The Spectator

6 February 2016

Fighting over the crumbs





Everything has gone right for the Eurosceptics. So why are they in crisis?

They are too divided and their campaigns too shambolic to seize this opportunity

Diamond Jubilee - Service Of Thanksgiving


What’s so dangerous about this book about the Church of England?

The publishers have asked for all review copies of That Was the Church That Was to be returned

Man Shot Dead By Police In Paris Street After Wielding Knife


François Hollande’s own personal state of emergency

The French president’s response to the November terror attacks has left him increasingly isolated and unpopular

Gallipoli Campaign Centenary: The Commemorations, April 24


Life on board a warship in our much-reduced Royal Navy

The helmsman’s a woman, the wardrooms are unisex... but the stokers are disappearing in droves

(Photo: Getty)


To survive as a Tory teacher, you have to keep quiet

I thought it was part of our job to promote tolerance and challenge orthodoxy. I was wrong

Vector background with life line.


The NHS has forgotten the art of a dignified death

Ten years ago the National Health Service eased my father’s last days. My mother, this year, was not nearly so lucky



Beware the baby-snatchers: how social services can ruin your family

The care system’s eagerness to separate babies from parents is taking a large but secret toll

The Roundhouse, Cape Town. Eight-Course tasting menu at £50 a head.

Notes on...

There may never be a better (or cheaper) time to visit South Africa

Jacob Zuma's economic mismanagement has a benefit for tourists: it’s as if a whole country has become half-price

The Week

(Photo: Getty)

Leading article

Go back and get more from the EU, Prime Minister

David Cameron must stop campaigning for an ‘in’ vote and improve the terms of his inadequate deal


Portrait of the week

Portrait of the Week: David Cameron’s EU deal and the death of Terry Wogan

Plus: more migrant children drowning, Islamic State kill 71 in Damascus, Ted Cruz beats Donald Trump in Iowa

(Photo: Getty)


The Oldie of the Year awards face life without Terry Wogan

Also in Alexander Chancellor’s diary: Honouring Lord Hutchinson, Olivia de Havilland and Aung San Suu Kyi



What happens if a British election ends in a dead heat? Well, one did…

Elections, US presidential election 2016, Iowa caucuses 2016, Oxford University, University admissions, Golf, Tax


Ancient and modern

In defence of discrimination

The ancients – unlike our Prime Minister — recognised it as a vital quality

Turkish invaders: soldiers marching in Damascus (Photo: Getty)

From The Archives

What to do about Syria – the view from 1916

One thing was certain: keeping the British there long-term wouldn’t help



Letters: Against and in defence of the gender fluidity debate

Plus: interns, piped music, what to do about Easter, and cricket for everyone




Sorry establishment Republicans, The Donald isn’t dead yet

Even if his bubble was burst in Iowa, his campaign has exposed deep cracks in the GOP power structure

Spectators notes

The Spectator's Notes

Why must David Cameron insult Oxford, when it gave him so much?

Also in Charles Moore’s Notes: US media groupthink; ‘Islamophobic’ hate crimes; remembering George Weidenfeld

Rod Liddle

Rod Liddle

I want to see President Trump – if only because of who he’d annoy

It would be Trumpageddon for all the worst people in Britain, and the prospect is rather attractive

Matthew Parris

Matthew Parris

Why I now believe in positive discrimination

It need not rule out selection by merit – but to assess ‘merit’, potential as well as performance should be considered

Hugo Rifkind

Hugo Rifkind

This London mayoral race will feature something new: boredom

Hardly anyone voted when it was Boris vs Ken – they’ll care even less about Zac vs Sadiq. And it doesn’t matter anyway


Any other business

France can’t build its own new nuclear power stations, let alone ours

Plus: Some good economic news; a film-worthy banking drama; and the case for using your connections


Jennifer Jones in her first starring role as Bernadette Soubirous

Books feature

Moguls and other Hollywood monsters

Jean Stein’s collection of Tinseltown tittle-tattle is moderately interesting, unpleasantly salacious and largely unsourced

Litvinoff spent time with wealthy ex-public-school boys in Chelsea and gangsters in Soho, including Ronnie Kray (Photo: Getty)


David Litvinoff: queeny aesthete or street-hustling procurer?

Litvinoff apparently knew everyone in Sixties London, including Lucian Freud, Mick Jagger to Ronnie Kray (who slashed his face)

‘The Evening’ by Caspar David Friedrich


At the going down of the sun

Peter Davidson’s meditation on the role of twilight in European culture is too nebulous — or protean — to be very illuminating



Catullus, Clodia and the pangs of despised love

Daisy Dunn’s own passion for the earthy yet urbane Catullus is evident in her skilful recreation of his life and times

The dark side of London (Photo: Getty)


Ben Judah feels like a stranger in his native London

Following in the steps of Orwell, Judah reports on the desperate circumstances of the city’s (mainly immigrant) down-and-outs

Pyramid texts at Saqqara


The writing on the wall at Saqqara is plain to see

According to the distinguished Egyptologist Susan Brind Morrow, the famous pyramid texts are more poetic — if simpler — than previously thought

The Duke of Cumberland takes centre stage at Culloden


Culloden: the bloody end of the Jacobite dream

Trevor Royle gives an even-handed account of this last desperate throw of the dice for Bonnie Prince Charlie



A deadly role reversal

When Breath Becomes Air is the neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi’s powerful — and posthumous — account of finding himself on the wrong end of the scalpel

The Festival of Britain, 1951 (Photo: Getty)


The great austerity con

Owen Hatherley’s polemic on public expenditure cuts is less ranty — and more reflective — than one might expect

Raoul Moat (Photo: Getty)


Inside the mind of a murderer

Will Andrew Hankinson’s study of Raoul Moat’s spree-killing obsession become a script for further murder?

