The Spectator

8 May 2021 Aus

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Leading article Australia

Best exotic Victorian hotel

Could there be a more perfect metaphor for not only the multiple failures of the Andrews Labor government but also…

Australian Columnists

Latham's Law

Latham’s law

Bishop Long: just plain wrong When looking at the political world of Woke, we can’t discount the foolishness of religious…

Guest Notes

Euro notes

Reds under the downing street beds Two unorthodox senior advisors to Number 10 deserve attention. The first and most prominent…

Australian Features

Features Australia

Abandon all principles ye who enter the Libs

Morrison’s ‘pragmatism’ is destroying conservatism

Features Australia

The identity bigots

On ScoMo’s religious beliefs

Features Australia

Voice, treaty, truth?

We are lying to ourselves about the reasons behind Aboriginal disadvantage

Features Australia

Teaching gobbledygook

Toss out the national curriculum

Features Australia

The enemy within, the enemy without

Far Left still rules while the communists laugh at our subs



The insidious creep of corporate friendliness

The insidious creep of corporate friendliness

Notes on...

In defence of dandelions

Dandelions are one of the cheeriest wild flowers. They are loved by children for their ‘clock’ seed heads, are entirely…


What should we put in our time capsule of the plague year?

What to include in a memory box of the plague year?


Bad news, Boris – childcare has cost me £500,000 (and counting)

Welcome to the cripplingly expensive world of childcare, Boris


The China model: why is the West imitating Beijing?

From spending to lockdown, the West is copying Beijing


How the West can help India

Why India is reluctant to lock down again

The Week


Which prime minister spent the most on their Downing Street flat?

Flat spin Which prime minister spent the most on their Downing Street flat, according to figures reported over the years?…


Letters: The C of E’s obsession with critical race theory

Christian approach Sir: Dr Michael Nazir-Ali’s criticism of our report ‘From Lament to Action’ (‘Bad faith’, 1 May) was wide…

Ancient and modern

The importance of gossip (according to the ancients)

Gossip appears to be good for the mental health. That should make the females of the ancient world some of…


In Hartlepool, I’m aiming for a noble defeat

By the time you read this you may know if the Tories triumphed in the Hartlepool by-election — or if,…

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week: Covid retreats, raves resume and a £165,000 squid

Home ‘I think we have got a good chance of being able to dispense with the one-metre-plus from 21 June,’…

Leading article

Data, not dates: there is no reason to delay a return to normal life

A slogan can come back to haunt you. For Boris Johnson, the words ‘data not dates’ sounded powerful at a…


Any other business

Can Melinda still keep Bill Gates in check?

‘We are seeing very substantial inflation,’ the great investor Warren Buffett told shareholders in his master company Berkshire Hathaway at…


Who regulates the regulators?

This isn’t about David Cameron and Greensillgate; it isn’t about Boris Johnson and wallpapergate or Jennifer-Arcurigate. It isn’t about Westferrygate…


What’s next for the Union?

The Union faces two simultaneous challenges in Northern Ireland and Scotland that both look set to worsen in the coming…


The problem with Britain’s mental health

Experts tell us that we are facing a mental health ‘time bomb’ in the UK, partly as a consequence of…

The Spectator's Notes

‘Religious literacy’ rules risk gagging the press

There should be more ‘religious literacy’. So says the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Religion in the Media, chaired by Yasmin…


The true cost of make-believe money

I like Bill Maher. He’s a rare practising left-wing comic who’s actually funny. But last week, his routine on cryptocurrency…


Books Australia

Missing chapters

Between them, Peter van Onselen and Wayne Errington have a wealth of research and writing experience, and their biography of…

More from Books

An independent observer: Whereabouts, by Jhumpa Lahiri, reviewed

After falling in love with Italy as a young woman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri broke with English and…

More from Books

Stealing the story: A Lonely Man, by Chris Power, reviewed

Robert Prowe has writer’s block. An Englishman reaching middle age, he lives in Berlin with his Swedish wife and their…

More from Books

How the third world war was narrowly averted

Nuclear weapons carry a payload of cold logic: if both sides have them, neither will ever use them. But in…

Lead book review

Straight lines and grandiose schemes — Napoleon the gardener

Not content with imposing his will on nations, Napoleon tried to subdue nature too, says David Crane

More from Books

Water, water everywhere: Touring the Land of the Dead, by Maki Kashimada, reviewed

Maki Kashimada won the 2012 Akutagawa Prize for Touring the Land of the Dead, the strange, unsettling novella that makes…

More from Books

Life on Earth is too tame for eccentric American billionaires

For many of us, Elon Musk is a hard man to like. He’s the richest man in the world (or…

More from Books

It is impossible to imagine Henrician England except through the eyes of Hans Holbein

‘Holbein redeemed a whole era for us from oblivion,’ remarks the author of a trilogy of novels set at Henry…

More from Books

Even the Queen wasn’t spared Prince Philip’s bad temper

Though the indefatigable Gyles Brandreth met and interviewed Prince Philip over a 40-year period, His Royal Highness managed to give…

