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The Spectator

26 May 2018 Aus

Hangers-on

Australia

Leading article Australia

Congratulations Julie, Malcolm

So it seems that somebody finally picked up that pristine copy of The Spectator Australia that is usually left untouched…

Guest Notes

Diversity notes

Abstractionitis revisited In its recently published survey, Leading for Change: A Blueprint for Cultural Diversity and Inclusive Leadership Revisited, the…

Australian Features

Features Australia

Over-rating Marx

Was Karl Max over-rated as a thinker? It was hard not to ask that (provocative) question as I read the…

Features Australia

SOS for SGMs

If you were trapped at an upper window of a burning building and a fireman appeared at the top of…

Features Australia

Hangers-on

The former NSW Premier Neville Wran had an interesting take on the true meaning of working class culture. Having grown…

Features Australia

Amnesty, morally corrupted?

When Amnesty International concerned itself with campaigning on behalf of individual and identifiable political prisoners of regimes of whatever political…

Features Australia

Bloodshed in Gaza: who’s to blame?

In the seventy years since the rebirth of the Jewish state, the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem is…

Features Australia

Buffoons, donkeys and little men

Good news for Australia in Beijing this week, if a mild setback for Kiwis. In the twelve months to February…

Features Australia

Warrior prince weds a Hollywood princess

The happy marriage between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have formidable and long-lasting consequences. Australians took the occasion to…

Australian Columnists

Culture Buff

Emma Pearson

A remarkable achievement; since its inception in 2002, Pinchgut Opera has staged 20 rarely performed operas, many for the first…

Brown Study

Brown study

Here at the United Nations Human Rights Council, we pride ourselves on getting the job done in double-quick time. But…

Simon Collins

Simon Collins

Has Flipper finally flipped? After centuries of challenging dogs for the Mans’ Best Friend guernsey, an incident in New Zealand…

Features

Features

£350 million for the NHS: How the Brexit bus pledge is coming true

A fortnight before Philip Hammond delivered his last Budget, the chief executive of the NHS gave a speech making the…

Features

Britain and Islam – the real special relationship

In all the agonising about Islamism, and what to do about it, it would be a mistake to forget a…

Features

Putin’s World Cup is the most political tournament ever

Politics and sport should never mix is the hoary old chestnut — but they always do. It’s a thrilling concoction.…

Features

Bernard-Henri Lévy: ‘Brexit will not happen’

I meet Bernard-Henri Lévy in a colossally luxurious hotel on a tree-lined avenue just behind the Elysée Palace. The French…

Features

The adoption waiting game 

When my husband, John, was born in 1946, doctors were the chief agents of adoption. His mother was young, single,…

Features

Why old bangers beat shiny new cars hands down

I was collecting my daughter from school when my path was blocked by an enormous black Range Rover sitting in…

Features

Why are so many women obsessed with horses?

When asked to describe in three words what it means to win Badminton, the world’s most challenging and prestigious equestrian…

Inspired touch: Asterix creators René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo (seated) in 1967

Notes on...

Asterix and the sheer brilliance of his creators

A sterix, te amamus! For those not lucky enough to learn their Latin from the dazzling René Goscinny and Albert…

The Week

Leading article

It’s time for Mark Carney to stop fighting the Brexit referendum

Soon after he became his party’s leader, David Cameron spoke dismissively of Conservatives who ‘bang on about Europe’. He had…

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week: Marks & Spencer to close 100 stores, Meghan and Harry marry, Trump says North Korea summit might not happen

Home Marks & Spencer announced plans to close 100 of its 1,035 shops by 2022, hoping to move a third…

Diary

Cressida Bonas’s diary: Why do I find wedding hats so tricky?

