The Spectator

26 January 2013

The rehabilitation game

How our political class set criminals free and then cover up the consequences



The rehabilitation game

How our political class set criminals free and then cover up the consequences


Playing tag

The technology is constantly improving – but the Ministry of Justice isn’t keeping up

The original Mad Mullah: Mohammed Abdullah Hassan of Somalia


What Africa needs now

Don’t intervene, invest


Interview with Sajid Javid, the bus driver’s son who may end up leading the Tories

Treasury minister Sajid Javid on how his father taught him conservatism, and why British Asians don’t vote Tory


Revenge of the Clintons

Hillary is still the Republicans’ worst nightmare,
and she’s not going away


Israel Notebook

Friday night in Jaffa, and it’s a party. Jaffa, to the south of Tel Aviv, is where the cool kids…


Celebrity flatmate

A window on to the weird world of new-found fame


Travel: Timeless island

Beneath the skyscrapers and beyond the designer shops, an older Chinese way of life still carries on, says Martin Vander Weyer


Travel: Adventure on the menu

Danielle Wall goes in search of the wilder side of street food

The Week

Leading article

Cameron speaks

It was almost worth the wait. The substance of David Cameron’s speech on Europe was disclosed in this magazine a…

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, at last delivered his speech on Europe, postponed during the Algerian hostage crisis. He…



Kofi Annan has just been in town for an evening organised by The Spectator. The 800 seats at the Cadogan…



Four sworn Barack Obama achieved a remarkable feat last week: he managed to take the oath of office for a…



Moore for less Sir: Niru Ratnam (Arts, 19 January) is wrong on a number of counts and omits much else.…



Will the real radicals please stand up?

At the next election, all parties will agree that Britain is in a mess. They will disagree about is who…

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes

In which forthcoming by-election does one candidate’s election address boast that he was the ‘last Captain of Boats [at Eton]…

Rod Liddle

It’s not misogyny, Professor Beard. It’s you

Oh, this age! How tasteless and ill-bred it is.’ — Gaius Valerius Catullus ‘I do not know whom Mary Beard…


Downing Street’s departures, and Martin Ivens’ redemption

More turmoil at No. 10, I hear. ‘Cameron’s power network is disintegrating,’ gloated an insider as news broke that two…

Matthew Parris

How Graham Greene spoilt my tropical rapture

On the patio of my hotel in Havana… No, begin again. It isn’t really a hotel, it’s a Casa Particular —…

Any other business

Greek tax-dodgers, Irish horse dealers and Chinese art cheats: please skip this column

It’s only fair to warn you — especially if you’re Greek, Irish or Chinese — that this week’s column contains…


Scenes from Pride and Prejudice. Left to right: Charlotte and Mr Collins, Mr and Mrs Bennet at home, Lydia claims to be taller than her sisters, Mr Collins is horrified by the idea of reading a novel, Lady Catherine de Burgh with her nephews. Illustrations by Hugh Thomson from Happily Ever After

Lead book review

Whatever happened to dear Aunt Jane?

James Walton reports on the latest bout of Austen mania surrounding
the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice


A model of micro-history

Adolf Hitler considered jazz a ‘racially inferior’ form of American black music, and banned it from the airwaves. Germany’s gilded…

Mary Martin washes that man right out of her hair in a scene from the ‘overrated’ South Pacific at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in 1945


When the Yankees came

From the London opening of Oklahoma in 1947 until the age of Andrew Lloyd Webber in the 1970s, stage musicals…


Telling tales out of school

The difficult thing about writing a memoir is this: how do you avoid numbing the reader with endless thumbnail sketches…


The waiting-room of life

The decadence of at least two societies or cultures can be seen in Dave Eggers’ new novel, where some bored…

‘Seated Woman’ — a portrait of Muriel Belcher —by Francis Bacon, 1961


Lost Soho afternoons

‘And what do you do?’ asked Francis Bacon. ‘Er, I’m a cartoonist.’ ‘You are a chronicler of our age, yours…

Oscar Wilde, photographed by Napoleon Sarony


The wilder shores of Wilde

In 1946, as a Princeton graduate, J. Robert Maguire was attached to the American delegation at the Paris Peace Conference.…


The twin certainties of baptism and burial

Can there possibly be anything new to say about the old subject of Shakespeare’s sources? As early as the 18th…


Arts feature

Obsessed with Pinter

Lloyd Evans talks to Sonia Friedman, one of the West End’s leading producers


Bring in the lawyers

When collectors want to purchase an expensive work of art, they contact their lawyers to write up a contract with…


Seraphic misfit

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Estorick Collection and it is fitting that Giorgio Morandi (1890–1964), one of…


Rediscovering Spotify

All my life I’ve wanted to be able to write confidently about orchestral performances and I think I may have…


Seeing the light

Meet Fenton. He’s a psycho. A year or so back he was banged up for murdering a preppy teenage girl…


Orchestral tour de force

There is only one test that a performance of Verdi’s Otello has to pass: do you come out of the…


Telling tales

I cannot tell you about all the things Steven Spielberg can and cannot do. I cannot tell you, for example,…


The hard sell

`The older I get, the less tolerant I become of being treated by television like a child with Attention Deficit…


Word challenge

The first competition had 30,000 entries; the second more than 74,000. How many will be attracted to this year’s 500…

Culture notes

The shock of the old

New Yorker music critic Alex Ross published The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century five years ago, earning…


High life

High life

Paris Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter still evoke the verbose sophistry of Sartre, although the tourist and expensive jewellery trades…

Low life

Dr Muk

Dr Muk asked me whether I’d heard any more news about the Algerian hostage crisis. Had the number of hostages…

Real life

Real life

Sitting opposite me in an elegant restaurant, my male friend looked deep into my eyes and said three little words.…

Long life

Long life

I am writing on what is known as Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year. Or so the…

Wild life

Will I survive my mid-life marathon?

Rift Valley ‘I’ve got a brilliant idea,’ said Jools on the phone, his voice characteristically rising like a commentator on…



It took more than total white-out and Heathrow closing its doors to deter 200 avid bridge players from making their…


Anand’s Immortal

There is a scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where Sir Lancelot’s servant, Patsy, is shot in the…

Chess puzzle

No. 230

Black to play. This is from Rotlewi-Rubinstein, Lodz 1907. Black has already given up his queen and now concluded with…


Return to sender

In Competition No. 2781 you were invited to devise a riposte to a nauseating Christmas round-robin letter that would deter…


2097: Spaced

In each of 14 clues, the cryptic indication omits reference to one letter of the answer.  These letters must be…

Crossword solution

Solution to 2094: A little down

Corrected definitions were: 12A camper; 15A bairn; 28A plants; 37A yearn; 39A fines (pl. of finis); 43A beard; 6D paras;…

Status anxiety

Election fever

I was at a petrol station in Nakuru, a city in Kenya’s Rift Valley, when I experienced my first moment…


Spectator sport

The football manager as management guru

The football writers laid on a tribute do for Steven Gerrard the other night, not as you might suppose at…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary

Q. My husband uses a wheelchair at airports all over the world but I find it very difficult to know…


Tanya Gold reviews The Churchill Arms, London

The Churchill Arms in Kensington is a sort of Winston Churchill fetish bar, full of every conceivable piece of Winston…

Mind your language

Lang Syne

Those of us who only pronounce the words auld lang syne on New Year’s Eve and have a vague grasp…