The Spectator

25 March 2017 Aus

Australian Features

Features Australia

Rejecting the vote

If you ask anyone in a Western nation whether he or she believes in democracy as a system of government,…

Features Australia

The Thawley Essay Prize 2016

Mulga Creek Farm Sept 15th 2026 Dear Sis, I thought I would write a long letter this time seeing as…

Features Australia

Where’s the due diligence on renewables?

You know that lovely warm glow you get on a summer’s evening when it’s still 42 degrees outside and you’re…

Features Australia

Attacking the rule of law

The rule of law has been a trending topic this year, both in Australia and overseas. Much of the discussion…

Features Australia

Business/Robbery etc

It really works! When the big end of town puts its mind to it (along with a few million dollars),…

Features Australia

Tarnished crown jewel

With Malcolm Turnbull hanging on by a one-seat majority federally, the devastating result in the Western Australian state election leaves…

Features Australia

Whacky schemes

When the Rudd government greatly expanded the Renewable Energy Target in 2009, turning an innocuous Howard government initiative into the…


Party time... blossoms at Himeji Castle in Japan

Notes on...

Cherry blossom

In what I like to think of as The Spectator’s back garden — most people call it St James’s Park…

The Week

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

Home Theresa May, the Prime Minister, said that on 29 March she would send a letter to Donald Tusk, the……



So I am feeling a bit better about my lack of radio experience. These are exciting times for free movement……


Sergei Polunin in his spangled merkin performing Narcissus and Echo at Sadler’s Wells


Bravura bling

There was a nasty sound of pens being sharpened last week as Royal Ballet runaway Sergei Polunin prepared to unveil…

‘Absent Friends’, 2000–1, by Howard Hodgkin

Arts feature

Internal affairs

Over 20 years ago I wrote about Giambattista Tiepolo in The Spectator. Shortly afterwards I went to visit Howard Hodgkin…

Ginger Leigh Ryan in ‘All This Panic’


Hide and seek

Two films for you this week, one of which is surprisingly good and one of which does not surprise in…

Jarvis Cocker: contrived or beguiling?


Going underground

When Wireless Nights hit the Radio 4 airwaves in the spring of 2012, I was not at all sure about…

Adam Driver as Adam Sackler, the most unsparingly but sensitively drawn modern male to grace the small screen this decade


Let’s hear it for the boys

Girls creator Lena Dunham has received criticism from all sides. Detractors on the right see her as an exhibitionist provocateur.…

Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope 'wearing the kind of hat not seen since the glory days of All Creatures Great and Small'


Beyond belief

As we know from all those newspaper articles and actress interviews, there’s a scandalous lack of high-profile British TV dramas…

Time to retire: pianist Maurizio Pollini at the Royal Festival Hall in March 2016


All’s well that ends well

There’s a moment in the finale of Beethoven’s Appassionata sonata when the frenzied piano writing turns unexpectedly jolly. The late…

Slyly surreal: Christopher Alden’s Partenope at ENO


Denial has rarely looked so good

Ceci n’est pas une Partenope. Forget the warring classical kingdoms of Naples and Cumae: this is surrealist Paris in the…

A nest of vipers forced into a skirt and cardigan: Imelda Staunton as Martha in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’


Royal prerogative

No one should complain that My Country; a work in progress is a grim night out. It’s rare for a…




Everyone knows him, but hardly anyone can pronounce his name — which is why Jacek Pszczola is universally called Pepsi.…


Pauline conversion

Paul Keres is the only chess player to have appeared on the euro currency, his face adorning the two-euro piece…

Chess puzzle

no. 449

White to play. This position is from Mareco-Nakamura, Pro-League, 2017. Can you spot White’s winning coup?Answers to me at…


A to P

In Competition No. 2990 you were invited to submit a poem of 16 lines in which the lines begin with…


2302: Urbane turban

The solutions to twelve clues, all of which lack definition, have to be adapted as the title indicates before the…

Crossword solution

to 2299: Pieces of Eight

The unclued lights, including 28/3 in its English translation, are compositions by Carl Nielsen, (i.e. pieces of 8 Down).  First…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

Q. We had some people up from London for a very long weekend. We put on an extra-special do, costing…


The fall of Paris

Paris used to be the most self-confident city in the world. Brash, assertive, boastful: Manhattan claimed to be the best.…

High life

High life

A cloudless sky, crunchy spring snow, longer, warmer days. I’ve finally got in some good skiing, twisting around moguls like…