Monday morning. Sitting in Ed the physio’s waiting room. He is theatreland’s go-to man for fractured bones and torn muscles…

Ancient and modern

What ancient Roman Remainiacs can teach Matthew Parris

Matthew Parris feels that he has become a genuine Remainiac, and kindly readers, fearing for his mental health, have been…

From The Archives

From the archive: Brothers-in-arms

From ‘The new crusade’, 25 May 1918: It is curious to think how great must soon have been the spiritual…

Letters

Letters: Rod Liddle is wrong. I saw children shot dead in Gaza

Desperation in Gaza Sir: I must respond to Rod Liddle’s opinion on Gaza (‘Why this deluded affection for the Palestinians?’,…

Columnists

The Spectator's Notes

Michael Gove’s stove ban is a direct attack on country life

Michael Gove wants to punish those who use wood-burning stoves and possibly even open fires. It would be hard to…

American Politics

Donald Trump’s murky past is catching up with him

 Washington, DC It was a petulant Donald Trump who appeared at a White House press briefing on Tuesday with the…

Rod Liddle

Is Meghan’s wedding our ‘Obama moment’? Let’s hope not

Here’s something to bear in mind over the next few years. Be wary of taking advice on social justice from…

Matthew Parris

Is ‘woman’ now an offensive word?

I do not know whether the Speaker of the House of Commons called the present Leader of the House a…

Lionel Shriver

I like a fight too much. That’s why I’ll never go on social media

During a dozen years in Belfast I collected a number of political coffee mugs, hailing from both sides of the…

Any other business

Why Mark Carney’s successor is likely to be woman

If Ben Broadbent’s Daily Telegraph interview last week was the launch of a bid for the governorship of the Bank…

Books

Detail of a fresco from the House of the Golden Bracelet, Pompeii

Lead book review

The sacred chickens that ruled the roost in ancient Rome

Even the most cursory glance at the classical period reveals the central place that birds played in the religious and…

Before fleeing to London, Emmanuel Barthélemy commanded a barricade during the June Days uprising in Paris in 1848. Painting by Tony-François de Bergue

Books

The cruel end of Emmanuel Barthélemy –as a waxwork in the Chamber of Horrors

This is a biography that begins with a bang, swiftly followed by puddles of blood, shrieks of ‘Murder!’ and a…

Books

Bibi Netanyahu: Israel’s unloved, unlovable necessity

Benjamin Netanyahu is one of the most unloved and unlovable figures in Israeli politics, a solid finish in a competitive…

Drystone walling in the Brecon Beacons, Wales

Books

My brilliant career hits the drystone wall

We all tell stories about ourselves, every one of us. ‘I’m a useless cook.’ ‘Spiders don’t scare me.’ Not all…

Books

1983: the year the world nearly ended

In 1983, Soviet spies skulked in our midnight streets to check the lights were out. The Kremlin, convinced the West…

Hello darkness, my old friend: Paul Simon, determined to ensure that his true self remains in shadow

Books

The sound of silence that echoes round Paul Simon

Someone has gone to a lot of trouble choosing the jacket cover of Robert Hilburn’s authorised biography of Paul Simon…

Books

Carbon – the stuff of life we’re shamefully ignorant about

‘I didn’t realise we were carbon,’ said a friend to whom I mentioned this book. She was the first of…

Dorothy Parker: poet, short story writer, acidic reviewer and queen of the Algonquin Round Table

Books

America’s wittiest women fight to be taken seriously

From Aphra Behn to Virginia Woolf, women who make a living by their pens have frequently felt the need to…

Books

Is it acceptable to spin an entertaining fantasy from real-life crime?

