The Spectator


29 November 2014

Nerds, spies and terrorists

Freedom of the press still matters when the presses are virtual

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Previous Issues



The technology giants are breathtakingly irresponsible about terrorism

29 November 2014

We know they can be good citizens when they want to be. So why are they acting in ways that could endanger us all?


Nerds, spies and terrorists: the online battle for freedom of the press

29 November 2014

It is too easy, sometimes, to forget that new media is media at all

The National Newspaper Launches In Scotland

The National shows just how much danger the Union – and Scotland – is still in

29 November 2014

This new newspaper, whatever its quality, is a reminder that the thirst for change in Scotland remains unquenched

Bob Marley Performs On Stage

Bob Marley: from reggae icon to Marlboro Man of marijuana

29 November 2014

A new line for the world’s ninth most lucrative dead celebrity


Is Nicolas Sarkozy headed back to the Elysée – or to jail?

29 November 2014

Just when it seemed that French politics couldn’t get any worse, the former president has put himself back in the game

Controversial Mural Of Breakdancing Jesus Is Unveiled

When did ambition become a dirty word in Bristol?

29 November 2014

A culture that sees itself as one continuous collective protest eventually suffocates itself

String Telephone.

The agony of dying gadgets

29 November 2014

For a technophobe, the one thing worse than a new device is the slow To survive as a technophobe in the 21st century, you must depend on the kindness of strangers


The hidden price of more overseas students at British public schools

29 November 2014

Sometimes they arrive with firmly held ‘traditional’ views which clash with the values of such establishments


Pacific-sized love

29 November 2014

The runner-up in The Spectator’s 2014 Shiva Naipaul Memorial Award

Grande dame: the Grand Hotel Stockholm as seen from the Palace

A cure for Christmas stress in Sweden

29 November 2014

The Stockholm Grand: I saw no reason to ever leave the room

The Week


Leading article

Playing chicken with Vladimir Putin

29 November 2014

The only way to stop Russia's escalating displays of aggression is to show western strength


Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

Home Theresa May, the Home Secretary, spent a few days announcing things. She broadcast on the Andrew Marr Show on television and then on Desert Island Discs. She said Britain… Read more

The cast of The Only Way is Essex Photo: ITV


Jeremy Paxman’s diary: Why must Songs of Praise chase advertiser-friendly viewers?

29 November 2014

Plus: Come and visit your taxes at work in Belfast



The price of seeing Santa (and what it gets you)

Plus: the highest-earning migrant groups, and the facts on Britain’s white van men


Ancient and modern

Nicky Morgan vs Socrates

29 November 2014

Understanding the mechanics of the world has nothing to say about ‘how to do what we think is right’

Irish National Volunteers in Dublin practise with rifles, 1914 Photo: Getty

From The Archives

From the archives

29 November 2014

From ‘Sedition in Ireland’, The Spectator, 28 November 1914: If the press is to be muzzled, why do not the muzzling laws hold good in Ireland? It is against all… Read more



Spectator letters: A history of Stepford Students; Brendan Behan and Joan Littlewood; and the Army’s tour of Pakistan

Silencing students Sir: The Stepford Students (22 November) are nothing new. The NUS-inspired ‘No Platform’ policy has been used to ban anything that student radicals don’t like since at least… Read more



Never mind the general election: Tories are already fighting the Europe referendum

29 November 2014

Owen Paterson's bid to lead the 'out' side is only the most obvious preparatory manoeuvre

Rod Liddle

Easy divorce has been catastrophic for British children (and I say this as a divorcee)

29 November 2014

Mention this and you are likely to be defriended on Facebook and stopped from attending Hay-on-Wye

Matthew Parris

The virtual mob that got Emily Thornberry is coming for you, too

29 November 2014

The internet can turbo-charge national hypocrisy so that it turns ferocious within hours


Forget corporate social responsibility: just do a proper job

29 November 2014

Plus: George Osborne’s bonus defeat, and the horrors of Heathrow


Eugene O’Neill with his last wife, the actress Carlotta Monterey, who safeguarded him, and enabled him to write his later plays, though friends and family considered her his jailer

Eugene O’Neill: the dark genius of American theatre

29 November 2014

Before he was 35, Eugene O’Neill had emerged as a titan on the American stage, and arguably America’s greatest playwright

Liverpool manager Bill Shankly (centre) with the Charity Shield after a penalty shoot out victory over Leeds United at Wembley Photo: Getty

How did English football get so ugly?

