The Spectator


4 July 2015

Greece’s crisis turns to tragedy

Its people face an uncertain and frightening future

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Previous Issues



Osborne’s false prophet: why Jim O’Neill will never deliver a ‘northern powerhouse’

The economist entrusted with reviving the North is a Goldman Sachs B-teamer who spouts airline-lounge nonsense


'We need a new word for crisis': the view from Athens

4 July 2015

The cash machine queues are calm – for now. But where does it go from here?


Let's fight terror - by holidaying in gorgeous, welcoming Tunisia

4 July 2015

The worst possible response to these horrible killings would be to abandon the country to the Islamists

England v New Zealand - 5th ODI Royal London One-Day Series 2015

Hallelujah! The England cricket team is fun again

4 July 2015

Few would have expected it before the start of the summer, but we have an Ashes worth looking forward to


If Putin comes, the Poles are waiting - a report from Nato's new frontline

4 July 2015

Nato’s Exercise Noble Jump was an impressive sight – and a deeply ominous one


The wonderful, vanishing world of the handwritten letter

4 July 2015

The people in your postbag as a newspaper columnist could not be more different from those who comment online

First he brought limp salad, and now it’s drizzling

The pitfalls of picnics (and how to avoid them)

4 July 2015

Drizzle, dressed salads and the failure to pack a spare gazebo – most of these are problems that can be solved

The Week

Protestors outside Lancashire County Hall (Photo: Getty)

Leading article

Britain needs to get fracking

4 July 2015

Not since the discovery of North Sea oil has the country had such an incredible opportunity


Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

Home At least 30 British people were among 38 shot dead at a beach resort at Sousse in Tunisia by Seifeddine Rezgui, aged 23, a Tunisian acting for the Islamic… Read more



Fraser Nelson’s Diary: Spotting the miscreants at Jeremy Clarke’s drunkenness-themed book launch

4 July 2015

Plus: the Woodstock vibe at Sweden’s annual political festival; and what Britain gets right about immigration



Would the return of the drachma mean a bonanza for banknote printers?

Plus: How many runways big airports need; and what Nicky Morgan probably doesn’t mean by ‘coasting’


Ancient and modern

How Solon would have solved the Greek crisis

4 July 2015

The EU is pursuing just the sort of policy that took ancient Athens into deep trouble

Over We Go

From The Archives

Secret weapons

4 July 2015

From ‘Bogy-Mongering’, The Spectator, 3 July 1915: Of late there have been all sorts of dark hints and rumours as to wonderful new German devices by air, land, and water. No… Read more



Spectator letters: How Detroit can really be fixed

Plus: George Orwell’s self-mythologising; the moral universe; and a message to Taki from the young ladies of The Spectator



Why won't Cameron seize his chance on the EU?

4 July 2015

No prime minister will ever have better circumstances for changing the meaning of membership

Spectators notes
Rod Liddle

Sorry, but you can’t take the Islam out of Islamic State

4 July 2015

The unpalatable truth is that they believe what they are doing is theologically right — and a sizeable proportion of the Islamic world would concur

James Delingpole

Must all Children’s Laureates be tedious lefties?

4 July 2015

I hear Chris Riddell’s lovely. I just hope he doesn’t engage in the same politically correct proselytising as his predecessors


Christine Lagarde didn’t create the Greek crisis. But she might not survive it

4 July 2015

Plus: Carolyn Fairbairn, new director-general of the CBI; and how long will Mark Carne last as head of Network Rail?


