×

The Spectator

Cover_issue_120113

12 January 2013

The accidental exit

David Cameron may have inadvertently set Britain on a path out of the EU

Subscribe from £12 »

Previous Issues

Features

EU-pressure

The accidental exit

12 January 2013

David Cameron may have inadvertently set Britain on a path out of the EU

Dempsey

America’s strategic stupidity

12 January 2013

Obama’s new foreign policy team must beware of generals bearing predictions

Mexico-105878013

Stop the drugs war

12 January 2013

Legalisation is Mexico’s only hope

Rosalio

A hit man at 13

12 January 2013

After a long wait in the visiting room of the maximum security wing of the ‘Gib Lewis Unit’, Rosalio Reta finally arrived for our interview. He was only five feet… Read more

Banksy - Lifestyle not in stock

Paying Osborne’s bills

12 January 2013

I now have to spend more on taxes than I do on my family

75627516

Wedding hells

12 January 2013

The gay rights movement should run a mile from marriage

The Week

Leading article

Troubles ahead

12 January 2013

If the Belfast riots were happening in any other city in the United Kingdom, there would be uproar. For almost five weeks there have been violent clashes each night. Live… Read more

541878_403987356297540_310969181_n

Diary

Bruce Anderson

12 January 2013

There is a lesson to be learned from the Francis Report into the NHS in Mid-Staffordshire, and from the police force’s current travails. Nigel Lawson once said that the NHS… Read more

‘We never speak any more… When did we last go out?… All you ever talk 
about is gay marriage or Europe… What about me?’

Portrait of the week

12 January 2013

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said that, for the ‘coalition government with a full tank of gas, it’s full steam ahead’. He announced a ‘mid-term review’, but an audit… Read more

Any-Other-Business

Barometer

12 January 2013

Welfare state The government was attacked for wanting to increase benefits by less than inflation. How have benefits changed in real terms since they were introduced? — Unemployment benefit began… Read more

A&M

Ancient and modern

Fatbusters

12 January 2013

The government is having its annual fit about the fat. In the ancient world, most of the population worked the land, while aristocrats kept trim in the gymnasia. Only the… Read more

Letters

Letters

12 January 2013

The aid argument Sir: ‘The great aid mystery’ (5 January) presents the development sceptics’ case — which in five years in opposition (2005-2010) the Conservative party set out to address… Read more

Columnists

Rod Liddle

How did Mary Seacole come to be revered as a black icon?

12 January 2013

Isn’t it time, just out of perversity, that we all signed the petition on the Operation Black Vote website to restore the part-time nurse Mary Seacole to the national curriculum?… Read more

Spectators notes

The Spectator’s Notes

12 January 2013

Poor Nick Clegg keeps trying to change the constitution and keeps being balked (the Alternative Vote, Lords reform). At last, he believes, he will be able to fulfil his ambition… Read more

Matthew Parris

The ineffable sadness of Franco’s ruins

12 January 2013

The end of an old year cast me into a portentous frame of mind as I descended a couple of thousand feet down an ancient path through forest, brush and… Read more

Vander-Weyer-NEW

Gnomes of Zurich will fall like skittles before US investigators finish with them

12 January 2013

So farewell, Wegelin & Co, the oldest bank in Switzerland and the one with the simplest strategy for growth — which was to offer secret accounts to American tax-evaders who… Read more

Nick Clegg’s pallor, Murdoch’s revenge, and Lord Strathclyde’s champagne

12 January 2013

Has Nick Clegg seen a ghost? The pallor of the Lib Dem leader continues to excite comment in Westminster. At Monday’s half-time presentation by the coalition, he was looking as… Read more

Books

The British Army enters the Bolan Pass from Dadur during the First Anglo-Afghan War. From J.Atkinson’s Sketches in Afghanistan

An almost perfect catastrophe

12 January 2013

William Dalrymple has found some vivid new sources for his history of the First Afghan War, but the whole sorry story remains essentially unchanged, says Philip Hensher