Humboldt talks to one of the indigenous people in Turbaco (today’s Columbia) en route to Bogotá.


Alexander Humboldt: a great explorer rediscovered

Andrea Wulf has brilliantly resurrected the gifted naturalist and geographer who was once (bar Napoleon) the most famous man in Europe

Big Ben at night


If you read one spy novel this year, read Real Tigers

Mick Herron’s novel explodes like a firecracker in all directions when an MI5 misfit is kidnapped

The SS deport Jews from the Warsaw ghetto


David Cesarani's final, fascinating, wrong-headed book

Avoiding German-language sources doesn't help when you're arguing about the Holocaust


A fusion of ‘Fungus the Bogeyman’ and Dungeons and Dragons, Dashi Namdakov’s ‘She Guardian’ is a grotesque, inappropriate and embarrassing intrusion into London

Arts feature

What's that thing? Britain's worst public art

Dashi Namdakov’s 'grotesque' She Guardian is a worthy first winner of our new annual award

Akram Khan's Until the Lions (Photo: Jean-Louis Fernandez)


Gorgeous, visionary sights from Akram Khan at the Roundhouse

Plus: a fascinating snapshot of home-grown styling versus bought-in from the Royal Ballet in Rhapsody

Dream team: the cast of ‘Dad’s Army’ 2016


Watch it backwards – and then don’t stay for long: Dad’s Army reviewed

The casting is a dream but the script lacks nuance and is painfully padded out, and the only decent moment is an outtake played over the end credits

Woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown: Gina McKee as The Mother


The Mother is meaningless - I predict great things for it

Plus: a new play about bulgy-eyed comedian Marty Feldman at Leicester Square Theatre directed with subtlety and quietness by Terry Jones

‘Untitled (Oxidation Painting)’, 1978, by Andy Warhol


Warhol the traditionalist: the Ashmolean Museum show reviewed

Plus: A delightful new display of early Tom Wesselmann collages at David Zwirner that shows a more subtle and complex artist than at first appears

(Photo: Bill Cooper)


Unlikely to win converts: Royal Opera's L'Étoile reviewed

Plus: a second way not to do French operetta at St John’s Smith Square from Opera Danube who took on Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld

Sir Terry Wogan (Photo: Getty)


Long before Twitter, Wogan offered continuous conversation

Plus: a solo voice singing ‘Amazing Grace’ from inside a British prison stops Kate Chisholm dead in her tracks

Back in Time for the Weekend, BBC2


Back in Time for the Weekend gives the 1950s its usual kicking

Plus: the woman who agreed to have sex with Axl Rose as part of the Guns N’ Roses track ‘Rocket Queen’



High life

The King of Greece tells it like it really was

These gripping memoirs of a king, coup-maker and exile are looking for an English-language publisher


Low life

Even a Cambridge-educated spook couldn't make me believe in ghosts

Denis may have been a Cambridge-educated former Special Branch officer but he couldn’t convince me to believe in ghosts


Real life

My speed awareness course might push me over the limit again

It was so informative and entertaining I might have to break the speed limit so that I can go on another one


The turf

Hot tips for next month’s Cheltenham Festival

Thistlecrack and Yanworth are bankers, based on their form at Festival Trials Day




The Brits have done brilliantly in Icelandair’s annual bridge festival in Reykjavik and this year was no different. The winners…


Wine Club Offers

February Wine Club

Well, that’s January done and dusted. Phew! An immense relief, I’m sure, for all those clinging to the wagon by…



Irresistible force

Alexander Alekhine was one of the immortals of the chessboard — world champion from 1927, when in an epic war…


Chess puzzle

No. 394

White to play. This position is from Alekhine-Flohr, Bled 1931. White has a positional advantage but can you spot the…



Woe is me

In Competition No. 2933 you were invited to submit a blurb for a misery memoir. Thanks to Tom Dulake for…



2246: Where’s Maggie?

Unclued lights (including one of two words and three pairs, 37 doing double duty) are characters in a play. A…


Crossword solution

To 2243: Obit III

WARREN MITCHELL (42/43), STAR (39) of stage and screen, died on 14th November 2015. He won an Olivier Award as…

Toby Young
Spectator sport

Spectator sport

John Terry’s ‘farewell’ is a load of hypocritical old tosh

One day soon he’ll be off to China for big money. He just has some public contract negotiation to do first

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: Must I have name badges for guests at my wedding?

Plus: How to stop neighbours interfering in puppy training; and letting a widower down gently



Le Caprice is trying to bring back the 1980s (unsuccessfully)

One of the most talked-about restaurants of the Thatcher era turns to self-mythology

Mind Your Language