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The Spectator

5 September 2015

The Corbyn enigma

How do you solve a problem like Jezza?

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A guide to Jeremy Corbyn's Britain (the Tories will be in charge)

His imminent victory could lock in 20 years of Conservative rule – of a kind the Tory right might not enjoy


How Labour can depose Jeremy Corbyn

The purges might go on for years


Yvette Cooper interview: ‘It’s not going to be my style to vote against the Labour whip 500 times like Jeremy!’

The run-up to the leadership election finds the shadow home secretary in a surprisingly cheerful mood


Forget Chilcot. Here’s the inquiry we really need

The national puzzle is this: why did so many informed and sensible people accept transparent twaddle as fact?


Losing my son and the end of my life’s summer

For nearly 20 years, all my summers came at once. And then my luck ran out


What I’ve learned helping to found a specialist free school

The first year of Kings College London Mathematics School has proved the value of specialisation – and the risks of regulation overkill


Bristol, the European capital of green nannying and bureaucracy

As Britain’s first European Green Capital, my beloved, once-bohemian city is going all-in on pettifogging regulations


I found the future of privacy among the treasures of Venice

Even tech entrepreneurs find the new world of oversharing hard to master. Perhaps we all need carnival masks

Dublin: a small town wrapped in a great city

Notes on...

Theatre, gossip and Guinness: the craic of Dublin

This is a great city – and a small town where a thrown plate of lasagne can resonate for years

The Week

Leading article

Queen Elizabeth the great

The second Elizabethan age has been an era of achievement – and the Queen deserves a significant share of the credit

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

Home The Government decided after all to retain the rules preventing ministers and their departments from publishing campaign material, ‘with…


Tristram Hunt’s diary: The rainy glories of Devon – and a cold political climate

Plus: Edmund de Waal studies; the British Ceramics Biennial; and Liz Kendall


Does anyone else have an upper house as undemocratic as the Lords?

Plus: Sexual offences on trains; biggest yachts; Facebook figures

Ancient and modern

Jeremy Corbyn and what a real plebeian revolt looks like

Rome’s plebs knew what they wanted – and got it. Do we need the MP for Islington North to tell us?

From The Archives

Muscular economics

From ‘War bonuses’, The Spectator, 4 September 1915: War means a demand for human muscle… At the moment the brain-worker is…


Spectator letters: Mental health and assisted dying

Plus: cowardly Frenchmen; hair politics; and the crisis marketing crisis


The Spectator's Notes

Charles Moore’s Notes: the Tories’ adoption of the Living Wage is entirely bogus

Plus: the paedophile hunt is beyond satire; Germany redeemed; and a nightmare about the Pope

Rod Liddle

Pig-ignorant click activists are in charge now. Jeremy Corbyn’s success proves it

The movement which is about to foist Corbyn on the Labour party is the same one that bullies the rest of the country

Matthew Parris

Millions of us honestly don’t know what our duty is to migrants – and Christianity doesn’t help

If, as I believe, the main difficulty that faces us in deciding moral duty is the difficulty of prioritising, our national religion is profoundly unhelpful

Hugo Rifkind

The real lesson of the Hillary Clinton emails: most secrets are boring

Unreleased documents are never, ever as exciting as you think they will be

Any other business

The good economic news that we forgot in the China panic

Plus: the unstoppable Howard Davies; sad news from Tokyo; stories from the Spectator cruise


British troops go over the top on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme

Lead book review

The British army’s greatest catastrophe — and its most valuable lesson

Peter Parker reviews Elegy by Andrew Roberts, a necessarily bloody account of the first day on the Somme


Gore Vidal, wannabe aristocrat and proud degenerate

Lewis Jones reviews Jay Parini’s Every Time a Friend Succeeds Something Inside Me Dies


This way to a parallel universe, via north Oxford

Andrew Taylor reviews Arcadia by Iain Pears, with a little help from the novel’s iPhone app

Statue of Augustus in Orange, southern France


Augustus: here was a Caesar! Or at least his great-nephew

Jochen Bleicken’s biography comes to praise the first emperor, not to bury him, finds Harry Mount


Introducing the silent narrator

Alex Clark reviews Andrew Miller’s The Crossing, where lurks the most enigmatic heroine