Robert Moses in 1952

The sadist who wrecked New York, and the last of the great biographers

4 July 2015

The Power Broker, Robert Caro’s classic biography of Robert Moses is a monument to a bureaucratic monster — and a style of life-writing that has almost died out


The boy who rebuilt the sun on earth

4 July 2015

In The Boy Who Played with Fusion, Tom Clynes tells the extraordinary story of Taylor Wilson, the science genius who built a working nuclear fusion reactor aged 14

The Sex Pistols stole the introduction to ‘Pretty Vacant’ from Abba’s ‘SOS’ (Photo: Getty)

Copyright: the great rock’n’roll swindle

4 July 2015

In One for the Money, Clinton Heylin reveals how musicians are constantly stealing songs from each other — and then suing for ownership

‘The Number of the Beast is 666’ by William Blake

The end of the world: an illustrated guide

4 July 2015

In Picturing the Apocalypse, Anthony and Natasha O’Hear examine the magnificent art that the Book of Revelation has inspired over the centuries

American marines coming ashore at Guadalcanal, 1942 (Photo: Getty)

Hirohito, MacArthur and other villains

4 July 2015

Francis Pike’s magnificent Hirohito’s War argues that misguided American policy in 1941 continues to reshape the Pacific theatre today

Derelict Detroit: You don’t have to live like this (Photo: Getty)

Wrangles over the Rust Belt

4 July 2015

Benjamin Markovits’s novel You Don’t Have to Live Like This shows how a scheme to reclaim decayed Detroit unravels in kidnappings and vigilantism

Ecclestone and Mosley at Brands Hatch in 1978 — a double-act worthy of Ealing Studios

The fast, furious life of Max Mosley

4 July 2015

Mosley’s autobiography ranges through Formula One, the Nazis, Labour politics, and an S&M orgy — to accusing a former Archbishop of Canterbury of ‘living off immoral earnings’

Henry Coxwell and James Glaisher in their balloon car, studying the moisture content of the atmosphere

The weather: a very British obsession

4 July 2015

Brave Victorian eccentrics risked their lives and fortunes pioneering a reliable storm-warning system, as Peter Moore reveals in his gripping The Weather Experiment

Renata Adler, 1987 (Photo: Getty)

Pricking the pomp of American society

4 July 2015

The wonderfully funny, acute Renata Adler is almost as good an essayist as a novelist, as her collected non-fiction After the Tall Timber reveals


The definitive literary guide to mixed martial arts

4 July 2015

Kerry Handley’s riotously entertaining and perceptive Thrown makes something marvellous from the triumphs and disasters of fighters Sean Huffman and Erik Koch


Beat generation: the indispensable Ringo Starr in 1964

Ringo's no joke. He was a genius and the Beatles were lucky to have him

4 July 2015

On the eve of his 75th birthday, it's time to celebrate the musical contribution Ringo Starr made to the Fab Four

Paco Pena, Sadlers Wells

The Sun King deserves better than this silly cabaret from Birmingham Royal Ballet

4 July 2015

Plus: Paco Pena throws some jazz into the flamenco mix at Sadler's Wells

‘Untitled (Tilly Losch)’, c.1935–38, by Joseph Cornell

Poetic or pretentious? Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust at the Royal Academy reviewed

4 July 2015

People found it hard to classify his wooden cases filled with bric-a-brac, but their influence - and charm - was lasting

Patti Smith introduces the Dalai Lama to the crowd (Photo: Getty)

Michael Eavis has brought more joy to more people than almost any Englishman alive

4 July 2015

Despite a few disappointments (notably Kanye West), James Delingpole's trip to Glastonbury is transformed by an encounter with The Who

John Osborn as Arnold in the Royal Opera's controversial new William Tell. Photo: ROH/ Clive Barda

The gang rape was the least offensive thing about Royal Opera's new William Tell

4 July 2015

The booers have ensured we focus on one scene, when in fact we should be talking about how lazy and ugly the rest of the production was

The Seagull: Sabrina Bartlett as Nina (Photo Johan Persson)

The Seagull needs a roof to stop Chekhov's subtleties flying off

4 July 2015

Plus: a 40-year-old play that will appeal to anyone whose parents spent the 1960s feuding and the 1970s decoupling

Amy Winehouse: ‘not a fake bone in her tiny body’

Masterly and heartbreaking: Amy reviewed

4 July 2015

Asif Kapadia's new documentary is painful to watch but, like Senna, also gripping. And he doesn't shy away from pointing the finger of blame

American troops on the march during the First World War, 1917 (Photo: Getty)

Does history provide the answer to what happened in Tunisia?

