The Spectator


29 August 2015

Death watch

If you don’t think legalising ‘assisted dying’ is a slippery slope, you haven’t been paying attention

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Rhinos are being wiped out for the sake of fairytales

29 August 2015

Technological fixes won’t help them – the answer is to target human stupidity


If you dismiss the slippery-slope argument against ‘assisted dying’, you’re not paying attention

29 August 2015

Euthanasia’s development in Holland and Belgium is a cautionary tale for those considering the idea here

Poster by @gilloballybay

The fight to save the Gladstone Arms is a battle for the soul of London

It’s one pub among thousands – but one at the centre of a community, and of stories told from generation to generation


Breast-feeding isn't always best

29 August 2015

Clare Byam-Cook’s tolerant advice inspires rage on Mumsnet – but it could save new mothers from misery and shame


Here we go again: the drumbeat for sending troops back to Iraq has begun

29 August 2015

Thought ‘humanitarian intervention’ was dead and buried? No such luck. It’s taking pride of place in the American election


The digital disruption of cocaine

29 August 2015

Drug dealers, too, are having to change in the face of the on-demand economy

What happens when they’ve climbed the ladder?

The lessons of exam results season (and what to do about them)

29 August 2015

Results matter only for where they lead

The Week

(Photo: Getty)

Leading article

George Osborne has bet the house (and other people's houses) on there being no new crash

29 August 2015

The Chancellor may yet be lucky. But the look on his face this week suggests he fears otherwise


Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

Home Harriet Harman, the acting leader of the Labour party, said that 3,000 people had had any votes they cast in the Labour leadership contest set aside. Voters for the… Read more

Spoilt for choice at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Photo: Getty)


Val McDermid’s Diary: Facing 3,000 choices at the Edinburgh festival

29 August 2015

What to see, what to do, and what to eat…



How common is adultery? Much more common than getting caught

Plus: Police Tasers, West End ticket prices and air-show tragedies


Ancient and modern

How to tell if Jeremy Corbyn is a proper republican

29 August 2015

Hating kings and queens is not enough. Is he ready to share power?

Wartime Politicians

From The Archives

Discovering Europe

29 August 2015

From ‘A Converted Peace-Man’, The Spectator, 28 August 1915: We have brought the present war upon ourselves in a great measure by the obstinate refusal of the great mass of English… Read more



Spectator letters: Cutting the Lords, and a defence of Edwin Lutyens

Plus: a former ambassador on valedictory blogging; and another freelance alternative to the RAF



Think Cameron’s small majority will hold him back? Not with his new army of loyalists

29 August 2015

New Tory MPs are mostly fully paid-up members of the Prime Minister’s fan club


The contagious madness of the new PC

29 August 2015

Obsessive searching for hurt and offence will create it where once it never existed

Rod Liddle

I’m utterly sickened by this story of a man trying to talk to a woman on a train

29 August 2015

In fact I am so upset I may have to break off writing to vomit again

James Delingpole

Oh no: On the Road’s a masterpiece. So what else have I missed?

29 August 2015

I had good reasons for ignoring it. And Catcher in the Rye, too. But I’m glad Boy forced me to change my mind


Sorry, but I can’t join in the China panic (especially not while I’m on a cruise)

29 August 2015

Plus: the meaning of the ‘Corbynomics’ endorsement; and an opportunity coming into view


Members of the Maquis study the mechanism and maintenance of weapons dropped by parachute in the Haute-Loire

The facts behind France’s most potent modern myth

29 August 2015

In Fighters in the Shadows, Robert Gildea dares to suggest that the struggle in France against the German Occupation — so central to French identity — was too disparate even to be called ‘the French Resistance’

The devastation left behind after the Blitz (Photo: Getty)

Ghosts of the past haunt Pat Barker’s bomb-strewn London

29 August 2015

Concluding her latest trilogy, Noonday sees the few remaining Slade painters bearing up — and bearing stretchers — through the Blitz

‘La Ghirlandata’ by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The dangerous red-headed league

