Fraser Nelson

In this week’s Spectator

In this week’s Spectator
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The latest edition of The Spectator is now out on iPad (click here for more info) and the newsagents (or £2, posted direct today). I thought CoffeeHousers may be interested in a small selection of the goodies we have in store.


1.  Andrew Neil on the conservative comeback in America. He spent the summer shadowing the Tea Party, and gives the best analysis you’ll read on what just happened - and what lies ahead. (You can read it here.) The Sunday Times’ Christina Lamb travelled across Nevada and California with the Tea Partiers, and tells tales from the campaign bus (one being that they only serve coffee). And Daniel McCarthy, editor of The American Conservative magazine, profiles yesterday’s big winner Rand Paul (“Mr Tea”)

2. The Tartan Taleban. Peter Oborne took Sir Walter Scott’s Chronicles of the Canongate with him to Iraq, and it struck him how the allied battle against Islamic insurgents “is, in essential respects, identical to the battle between the British redcoats of the Scottish Highlanders of the 18th century…. Scott would surely have made a hero of Mullah Omar, founder of the Taleban.”

3. James Forsyth on the next government battle: localism. He looks into the agenda of Greg Clark, one of the most interesting of the new ministers, and his plans for an army of ‘bureaucracy busters’. While their name conjures up songs by Ray Parker Jr, they are more like the A-Team. If you have a problem (ie, you want to sort something out locally and you’re encountering red rape) and no one else can help, then you can call the BBs. It is a plan, James says, “intended to give people rights against government at every level.”

4. Jonathan Powell’s confession. That’s how Allan Mallison regards his latest book The New Machiavelli. It is, he says, “a light academic-historical cloak for another set of political memoirs” but nonetheless tells us, through the way it is written, that “New Labour resembles the civil administration of a foreign power brought in to govern a newly-conquered state. Its members know little of life beyond the capital. But, worse, they ‘hardly have any experience of government or, indeed, running anything.” Not, or course, that anyone could tell.

5. Handling Brits abroad. Rod Liddle comes to the defenece of the Maldives barman who ‘married’ a visiting couple, but denounced them in his mother tounge as infidel (see the ceremony here). Rod says he laughed more than any time “since those Muslim medical students tried to blow up Glasgow Airport and succeeded only in setting themselves alight and getting beaten up by passers-by.”  He was married in the Maldives himself once, “the ceremony lasted 45 minutes - only slightly less than the marriage itself” and wonders what the locals - from Tallinn to Bratislava - make of “male Westerners on the razz” and of the “Spanish municipalities on the Costa del Crime spoiled forever by two generations of English thugs.”

6. Drug prices. In the light of the debate about whether booze is more harmful Barometer, our statistics column, gives the street prices of various drugs. In ascending order: Speed (0.1g), £1.31. Skunk cannabis, £2.33 for a spliff (ie, 1/80th of an ounze, and no jokes about mean Scottish measures please).  Lager: £2.59 a pint. Bitter: £2.96 a pint. Cocaine, £4.27 a line. Heroin £5.57 for a 0.1g hit and LSD £5.64 a tab. And as for what’s the most harmful? I leave that to Bernie, one of our cartoonists:-


This is just a small sample, and I’ll blog later on my favouite piece in this week’s edition. We have others - Celia Haddon on how DNA testing would have persuaded her doubting father that she was his daughter, Melissa Kite on a massage on, Peter Robins on how even London cyclists hate London cyclists, and Ed Howker unearthing the coalition’s next headache: figures showing that pensioners and working families will likely face eviction due to the housing benefit cuts. Rory Sutherland saying there should be a cap on farmers because they, not immigrants, are overcrowding Britain. And that’s before we go into the books and arts sections. So do pick up a copy - or, better still, take out a trial subscription from £12, which also gives you three months’ access to our iPad App.