The Spectator

11 July 2020 Aus

Sign up to The Spectator Australia newsletter

Australia's best political analysis - straight to your inbox


Leading article Australia

HCQ? You read it here first

In the wee small hours before the dawn of the Independence Day holiday weekend, presumably when it hoped no one…

Guest Notes

Cultural notes

My answer to China? The Anglosphere. ‘Enough buying from China! Why do we need their stuff? It’s s—t quality anyway.…

Guest Notes

Political notes

We must resist the American Left’s dangerous race-based lies I have been following the rise of identity politics for 30…

Australian Features

Features Australia

Birthday/Reflections etc.

Australia is on course to self-destruct One of the many benefits in having a big bash to celebrate turning 90…

Features Australia

Morrison’s defence

Scott Morrison is righting the wrongs of Turnbull & Pyne

Features Australia

Welcome to Wuhanistan

Dan gets belted on the road to China

Features Australia

Emperor Xi & Pax Sinica

How the elites sold us to the Chinese communists

Australian Books

Books Australia

Bedwetter’s lament

The trouble with political memoirs is that it’s very hard to get the balance right between the book-length version of…

Australian Columnists

Brown Study

Brown study

Since my column confessing to a lifetime of white supremacy and worshipping at the altar of colonialism, many readers have…

Australian Notes

Australian notes

Yes, black lives do matter. But let’s have some honesty… The greatest failing of the Black Lives Matter movement in…



Will Macron’s new sidekick help him get re-elected?

Is France’s latest prime minister just another fall guy?


We’re spending lockdown defending a family of mice

 Austin My first Independence Day in the US for many years. Usually I’d be in Paris avoiding Texas heat. My…

Notes on...

How dangerous are cricket balls?

The Prime Minister recently blamed the delay in the resumption of amateur cricket on the ball itself, calling it ‘a…


How strong was the scientific advice behind lockdown?

How strong was the scientific advice behind the lockdown?


China’s next target: the clock is ticking for Taiwan

After Hong Kong, is Taiwan China’s next target?


Trump is taking on the historical revisionists

Donald Trump is fighting back against America’s historical revisionists


Quantitative easing is a dangerous addiction

Britain’s dependence on quantitative easing is alarming


Are we heading towards Boris vs the Bank?

Big spending. Huge debts. What can possibly go wrong?

The Week


Letters: Why Hugh Dowding deserves a statue

Police relations Sir: As a former Met Police officer, with a similar background to Kevin Hurley, I was surprised how…

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week: Sunak’s statement, shop closures and a hoo-ha over Boohoo

Home Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced measures intended to stimulate the economy. Under a £111 million scheme,…

Leading article

At last, we have a foreign secretary who’s not shy to make a stand

It is hardly a profound observation to say that the government has not functioned as well as it might have…


SOS: Save our singers

‘Musician’ is how I described myself to the nice Latvian lady interviewing me the other week for an ONS survey…


What are online shoppers most likely to snap up?

Price of protest Greenpeace was fined £80,000 for defying a court order and occupying an oil rig in the North…


The Spectator's Notes

Now Gladstone must fall?

There are far more Chinese students in British universities than there are from the entire Commonwealth. Many universities have been…


When is a democracy not a democracy?

Displaying the pristine neutrality that has made her such a popular figure, Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis apparently tweeted the following last…


The Spanish approach to face masks

We self-critical British should never forget that other nations are pretty crazy too. I write this from Andalusia, Spain; and…


The young are the most vulnerable to the Covid crash

Coronavirus is deadlier for the old than the young. But for the young, it is economically devastating. A third of…

Any other business

The extinction of the arts has been deferred – for now

The government’s £1.57 billion lifeline for the cultural sector was bigger than most practitioners were expecting — and drew a…


We’re making a spectacle of shame

When I was about ten, on return home from church I ate a peach, the juice of which dribbled down…


More from Books

The Sixties vibe: Utopia Avenue, by David Mitchell, reviewed

There aren’t many authors as generous to their readers as David Mitchell. Ever since Ghostwritten in 1999, he’s specialised in…

Lead book review

How far can we trust the men in lab coats?

