The Spectator

25 February 2017 Aus

It’s war, dear


Leading article Australia

Welcome, Bibi

Sensible and fair-minded Australians, whether supporters of the Coalition, Labor, One Nation, or Cory Bernardi’s new party (obviously supporters of…

Guest Notes

Australian notes

Tim wilson is wrong In this past Saturday’s Inquirer page, Liberal MP Tim Wilson – former Commissioner in the Australian…

Guest Notes

Jewish notes

Bob hawke’s conditional friendship In Bob Hawke’s recent article (Australian Financial Review, 13 February) he claims that it is a…

Guest Notes

Immigration notes

February 8 was Enoch Powell’s death day, God rest him. I observed it by reading his Collected Poems, a stately…

Australian Features

Features Australia

It’s war, dear

Last year the Scottish philosopher John Haldane took part in a Sydney Ethics Centre debate challenging the notion that ‘Society…

Features Australia

The feminist religion? How we laughed.

Sometimes, Pauline Hanson’s ‘Please explain’ and the Senate’s role as House of Review achieve perfect congruence. Last week, in Question…

Features Australia

The danger of moderate Islam

Prior to the World Trade Centre attacks, no one would have cared that I was a Muslim. My ethnic heritage…

Features Australia

Conservatism with a revolutionary heart

Modern-day leftism, which is the bohemian spirit of 1968 codified and institutionalised, dominates almost every aspect of Western societies, not…

Features Australia

Steal their clothes

The Left now thinks it’s nailed one of the most irritating thorns in its flesh, the flamboyant conservative polemicist Milo…

Features Australia

Business/Robbery etc

As punishment for voting last week to correct (in part) his damaging job-destroying two year legislated delay in fully implementing…

Australian Columnists

Consider This

Consider this…

FGM: It’s whose fault? African immigrant, Khadiija Gbla, of No FGM Australia accused ‘the health system in Australia’ of ‘failing’…

Culture Buff

The Australian Ballet Faster

I imagine that quite a few subscribers to the Australian Ballet would be happiest if they were only offered full…



A bookseller’s duty

To my mind, a bookshop is like a library — the only difference is that you buy the books, you…



If you believe the hype, Emmanuel Macron is l’anti-Trump. He is what the inter-national centre-left, reeling from the shocks of…


Islam’s lost Enlightenment

I am quite used to people smirking into their sleeves when they hear that I’ve just written a book called…


Against Queen Camilla

How would you feel about a Queen Camilla, as in the wife of King Charles? Personally I’d be dead against,…


Make way for Ubercare

There is much to be faulted in Uber, which has branched out from delivering people into delivering meals, under the…


The McMaster plan

When Lt Gen H.R. McMaster was appointed by Donald Trump to the post of national security adviser, newspaper reports hailed…


Brutish Britain

Life in Britain has become much cruder, meaner and more spiteful practically everywhere. It can be seen in people’s behaviour…

Good beer, cheap



Of all the stories I’ve heard about the fallout from Brexit — families divided, work jeopardised, friendships ended — the…


The new third Way

Forget left and right — the new divide in politics is between nationalists and globalists. Donald Trump’s team believe that…

The Week

Ancient and modern

All the President’s yes-men

Donald Trump takes it as read that any criticism of his words or actions is an assault on the truth.…



Big league Lincoln City became the first non-league club since Queens Park Rangers in 1914 to win a place in…



More than 20 years ago, I left my fast life in London for a rather more relaxed one in Brighton…



More than 20 years ago, I left my fast life in London for a rather more relaxed one in Brighton…

From The Archives

The Americans are coming

From ‘What will the United States do?’, The Spectator, 24 February 1917: It may be that the congestion of American…


Australian letters

A doctor writes Sir: Rowan Dean ( Editorial 18 February ) has obviously been mixing with the wrong doctors’ wives.…

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the Week

Home Theresa May, the Prime Minister, sat on the steps of the throne, as a privy counsellor, watching the Lords…

Leading article

Lost boys

For a body supposedly committed to eliminating inequality between the sexes, the Women and Equalities Select Committee don’t exactly lead…


Any other business

Why I’m glad that Unilever saw off predatory robot Kraft Heinz

I was sorry Kraft Heinz’s £115 billion bid for Unilever collapsed so fast — unveiled on Friday, it was dead…

James Delingpole

Killing spree of the fluffy green idiots

Who do you think was responsible for Europe’s biggest environmental disaster of the past three decades; one that caused more…

Rod Liddle

Are satanic abuse cops 120 per cent gullible?

