynista

Dear John, I really hope you won’t be offended by this letter from your uncle. I have nothing but respect…

Features

Boiling point

Bicycling up Regent Street in the intense June heat last week, I was cut up by a black cab driver.…

Features

Can these bones live?

BBC Radio 4  – The Reith lectures A few years back, before I began writing novels about the Tudors, my…

Features

Coffee break

I gave up coffee a couple of weeks ago. I won’t pretend it was easy. The physical withdrawal began with…

Features

What are the Tories for?

It’s time for the Conservatives to rediscover conservatism

The Week

Diary

Diary

Five years after I swore I’d finished with him, it’s odd to be back on the road with Alex Rider.…

Leading article

Opening gambit

The unexpected outcome of the general election has led some to hope that a weakened government will be forced to…

Letters

Australian letters

Denialist Sir: David Williamson (‘Oceans apart’, 17 June) shows that the planet is dynamic and many natural processes are not…

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

Home The burnt-out skeleton of Grenfell Tower, the 24-storey block of 127 flats at Latimer Road, west London, became a…

Columnists

Any other business

Why I’m sad to see Barclays in the dock – and astonished to see John Varley there

Regular readers know I have an umbilical connection to Barclays, because my father spent his working life there, I was…

Matthew Parris

What should party leaders be allowed to believe?

‘If he can’t be in politics,’ the Archbishop of Canterbury tweeted last week after Tim Farron resigned the leadership of…

Rod Liddle

If you’re not tired of London, you’re tired of life

London, city of the damned. City of incendiary tower blocks, jihadi mentals trying to slit your throat, yokels from Somerset…

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes

How much longer can it go on? Deaths caused by terrorism are always followed now by candlelit vigils, a minute’s…

Books

Lead book review

Damage limitation

One of the most pitiful sights in conflict areas is the local prosthetics store, with its rows of artificial limbs,…

Books

Verse and worse

Molly Brodak, a fair, young Polish-American born in Michigan, is a winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize. Iowa: that hotbed…

Books

The disgrace of the British left

Giles Udy did not start out with the intention of writing this book. He was in Russia about 15 years…

Books

Blood and bling

There must be any number of self-respecting gemmologists out there on first-name terms with other diamonds, but for most of…

Books

The evil that men do

Early one summer’s morning in 1994, Paul Jennings Hill, a defrocked Presbyterian minister, gunned down a doctor, John Britton, as…

Books

Do we give a hoot?

‘There is room for a very interesting work,’ Gibbon observed in a footnote, ‘which should lay open the connection between…

Books

She-devils on horseback

Rumour will run wild about a society of warrior women, somehow free from the world of men. We all feel…

Books

Another gone girl

Adam Thorpe’s latest novel, Missing Fay, examines the lives of a disparate group of people in Lincolnshire, all touched in…

Books

Borne back ceaselessly into the past

‘I do not like the idea of the biographical book,’ F. Scott Fitzgerald told his editor Max Perkins in 1936.…

Books

Patience on a monument

As a food writer Patience Gray (1917–2005) merits shelf-space with M.F.K. Fisher, Elizabeth David and Jane Grigson. Fleeing from the…

Books

The greatest survival story

This is the story of a 16th-century Portuguese knight and mariner who survived alone on a lump of volcanic rock…

Books

A policeman’s lot

Described by the publisher as a ‘moving and personal account of what it is to be a police officer today’,…

Books

A barren prospect

In many ways this is a very old-fashioned novel. Jerome is 53, and a lacklustre professor at Columbia; his wife,…

Arts

Arts feature

Brief encounter

How do you follow a film like Shoah? The nine-hour Holocaust documentary, released in 1985 after 11 years of work…

Cinema

Non-magnetic north

Oh, Hampstead, what did you do to deserve Hampstead? Bet you wish the film-makers had pressed on down Fitzjohn’s Avenue…

Music

His Master’s Feet

Gerald Barry once licked Beethoven’s carpet. At least, that’s what he told me, and I’m as sure as any interviewer…

Sculpture

Tall story

‘Everything is slow in Romania,’ said our driver Pavel resignedly, and, as it turned out, he was not exaggerating. He…

Television

Trouble in paradise

‘Riviera is the new Night Manager,’ I read somewhere. No, it’s not. Riviera (Sky Atlantic, Thursday) is the new Eldorado…

The Heckler

Peter Perrett: How The West Was Won

Much though I loved it at the time, not a great deal of lasting worth came out of that fervid…

Opera

Twin peaks

In an essay called ‘Wagner’s fluids’, Susan Sontag concludes, ‘The depth and grandeur of feeling of which Wagner is capable…

Theatre

Hymn to self-slaughter

Anatomy of a Suicide looks at three generations of women in various phases of mental collapse. They line up on…

Life

The turf

The turf

Back on the political beat with CNN for the general election, I was reminded how politics is now dominated by…

Bridge

Bridge

The past two weeks have seen hundreds of passionate bridge players head for Montecatini in Italy for the 8th European…

Chess

Great Tigran’s heir

Tigran Petrosian is the great chess hero of Armenia. World champion from 1963-1969, his best games exhibit a profundity which…

Chess puzzle

no. 462

White to play. This position is a variation from Kramnik-Giri, Stavanger 2017. How can White exploit the terrible position of…

Competition

Political clerihew

In Competition No. 3003 you were invited to supply clerihews about contemporary politicians. In an enormous and excellent entry, popular…

Crossword

2315: Trunk call

Seven unclued entries are all examples of the other. Elsewhere, ignore an accent.   Across 11    Ginger wine and rose…

Crossword solution

to 2312: Bandleader

The thematic BEATLES ALBUM (38 32) is SERGEANT PEPPER (1A 6A). 1A defines 17, and can be divided into words…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

Q. I import a range of very high-quality food products from Europe into the UK. They are regarded as the…

Food

Not my bag

Hip Chips is a specialist crisp restaurant in Old Compton Street, Soho; no, it is stupider than that. It is…

High life

High life

A famous epigrammatic nugget of wisdom appears in The Leopard, Lampedusa’s great novel about a noble Sicilian family’s fortunes: ‘If…

Low life

Low life

‘Yours?’ I said to the woman watching the mechanic poring over the latest-shape Renault Mégane for faults. (I was waiting…

Mind your language

Narrative

Laura Kuenssberg was right. Even my husband agreed, and he often throws soiled beermats from an unknown source (which he…

Real life

Real life

All had gone suspiciously quiet down our little track on the village green, and we had begun to think we…

Spectator sport

Pakistan and the power of redemption

The Pakistan supporter was festooned in cream and green, and carried a chalkboard round his neck with the legend: ‘My…

Status anxiety

Panic of the playwrights

Earlier this week the Guardian launched ‘Brexit Shorts’, a series of monologues written by Britain’s ‘leading playwrights’ about the aftermath…