The Spectator


25 October 2014

The dying man of Europe

Italy is in terminal decline

Subscribe from £12 »

Previous Issues



Italy’s in terminal decline, and no one has the guts to stop it

25 October 2014

Everything that’s wrong with France is worse here

Prime Minister David Cameron Delivers His Keynote Speech At The Conservative Party Conference

How Cameron could make the EU a winning issue (and why he won’t)

25 October 2014

No, I don’t really think he’ll campaign for withdrawal. But that doesn’t make Eurosceptics’ options any less clear


It’s time to shave that beard: the decade of the hipster is over

25 October 2014

Fashion cults are nothing new, but this one was exceptionally silly and unoriginal

?Explore the Home Counties?, LNER poster, 1936.

Escape from Omnishambleshire: the case for the old county boundaries

25 October 2014

I don’t care how local councils are arranged. I just want people in England to know where they live

All Worsthorne’s men: Hoover, surprisingly nice; Truman, smiling until Perry spoke; Eisenhower, who mocked his name; Kennedy, a hero; LBJ, a boor; Nixon, a friend; Reagan; and the first Bush

Bourbon from Bush, envy from Nixon... and running into Herbert Hoover: encounters with eight presidents

25 October 2014

Peregrine Worsthorne’s dealings with leaders of the free world, as a journalist, as a friend, and as a little boy running in the hallway


Discover the blissful peace of Laos

25 October 2014

I’ve never been a friendlier, more relaxing place than Luang Prabang

Beauty in ruins: the Temple of Isis on Delos

Visiting the Greek islands in a reverse Tardis

25 October 2014

I was a cruise sceptic – and I felt guilty in Venice lagoon – but I wasn’t expecting what I found on board

Jumbo-sized: the first of the Big Five makes an appearance

It takes an elephant to get my teenage son up early

25 October 2014

Or a lion, a zebra or some impala…

Sea change: the old fishing town of Warnemünde has been transformed into an affluent resort

A voyage along my grandfather’s coastline

25 October 2014

The subtle joys of the eastern Baltic

Riverside artwork: Jean-Luc Courcoult’s ‘La Maison dans la Loire’

Eight of the best river cruises

25 October 2014

From concerts on the Rhine to temples on the Chindwin


Saratoga Springs: the opposite of a one-horse town

25 October 2014

Spa charm and racing thrills a train ride from New York City

‘A home for fallen buildings’: Portmeirion

Why I'll never want to escape Portmeirion

25 October 2014

I'm tired of London, but I'll never tire of this strange little place

The Week


Leading article

Deal with the debt, George Osborne? You’ve hardly even started

25 October 2014

The Chancellor has given himself eight years to cut spending by less than Denis


Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

Home A hundred firemen could not prevent wooden cooling towers at Didcot B gas-fuelled power station in Oxfordshire from burning down. A consortium said it could power 2.5 million houses… Read more

Griff Rhys Jones Photo: Getty


Griff Rhys Jones’s diary: I am now less of a celebrity than my daughter’s dog

25 October 2014

Plus: Starting the day the Dylan Thomas way — a pint with a raw egg in it for breakfast — and lunch with the other Charles Spencer


Ancient and modern

Why the Ancient Greeks thought adultery was worse than rape

25 October 2014

Consent didn’t matter. Family – and property – did

Celebrated war time English nurse and war time heroine, Edith Cavell's funeral. She was shot by the Germans for spying in Brussels in 1915 Photo: Getty

From The Archives

From the archives

25 October 2014

From ‘Topics of the day’, The Spectator, 24 October 1914: That spies are a great danger at the present time, and that espionage is being carried on on a gigantic… Read more



Spectator letters: In defence of the GMC and Ukip members, and how Rachmaninov spelled Rachmaninov

Health check Sir: I have to take issue on (at least) three counts with Dr Vernon Coleman and his absurd suggestion that the GMC should be abolished (‘Get rid of… Read more



It’s not just Ukip that’s changing Cameron’s mind about immigration

25 October 2014

The return of the eurozone crisis has prompted some serious rethinking in No. 10

Rod Liddle

Wear a veil if you like – but don’t treat women like that

25 October 2014

Whether it’s French opera patrons or police in the UAE, somehow it’s the female sex that’s liable to be picked on


What are 16-year-olds supposed to learn by making posters?

