The Spectator

15 June 2013

The best leader Labour never had

Forget about the Conservatives. Michael Gove should be leading the Labour party

Features

Features

Why Michael Gove is the best leader Labour never had

Forget about the Conservatives. Michael Gove should be leading the Labour party

Features

To transform schools, sack bad teachers and hire great ones. It'll transform education - and the economy

The future of Britain won't be decided in a battlefield. It will be decided in a classroom.

Features

Recycled graves – coming soon to a cemetery near you

For 150 years, Britain has tightly restricted the re-use of graves. That may be about to change

Features

Chief Rabbi: atheism has failed. Only religion can defeat the new barbarians

The West is suffering for its loss of faith. Unless we rediscover religion, our civilisation is in peril

Notebook

My last chance to follow in Napoleon’s footsteps

St Helena, the island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on which Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled and died, is…

Features

Energy special: Get ready for the ‘fire ice’ revolution

The next great fossil fuel rush could make life very difficult for oil sheikhs – and for greens

Features

Energy special: The green jobs myth

Affordable energy would create more jobs than expensive climate-change policies ever could

Features

Energy special: It’s decision time on shale gas

Britain is finally going to have to make a decision about shale

Better for the soul than Ibiza

Features

America's Pacific Coast is no match for Cornwall

The first time my wife and I decided to rent a cottage in Cornwall in the summer holidays, the idea…

The Week

Leading article

Top secrets

This week’s exposé of the US National Security Agency has been heralded as the greatest intelligence leak since the Pentagon…

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

Home Six men from the West Midlands — Omar Khan, Jewel Uddin, Mohammed Hasseen, Mohammed Saud, Zohaib Ahmed and Anzal Hussain…

Diary

Anne Applebaum’s diary: Spies, terrorists and an undercover ham sandwich

I am trying very hard to understand why everyone is shocked — shocked! — by news that the US government…

Ancient and modern

A little foresight

After a damning IMF report on the EU’s botching of the Greek financial crisis, a Eurocrat snootily commented that hindsight…

Barometer

Barometer

Souls on ice Three Oxford academics have revealed that they have paid to become cryonically preserved at death in the…

Letters

Letters: The barristers strike back

Legal squabbles Sir: Harry Mount’s angry and unfocused polemic (‘Against the Law’, 8 June), demonstrates a fundamental ignorance of the…

Columnists

Politics

The Tory party are finally going to have to decide about Europe. It’ll break them

By the time the G8 is next held in this country, the United Kingdom may well have left the European…

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes

Few things in history can be more worth thinking about than the first world war, so in a way one…

Rod Liddle

The blurry line between Islam and Islamism

There’s an Islamic school in Birmingham which is very highly regarded. It’s called Darul Uloom — the same name as the…

Steerpike

Steerpike: The Lib Dems’ free school fight, Dignitas on Scotland, and more

Some politicians don’t read their own manifestos. And some don’t even read the names of their own parties. When it…

Matthew Parris

The day I awoke my inner predator

Gweru on the central Highveld of Zimbabwe used to be called Gwelo when I was there as a boy but…

Any other business

George Osborne’s Lloyds sale will be all about votes – just as Mervyn King warned

When a politician’s speech is spun ten days in advance, you know there’s trouble behind the scenes. Next week’s Mansion…

Books

‘Well, gentlemen, I think we all fought a good fight’(The Spectator, 16 October 1959)

Lead book review

The birth of modern Britain

Sam Leith on the dawning of the consumer age in Britain, when Harold Macmillan reminded us that we’d never had it so good

Books

Consolations of the Forest, by Sylvain Tesson - review

In this book, the French writer Sylvain Tesson spends six months, mostly alone, in a log cabin in Siberia. ‘Cold,…

The figure of the flâneur, captured by Degas in ‘Place de la Concorde’, had its origin in Mr Spectator

Books

Tales of Two Cities, by Jonathan Conlin - review

In Jonathan Conlin’s Tales of Two Cities the little acknowledged but hugely significant histoire croisée of two rival metropoles gets…

Books

A Place in the Country, by W.G. Sebald - review

Within a few years, and in four books — The Emigrants (1996), The Rings of Saturn (1998), Vertigo (1999) and…

Books

Bedford Park, by Bryan Appleyard - review

Nothing in Bryan Appleyard’s Bedford Park betrays the fact that it is his first period novel: not its deft characterisations,…

Talluluh Bankhead, the only convincing flapper in the book, photographed c.1930

Books

Flappers, by Judith Mackrell - review

I’m never quite sure what the term ‘flappers’ means. How did these creatures flap, and why? Where did they flap?…

Nijinski by Georges Barbier in ‘Le Festin /L’Oiseau d’or’ (1912)

Books

Nijinsky, by Lucy Moore - review

The first biography of Vaslav Nijinsky, which appeared in 1934, was written by his wife Romola with the help of…

Books

Memoirs of a Leavisite, by David Elllis - review

As the author of this wise, patient and delightful book wryly reminds us, Stephen Fry — who, of course, knows…

Books

A Time by the Sea, by Ronald Blythe - review

I first encountered Ronald Blythe at Benton End, a glowing oxblood farmhouse above the river Brett, poised on the edge…

Life

High life

High life: I may have lost the race but I got my reward

St Tropez To the once upon a time sleepy fishing village, now the focal point for Russian oligarch excess, outrageously…

Low life

Low life: There’s no such thing as race — or is there?

The barbecue was a sawn-off 40-gallon oil drum with holes punched in the sides. It stood on a rock under…

Real life

Real life: I always regress to a three-year-old when my horses aren’t well

‘Dealing with a bruised soul’ is how I read the headline on the front of Horse Scene magazine. When I…

Long life

Long life: Who’s top of the Louis XIV league of show-offs?

Great wealth has always bred envy and resentment among the rest of us, which is why even in ancient times…

Wild life

Wild life: Could I ever revive the Pinguaan Springs?

Il Pinguaan Springs When I first saw the Pinguaan Springs they were small, fetid bogs set about with papyrus, the…

Bridge

Bridge

Last week I was glued to BBO, watching the US trials to select the two teams who will represent America…

Chess

Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is said to be named after a half-sister of Alexander the Great. Fidé staged a recent Grand Prix there,…

Chess puzzle

puzzle No. 270

Black to play. This position is from Bacrot-Ivanchuk, Thessaloniki Grand Prix 2013. This was the scene of Ivanchuk’s only success.…

Competition

Show time

In Competition 2801 you were invited to rewrite, in pompous and prolix style, any well-known simple poem.   Space is…

Crossword

2117: Highlands and Islands

The solutions to numbered lights are the words missing from the story. The unclued lights are the names of twenty-two…

Crossword solution

Solution to 2114: MMCXIV/CCCII

The unclued lights are headwords in Brewer under the SEVEN heading. The title indicates the sum ‘2114 divided by 302…

Status anxiety

Cadbury World is a big fat rip-off

When did it become a tradition to organise expensive birthday treats for your children? I don’t want to sound like…

Spectator sport

Spectator sport: Forget this year’s Formula 1 championship – here comes 1976

Even if you don’t have a head for petrol, you can’t have failed to have noticed that the Formula 1…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: Should I pretend to do anything other than play bridge?

Q. Is it acceptable to admit that you don’t ‘do’ anything? Or should one pretend to be writing a book…

Mind your language

Commas

‘Scatter ye rosebuds while ye may,’ sang my husband, reckless of words and tune, thereby offending the ghosts of Herrick,…

Food

Restaurant: Kaspar’s at the Savoy

Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill is named for superstition, snobbery and avarice. At a dinner at the Savoy in 1898…