I got lost in the forest near my house while walking the dog the other week. The path I was…

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes

Last month, at Policy Exchange, I met a charming, quiet American general called H.R. McMaster. In conversation, I was struck…


Jess Phillips — like a clever, funny friend telling you what gets her goat


The plight of women in Labour

We’re told not to judge books by their covers, but faced with these two it’s hard not to. Harman’s is…

The star-struck Claretta, Mussolini’s last love. According to her diaries, he radiated a ‘god-like potency’ and a ‘bull-like’ magnetism


The Ben and Clara affair

As a child in fascist Italy, Clara Petacci (known as Claretta) was dutifully adoring of Benito Mussolini and the cult…


Telling stories

John Burnside is the author of an impressive bookshelf of elegant novels and slim, precise volumes of poetry, and like…


In the thieves’ den

‘To get a confession from a proud male factor, it is always better to call for a poet than a…

Paul Durand-Ruel, who created the market for impressionism, commissioned Renoir’s ‘Dance in the Country’, painted in 1883


Conning the connoisseurs

Rogues’ Gallery describes itself as a history of art and its dealers, and Philip Hook, who has worked at the…

George Mackay Brown appears part-inspiration forAnnalena McAfee’s fictional poet Grigor McWatt


Dead poet’s society

Alex Salmond, former first minister of Scotland, once claimed that he could always tell Scottish fiction from English. Novels, he…


More matter with less art

When A.A. Gill died last December, there was wailing and gnashing of teeth across the nation. I must admit this…


A surreal caprice

At the start of this novella the protagonist, Thibaut, is ambushed by Wehrmacht soldiers between the ninth and tenth arrondissements.…

The romance and drama of the night train is captured in Charles d’Albert’s illustration


Let me take you through the night

As a child, I used to travel with my mother from London to Cannes, a journey that took slightly under…


All human life is there

This book kept reminding me of Robin Williams in One Hour Photo. Just as his character spied on customers’ private…

Portrait of Persia’s Prince Abbas Mirza c. 1820. From his bailiwick near the Russian border he dispatched educational missions to Europe, sponsored translations of key European works and imported metal casting techniques and the printing press


Light in the East

Christopher de Bellaigue, a journalist who has spent much of his working life in the Middle East, has grown tired…

Pomak Muslims still live in Greek and Bulgarian villages. Left: a bride embarks on her two-day winter wedding in Ribnovo, 210 km from Sofia


Frontier territory

In Ali’s Café, just inside Turkey on the Bulgarian border, Iraqi and Syrian refugees spend their days drinking tea. Now…


Square off: Mies van der Rohe’s Mansion House Square


Building block

What a strange affair it now seems, the Mansion House Square brouhaha. How very revealing of the battle for the…

Carry on screaming: Nathalie Baye as Martine in ‘It’s Only the End of the World’


Pump up the volume

Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only the End of the World is one of those angst-ridden dramas focusing on what is commonly…

‘Allegro Moderato Fireman’s Parade’ (from the Calcium of Light portfolio), 1974–76, by Eduardo Paolozzi


On the make

Rudolfo Paolozzi was a great maker. In the summer, he worked almost without stopping in the family’s ice-cream shop, making…

‘Gas’, 1940, by Edward Hopper


American psyche

The latest exhibition at the Royal Academy is entitled America after the Fall. It deals with painting in the United…


Tough love

Frank Martin is one of those composers whose work seems to survive only by virtue of constantly renewed neglect. His…

‘Inferno’ by Massimo Belardinelli


Comic effect

Borag Thungg, Earthlets! If those words mean something to you, then congratulations — you are leading a good life. If…


Olden but golden

This weekend Brian Matthew will present his last-ever Sounds of the 60s show on Radio 2. Now 88, he’s been…

‘SS-GB’ takes the commitment to the crepuscular a lot further than most


Occupational hazard

Rival law-enforcement agencies arguing about which of them should investigate a murder has, of course, been a staple of crime…


Let’s talk about sex

What does it take to become a prostitute? Youth, beauty, courage, sexual allure, a love of money, a need for…


High life

High life

From my chalet high up above the village, I look up at the immense, glistening mountain range of the Alps,…

Low life

Low life

I stepped off the train in Barcelona at 7.30 in the evening and followed directions to the hostel. The February…

Mind your language

Curry favour

The number of things I don’t know is infinite — or infinite minus one, if such as number exists, since…

Real life

Real life

Unexpectedly re-available is a very good phrase. I have often seen it applied to house advertisements and thought how fabulously…

Status anxiety

Will my inner party animal roar back to life?

According to a front-page story in the Times earlier this week, your personality does change over the course of your…

The Wiki Man

Thank God for overpriced lawyers!

When you buy a house in Britain, there is an extensive and well-established series of checks you must perform to…



If there’s one tournament I’d really like to play in, it’s the Cavendish in Monaco, the largest money bridge tournament…


Blazing Sadler

Matthew Sadler’s retirement from full-time international chess is one of the great losses to the British game. Occasionally, the one-time…

Chess puzzle

no. 445

Black to play. This position is from Morozevich-Sadler, Reykjavik 1999, a game from Sadler’s heydey, when he was regularly beating…


You’re toast

In Competition No. 2986 you were invited to submit a poem about a deadly foodstuff.   My inspiration for this…


2298: NON

The unclued lights (one of two words), correctly paired, are of a kind and are defective in the same way.…

Crossword solution

to 2295: Juicy

The shared name was PERRY (18), shared by GRAYSON (28) Perry and Perry MASON (2). GP, whose alter ego is…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

Q. I’ve listened to the radio to deal with insomnia for years (Dear Mary, 18 February) and your suggestion of…