29 August 2015

Jacky Colliss Harvey’s colourful history of the redhead includes sinners, temptresses, villains and feisty rebels from Boudicca to Thelma and Louise

Author Jonathan Franzen (Photo: Getty)

Another ‘big book’ — with big problems — from Jonathan Franzen

29 August 2015

A complex drama of cultural politics and family life, Purity fulfils our great expectations of this prize-winning American author — in more ways than one

For France, the murder of John the Fearless was ‘a tragedy on an epic scale’

The drama of St Crispian’s Day: Shakespeare got it right

29 August 2015

The battle of Agincourt — a high point of Cursed Kings, the penultimate volume of Jonathan Sumption’s history of the Hundred Years War — was a great English victory snatched from the jaws of defeat

Joan Baez and Bob Dylan  duet at the Newport Folk Festival, Rhode Island, 1963 (Photo: Getty)

The times really were a-changin’ — when Dylan electrified his fans

29 August 2015

Elijah Wald explains how the music world changed forever on 25 July 1965 at Newport, Rhode Island

Chapter One

Mario Reading reviews four first-rate first novels

29 August 2015

The trials of married life and the revenge of a spurned mistress are among the themes of promising debut novels from Michela Wrong, Natasha Pulley, Benjamin Johncock and Julia Pierpont

Jacob Zuma — a tribalist whose extended family and fellow Zulus have benefited hugely from his accession to power

R.W. Johnson: 40-odd years prophesying the end for South Africa

29 August 2015

This updated version of How Long Will South Africa Survive? sees the country more crippled than ever by corruption, cronyism and greed

William Mars-Jones (right) attends the second day of the Moor Murders, 1966 (Photo: AP)

The trials of living with a High Court judge

29 August 2015

In Kid Gloves, Adam Mars-Jones details the difficulties of caring for his cantankerous father — a distinguished judge who could never admit to being wrong


A Gothic horror story of quicksands, riptides and rituals

29 August 2015

Andrew Michael Hurley makes the sinister too seductive in his debut novel The Loney — but this is a writer to watch, says Susan Hill


The master builder: Palladio’s villas in the Veneto, Italy — Villa Caldogno

Palladio was the greatest influence on taste ever – but his time is finally up

29 August 2015

The Italian architect gave his name to a style that spread around the world. But has Palladianism been too successful for its own good, asks Stephen Bayley

Ravilious in Essex: ‘Two Women in the Garden’, watercolour, 1932

The only art is Essex

29 August 2015

From Eric Ravilious to Grayson Perry, the art of this much maligned English county is an unexpectedly rich theme, as two superb Fry Art Gallery shows prove

Daphne at Grimeborn

As with so many Strauss operas, Daphne's one redeeming feature is its end

29 August 2015

Grimeborn festival's budget production with just a piano for accompaniment couldn't hope to do justice to the only other thing the work has going for it: its orchestration

Prince William of Gloucester

How many royal cliches can you fit into a single Channel 4 documentary?

29 August 2015

The claim of The Other Prince William that 'you can have the woman or you can have the throne but you can't have both' might have been stronger if Prince William of Gloucester ever had any chance of the throne

Swan Lake

Dance from Edinburgh: a flamenco master who could tell classical ballet a thing or two

29 August 2015

Plus: a concise, precise emotional retelling of the life of Nijinsky at the Fringe and an ambitious visit from Ballett am Rhein. Meanwhile, in London, the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre offers up a travesty

The face of a film: Charlotte Rampling is hypnotic in ‘45 Years’

A film in which nothing happens — yet everything happens: 45 Years reviewed

29 August 2015

Tom Courtenay gives a subtle performance but most of the credit for the brilliance of the film must lie with director Andrew Haigh and a transfixing Charlotte Rampling

The Christians, Traverse

Edinburgh Fringe highlights: world-class improv, Bible study and an hour with a gentle genius

29 August 2015

Lucas Hnath’s The Christians analysis religious feeling with high seriousness and sympathy and transfers to the Gate next week

The BBC's music man: Ben Shennan (Photo: Getty)

What’s the point of BBC Music?

