The Spectator


31 January 2015

The great European revolt

For Angela Merkel, it’s a crisis. For David Cameron, it’s an opportunity

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Previous Issues


Prime Minister Cameron Visits The Harris City Academy In South London

The Tories have one real success in government – and they’re scared to talk about it

31 January 2015

Despite all the spin from the left, the school reforms have made a huge, positive difference. It’s time someone in power said so


Europe’s crisis is Cameron’s opportunity

31 January 2015

For the election campaign, and for the negotiations that might follow it, Syriza’s victory opens some promising vistas


Confusion, snobbery and Pegida – a letter from Dresden

31 January 2015

The views of the Stammtisch (the pub regulars) are a growing force in Germany, but they have yet to find someone to articulate them in the public sphere

Prince Of Wales And The Duchess Of Cornwall Visit Mexico - Day 3

As a republican, I used to look forward to Charles III. Now I’m scared

31 January 2015

The Prince of Wales has shown himself too vain to accept the limits of constitutional monarchy


Why would someone pay hundreds of pounds for one snowdrop bulb? I think I know

31 January 2015

What makes snowdrop mania particularly strange is that, unlike gorgeous, colourful tulip flowers, the variations between snowdrops are almost too tiny to spot


The benefits of breeding like a rabbit

31 January 2015

Why I’m happy to have six children (and why I think the Pope’s on my side)


Only capitalism can save Nigeria

31 January 2015

Deeply divided and full of potential, this country could be headed for a boom – or a coup


Wolf Hall is a work of the imagination, like all the best history

31 January 2015

Wolf Hall is a work of the imagination – like all the best history

Decades in the making: Glasgow School of Art

The long ordeal of Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art

31 January 2015

The fire was only another chapter in a decades-long struggle

The Week

Photo: Demotix / PA Images

Leading article

Calling the Green party socialist is an insult to socialists

31 January 2015

The Green manifesto is incoherent, dangerous and unfit for even a junior coalition partner


Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

Home Party leaders mercilessly launched 100 days of campaigning before the general election on 7 May. David Cameron, the Conservative leader, said he would reduce the annual maximum household receipt… Read more

Ukip's Nigel Farage Campaigns Before European Elections


Nigel Farage’s diary: How I survived Dry January

31 January 2015

Plus: What’s next for Greece, and why I’m glad to see the back of Amjad Bashir



Female bishops are very, very old news

Plus: the death of cash, expensive schools and the price of potholes


Ancient and modern

Syriza could have learned from Aristophanes. Instead it's headed for Greek tragedy

31 January 2015

Come on, Tsipras, remember your ancient birthright. Set an example for us all

Crowds attack a German business in Poplar High Street in the East End of London, 1915 Photo: Getty

From The Archives

From the archives

31 January 2015

From ‘Reprisals’, The Spectator, 30 January 1915: There has been a tendency among some newspapers, and perhaps still more among private persons, to demand that the murder of non-combatants on… Read more



Spectator letters: Degrees, dishwashers, and charity catfights

Plus: Churchill’s education, commas, meals on wheels and boars


Rod Liddle

'Black,' 'coloured', 'BME' - any kind of label is essentially racist. It's time to move on

31 January 2015

Why is 'coloured' worse than 'people of colour'? And what's the logic of 'black'?


Do I really care about Ebola? Do you? Does Oxfam?

31 January 2015

The sign of seriousness is seeing a crisis early – and following up after it's finished

James Delingpole

The hottest year on which record?

31 January 2015

Scientists seem to be adjusting the evidence. I’d still like to know why


What’s good about austerity (whatever the Greeks think)

31 January 2015

Plus: How Leon Brittan changed the world, and the scandal of late payments


TS Eliot

Tom Eliot — a very practical cat. Did T.S. Eliot simply recycle every personal experience into poetry?

31 January 2015

Reviewing Robert Crawford’s Young Eliot, Daniel Swift suspects that the poet’s genius has been over-explained and over-simplified

English author and playwright, Edgar Wallace, 1927 Photo: Getty

The King Kong of the thriller: the phenomenal output of Edgar Wallace, once the world’s most popular author

31 January 2015

A review of Stranger than Fiction by Neil Clark explores the  turbulent life of King Kong’s creator

German poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Photo: Getty

The Nightwatches of Bonaventura: a masterpiece of German Gothic

31 January 2015

Thomas W. Hodgkinson rediscovers August Klingemann’s dark classic

Virtually identical in their languorous loucheness. Clockwise from top left: Louise de Kérouaille Barbara Palmer, Moll Davis and Nell Gwyn

The merry monarch and his mistresses; was sex for Charles II a dangerous distraction?

31 January 2015

A review of The King’s Bed by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh finds the king’s concubines disappointingly greedy and self-seeking


A state of terror: Islamic State longs to be left alone to establish its blood-stained utopia

31 January 2015

A review of Patrick Cockburn’s The Rise of the Islamic State suggests that the rise of IS was plain for all to see, but we chose not to look

The face of evil: Irma Grese, one of the most hated of all camp guards, trained at Ravensbrück before moving to Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. Survivors testified to her extreme sadism, including her use of trained, half-starved dogs to savage prisoners

Process of elimination: the horrors of Ravensbrück revealed

31 January 2015

A review of If This is a Woman by Sarah Helm offers some shreds of hope in the heroic behaviour of many of the camp inmates

Muriel Lester looks on as John Galsworthy lays a brick at the foundation ceremony for the Kingsley Hall Photo: Getty

Muriel and Nellie: two radical Christians build Jerusalem in London’s East End

31 January 2015

A review of The Match Girl and the Heiress explores the unlikely collaboration of a factory worker and a middle-class Lady Bountiful to spread social justice in a London slum


Turning Japanese: ‘Spirited Away’ by Hayao Miyazaki, who has influenced Pixar’s latest offering, Big Hero 6

How Japan became a pop culture superpower

31 January 2015

Virtually every childhood craze of the past 30 years has its beginnings in Japan. Today its influence is stronger than ever


Spotify: saint or sinner?

