The Spectator

25 February 2017

The new third Way

Theresa May’s path between globalism and nationalism



Theresa May's new third way

The Prime Minister is trying to steer a path between globalism and nationalism


L’anti-Trump: can Emmanuel Macron live up to his hype?

His detractors claim he has nothing but vague promises; his campaign says the substance will follow soon


Prince Charles wants a Queen Camilla. He’s still wrong. Here’s why

The campaign has been waged with skill and discretion, but its success would be a reward for adultery


Trump’s new security chief is a fearless truth-teller. Is that enough?

H.R. McMaster has made his name as a military strategist. His new job demands even more


The Islamic world did liberalise – but then came the first world war

It seems vital to recall that hopeful century when the lands of Islam engaged lustily with modernity


Why I’ve cancelled my signing at an anti-Trump bookshop

From a general bookseller, campaigning can become little better than censorship

Good beer, cheap

Notes on...

The wonder of Wetherspoons

You may disagree with the proprietor about Brexit. But surely we can all agree about good, cheap beer?

The Week

Leading article

The real gender gap is not about women’s pay but boys’ lack of attainment

The Women and Equalities Select Committee should recognise that only women over 40 are paid less than men

Portrait of the week

Theresa May watches the House of Lords debate Brexit

Also in Portrait of the Week: the Isis suicide bomber from Manchester; huge rises in business rates


I love Brighton’s rail chaos: it’s the perfect excuse not to go to London

Also in Julie Burchill’s diary: Brexit tantrums, charity shop work and being a joke


The footballing giant killers of 1914

Also in Barometer: when mega mergers go wrong; will your pension go up less?

From The Archives

1917: The Americans are coming!

It’s not that we wish them to enter the war — the Germans are making it inevitable

Ancient and modern

All the President’s yes-men

Tacitus tells us how honourable politicians can survive absolutism


The Tories could – and should – have got rid of John Bercow years ago

Also in Spectator Letters: A Bullingdon photo mystery, a bet with Matthew Parris, and ‘dad-dancing’


The Spectator's Notes

I’ve met General McMaster. Hiring him is Donald Trump’s sanest move yet

Also in The Spectator’s Notes: this business rates grief is all George Osborne’s fault; saying sorry to Liverpool

Rod Liddle

Pity the satanic abuse police – they have to be 120 per cent gullible

That evil bastard Edward Heath fooled us with his organ playing and yachting when he really liked Satan and killing children

James Delingpole

The great diesel disaster shows how badly wrong-headed environmentalism can harm the planet

No one has claimed responsibility for the Great Diesel Car Scandal and almost certainly no heads will roll

Any other business

We should all be glad that Unilever saw off predatory robot Kraft Heinz

Also in Any Other Business: selling Vauxhall, the RBS farce, bank branch closures


Pomak Muslims still live in Greek and Bulgarian villages. Left: a bride embarks on her two-day winter wedding in Ribnovo, 210 km from Sofia

Lead book review

The long tragedy of Europe's borderland

Kapka Kassabova explores the rich and haunting history of the border between Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey

The star-struck Claretta, Mussolini’s last love. According to her diaries, he radiated a ‘god-like potency’ and a ‘bull-like’ magnetism


Seducing Mussolini

Star-struck Claretta Petacci was determined to conquer her ‘divine Caesar’ — and was finally strung up beside him


Thick as thieves in Georgian London

Con-men, prostitutes and the infintely sinister Jonathan Wild are among the cast of Jake Arnott’s thrilling The Fatal Tree

George Mackay Brown appears part-inspiration forAnnalena McAfee’s fictional poet Grigor McWatt


It’s a long slog Hame with Annalena McAfee

To write her epic novel, she learned to speak Braid Scots; and after 600 pages we end up with a predictable thoog a poog


China Mieville’s counterfactual novel is a chilling, surreal caprice

The year is 1950. The Nazis still occupy Paris. And André Breton and friends are leading the Resistance


John Burnside treads sacred ground in Ashland & Vine

There are echoes of Scheherazade, James Joyce and Emily Dickinson in his lyrical new novel about belief and the afterlife


Was A.A. Gill just an outrageous show pony?

His verbal pyrotechnics fizzle and crack, but they can’t conceal a fundamental shortage of ideas, says Marcus Berkmann

Jess Phillips — like a clever, funny friend telling you what gets her goat


Harriet Harman and Jess Phillips: poles apart in the sisterhood

Bossy headmistress or gobby girl in the playground? It doesn’t need saying which Labour MP I prefer, says Julie Burchill

The romance and drama of the night train is captured in Charles d’Albert’s illustration


Time to wake up to the benefits of the sleeper

Budget airlines did for the romantic night trains that crisscrossed Europe. But is Putin, of all people, restoring them?

Paul Durand-Ruel, who created the market for impressionism, commissioned Renoir’s ‘Dance in the Country’, painted in 1883


Connoisseurs and con artists

Philip Hook’s history of the murky world of art dealing is disappointingly short on gossip and scandal


A provincial library is pure Alan Bennett territory

Chris Paling superbly conjures the comedy, poignancy and eccentricity of a small-town library in the south of England


High life

The wonder of Japan

Good manners and respect are the key to a civil society, not inclusion and diversity

Low life

Hostelling Scientology-style

Did I know, the manager said, that the world was ruled by extraterrestrial lizards in human form?

Real life

‘Unexpectedly re-available’ is a phrase that speaks to me

Although nowadays I would be more accurately described as ‘expectedly re-unavailable’



If there’s one tournament I’d really like to play in, it’s the Cavendish in Monaco, the largest money bridge tournament…


Blazing Sadler

Matthew Sadler’s retirement from full-time international chess is one of the great losses to the British game. Occasionally, the one-time…

Chess puzzle

no. 445

Black to play. This position is from Morozevich-Sadler, Reykjavik 1999, a game from Sadler’s heydey, when he was regularly beating…


You’re toast

In Competition No. 2986 you were invited to submit a poem about a deadly foodstuff.   My inspiration for this…


2298: NOᴎ

The unclued lights (one of two words), correctly paired, are of a kind and are defective in the same way.…

Crossword solution

to 2295: Juicy

The shared name was PERRY (18), shared by GRAYSON (28) Perry and Perry MASON (2). GP, whose alter ego is…

Status anxiety

Will my inner party animal ever roar back to life?

I’m a middle-aged father of four and CEO of a charity... but urge to be sensible still begins to slip

The Wiki Man

Thank God for expensive lawyers!

If suing people were cheap, everyone would do it all the time. Driverless cars will be the same

Mind your language

The most unlikely origin I’ve ever seen for a common phrase

The story behind ‘curry favour’ seems unbelievable. But the evidence is there


From kittens to claret: an ideal education

The Professor’s household triumphantly refutes the claim that the number of daughters a man has is in proportion to his wickedness in a previous life

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: How to make your 15-year-old daughter behave

Plus: sleeping with the radio, dealing with a spittle-flecked dinner, tipping removal men