Fraser Nelson

Cameron on The Spectator

Cameron on The Spectator
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In my last post I did Cameron a disservice by suggesting he had to research his remarks about The Spectator. Like many well-read people, with an interest in life in the round, he's been a reader for years - Steve Hilton buys him a copy for his birthday, I'm told - and we backed him not just when he first entered the leadership contest (the only publication so to do) but with a now-famous article by Bruce Anderson hailing him as the next messiah as early as 2003.

Anyway, for the record, this is what Cameron had to say about The Spectator:

"In all seriousness, The Spectator is one of this country¹s greatest and most iconic magazines. It has been around for 180 years and I think its great genius lies quite simply in its writing. It doesn¹t treat its readers like fools. It¹s completely open about anything, from politics to food, art and of course sex, after all there¹s been a lot of that going on in your office. It has calmed a bit since you¹ve taken over. It¹s amazing you take someone from the News of the World and they can actually take the sex out of The Spectator, it¹s an extraordinary thing.

Its greatness is reflected in the people who have written for the magazine: Tennyson, John Buchan, Kingsley and Martin Amis, Graham Greene, Ian Fleming, Virginia Woolf. And it also gives a great chance to young writers. Peter Ackroyd was taken off the streets and offered the job of literary editor at the age of 23. When he was asked if there was anything that might affect his suitability for the job, he said ³a bit of a drinking problem². He was hired on the spot.

And then The Spectator is the authentic voice of conservative politics in this country. It is fiercely independent and has often flown in the face of the Conservative party. Go way back in history and it took on Disraeli over his handling of Bulgaria, it took on Douglas-Home when he chosen as Macmillan¹s successor. And it¹s pretty much taken me on every day since I¹ve been leader. I particularly remember that cover with my head in a hangman¹s noose. I like to think some chicken some neck, but there we are."

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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