Olivia Manning in 1955

Her fighting soul

12 January 2013

The subtitle of Deirdre David’s life of Olivia Manning, ‘A Woman at War’, has a resonant double meaning. She was, as we are repeatedly informed, a unique example of a… Read more

Train Robbery

How not to steal a million

12 January 2013

‘You’re not going to believe this,’ crackled the voice over the Buckinghamshire police radio in the pre-dawn light of Thursday 8 August 1963. ‘They’ve stolen a train.’ Fifty years on,… Read more

Edward Oxford’s assassination attempt on Constitution Hill, 10 June 1840, by Ebenezer Landells

Taking a pop at the Queen

12 January 2013

On 10 June 1840 an 18-year-old out-of-work Londoner named Edward Oxford cocked his pistol and fired two shots at Queen Victoria as she made her daily carriage drive with Prince… Read more

A pirate keeps vigil on the coastline at Hobyo town in north-eastern Somalia

Apocalypse now

12 January 2013

In his introduction, James Fergusson apologises for the title of his book. Somalia, he writes, may no longer be the most dangerous place on earth. Since the summer of 2012,… Read more

Pig in the middle

12 January 2013

With nice ecumenical parity, Peter Somerville-Large derides equally both Ireland’s principal Christian churches as they compete for the soul, or at least the membership, of young Paul Blake-Willoughby. His discordant… Read more

Chills, but no thrills

12 January 2013

‘Mary and Geordie have lost a child …Why should they feel they are entitled to grieve? It’s so commonplace.’ Paul Torday’s latest novel is full of such assertions. We are… Read more

His own man

12 January 2013

Acquainted with Stravinsky, friend of Ravel and Poulenc, prolific composer and well-loved man, Lennox Berkeley (1903-1989) remains an enigma to most of us even if we know little of his… Read more

A consummate craftsman

12 January 2013

It is rare to encounter a writer whose work can be so neatly divided into two halves. George Saunders is known as a satirist with an interest in consumerism and… Read more

Nicholas-Royle

Novel ways of writing

12 January 2013

If you consider ‘gripping metafiction’ a self-contradictory phrase (surely metafiction disables tension through its wink-at-the-audience style?), Nicholas Royle’s First Novel (Cape, £16.99), which is in fact his seventh, may change… Read more

Arts

John Hawkes and Helen Hunt in ‘The Sessions’

Sex and sensibility

12 January 2013

Will Gore talks to the director and writer Ben Lewin about his latest film

Wielding the axe

12 January 2013

I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling a bit sorry for Mike Harding. The long-serving host of BBC Radio 2’s ‘folk, roots and acoustic’ show was given the heave-ho last… Read more

‘Newspaper mandala’, 2012, by Francesco Clemente

Nexus of opposites

12 January 2013

Francesco Clemente (born Naples 1952) began his rise to prominence in this country with two exhibitions at the Royal Academy — the famous New Spirit in Painting of 1981, when… Read more

Trojan triumph

12 January 2013

Opera has naturally made no start at all in 2013 in the UK, the month surrounding Christmas being a culture-free zone. By contrast the New York Met has entered the… Read more

Aaron Tveit (Enjolras) and Eddie Redmayne (Marius) in ‘Les Misérables’

The monotony of Les Misérables

12 January 2013

Les Misérables is one of the longest-running, most popular stage musicals in history, having been seen by 60 million people in 42 countries — sit on that, Cats! — and… Read more

The real Sir Hector MacDonald, aka Fighting Mac

Decline and fall

12 January 2013

Filmic structures are always tricky on stage. David Mamet, an exception, can get away with writing long chains of scenes that last a couple of minutes each. But the theatre… Read more

Kristen Cloke Stars In New Line Cinema's Supernatural Thriller"Final Destination" Phot

Death watch

12 January 2013

Some people say TV is a bad thing for families but I say don’t knock it. It was thanks to TV this school holidays that I almost got vaguely, slightly,… Read more