25 October 2014

Most schools seem to think that poster design can teach you everything: English, history, religious studies, geography...

James Delingpole

My new affair is thrilling, expensive — and might just break my neck

25 October 2014

It’s at times like this that you regret some of the choices you made earlier in your life


The one economic indicator that never stops rising: meet the Negroni Index

25 October 2014

Plus: The perverse effects of capping bankers’ bonuses, and the BBC’s dangerous disdain for capitalism


Outside Downing Street in June 1943. Ten years earlier, no one would have thought it remotely likely that Winston Churchill would be regarded as his country’s saviour

Does Boris Johnson really expect us to think he's Churchill?

25 October 2014

And if not, what exactly is the point of The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History, by Boris Johnson? Apart from a couple of good jokes, that is...

The charge of the Scots Greys at Waterloo by the British-American artist Richard Caton Woodville. From A History of War in 100 Battles by Richard Overy (William Collins, £25)

Four ways to win Waterloo

25 October 2014

If you want Sharpe-like drama, go for Bernard Cornwell. For Eurocentric revisionism, go for Tim Clayton. If you’re short of time, there’s Brendan Simms’s 80 pager. But in a class of its own is former soldier Robert Kershaw making ‘order out of disorder’

Author Anthony Horowitz

While Holmes is away

25 October 2014

Anthony Horowitz's Moriarity makes an entertaining job of Sherlockian London without Sherlock or Watson – but it would be so much better to have them back

Sweeping away evidence: where in those calm, tile-floored 17th-century rooms can we even glimpse a spittoon? ‘Dutch Interior’ by Pieter Janssens Elinga

The history of the home – with the spittoons put back in

25 October 2014

A review of The Making of the Home, by Judith Flanders, and Common People, by Alison Light. Both books are absorbing but it’s Light’s history of subsistence living that I’ll want to read twice

Author Michael Connelly arrives at the premiere of 'The Lincoln Lawyer'

The man who was mistaken for a deer

25 October 2014

A review of The Burning Room, by Michael Connelly. The 19th book for Connelly's obssessive detective Hieronymous Bosch is as strange and relentless as ever

Antiquity 2’, 2009–11

Jeff Koons's latest achievement: a new standard in prolix, complacent, solipsistic, muddled drivel

25 October 2014

A review of Jeff Koons: Conversations with Norman Rosenthal. Koons’s sub-adult work is not worth getting cross about – although it has nonetheless proved poisonous to younger artists

Norman Mailer and Dylan Thomas Photo: Getty

Lolita's secret revenge mission, and other daft theories of literary spite

25 October 2014

Literary Rivals: Feuds and Antagonisms in the World of Books, by Richard Bradford, is a compendium that never sees the roses for the thorns


Left: The Apostle Simon, 1661. Right: Portrait of a Lady with an Ostrich-Feather Fan, 1658–60

Rembrandt at the National Gallery: the greatest show on earth

25 October 2014

Veronese can show you a beautiful Madonna; but Rembrandt lets you read Bathsheba's thoughts

Plisetskaya in ‘Romeo and Juliet’, 1964. She was one of the supreme trophies in the Soviet display case, the most garlanded, the most suspected

Maya Plisetskaya and Rodion Shchedrin: ‘The KGB put a microphone in our marriage bed'

25 October 2014

On the eve of the UK premiere of Shchedrin’s new opera at the Barbican, Ismene Brown talks to the Russian super-couple about how they survived the Soviet Union

Jane Horrocks as the slovenly matriarch still fond of her bullying husband George (‘East is East’ playwright Ayub Khan Din, left)

Is London's West End Jewish enough for David Baddiel’s musical The Infidel?