Francis Bacon in Paris in 1984


Bacon on the side: the great painter’s drinking partner tells all

Jack Castle reviews Francis Bacon in Your Blood: A Memoir by Michael Peppiatt

A French illuminated manuscript shows supplies being loaded onto boats before departing for the Crusades


What it took to wage holy war, Medieval style

Jonathan Sumption reviews Christopher Tyerman’s How to Plan a Crusade


The way we were: Dame Peggy Ashcroft as Queen Margaret, with Donald Sinden and cast members, in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s ‘Wars of the Roses’, Stratford, 1963

Arts feature

Shakespeare's Wars of the Roses is being staged without a single black actor. So what?

Ethnic and gender quotas are fast becoming the norm in the performing arts - but they shouldn’t be


Orchestral conductors would be much better if they tried performing Renaissance music

Peter Phillips on his not entirely successful attempts to persuade orchestral conductors to take on the great choral masterpieces of the Renaissance

Palpable painting: ‘Scandia’, 1971, Bernat Klein


Sensory overload: Paul Neagu, Anthony Caro and Bernat Klein reviewed

From palpable sculpture to painterly textiles, Claudia Massie explores three new shows at the Henry Moore Institute, The Hepworth and Dovecot Studios


Finally James Delingpole gets why women are so angry

The moment of enlightenment came during Amanda Foreman’s chastening new history documentary The Ascent of Woman on BBC2

Magic in the air: Berlin Comic Opera’s exuberant ‘Magic Flute’ at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre

Music, Opera, Theatre

The Magic Flute has never made more cartoonish sense - an Edinburgh Festival roundup

Plus: a misguided attempt to adapt Alasdair Gray’s sci-fi epic, Lanark, for the stage and a superb concert from the Zehetmair Quartet


Our Country’s Good prizes the concerns of the actors over the audience

Plus: a Henry V at Temple Church that can be seen but not heard

The Heckler

The Heckler: the disingenuous custom of the ‘press night’ should be scrapped

Once preview tickets are on sale the customer has a right to information about the goods being offered


High life

Before cruises there were crossings – the good old days!

But the camaraderie of the first Spectator cruise was marvellous

Real life

Hell is dealing with police bureaucracy

I found a policeman who actually helped me deal with the theft of a saddle - amazing!

Long life

I lived next to St Paul’s Cathedral as a baby in 1940 – it’s a miracle I am alive

Thousands of Londoners died in the Blitz; twice as many Americans are killed every year in gun-related incidents

The turf

Mrs Oakley has finally seen the light about racing

My wife enjoyed a trip to Windsor with some racing novice friends



No doubt you have heard about the huge cheating storm that has blown up over the last 10 days. Here…

Spectator Wine, Wine Club Offers

September Wine Club

It’s back to Tanners this month, whose offer in June was such a great hit with readers. We’ve another fine…


Bête noire

England’s top grandmaster, Michael Adams, exerts a powerful influence over the elite player David Navara. In rating terms Navara and…

Chess puzzle

No. 377

Black to play. This position is a variation from Maslak-Smerdon, Pardubice 2007. Black has powered through on the kingside. How…


Back to school

In Competition No. 2913 you were invited to submit an extract from the school report of a well-known author, living or…


2227: Word building

The unclued lights (one of two words and another hyphened) can be arranged to form a word pyramid of 3…

Crossword solution

To 2224: All here

The unclued lights (paired at 14/38. 23/17 and 34/2) are SPECTATOR journalists or contributors. First prize Dr David Jerwood, Keighley,…

Status anxiety

My wife and I have become Mr and Mrs Twit

I annoy her so much I fear she may poison me

Spectator sport

A World Championships that puts Sebastian Coe on the right track

Plus: the giants of rugby and their splendidly incongruous digs

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: how can I resist peer pressure to go nude swimming?

Plus: I caught an acquaintance stealing a child’s treasures


Where comics find their Edinburgh comfort food

Mum’s has a faintly political manifesto on its menu, which could have been written by Mr Greedy from the Mr Men, with help from Noam Chomsky

Mind your language

Think ‘migrant’ is an insult? ‘Refugee’ can be too

Al-Jazeera wants to banish stigma by banning the word. It will struggle