Previous issues


The Spectator

14 September 2013

The end of the party

The decline of tribal loyalties spells the end of the big traditional political organisations

Sign up to the Weekly Highlights email

The best of the current issue - delivered straight to your inbox, every Thursday.



End of the party - how British political leaders ran out of followers

The decline of tribal loyalties spells the end of the big traditional political organisations


Braveheart banking: the fall of RBS

The RBS disaster has a distinctly Scottish flavour


The importance of not being called Nigel

Take it from me, Mr Farage: you need to change your name


When Syria sneezes, Lebanon catches a cold

  Beirut News that the Syrian regime has agreed to hand in its arsenal of chemical weapons is a great…


The ideal death show

I am in a yurt, talking about death. Everyone is seated in a circle, and I am the next-to-last person…


Notes on…Classic cruising

We arrive at the tiny Greek island of Sikinos on a blustery day, making landing rather difficult. Is there transport…

The Week

Leading article

How to save the BBC? Privatise it

Three years ago, our columnist and former editor Charles Moore was summoned to Hastings Magistrates’ Court to pay £807 for…


Simon Schama's diary: The British divide? Proms vs 'Am I bovvered'

‘Wider still and wider, may thy bounds be set,’ the ecstatic throng sang at the Last Night of the Proms.…

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

Home George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said that the British economy was ‘turning a corner’, with ‘tentative signs…



Trust us The National Trust opened the Big Brother House at Elstree Studios at the weekend. Some other less grand…

Ancient and modern

Herodotus in Sochi

As a result of Russian laws against propagating homosexuality, there are calls to boycott the 2013 Winter Olympics in Sochi…



Tories and Italians Sir: Roger Scruton must be laughing, or more likely crying, to hear his Meaning of Conservatism described…



Nick Clegg's secret reasons to be cheerful

His party may be struggling to reach double digits in the polls, but Nick Clegg is entitled to feel smug…

The Spectator's Notes

Charles Moore's notes: The corruption of the BBC - and what was in my GQ goodie bag

‘Corruption’ is a subtle word, because it describes a process rather than an event. It does not merely mean bad…

Rod Liddle

The reassuring stupidity of John Kerry

The Syrian rebels who liberated the mountain village of Maaloula apparently immediately set about converting the predominantly Christian population to…

James Delingpole

The RSPB is fighting for wind turbines. The birds can fend for themselves

The RSPB has come out against fracking and urged the government to ‘rethink its shale gas policies’. And of course…

Hugo Rifkind

Boring politicians are a threat to democracy. That means you, Rachel Reeves

I’ve never met the woman that the Newsnight editor Ian Katz this week accidentally described as ‘boring, snoring Rachel Reeves’,…

Any other business

Welcome back, TSB: your founder’s spirit is alive and well and living in Airdrie

A big hello to the revived Trustee Savings Bank — the spin-off of 631 Lloyds branches that were going to…


Lead book review

Why does Max Hastings have such a hatred for the British military?

David Crane is taken aback by the particular contempt Max Hastings appears to reserve for the British at the outbreak of the first world war


The Prince of medicine, by Susan P. Mattern - review

In the first draft of the screenplay for the film Gladiator, the character to be played by Russell Crowe (‘father…


The Windsor Faction, by D.J. Taylor - review

In both his novels and non-fiction, D. J. Taylor has long been fascinated by the period between the wars. Now…


Noble Endeavours, by Miranda Seymour - review

Like Miranda Seymour, the author of this considerable work on Anglo-German relations, I was raised in a Germanophile home. I…


Narcoland, by Anabel Hernandez - review

It is by now surely beyond doubt that those governments committed to fighting the war on drugs — and on…


The Tragedy of Liberation, by Frank Dikötter - review

The historian of China Frank Dikötter has taken a sledgehammer to demolish perhaps the last remaining shibboleth of modern Chinese…


Multiples, edited by Adam Thirlwell - review

There is a hoary Cold War joke about a newly invented translating machine. On a test run, the CIA scientists…


The World According to Karl, edited by Jean-Christophe Napias - review

Every fashion era has its monster and in ours it’s Karl Lagerfeld, a man who has so emptied himself on…


Uncle Bill, by Russell Miller - review

Given the outcome of recent military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is pertinent to look for one particular quality…


Signifying Rappers, by David Foster Wallace - review

Since his suicide, David Foster Wallace has made the transition from major writer to major industry. Hence this UK issue…


