The Spectator

20 May 2017 Aus

Identity politics

Australia

Leading article Australia

77

Ronald Reagan was 77 years old in his final year in office running the free world. And he made a…

Diary Australia

Venice diary

The Biennale The Venice Biennale has been a rite of every second spring since 1895. The oldest biennial art fair…

Guest Notes

Libertarian notes

Latham’s lure Those pundits who have questioned whether it would be good for us to have Mark Latham join the…

Guest Notes

PC notes

On May 3 Tony Abbott urged his audience at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Perth to place…

Australian Features

Features Australia

Budget notes

Stealing Shorten’s shorts In 1845 Benjamin Disraeli said of Britain’s Tory Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel, that he had ‘caught…

Features Australia

Identity politics

The budget week just gone has marked the moment when both sides of politics officially gave up on budget repair…

Features Australia

Worth losing the base?

Donald Trump has identified a phenomenon in the Western media which many suspect and which believers in a free press…

Features Australia

Business/Robbery etc

It’s one of the few bits of Liberal economic policy left in the budget – and judging by the pathetic…

Features Australia

Turnbull’s twilight urgatory

‘I Told You So!’. These are not words that listeners usually enjoy hearing. In fact, if you’re looking for a…

Features Australia

Snowflake warriors

Australia’s hopes rest in its youth, or so people used to say in the expectation that rising generations would build…

Australian Columnists

Culture Buff

Taryn Fiebig for Pinchgut Opera

Baroque opera is increasingly popular in Australia, particularly in recent years through the work of Pinchgut Opera. This administratively tiny…

Features

Notes on...

Swiss trains

When Theresa May went off to Switzerland on a walking holiday last August, she said it was the ‘peace and…

Features

‘Our children are horrified’

Wrexham, North Wales   To window cleaner Andrew Atkinson, Theresa May’s ‘blue-collar Conservatism’ is not just a slogan. It’s what…

Features

This is an emergency

The NHS as we know it is dying. It’s no longer a matter of if it will collapse, but when.…

Features

Middle May

Once, politicians remained in their safe spaces and elections were fought in a handful of swing seats. This time Theresa…

Features

Throw in the towel

Spas are supposed to be relaxing. You pad around in a regulation robe and too-big slippers. Everything is beautifully soft,…

Features

Life in a gulag

I was invited to Moscow earlier this year to give a talk about my latest book. But while I was…

Features

Red Theresa

Never has the Conservative party been more confident about winning a general election. Theresa May’s popularity ratings have broken all…

The Week

Diary

Diary

On the heels of the Today programme’s invitation to discuss ‘cultural appropriation’ (again), the New York Times reported the disheartening…

From The Archives

A brave new world

From ‘The New Reform Bill’, The Spectator, 19 May 1917: Though we used to be opposed to the suffrage for women,…

Leading article

Trump on the edge

Donald Trump has often wrong-footed the media. In last year’s election his campaign seemed to be always on the verge…

Letters

Letters

Libyan solution Sir: Boris Johnson correctly reports glimmers of hope in Libya, but to say its problems can be solved…

Barometer

Barometer

Veggie skills Forest Green Rovers, described as the world’s first vegan football club, was promoted to the Football League. Some…

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the Week

NHS and computers across the world crippled by ransomware virus

Ancient and modern

Power and the middle class

When the centre disappears, equality vanishes with it

Columnists

Any other business

Here’s who should be Mrs May’s cabinet supremo to tackle the housing shortage

Who should be housing supremo in what we all assume will be Mrs May’s new administration? Brandon Lewis and Gavin…

Hugo Rifkind

Big money, big data and the dead cat strategy

In his new book Move Fast and Break Things, the American academic Jonathan Taplin makes a decent case that, democratically…

James Delingpole

We owe it to hunt staff to repeal the ban

Though I don’t think much of Theresa May’s paternalistic soft-left politics, I do like her no-nonsense style. That Q&A she…

Rod Liddle

Corbyn is the real heir to Blair

Alastair Campbell once famously punched the Guardian’s Michael White in the face. A commendable thing to do, undoubtedly, as Mr…

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes

‘Exclusive invitation: I want to hear from you, Charles’, it said in my inbox. Theresa May wanted me to take…

Books

Lead book review

The city of ugly love

Cuba’s gorgeous, crumbling capital has always been a testing ground for writers. That heady combination of revolution, cocktails, sex and…