29 August 2015

Plus: an odd but compelling start to David Byrne's new Sunday-afternoon show on 6 Music and a cleverly done Radio 2 drama about the 1965 meeting of Elvis and The Beatles


High life

High life

The unspiritual life is in sad decline (except on Michael Chandris's yacht)

29 August 2015

According to Somerset Maugham, in material terms one must live on the razor edge between poverty and minimal subsistence in order to cultivate the life of the spirit. I’ve always… Read more

Low life

Low life

Italy is so civilised! Even at a mad dash

29 August 2015

I sprinted through Milan station, speed-read the departures monitor without stopping, and arrived gasping on platform 8 with two minutes to spare. The driver of the FrecciaBianca bullet train was… Read more

Real life

Real life

Am I moving to the Cotswolds? Don't measure the curtains yet

29 August 2015

On the basis that I might need a new boiler soon, I thought I had better sell the London flat and move to the Cotswolds. Fine, so it wasn’t just… Read more

Long life

Long life

The young are miserable and the old are happy – shouldn’t it be the other way around?

29 August 2015

We learn from a new report that children in England are among the unhappiest in the world — more unhappy, even, than the children of Ethiopia, Algeria or Israel. Why… Read more

Wild life

Wild life

Africa is no longer the land of elephants

29 August 2015

Laikipia An elephant can break through an electric fence by pulling out the posts, pushing younger, more stupid animals into the wire — or by simply sitting on the fence.… Read more




I hope Zia Mahmood will forgive me. It’s not often I come across a contract that he has failed to make while his opponent in the other room has succeeded… Read more




29 August 2015

I have never met David Smerdon, the Australian grandmaster and author of Smerdon’s Scandinavian (Everyman Chess). Last week I gave a ringing endorsement of his new book and I must… Read more


Chess puzzle

No. 376

29 August 2015

Black to play. This position is a variation from variation from Maslak-Smerdon, Pardubice 2007. Black has powered through on the kingside. How can he finish off? Answers to me at The Spectator… Read more



Fan fare

29 August 2015

In Competition No. 2912 you were invited to submit a tribute in verse to a once-popular foodstuff that has fallen out of favour. Bill Greenwell’s entry (Spangles!) brought to mind… Read more



2226: Whitehouse

29 August 2015

Clockwise from 4 run three titles (6,2,3,6,7,9,3,4,3,4,5) linked with X who won a 21 of 8s. 29 is a fourth such title. Solvers must shade the three clued lights that… Read more


Crossword solution

To 2223: Clerihew

29 August 2015

Edmund Clerihew Bentley wrote: The art of Biography/ Is different from Geography/ Geography is about maps/ But Biography is about chaps. First prize Val Urquhart, Butcombe, Somerset Runners-up… Read more

Toby Young

Status anxiety

Once again, the French are relying on Americans and Brits to protect them from murderous fascists

29 August 2015

Boy, am I glad I’m not a Frenchman. Last week’s dramatic incident on board a Paris-bound train, in which a terrorist atrocity was narrowly averted by a group of heroic… Read more


Battle for Britain

Battle for Britain

29 August 2015

The Wiki Man

Want to avoid regulators? Do something useless

29 August 2015

I had a water meter installed in my flat a few months ago. I looked at it just now and it said ‘13’. I didn’t know what ‘13’ meant, so… Read more

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: How do you persuade your drunk friend to leave a party when the taxi arrives?

Q. How do you persuade someone drunk to leave a party when it doesn’t make sense for them to stay? When the taxi arrived to take me and two friends… Read more



Dorset is a palliative for the human condition

29 August 2015

Do-orzaat. Dorset is part of L’Angleterre profonde. It is possible to find evidence of modernity, but only in limited areas. Around 120 miles from London, west Dorset and the Somerset… Read more

Mind Your Language

Mind your language

Saints still beat Game of Thrones for baby-naming – but maybe not Mohammed

29 August 2015

We reached peak Charlie in 2012, when 5,571 baby boys were given the name. There were only 4,642 last year. Perhaps the Paris massacre early this year will leave more… Read more