Mr Loverman, by Bernardine Evaristo - review

In 1998, the Jamaican singer Bounty Killer released a single, ‘Can’t Believe Mi Eyes’, which expressed incredulity that men should…


The Mitford Girls’ Guide to Life, by Lyndsy Spence - review

For some reason you don’t expect people to be fans of the Mitford sisters, as others are fans of Doctor…


Incurable Shakespeare nut: Greg Doran

Arts feature

Gregory Doran interview: 'I wanted some big hitters,' says the RSC's new supremo

Robert Gore-Langton meets Gregory Doran, new artistic director at the RSC


Pop: You'd love Love and Money, too - if only you'd heard of them

How and when do you become ‘a fan’, exactly? You can usually spot pop stars who are losing touch with…

Gender bender: Sophie Crawford as Pope Joan


Theatre review: Fleabag's scandalous success

Suddenly they’re all at it. Actors, that is, writing plays. David Haig, Rory Kinnear and Simon Paisley Day are all…

‘The Fallen Tree’, 1951, by John Nash


Under the Greenwood Tree - an exhibition worth travelling for

A mixed exhibition of paintings, drawings and prints devoted to the subject of the tree might sound an unexciting event,…


Did the Proms' Billy Budd turn a mystery into a mess?

The many opera performances at the Proms this year have all been so successful, especially the Wagner series, that I…

Trigger happy: Channing Tatum as John Cale


White House Down is Roland Emmerich’s Hedda Gabler

Just do it, quoth the Nike advert — and these men just did it. Grass, asphalt, fear, pain, doubt and…

Mesmerising: Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby in Peaky Blinders


The Wipers Times - 100 years on, this newspaper still lives

Funny what rises from the rubble. In 1916 British army officer Captain Fred Roberts was searching the bombed-out remains of…


Immigrant songs: Radio 2's My Country, My Music

Five women, five very different stories of arriving in the UK, often unwillingly and always alone. How did they cope…

Culture notes

Another Self-Portrait isn't just for the Bobsessives

So, there’s this guy called Bob Dylan and, across just seven years in the 1960s, he’d released nine albums that…


High life

Taki: My perfect afternoon? Getting drunk with Spectator readers

To London for a brief visit to meet Spectator readers, as nice a reason as I can think of for…

Low life

Jeremy Clarke: How to cheat at a pub quiz without even knowing it

One evening last week, I trotted over to the caravan site’s clubhouse to use the wifi and pick up emails.…

Real life

Melissa Kite: My horse show shame

‘Congratulations! You’ve qualified for The Sunshine Tour!’ beamed the lady judge, as she pinned a rosette to my horse’s bridle.…

Long life

Alexander Chancellor: Pursued around the world by a thousand books

It is exactly 40 years since my elder brother John gave up a successful career as a publisher to set…

The turf

Robin Oakley: Henry Candy's brilliant bargains

Cape Peron was my easiest choice for our Twelve to Follow. When Henry Candy smiles his gentle smile, as he…



In any sport, a sense of elation is a dangerous thing. When a player does something good, he can’t afford…


Lord of the flies

It is often said that the great chessboard artist, Polish Grandmaster Akiba Rubinstein, was afflicted during tournament play by an…

Chess puzzle

No. 283

Black to play. This position is from Rotlewi-Rubinstein, Lodz 1907. This is the conclusion of one of Rubinstein’s most famous…



In Competition 2814 you were invited to describe how a great writer stumbled upon an idea that he or she…


2130: Elusive

Each of 23 clues comprises a definition part and a hidden consecutive jumble of the answer including one extra letter.…

Crossword solution

Solution to 2127: Dire straits

Twelve unclued lights are names of ARTISTS which are ANAGRAMS (9) of superfluous words in clues.  First prize E. Hogg,…

Status anxiety

Toby Young: Why do so many people want me to take on Andy Slaughter?

I was at a surprise birthday party for a member of the cabinet last week when a Conservative minister spotted…

The Wiki Man

My mansion tax solution: hit rich foreigners. But no one else

I am surprised no more attention has been given to Martin Vander Weyer’s suggestion in The Spectator two weeks ago…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: The rules of wearing a dressing gown

Q. What to do when you are an unwilling eavesdropper in a train carriage in which people you know assume…


What it's like to drink a 118-year-old wine

Marcher country, the Jura lies to the east of Burgundy and the contrast is marked. Burgundy: the very name is…

Mind your language

Mind your language: the dark side of squee

Oxford Dictionaries have been adding some rather silly words to their online resources, such as phablet (‘a smartphone with a…