29 November 2014

In a review of David Goldblatt’s The Game of Our Lives, television sponsorship, pampered star players and the vanity of oligarchs are blamed for the current sad state of English football

Rock 'n' Roll pianist Jerry Lee Lewis Photo: Getty

Jerry Lee Lewis: interrogating ‘The Killer’

29 November 2014

A review of Rick Bragg’s Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story reveals the bad boy of rock’n’roll feared he was destined for hell

The Parent Trap, familiar from various film versions, is a story by Eric Kastner, now republished with Walter Trier’s illustrations by Pushkin Books

The best children’s books of 2014

29 November 2014

In a round-up review of children’s books, Melanie McDonagh launches a campaign for bigger, better illustrations — and many more of them

Composer, conductor and pianist Leonard Bernstein Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty

Composer, conductor, author, pianist, lecturer — was there anything Leonard Bernstein couldn’t do?

29 November 2014

A review of Allen Shawn’s life of this maverick reveals him as an object of both admiration and suspicion in the music world


A mouth-watering selection: 2014’s best eight cookery books

29 November 2014

Rose Prince gives us a feast for the eye and the palate in her round-up of the year’s cookery books


A brief, witty look at the coming of the e-book

29 November 2014

A review of Dear Reader explains how its author, Paul Fournel, has tried to future-proof his creation against the ravages of readers

Drummers at a graveside wear white, based on Ethiopian orthodox funeral traditions

Death wears bling: the glory of London’s Caribbean funerals

29 November 2014

Ian Thomson applauds the grand rituals of West Indian funerals in his review of Charlie Phillips’s How Great Thou Art


The book that made me (almost) believe in bitcoin

29 November 2014

In his review of Dominic Frisby’s Bitcoin: The Future of Money? Michael Bywater points the way to the possible future of economic history

Margot dressed as an oriental snake charmer for a fancy dress ball at Devonshire House in 1897

Move over Downton: Margot and the Asquiths’ marital soap opera

29 November 2014

There were more than three people in this overcrowded marriage

Algerian author Boualem Sansa Photo: Getty

Women in the various hells of Algiers

29 November 2014

Present-day Algeria, as revealed in a review of Boualem Sansal’s Harraga, lies somewhere between nightmare and soap opera

Keira Knightley at the premiere for 'A Dangerous Method' Photo: Getty

Sabina Spielrein: from psychiatric patient to psychoanalyst

29 November 2014

A review of John Launer’s Sex Versus Survival tells the impressive story of a young patient of Jung who became a leading child psychologist in her own right

Rush hour hell Photo: Getty

The darkest secret about commuting: some of us enjoy it

29 November 2014

There is plenty of interesting material in Iain Gately’s Rush Hour, but not much of it is about commuting


Jack O’Connell in ‘Unbroken’ — out next month — one of the few films today with a star writing team, the Coen brothers

How Hollywood is killing the art of screenwriting

29 November 2014

Until the wow factor of CGI and 3D wears off, cinema will continue to lose its best writers to television and documentaries. Thomas W. Hodgkinson reports from the front line at the Austin Film Festival

‘Chair’, 1969, by Allen Jones, which had acid thrown on it in 1986

Does Allen Jones deserve a retrospective at the Royal Academy?

29 November 2014

And are the women depicted in his fetish furniture a male fantasy or a terrible nightmare?


Paddington review: put your mind at rest - no one gets marmalade up the bum

29 November 2014

Deborah Ross revels in this wondrously British new film - and its anti-Ukip message

Poverty ogling: Stephanie Street and Meera Syal in ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’

The National’s latest attempt to cheer us up: three hours of poverty porn

29 November 2014

Plus: something you’d never get at the Royal Court - a funny, candid, dramatic and fresh new musical from the Hackney Downs Studios

Too worthy? Peter Sellars’s staging of John Adams’s ‘Gospel’

ENO’s Gospel According to the Other Mary: great music weighed down by a worthy staging

29 November 2014

Plus: the Royal Opera’s Elisir as close to Christmas panto as opera can, and is all the better for it

Christian Blackshaw Photo: Herbie Knott

Is this 65-year-old British pianist the next big thing in classical music?