More from Books

The high and low life of John Craxton

Charm is a weasel word; it can evoke the superficial and insincere, and engender suspicion and mistrust. But charm in…

More from Books

From family home to mausoleum: the Musée Nissim Camondo

The potter and author Edmund de Waal revisits familiar terrain at an angle in his third book, Letters to Camondo.…

More from Books

Eliminate the positive: Come Join Our Disease, by Sam Byers, reviewed

Sam Byers’s worryingly zeitgeisty second novel, Perfidious Albion, imagined a post-Brexit dystopia dominated by global tech companies, corrupt spin doctors,…


Australian Arts

Reese Witherspoon

There are moments when the very idea of live entertainment including its high cultural expression, thrills the soul. On 6…

Culture Buff

Francesco Cavalli’s The Loves of Apollo & Dafne

Venice in the 17th century was the birthplace of opera.  Its dominant and most successful exponent was Francesco Cavalli.  Once…

More from Arts

The bizarre art of Scottie Wilson deserves to be better known

On eBay I have an alert set for ‘Scottie Wilson’. Nine times out of ten, it’s a diamanté Scottie dog…


This film deserves all the awards and praise: Nomadland reviewed

Nomadland won multiple Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress, and if there’d been an award for Best…


Do theatres actually read scripts before agreeing to stage them?

Money is a new internet play about financial corruption starring Mel Giedroyc. She appears on-screen for less time than it…


A TV doc that is truly brave: BBC1's Ian Wright – Home Truths reviewed

Ian Wright: Home Truths began with the ex-footballer saying that the home he grew up in was ‘not a happy…


Josquin changed musical history – why don't we hear more of him?

Stepping into the Sistine Chapel, the choir loft is probably the last thing you’d notice. ‘Loft’ is, frankly, a stretch…

The Listener

Tom Jones is as nuanced a vocalist as Ian Paisley

Grade: C Revisionism has been extraordinarily kind to Tom Jones, ever since he barked his way through Prince’s ‘Kiss’ with…

Arts feature

Audiences don’t want woke: comic-book writer Mark Millar interviewed

James Delingpole talks to comic-book writer Mark Millar about the joy of Catholicism, our sorry lack of male action figures and his childhood superpower


Seldom less than gripping: Banged Up podcast reviewed

Prison-based podcast Banged Up, now in its second series, is far more uplifting — and less soapy — than its…


Aussie Life

Aussie Life

As a child I had a version of OCD called Just Right syndrome. This doesn’t mean I lived entirely on…

Aussie Life

Aussie Language

Brauer College in Warrnambool, Victoria made the news for having required all the boys at an assembly to ‘stand up…


Bridge | 8 May 2021

The Lady Milne is the annual Women’s Championship between the home countries (and Ireland) and is most often a two-horse…


Spectator competition winners: poems on the death of Prince Philip

In Competition No. 3197, you were invited to supply a poem to mark the death of Prince Philip. I wondered…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: How do I cope with colleagues’ bad habits now I’m back in the office?

Q. I am placed in a social dilemma due to a proposed visit on the last weekend of June by…

Real life

Why do hygienists self-sabotage?

‘You’re meant to be having your dental appointment now!’ barked the receptionist, bringing my lie-in to an abrupt end. Very…

No sacred cows

We Lumas have the weight of the world on our shoulders

In the introduction to an anthology of his jazz record reviews, the poet Philip Larkin imagines his readers. They’re not…

Mind your language

The shifting language of shame

As his tweed jacket flapped open to one side of his stomach, my husband stood up unsteadily and arched his…


My post-lockdown resolution: drink more Alsace

Freedom approaches. Should we be humming ‘Va, Pensiero’ or ‘O Welche Lust’ — perhaps both. Thinking of Fidelioreminds me of…

The Wiki Man

The hidden cost of free technology

Back in late 2019 I met someone from Zoom who was visiting London. The company, then as now, offered free…

Low life

If all else fails, there’s always basket weaving

The only thing left for me now is to embrace humility and take up basket weaving. In our dog and…

High life

The school that made an American century

New York With the Karamazovian hangover now only a weekly occurrence, the healthy life rules supreme. Well, most of the…

Chess puzzle

No. 652

White to play and mate in two moves. Composed by Revd Ernest Clement Mortimer, The Problemist, 1942. Answers should be…


Dead brain cells

As round 14 of the Candidates tournament unfolded, I had the feeling of watching an anti-climactic post-exam bender. Ian Nepomniachtchi…

Wild life

Did I catch Covid from a naked-rumped tomb bat?

Laikipia Until I promised to slaughter a fat-tailed sheep with a goat thrown in for a feast, the farm cowhands…


2505: Endgame

The unclued lights (one hyphened) are of a kind, confirmed in Chambers. Elsewhere, ignore one accent.   Across 1 I…

Crossword solution

2502: Nay-sayers? - solution

The unclued lights are HORSES. First prize Bob Toland, Ramsey, CambsRunners-up Gareth Davies, Langstone, Gwent; Catherine Knox, London SW4