The Spectator

21 January 2017 Aus

Revealing nudes




Leading article Australia

Calling Dr Hunt

Whatever she may think about her quaint attachment to the Gold Coast being ‘within the rules’, former Health minister Sussan…


Guest Notes

Inauguration notes

The Worst President When it was said that Malcolm Turnbull is the worst Australian Liberal Prime Minister since Sir William…

Australian Features


Features Australia

Turnbull’s Labor dream

In 1993, Malcolm Turnbull was at a crossroads. Paul Keating had given the well-known journalist, lawyer, banker and republican his…


Features Australia

Ruing the day

Here comes Australia Day again and with it, like professional wailers preceding a Sicilian funeral, the chorus of media penitents…


Features Australia

Truth verboten

This time last year, the German media lost the confidence of the German people. News of the mass New Year’s…


Features Australia

Reconciliation or Revenge?

For a decade, a national apology was sought from Prime Minister John Howard. For a decade, he refused to provide…


Features Australia

Trump is our id, the Left is our super-ego

Trump’s inauguration will be loathed by many. While the meltdown of his enemies are too long and varied to document,…


Features Australia

Revealing nudes

Nude begins with that most perfect of bodies: champion archer Teucer drawing his bow, his youthful face absorbed in concentration,…


Features Australia

High Noon USA

It’s going to be spectacular, it’s going to be ugly and it’s going to be war. The liberal elites in…

Australian Columnists


Brown Study

Brown study

I should stop saying I am appalled by every new horror that arises in public life; there are so many…


Culture Buff

Dress worn by Yvonne Kenny as Armida in Rinaldo

If you think you haven’t got anything to wear, then Opera Australia may be able to help you. At the…


Simon Collins

Simon Collins

As I write this the Trump inauguration is still three days away, so the US intelligence community still has time…


Labour Attempt To Hold On To Stoke As The BNP Target The Seat


The love Labour’s losing

Stoke-on-Trent is an unsettled place, figuratively and literally. The ground under the city is riddled with shafts from coal and…



The plots against Trump

The ‘most deadly adversaries of republican government,’ wrote Alexander Hamilton, arise ‘chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain…



How did you kill that hat?

The well-dressed lady turned the fur collar over in her hands and fixed me with a withering stare. ‘Is this…

Distant overview of Stonehenge against stormy skies


Monumental folly

The astonishing has happened at Stonehenge. Some prehistoric force has driven ministers to make a decision. It is to spend…



Killer plots

We all love to mock Bond villains for their hilarious ineptitude at killing the hero. The ‘genius’ Dr No has a…

Cityscape with a sunset in the background


Flight into Israel

I’ve always lived in London. I grew up near Baker Street and went to school in Camden. Even when I…



A renewed special relationship

Freddy Gray, Paul Wood and Kate Andrews discuss Trump’s arrival at the White House:   As president, Barack Obama was…



Late-season skiing

There’s trouble brewing in the Alps. Skiers arriving in the mountains over Christmas were greeted, not by snow-clad chalets and…

The Week

Ancient and modern

An emperor’s inauguration

Given that Donald Trump is not the most popular president the USA has ever seen, even among his own party,…



Starting cold Why is US Presidential Inauguration Day always on 20 January? — The date was moved from 4 March…




Donald Trump was gushing about one European leader in his Times interview this week. But it was the wrong one.…

German Fleet

From The Archives

Who commands the sea?

From ‘Raiders, submarines and some naval problems’, The Spectator, 20 January 1917: At the moment the enemy’s fleet is compelled to…


Australian letters

Rubbish in, rubbish out These are days of momentous, world-shaking, events. But none can match the global impact of the…


Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

Home Britain will leave the single market on leaving the European Union, Theresa May, the Prime Minister, said in a…

Theresa May Gives First Domestic Policy Speech

Leading article

The right way to do Brexit: positive – but tough

From the start of the European Union referendum campaign, competing visions of Brexit have been advocated. To Nigel Farage, the…


Any other business

As the rich get richer and Trump takes power, Davos Man should be very afraid

I’ve objected before to the fact that supporters of Oxfam shops are unknowingly funding not only an aid charity but…

Hugo Rifkind

Piers Morgan is a shameless brown-noser. But maybe he’s on the right track

A few weeks ago I was having an argument with Piers Morgan on Twitter. Oh God, is that really how…

Matthew Parris

What really drives us in the big game of life?