Research has always been susceptible to fraud, but regulations are now much tighter than they were, says David Wootton

More from Books

Saying yes slowly is what’s hampering progress today

One of my long-held beliefs is that evolutionary biology should be taught extensively in schools. There may be some objections…

More from Books

The famous cities of the ancient world were surprisingly small and fragile

Greg Woolf didn’t know his book would come out during an urban crisis. Thanks to coronavirus, Venice’s population, for example,…

More from Books

Spotting the mountweazels: The Liar’s Dictionary, by Eley Williams, reviewed

There is a particular sub-genre of books which are witty and erudite, comic and serious and often of a bibliophilic…

More from Books

Children’s books provide the perfect escape from coronovirus

The lockdown we have been enduring has at times felt drawn from the pages of a children’s book. The eerie…


Australian Arts


Recently I touched on the subject of evaluating works of art prompted by what seemed to me rather an empty…

Culture Buff

Jessie Traill: A biography

She could have been one of our great-aunts. She was from that remarkable generation of educated, unmarried women who chose…


Portrait of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic – Britain's oldest and ballsiest orchestra

Richard Bratby on Britain’s oldest and ballsiest orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, which has taken on everyone from gang leaders to Derek Hatton

The Listener

Ranges from the slight to the first-rate: Neil Young’s Homegrown reviewed

Grade: B+ Neil Young has been mining his own past very profitably for a long time now, disinterring a seemingly…


Not even a genius could make Much Ado About Nothing funny

The RSC’s 2014 version of Much Ado is breathtaking to look at. Sets, lighting and costumes are exquisitely done, even…


I want to support cinema but I have my work cut out with Love Sarah

Some cinemas have reopened, with the rest to follow by the end of the month, thankfully. But the big, hotly…


The joy of socially distanced gallery-going

Not long after the pubs, big galleries have all started to reopen, like flowers unfolding, one by one. The timing…

Arts feature

The weird and wonderful world of hotel carpets

Sophie Haigney on the weird and wonderful world of hotel carpets


Britain's choirs are facing oblivion

Britain’s choirs are facing oblivion. Yet they’re also terrified of returning. One story explains why. Picture this innocent choral-society scene…


Aussie Life

Aussie life

Like so many of us in these troubled times, I am worried about the family statues. The topple-mob cannot be…

High life

The forgotten victims of communism

I just read a piece by Scott McConnell in the American Conservative, a magazine we co-founded 18 years ago. He…


The Streisand effect

There is no sight so compelling as one that would be hidden. I am fascinated by the Streisand effect, named…

Real life

Will Zooming replace real-life socialising?

‘Are you seriously telling me you would rather meet up on Zoom than in reality?’ I asked a friend as…


2465: Definitely amusing

Unclued lights (three of two words, two hyphened) have something in common, verifiable in Brewer. Across 4 Everybody agreed to…

Chess puzzle

No. 612

White to play. Giri–Nepomniachtchi, Chessable Masters 2020. Giri has sacrificed a knight to lure the black king forward. Which move…

Crossword solution

2462: Over and Out? solution

The seventeen entries clued by definition only required removal of the abbreviation BR ( = Britain), in keeping with the…


Poems about schadenfreude

In Competition No. 3156 you were invited to supply a piece of verse or prose on the subject of schadenfreude,…

The turf

Aidan O’Brien’s Derby victory was an act of grand larceny

It wasn’t so much a Derby victory this year as an act of grand larceny. Aidan O’Brien isn’t just a…


Bridge | 11 July 2020

What goes through a world-class player’s mind when he or she stops to think for an age during a hand?…

Low life

My Great War obsession

Bernafay Wood B&B, Somme, France I came up on the TGV yesterday from the Midi to northern France and it…


The best wine since incarceration

The woodpecker jinked across the lawn like an especially cunning partridge. Its goal was a skilfully constructed bird table with…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: How can I leave a boring WhatsApp group without upsetting anyone?

Q. During lockdown I have done my level best to assist with household chores. Last week, while my wife was…

Mind your language

The increasingly irritating language of ‘love’

It is 17 years since we began to hear McDonald’s: ‘I’m lovin’ it.’ This was always annoying, but most of…

No sacred cows

Does the curriculum really need ‘decolonising’?

Layla Moran, the Lib Dems’ education spokesman, has written to Gavin Williamson urging him to do something about ‘systemic racism’…

The Wiki Man

Finally, we’re unboxing the teleporter

This week’s Wiki Man may read a bit oddly. You see, I haven’t ‘written’ it at all; I’ve dictated it…