How can you defend a man you hate? John Fairfax, in his Blind Defence (Little Brown, £16.99), explores this dilemma.…

Arts

Roger Allam as John Christie in David Hare’s The Moderate Soprano

Arts feature, Duke of York's Theatre

A champion actor and fully paid-up member of the human race: Roger Allam interviewed

A most excellent fellow, Roger Allam. On the stage he brings dignity to all he does, in the noblest traditions…

Extension of credit: the vaults, part of David Chipperfield’s redevelopment of the Royal Academy

Arts

How lucky we are to have the Royal Academy

What is the Royal Academy? This question set me thinking as I wandered through the crowds that celebrated the opening…

Music

What a wasted opportunity: Jonas Kaufmann’s Four Last Songs reviewed

No wonder we have a problem with classical music in this country. The week started in celebration. The stats are…

Radio

Podcasts often have no real interest in those who might be listening

‘Do you ever imagine your audience?’ was a question thrown at James Ward, creator and presenter of The Boring Talks…

Television

Magisterial: BBC1’s A Very English Scandal reviewed

Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little, so you can imagine how sickened I was by the magisterial…

Theatre

Large chunks felt lifted from The Archers: Nightfall reviewed

The Bridge’s big summer show is Nightfall by prize-winning newcomer Barney Norris. Widowed Jenny wants her grown-up kids, Lou and…

Artists of the Royal Ballet against the easel-worthy backcloths of John Macfarlane’s ravishing designs for Swan Lake

Dance

Proper tutus, gorgeous designs, first-rate dancing: Royal Ballet’s new Swan Lake reviewed

The Royal Ballet’s 2016 Frankenstein was a masterclass in how not to make narrative dance and the news that Liam…

Opera

Much is routine – and a fair amount is worse: Glyndebourne’s Madama Butterfly reviewed

There is no such thing as a moderately good performance of Madama Butterfly, or, to be more precise, it’s not…

Cinema

I desperately wanted to love Edie but I couldn’t

Edie tells the story of an 84-year-old woman who wants to fulfil a girlhood ambition by climbing a Scottish mountain.…

Life

High life

Dispatch from Pegasus Bridge, Normandy

Pegasus Bridge, Normandy   We’re taking morning coffee at the Café Gondrée, which skirts the bridge. It still belongs to…

Low life

Catriona’s first bullfight – but would it be her last?

Six Partido de Resina (formerly Pablo Romero) bulls for Rafaelillo, Thomas Dufau and Juan Leal. The first corrida of the…

Real life

The poorer I get, the more capitalist I become

‘What a fabulous tan, where did you get it? said one of my fellow lunch guests as we entered the…

The turf

My hot tips for the Flat season to come

In his days as a novice jockey in the West Country, Bob Davies, who was to ride more than 900…

Bridge

Bridge

Martin Hoffman, who died last week, had an extraordinary life. Born in Prague in 1929, he was the only member…

Chess

Short shrift

On 10 May, Britain’s most famous grandmaster, Nigel Short, chose the pages of the Times to announce his surprise candidacy…

Chess puzzle

no. 507

White to play. This position is from Short-Muir, Gibraltar Masters 2004. How did Short bring his kingside attack to a…

Competition

A fine bromance

In Competition No. 3049 you were invited to submit a poem about a bromance.   Pairings including Friedrich and Karl,…

Crossword

2360: Diplomatic

One unclued light is the title (two words) of a work by a person whose name is formed by two…

Crossword solution

to 2357: Half a Drum

Unclued lights were five fictional TOMs and their authors: JONES (14A) and FIELDING (8D), SAWYER (16A) and TWAIN (35A), BROWN (41A)…

No sacred cows

The BBC makes Jeremy Thorpe’s downfall a very enjoyable scandal

As a conservative, I wasn’t sure what to make of the news that the BBC was adapting A Very English…

The Wiki Man

London Bridge station: Netwór Krail’s £1 billion experiential artwork

In the shadow of the Shard, not far from Borough Market, is a £1 billion public artwork, an allegorical sculpture…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: As best man, can I seduce the groom’s sister?

Q. We often take friends to what my husband calls a ‘poncey’ pub which has won numerous awards and where…

Drink

It’s not so easy to turn wine into words

Words, words, words. Over a couple of sessions, we drank a selection of serious wines, starting with a Cantemerle ’05.…

Mind your language

Similar to (as opposed to like, as with, such as)

I’m often annoyed by like being misused in different ways. (In place of as, for example: ‘Like I expected, he was…