31 January 2015

It is claimed Spotify killed off the record industry. But might Spotify ultimately save the music scene?

Weight watching: ‘Three Bathers’, c.1875, by Paul Cézanne

Rubens and His Legacy at the Royal Academy reviewed: his imitators fall short of their master miserably

31 January 2015

And there are too few truly exceptional pieces from the Flemish master for this show to shine

My Night With Reg Photo: Johan Persson

My Night With Reg at the Apollo Theatre reviewed: a great play that will go under without an interval

31 January 2015

Plus: a mass exodus from a new play at the Bush Theatre

Plexus at Sadlers Wells Photo: Aglae Bory

London International Mime Festival review: on juggling, dance and Wayne Rooney's hair transplant

31 January 2015

Plus: a review of John Cranko’s three-hankie Onegin at the Royal Ballet and Young Men from the BalletBoyz


Trash, review: trash by name, trash by nature

31 January 2015

The film doesn’t know whether to be warm and fun like Slumdog Millionaire or social and hard-hitting like City of God and is instead plodding and preposterous

The Marriage of Figaro Photo: Clive Barda

An artistic crime is committed at the Royal Festival Hall

31 January 2015

Plus: a so-so production of The Marriage of Figaro at Opera North is rescued by some masterly conducting

Professor Peter Piot Photo: Getty

The man who discovered Ebola

31 January 2015

Plus: the joys and difficulties of being a female conductor and a stay-at-home mum

Dark thoughts: Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell

Could it be that Wolf Hall is actually the teeniest bit dull?

31 January 2015

Plus: the truth behind Churchill’s funeral and how the dockers were bribed to lower their cranes


High life

High life

Those ancient Greeks were bores — but things are looking up

31 January 2015

Thick snow is falling hard and heavy, muffling sounds and turning the picturesque village postcard beautiful. I am lying in bed listening to a Mozart version of ‘Ave Maria’, a… Read more

Low life

Low life

The risks of being an Englishman on Burns Night

31 January 2015

I’m rubbish at public speaking and detest it. Even the thought of reciting an English poem of my choice at a Burns Night Supper cast a long shadow beforehand, in… Read more

Real life

Real life

The dead iPad Sketch

31 January 2015

My iPad is dead, that’s what’s wrong with it. The plumage don’t enter into it. But since the blasted thing fell off its perch last November, it has somehow run… Read more

Long life

Long life

You realise how little you know of anybody when they die

31 January 2015

Whether or not you believe in the afterlife, death remains an impenetrable mystery. One moment a person is making jokes and comments and observations about life; the next he is… Read more




If you and your partner ever want to improve your bidding system, I can’t recommend Phil King highly enough as a bridge coach. Catherine Seale and I booked him for… Read more

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: how can I stop my husband from chopping down all our trees?

Q. My husband — currently unemployed — has started ‘sourcing’ logs from our own smallholding. Chopping down perfectly good trees, sawing logs, drying them … to say nothing of trying to get… Read more



Magnificent Magnus

31 January 2015

Magnus Carlsen has won first prize in the elite Tata Steel tournament at Wijk aan Zee, Holland. Leading scores out of 13 were Carlsen 9, then Giri, So, Ding Liren… Read more


Chess puzzle

No. 347

31 January 2015

White to play. This is a variation from Carlsen-Aronian, Wijk aan Zee 2015. Black has just played his bishop to a3, uncovering an attack on the white queen while also… Read more



Election blues

31 January 2015

In Competition No. 2882 you were invited to submit a blues song written by a well-known politician contemplating the impending general election. The ghosts of Robert Johnson, B.B. King and… Read more



2196: Diverse

31 January 2015

Round the perimeter clockwise goes a place (6) followed by a description of it (10 words, one hyphened) by one of the unclued lights (two words). This description appears in… Read more


Crossword solution

To 2193: Celebration II

31 January 2015

The MUSICIAN (21), Rod Stewart CBE (25A), was born LXX (16) years ago on 10th January 1945. The associated works were MAGGIE MAY, EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY, SAILING and… Read more

Toby Young

Status anxiety

Come on, Tristram Hunt, if you think you’re hard enough

31 January 2015

For a brief moment earlier this week, I thought education might become an issue in the general election campaign. The Commons Education Select Committee’s lukewarm report on the government’s academy… Read more

Toby and Dave.indd

Battle for Britain

Battle for Britain

31 January 2015

The Wiki Man

How consumer habits are subject to the law of unintended consequences

31 January 2015

Some time in the 1960s, a group of people in an advertising agency (among them Llewelyn Thomas, son of Dylan) found themselves debating the direction of causation in the purchase… Read more



The spirit of Prohibition lives (if you’re a haggis)

31 January 2015

It is an old adage, but still pertinent. ‘Every generalisation about India is true, and so is the opposite.’ The other night, some of us were discussing the US and… Read more

Mind Your Language

Mind your language

What Benedict Cumberbatch didn’t understand about ‘coloured’

31 January 2015

Benedict Cumberbatch apologised at length: ‘devastated’, ‘shaming’, ‘offended’, ‘inappropriate’. What had he done? Been caught in a compromising situation or stolen from a shop? No he had used the word… Read more