Books

Fallen idols

David Hepworth is such a clever writer — not just clever in the things he writes, but in the way…

Books

A brave new world – at gunpoint

Of the many books published this year to mark the centenary of the Russian revolution, this is perhaps the most…

Books

Gold and dust

Timbuktu. Can any other three syllables evoke such a thrill? For travellers, explorers and historians of Africa, the ancient desert…

Books

Not-so-sweet 16

I like novelists who don’t try to do everything in their novels, but just to do something well. This is…

Books

Escapism for boys

Jack Higgins’s writing routine was said to start with dinner at his favourite Italian restaurant in Jersey, followed by writing…

Books

No ordinary judge

Justice McCardie was anything but a conventional High Court judge. He left school at 15 and was called to the…

Books

Paradise or prison?

This daintily dress-conscious and rewardingly heavyweight novel is set mainly in a half imaginary stately home in Oxfordshire. The story…

Books

Soaring and singing

Whether it’s Coleridge’s nightingale or Petrarch’s, Ted Hughes’s wren or Shelley’s skylark, Helen Macdonald’s hawk or Max Porter’s crow, literature…

Arts

Arts Essay

The play’s the thing

Donald Winnicott once told a colleague that Tolstoy had been perversely wrong to write that happy families were all alike…

Cinema

No laughing matter

We love Amy Schumer. Fact. And we love Goldie Hawn. Fact. But can we love Snatched? Not so much, if…

Exhibitions

League of nations

‘Are you enjoying the Biennale?’ is a question one is often asked while patrolling the winding paths of the Giardini…

Interview

Roving eye

Photography has many genres, even more than painting, and most photographers achieve fame by focusing on one of them. There…

Radio

Moment of truth

Two extremes of the listening experience were available on Monday on Radio 4. The day began conventionally enough with Start…

Sculpture

An artist of the quickening world

What is it about Yorkshire, particularly Leeds, that it has bred or trained such a succession of famous modern sculptors?…

Television

Police force

I’ve often thought that a good idea for an authentic TV cop show would be to portray the police as…

Opera

False start

When a composer begins an opera, they create a world. You don’t need a full-scale overture: the tear-stained violins that…

Theatre

Killing time

Jez Butterworth’s new play The Ferryman is set in Armagh in 1981. Quinn, a former terrorist, has swapped the armed…

Arts

A method to his madness

His cartoons were semi-serious responses to societal problems, as this extract from Adam Hart-Davis’s new book shows

Life

Bridge

Bridge

Long after my own team had been knocked out of this year’s Spring Fours in Stratford-on-Avon (the most prestigious and…

Chess

Trumpeting success

Regular readers will recall my column of 15 April in which I speculated on the future of the eccentric Fidé…

Chess puzzle

no. 457

White to play. This is from Euwe-Fischer, New York 1957. How did Euwe capitalise on the threatening position of his…

Competition

Lost in translation

In Competition No. 2998 you were invited to submit a set of instructions for an everyday device that have been…

Crossword

Constitutional Amendment

Unclued lights are six characters from 45 and its author. Five of these undergo 45 in one way before entry;…

Crossword solution

2307: Obit IV

On 18 March 2017 the great ROCK’N’ROLLER (3) Chuck Berry died. Round the perimeter run the titles of four of…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

Q. My mother always told me that only boring people are bored. However she never got stuck at a drinks…

Drink

French fancies

‘That sweet enemy, France.’ It takes a poet to summarise centuries of military and diplomatic history. On a prosaic level,…

High life

High life

At a chic dinner party last week, a Trump insider gossiped about an American president having had an affair with…

Low life

Low life

Chez Frank is a popular local boar-hunters’ bar, tobacconist and general store at a lonely crossroads in the forest. It…

Mind your language

Anniversary

‘It’s like Pin number,’ said my husband, drifting into lucidity. So it is, in a way. The construction under discussion…

Real life

Real life

The builder boyfriend has dug himself a hole. I don’t mean he’s in trouble with me. I mean he has…

Status anxiety

Stupid is as stupid votes

John Stuart Mill is usually credited as the person who first called the Conservatives ‘the stupid party’, but that isn’t…

The Wiki Man

Why we need paper promises

When you get into a taxi, there’s usually a framed sheet of paper describing what you pay for your trip:…