29 November 2014

Christian Blackshaw’s recordings of Mozart have already secured him a place in history

I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! Photo: ITV

Don’t sneer at I’m a Celebrity. The show is teaching us to become model citizens

29 November 2014

And if Jimmy Bullard wins out over everyone’s favourite Milf, Melanie Sykes, I may have to become a feminist

Sister Aimee Semple McPherson Photo: Getty

Was this Christian pioneer of radio evangelism a fraud?

29 November 2014

Plus: Samuel West, Olivia O’Leary and Fi Glover on what makes a good radio voice in The Essay on Radio 3


High life

High life

Once upon a time, when a poor farmer came to the big city he put on his only suit

29 November 2014

The leaves are falling non-stop, like names dropped in Hollywood, and it has suddenly turned colder than the look I got from a very pretty girl at a downtown restaurant.… Read more

Low life

Low life

The criteria for admittance to a Maldivian cemetery

29 November 2014

Moofushi, Maldives   We clambered aboard a dhoni, the sturdy wooden boat that the Maldivians use for getting about the islands, and motored across from our high-end ‘all-inclusive’ resort to… Read more

Real life

Real life

Finally! My opportunity to say, ‘Monsieur, with zis Rocher you are really spoiling us!’

29 November 2014

The ambassador’s receptions are noted in society for their host’s exquisite taste that captivates guests. You know that, I know that. Anyone who enjoyed the cheesier television adverts of the… Read more

Long life

Long life

Westminster Abbey was a fitting setting in which to celebrate the life of Winston Churchill’s last child

29 November 2014

The Times has given way to the Daily Telegraph as the bastion of the established order, for— with the one exception of the Prince of Wales and his wife —… Read more


The turf

Silviniaco answered his critics emphatically at Haydock

29 November 2014

‘I’m going for Al Ferof,’ said a suit in front of me in the Totepool queue at Ascot on Saturday before the Amlin steeplechase. ‘Don’t waste your money,’ said his… Read more




Last weekend saw the start of the Tollemache qualifier, the inter-county teams of eight championship. Thirty-five teams competed in four groups, the top two in each group going through to… Read more



Extinct tigers

29 November 2014

The Tiger of Madras has gone the way of the sabre-toothed tiger. Viswanathan Anand, world champion from 2007 to 2013, has now suffered his second consecutive match defeat at the… Read more


Chess puzzle

No. 342

29 November 2014

White to play. This position is a variation from move 37 of today’s game. How does White win? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 2 December or via… Read more



Verse Viagra

29 November 2014

In Competition No. 2875 you were invited to submit a poem about an unlikely aphrodisiac. Thanks are due to that legend of the comping world Stanley J. Sharpless, whose ‘In… Read more



2190: Petra

29 November 2014

‘1D/19’ (six words in total) is a work by 18/13. Remaining unclued lights form two pairs suggested by 13.   Across   1    Rhubarb hems in humungous hen house (5)… Read more


Crossword solution

To 2187: River and islands

29 November 2014

The theme word is PHOENIX (38A). 6A, 12A and 26A are legendary birds; 15A, 28A and 4D are state capitals; 16A, 30D and 37D are the ‘Southern Birds’ constellations. The… Read more

Toby Young

Status anxiety

If you want an argument against state-school-only Oxbridge colleges, just look at me

29 November 2014

I read with some interest the proposal for Oxford and Cambridge to set up state-school-only colleges in the Guardian this week. As someone who was educated exclusively in the state… Read more


Battle for Britain

Battle for Britain

29 November 2014
Spectator sport

Spectator sport

What football can tell you about Jim Murphy (and what Jim Murphy can tell you about football)

29 November 2014

The author of a rather brilliant little book about football could just hold the key to Labour’s otherwise negligible prospects in next year’s election. Jim Murphy is the last of… Read more

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: Do I really have to take my shoes off indoors?

Q. There has been a marked increase in the number of people who have pristine flooring and are so keen not to have outside dirt brought in that it has,… Read more



The hotels trying to turn Cornwall into Kensington

29 November 2014

Mousehole is a charming name; it is almost a charming place. It is a fishing village on Mount’s Bay, Cornwall, beyond the railway line, which stops at Penzance, in an… Read more

Mind Your Language

Mind your language

Why ‘respect’ is the last thing we should want from politicians

29 November 2014

‘Respect!’ cried my husband, drop-kicking a cushion with a picture of the Queen Mother holding a pint of beer on it (a present from Veronica) across the drawing-room. I might… Read more