4 July 2015

And should we be more optimistic about the Arab Spring? The War that Changed the World, a new series on BBC World Service, offered the long-view on today's upheavals

Jeff Koons and Alan Yentob with Koons' Rabbit, 1986

As blatant rip-offs go, this one is shaping up nicely: Odyssey, BBC2, reviewed

4 July 2015

Plus: is Jeff Koons the heir to Duchamp or a self-promoting chancer? Alan Yentob is in less sycophantic mode than usual in his latest episode of Imagine...


High life

High life

My big embarrassing Greek royal wedding

4 July 2015

Tempus sure fugit, and how. Twenty years ago, on Saturday 1 July 1995, monarchs from around the world descended on London for the wedding of Greek Crown Prince Pavlos to… Read more

Low life

Low life

Praise: the agony and the ecstasy

4 July 2015

Rachel Johnson, in last week’s Spectator diary, says that her husband says she only writes a book in order to have a launch party. Me too. My thoughts are too… Read more

Real life

Real life

House-hunting in Cobham has driven me to the verge of insanity

4 July 2015

This much I know, I never want to live in an ‘executive home’, and neither do I want to live in a house that belongs to a ‘collection’ of homes… Read more

Long life

Long life

First I cursed the Calais migrants — then I thanked them

The Eurostar train descended gently into the Channel Tunnel, went halfway along it, and then stopped. There it remained for what seemed a very long time, the silence broken only… Read more




I had no idea until last week that Burt Lancaster was a passionate bridge player. I found out after meeting an elderly man who told me that he once partnered… Read more



Magnus toppled

4 July 2015

Last week, world champion Magnus Carlsen suffered a devastating defeat in the first round of the Stavanger super tournament when he lost on time to Topalov, in what had been… Read more


Chess puzzle

No. 369

4 July 2015

White to play. This is from Anand–Hammer, Stavanger 2015. White is a pawn up with a good position and his next move put the game beyond all doubt. How did… Read more



Court report

4 July 2015

In Competition No. 2904 you were invited to take as your first line ‘There’s a breathless hush on the centre court’ and continue for up to 15 lines in the… Read more



2218: Fab!

4 July 2015

The unclued lights (two of three words and two of two words) can be preceded by the same word and all are defined in Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.… Read more


Crossword solution

To 2215: IVOs

4 July 2015

The unclued lights include at least four Os (IV Os), and other clued solutions contain two or three. OROONOKO at 6D is the novel and has five Os.  First prize… Read more

Toby Young

Status anxiety

Giving up alcohol is not as much fun as I’d hoped

4 July 2015

Two months ago, I set myself the target of losing 11 pounds in time for the Spectator’s summer party on 1 July. To help achieve that, I swore off alcohol… Read more


Battle for Britain

Battle for Britain

4 July 2015

The Wiki Man

A better way to be charitable: just give money

4 July 2015

Seven years ago I wrote here about a site called I had met the co-founder of this charity when she came to Oxford in 2007 and was intrigued by… Read more

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: Before an old boys’ reunion, should I tip people off to an interesting fact?

Q. The problem encountered by R.B. of Fareham (6 June) is similar to one I wish to avoid. I have organised an informal lunch for old boys of the grammar… Read more



The delicious heart of Burgundy

4 July 2015

‘There lies the dearest freshness deep down things’ — and also the dearest Frenchness. It is easy to be rude about the French governing elite; indeed, it is impossible to… Read more

Mind Your Language

Mind your language

When due diligence meant delight

4 July 2015

No doubt you, too, have had the feeling, upon glancing at an article in a paper picked up in a train or café, that it might mean something to someone,… Read more