All in the mind

12 January 2013

Radio 4’s Book of the Week sounded so promising, pertinent, perfect for these gloomy first days of January. Maybe listening to it day-by-day could help to banish those demons of… Read more

Heath_oliviaCartoon

Insomniac’s heaven

12 January 2013

If I wake up at too rude an hour to get up — before four o’clock, let’s say — Through the Night is my reward: I switch on the radio… Read more

Life

High life

High life

High Life

12 January 2013

Friends who were among the last to leave Palataki at New Year tell me there were stragglers waiting to be admitted, and this was as the sun was coming up… Read more

Low life

Low life

Low life

12 January 2013

Waiting at a country bus stop in a downpour. Not sure if I’ve just missed one. No raincoat. No phone signal. Two o’clock in the afternoon and already too dark… Read more

Real life

Real life

Real life

12 January 2013

The Bupa Blooper. In years to come, that is how I shall refer to what happened when I inadvertently cancelled my health insurance policy, with what certain people seemed to… Read more

Long life

Long life

Long life

12 January 2013

William Rees-Mogg, who has died, the Oxford-educated member of an old Somerset family, was widely seen as the archetypal ‘gentleman journalist’, but he aspired to be rather grander than that.… Read more

bridge

Bridge

12 January 2013

Here is my eagerly awaited New Year’s List of the most infuriating things partner can do: 1. Bid ridiculously to game, get doubled, go for a telephone number and say:… Read more

Chess-Column2013

Chess

London Classic

12 January 2013

The fourth London Classic at Olympia, organised by the indefatigable Malcolm Pein, was the strongest of the series including, as it did, the reigning world champion, a former world champion… Read more

Chess-Solution

Chess puzzle

No. 248

12 January 2013

White to play. This position is a variation from Kramnik-McShane, London Chess Classic 2012. How can Kramnik finish off the badly exposed black king? Answers to me at The Spectator… Read more

Investigation

Competition

Answering back

12 January 2013

In Competition No. 2779 you were invited to submit Maud’s reply to Tennyson. It was Joyce Grenfell’s magnificently ball-breaking riposte to the invitation to ‘Come into the garden, Maud’ that… Read more

Crossword-Puzzle2013

Crossword

2095: Getting around

12 January 2013

The unclued lights (one of three words, one of two words and three doubly hyphened) might be named in a given order.   Across 11          A large one, with fruit… Read more

Xmas_crossword

Crossword solution

Christmas

12 January 2013

DING DONG MERRILY ON HIGH (2A), SEE AMID THE WINTER’S SNOW (118), ONCE IN ROYAL DAVID’S CITY (1) and WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCHED (19) are the opening words of Christmas carols,… Read more

Christmas Crossword Winners

Christmas crossword winners

12 January 2013

The first prize of £100, three prizes of £25 and six further prizes of the Chambers Crossword Dictionary are awarded to the following. The first four prizewinners will, in addition,… Read more

Toby Young

Status anxiety

Deep-sea fiasco

12 January 2013

I’m currently in Kenya with my wife and four children and have just returned from the coast where we spent four nights at the Serena Hotel in Mombasa. My only… Read more

Dave
Spectator sport

Spectator sport

Just not cricket

12 January 2013

Sad times for The Times, and for the game of cricket, with the passing within days of each other of William Rees-Mogg and Christopher Martin-Jenkins. Both men represented, besides the… Read more

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

12 January 2013

Q. Just before Christmas I ran into a senior executive at a rival firm to the one where I currently work. She asked would I be interested in a job… Read more

Food

Food

Tanya Gold reviews Hawksmoor

12 January 2013

How many restaurants make a chain? If the number is four, then Hawksmoor, the superb chop-house named for the Baroque architect Nicholas Hawskmoor, has collapsed on a pile of cheques,… Read more

Mind Your Language

Mind your language

Coffee house

12 January 2013

In the series of radio programmes on culture, a guest of Melvyn Bragg’s declared that the distinction between high and low culture was never strict, as a Wagner opera was… Read more