When were you last in a game reserve? Perhaps most Spectator readers will be familiar with the experience and if…


May has taken back control

‘No negotiation without notification’ has been the EU’s mantra since 24 June last year. Its leaders have been determined that…

Rod Liddle

Stupidity takes hold of another students’ union

I had never heard the acronym Soas before I started work at the BBC, almost 30 years ago. But as…

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes

It is hard to be shocked by anything in these tumultuous times, but I was brought up short by the…




The Band’s Barnacle Man

The recent spate of rock memoirs has proved one of the less rewarding sub- genres in the post-digital Gutenberg galaxy.…



Bridges and troubled waters

During David Cameron’s years as prime minister, an unobtrusive figure could be seen slipping out of the back entrance to…



Thoughts on the human condition

This past autumn has felt more uncomfortable than usual to be a woman looking at men looking at women. From…



Wild, wild women

Who is the least likely candidate for an animated princess movie? That’s the question former DreamWorks animator Jason Porath asked…



Embarrassing Victorian bodies

The fetishisation of the Victorians shows no sign of abating. Over the past 16 years, since the centenary of the…

Washington DC police officers arrest an unidentifi


A matter of life and death

This month, 30 years ago, I wrote a draft of what was to become soon afterwards the first comprehensive human…

SIS (Secret Intelligence Service or MI6) Building in London


A cold case from the Cold War

It is a chastening thought that Boris Johnson’s responsibilities now include MI6. Alan Judd’s latest novel is particularly interesting about…

Spouses having their first disagreement


An apologia for adultery

What to make of this unexpectedly startling novel? Though you may be lured into a false sense of familiarity by…

Monseignor Knox


Piety and wit

During the second world war, while one brother was editing Punch as a national institution (‘Working with him was a…

Operation Prairie


The legacy of Vietnam

At first glance, Robert Olen Butler’s Perfume River seems like an application for a National Book Award. Its protagonist, Robert,…



A hellish paradise

‘Short of writing a thesis in many volumes,’ Patrick Leigh Fermor wrote in his preface to The Traveller’s Tree, ‘only…

Man Booker International Prize


The trapper and the trapped

The Hungarian novelist László Krasznahorkai has only lately become known to Anglophone audiences, through the masterly translations of George Szirtes…



Look back in anger

Pankaj Mishra’s Age of Anger wants to explain how we got to a world in ‘a pervasive panic… that anything…



Arts feature

Ideal homes

Artists, poets and philosophers have not paid much attention to Milton Keynes …although comedians have. This urban experiment has been…



Acting with a capital ‘A’

Let’s be clear: Jackie is a better performance than it is a film, although I suspect the performance will carry…



Great leaps forward

In the 1940s Lucian Freud took another young painter, Sandra Blow, up to the top of a bombed church in…

Visitors outside the Royal Festival Hall in with London Eye


Safe and sound

This week the Southbank Centre began its ‘Belief and Beyond Belief’ festival — a series of concerts and talks claiming…



The xx: I See You

The xx is a trio of Londoners whose eponymous first album, released in 2009, has defined the way pop music…


Death rattle

The Barbican website warns us that Ligeti’s opera Le grand macabre ‘contains very strong language and adult themes’. The strong…



Spot the ball

The purest form of radio is probably sports commentating, creating pictures in the mind purely through language so that by…



Dual control

Revolting (Tuesdays) is the BBC2 comedy series that spawned the now-infamous sketch ‘Real Housewives of Isis’. It has been watched…


Remembrance of things past

The Kite Runner, a novel by Khaled Hosseini, has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. Now it arrives on…


Chelsea v Arsenal - Premier League

Spectator sport

Big trouble upstream

At a wedding a few years back a very gloomy looking guest, a well-known Geordie actor as it happens, arrived…

Form Board

Status anxiety

A myth that keeps growing and growing

I had lunch recently with an assistant head of a leading independent school and he told me about their ‘growth…

Cheltenham Races

The turf

The turf

You had to feel for ITV’s new racing team on their opening day at Cheltenham. It was cold, wet and…




The Friday night IMPs game at the Young Chelsea is still the best game around. Some of yesterday’s internationals may…




Richard Réti is one of the most fascinating figures in the history of chess thought. The author of two seminal…


Chess puzzle

no. 440

White to play. This is from Réti-Tartakower, Vienna 1910. Can you spot White’s beautiful tactical coup? Answers to me at…


Fashion statement

In Competition No. 2981 you were invited to submit a poem about a politician and an item of clothing.  …



2293: Topping

The unclued lights (one of two words and one hyphened) are of a kind, all verifiable in Chambers.   Across…


Crossword solution

to 2290: Timely II

Perimetric trios combine to suggest HOG/MAN/AY: SHILLING, MALE, INDEED; SWINE, ATTENDANT, YES; MOUND, EMPLOYEE, EVER. The relevant activity is FIRST-FOOTING…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

Q. At a drinks party at Christie’s this evening my face was splattered with flecks of spit from the guest…

Increase Police Security In Front Of Trump Tower Following Protest In New York



Trump Tower sits between Gucci and Tiffany on Fifth Avenue in New York City. It looks like infant Lego, the…

Luftwaffe Over Greece

High life

High life

 Athens I can only ask sardonically: was it worth it? Executed after unspeakable torture without giving anything away — and…

Long life

Long life

I am very bad at remembering my dreams: I would have been a poor patient for Dr Freud. But I…

Low life

Low life

Our friend Anthony was reportedly dying and a party of four drove over to the nursing home to say cheerio.…

Mind your language


‘Look, darling, a spelling mistake,’ said my husband, looking out of the window, as he had been for minutes, like…

Real life

Real life

If the buyer asks me any more questions I am going to pull out. I have to put my foot…