The Spectator

12 January 2013

The accidental exit

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

Features

The accidental exit

12 January 2013 9:00 am

If Britain leaves the European Union, historians will say that 30 June 2012 was when the great exit began. That…

America’s strategic stupidity

12 January 2013 9:00 am

Every few months, America’s four-star admirals and generals gather at a military base not far from Washington to participate in…

Stop the drugs war

12 January 2013 9:00 am

‘They’re all bad, our politicians, all corrupt,’ said Maria, her cheery face dissolving into distaste. What about the new president,…

Rosalio

A hit man at 13

12 January 2013 9:00 am

After a long wait in the visiting room of the maximum security wing of the ‘Gib Lewis Unit’, Rosalio Reta…

Paying Osborne’s bills

12 January 2013 9:00 am

In her early campaigning days as Conservative leader, Mrs Thatcher had the gift of being able to relate the national…

Wedding hells

12 January 2013 9:00 am

In the good old days of the gay liberation movement, in the 1970s and early 1980s, the excitement of challenging…

The Week

Leading article

Troubles ahead

If the Belfast riots were happening in any other city in the United Kingdom, there would be uproar. For almost…

Diary

Diary

There is a lesson to be learned from the Francis Report into the NHS in Mid-Staffordshire, and from the police…

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said that, for the ‘coalition government with a full tank of gas, it’s full…

Barometer

Barometer

Welfare state The government was attacked for wanting to increase benefits by less than inflation. How have benefits changed in…

Ancient and modern

Fatbusters

The government is having its annual fit about the fat. In the ancient world, most of the population worked the…

Letters

Letters

The aid argument Sir: ‘The great aid mystery’ (5 January) presents the development sceptics’ case — which in five years…

Columnists

Rod Liddle

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

Isn’t it time, just out of perversity, that we all signed the petition on the Operation Black Vote website to…

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes

Poor Nick Clegg keeps trying to change the constitution and keeps being balked (the Alternative Vote, Lords reform). At last,…

Matthew Parris

The ineffable sadness of Franco’s ruins

The end of an old year cast me into a portentous frame of mind as I descended a couple of…

Any other business

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

So farewell, Wegelin & Co, the oldest bank in Switzerland and the one with the simplest strategy for growth —…

Steerpike

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

Has Nick Clegg seen a ghost? The pallor of the Lib Dem leader continues to excite comment in Westminster. At…

Books

An almost perfect catastrophe

12 January 2013 9:00 am

Lots of people have subsequently discovered this important imperial maxim: ‘Don’t invade Afghanistan.’ But the first western power to demonstrate…

Her fighting soul

12 January 2013 9:00 am

The subtitle of Deirdre David’s life of Olivia Manning, ‘A Woman at War’, has a resonant double meaning. She was,…

How not to steal a million

12 January 2013 9:00 am

‘You’re not going to believe this,’ crackled the voice over the Buckinghamshire police radio in the pre-dawn light of Thursday…

The Afterlife of Literary Fame

12 January 2013 9:00 am

I can’t read fiction any more And that’s a fact. Don’t ask me why. God only knows, old fruit. If…

Taking a pop at the Queen

12 January 2013 9:00 am

On 10 June 1840 an 18-year-old out-of-work Londoner named Edward Oxford cocked his pistol and fired two shots at Queen…

Books and Arts

12 January 2013 9:00 am

Apocalypse now

12 January 2013 9:00 am

In his introduction, James Fergusson apologises for the title of his book. Somalia, he writes, may no longer be the…

Pig in the middle

12 January 2013 9:00 am

With nice ecumenical parity, Peter Somerville-Large derides equally both Ireland’s principal Christian churches as they compete for the soul, or…

Chills, but no thrills

12 January 2013 9:00 am

‘Mary and Geordie have lost a child …Why should they feel they are entitled to grieve? It’s so commonplace.’ Paul…

His own man

12 January 2013 9:00 am

Acquainted with Stravinsky, friend of Ravel and Poulenc, prolific composer and well-loved man, Lennox Berkeley (1903-1989) remains an enigma to…

A consummate craftsman

12 January 2013 9:00 am

It is rare to encounter a writer whose work can be so neatly divided into two halves. George Saunders is…

Novel ways of writing

12 January 2013 9:00 am

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…

Life

High life

High Life

Friends who were among the last to leave Palataki at New Year tell me there were stragglers waiting to be…

Low life

Low life

Waiting at a country bus stop in a downpour. Not sure if I’ve just missed one. No raincoat. No phone…

Real life

Real life

The Bupa Blooper. In years to come, that is how I shall refer to what happened when I inadvertently cancelled…

Long life

Long life

William Rees-Mogg, who has died, the Oxford-educated member of an old Somerset family, was widely seen as the archetypal ‘gentleman…

Bridge

Bridge

Here is my eagerly awaited New Year’s List of the most infuriating things partner can do: 1. Bid ridiculously to…

Chess

London Classic

The fourth London Classic at Olympia, organised by the indefatigable Malcolm Pein, was the strongest of the series including, as…

Chess puzzle

No. 248

White to play. This position is a variation from Kramnik-McShane, London Chess Classic 2012. How can Kramnik finish off the…

Competition

Answering back

In Competition No. 2779 you were invited to submit Maud’s reply to Tennyson. It was Joyce Grenfell’s magnificently ball-breaking riposte…

Crossword

2095: Getting around

The unclued lights (one of three words, one of two words and three doubly hyphened) might be named in a…

Crossword solution

Christmas

DING DONG MERRILY ON HIGH (2A), SEE AMID THE WINTER’S SNOW (118), ONCE IN ROYAL DAVID’S CITY (1) and WHILE…

Status anxiety

Deep-sea fiasco

I’m currently in Kenya with my wife and four children and have just returned from the coast where we spent…

Spectator sport

Just not cricket

Sad times for The Times, and for the game of cricket, with the passing within days of each other of…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

Q. Just before Christmas I ran into a senior executive at a rival firm to the one where I currently…

Food

Tanya Gold reviews Hawksmoor

How many restaurants make a chain? If the number is four, then Hawksmoor, the superb chop-house named for the Baroque…

Mind your language

Coffee house

In the series of radio programmes on culture, a guest of Melvyn Bragg’s declared that the distinction between high and…