25 October 2014

Plus: East is East is one of the gems of the theatrical repertoire, especially in this near-flawless Theatre Royal Stratford East production

Frieze Art Fair - VIP Preview

Frieze Art Fair: where great refinement meets harrowing vulgarity

25 October 2014

But there’s no point cringing about prices: art has always been about money

Brad Pitt with the crew of the Sherman tank, Fury

Fury: the men blow stuff up, then Brad Pitt takes his top off

25 October 2014

Deborah Ross found only one scene of any complexity

Miles (Thomas Delgado-Little) and Flora (Louise Moseley) in Glyndebourne's creepy Turn of the Screw. © Tristram Kenton

Glyndebourne’s Turn of the Screw: horrors of the most innocent and creepy kind

25 October 2014

In I due Foscari at the Royal Opera House, however, nightmares were more artistic than psychological

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai

What it's like being a scarily talented teenager

25 October 2014

Plus: the original girl-power pop group – Ivy Benson and Her All Girl Band

Carrie's back: Clare Danes in Homeland

Hooray for Homeland - Carrie’s back blasting America’s enemies to pieces with drones

25 October 2014

Plus: James Walton senses BBC2’s Gunpowder 5/11: The Greatest Terror Plot is trying to tell us something


High life

High life

My fury at Fury, a film only a vampire could love

25 October 2014

I have always believed that the mission of most movies made after the Fred & Ginger era has been to reduce, insofar as it is possible, the manners and morals… Read more

Low life

Low life

Hello trees, hello sky, hello armoured riot police

25 October 2014

What a beautiful day, I thought, as I nodded to the porter in the bowler hat and stepped out of the Westminster hotel into October sun and wind, with a… Read more

Real life

Real life

Oh no. Where is my iPhone taking me?

25 October 2014

After four hours of driving, we should have been in the middle of Dartmoor. And yet we were not. We were pulled over in a lay-by and the infernal devil… Read more

Long life

Long life

If you don't like this stupid survey, there'll be a contradictory one along in a minute

25 October 2014

Perhaps it is because newspapers are going through such hard times that they fill their pages with items that cost them almost nothing to report: in particular, they show ever… Read more

Wild life

Wild life

What happened when I tried to buy back my father's farm

25 October 2014

 Kenya I perused the brochure produced by Tanzania’s state corporation for livestock ranching, aimed at attracting foreign investors. Under ‘beef production’ was a photo of an American bison. Tanzania’s state… Read more




Forget the 5-2 diet. To lose weight the easy way, why not take up competitive bridge? I’ve just come back from the Autumn Congress, held over three days at the… Read more



Baku beyond

25 October 2014

The irrepressible Fabiano Caruana has added to his laurels by sharing first prize in the Baku Grand Prix, which finished earlier this month. The surprise was that in the process… Read more


Chess puzzle

No. 337

25 October 2014

White to play. This position is from Gelfand-Andreikin, Baku 2014. What is White’s best move? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 28 October or via email to victoria@spectator.co.uk… Read more



Autumn villanelle

25 October 2014

In Competition No. 2870 you were invited to submit an autumn villanelle. Stephen Fry likes villanelles. The form inspired him to write his book The Ode Less Travelled (subtitled Unlocking… Read more



2185: Over the sea — and bridge

25 October 2014

Two unclued lights describe the location of the others, individually or as a pair. One of these unclued lights does double duty. One square must contain a beetle showing possible… Read more


Crossword solution

To 2182: Tops

25 October 2014

The unclued lights are ROMAN CROWNS. First prize Philip Hawkins, Wirksworth, Matlock, Derbyshire Runners-up G.H.Willetts, London SW19; Chris Edwards, Pudsey, Leeds

Toby Young

Status anxiety

Russell Brand and Nigel Farage remind me of myself five years ago

25 October 2014

I’m often asked by other free school proposers what lessons I’ve learnt over the past five years. Any pearls of wisdom I can pass on so they don’t make the… Read more


Battle for Britain

Battle for Britain

25 October 2014

The Wiki Man

The best navigation idea I’ve seen since the Tube map

25 October 2014

I stopped using London buses when some coward put doors on them. Twenty years ago, you could board any bus headed in the right direction and when it diverged from… Read more

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: Learning to love a man who whistles through his nose

Q. What can you do when disorganised friends say they would love to come to a concert with you but you suspect they won’t get round to buying the tickets?… Read more



The secret kinship of good wine and good cricket

25 October 2014

A high proportion of wine-lovers also enjoy cricket, and vice versa. This might seem natural. Anyone with an aesthetic temperament will surely find his way to two of life’s greatest… Read more

Mind Your Language

Mind your language

How Ebola got its name

25 October 2014

It should perhaps be called Yambuku fever, since that was the village in Zaire (as it was then, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) where it was identified in… Read more