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The Spectator

8 August 2015

A real rescue plan

It’s lazy and wrong just to focus on the migrants who make it here

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If you really want to help refugees, look beyond the Mediterranean

There are ten million people displaced from Syria. We have a duty to help more than just the ones who try to cross the sea illegally


For me and an increasing number of young people, each abortion is a death

Disquiet about abortion is growing among 18- to 24-year-olds


‘I was facing truths I didn’t particularly want to look at’: Michael Moorcock interview

The cult novelist on London, fantasy, his father and why he didn’t quite write an autobiography


For speaking frankly about the NHS, I was first silenced and then pushed out

My hospital, the Royal Marsden, chose to cave in to angry GPs – and leave patients in my final study feeling abandoned

Mario Balotelli (Photo: Jamie McDonald/Getty)


Can Putin ban homosexuality and endorse polygamy? Yes he can

The Kremlin is tying itself in ideological knots as it tries to make new friends in the Muslim world

Oporto: a touch of North Africa and no hipsters

Notes on...

Tripe, pale tawny port and LSD: the delicious flavours of Oporto

A beautiful city where I have still yet to see a single hipster

The Week

Edward Heath conducting the annual carol concert at the Grand Ballroom, Broadstairs, Kent in 1963. (Photo: Erich Auerbach/Hulton Archive/Getty)

Leading article

Edward Heath and a very modern witch-hunt

The police and several high-profile politicians have behaved badly over this scandal

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

Home Tom Hayes, aged 35, a former City trader who rigged the Libor rates daily for nearly four years while…


Prue Leith’s diary: When did weddings stop being for parents?

Plus: adventures in the American South, Yorkshire and Ireland


Just how tough a sentence was 14 years for Libor-rigging?

Plus: Teaching in China and Hampshire; big cats; Blind Date’s track record

Ancient and modern

Does Labour need a new name? Let’s ask Plato

If the party is to discover its core values, its name may be a good place to start

British soldiers having wounds treated in an underground dressing station by the Menin Road in France. (Photo by Frank Hurley/Three Lions/Getty Images)

From The Archives

One year on

From ‘The End of the First Year’, The Spectator, 7 August 1915: Terrible as have been the sufferings caused by the…


Spectator letters: The decline of charity, and a cross-dressing escape

Plus: who builds most houses; and alternatives to the RAF


Rod Liddle

Who would have thought that about Ted Heath? Well…

Sometimes – and maybe, it seems, this time – there is something to be said for instinctive disgust

Matthew Parris

How Jeremy Corbyn could destroy the Tories (yes, really)

British conservatism is at least three parties. And we might have a better debate if they were separate


‘The Discovery of the Large, Rich, Beautiful Empire called Guiana’, from ‘Newe Weld un Americanische Historien’, by Johann Ludwig Gottfried, 1631

Lead book review

The strange history of Willoughbyland, modern-day Suriname

Book review: Britain’s lost colony in South America

The real Nikki Sixx (Photo: Getty)


The rock novel that makes Mötley Crüe dull

Book review: it’s quite a feat to write a boring book about the music industry

The BBC’s first director general, Lord Reith (Photo: Getty)


The story of the BBC

Book review: Guardian journalist Charlotte Higgins considers the history of our national broadcaster

William Blake’s depiction of Urizen, creator and lawgiver


Is truth really beauty after all?

Book review: physicist Frank Wilczek seeks the ultimate truth of a rational universe

Robert Mugabe attends the funeral of Solomon Mujuru (Photo: Getty)


A murder mystery in Zimbabwe

Book review: a novel about the intersecting of five troubled marriages in a morally bankrupt police state

Michael Moorcock (Photo: Ulf Andersen/Getty)


Michael Moorcock’s ‘autobiography’

Book review: The Whispering Swarm — his first major work for ten years

Mark Sanford and George W. Bush in 2002


The best American political memoir in a generation

In The Speechwriter, Barton Swaim recounts his struggles to write badly enough to satisfy Governor Mark Sanford

‘Thetis giving Achilles his arms’ (fresco), Giulio Romano, 1492–1546


A new translation of the Iliad

Book review: Peter Green’s effort is not entirely successful


Richard Long installing the large slate cross, Time and Space (2015), at the Arnolfini

Arts feature

Richard Long interview: ‘I was always an artist, even when I was two years old’

As a major new show opens at the Arnolfini Gallery, William Cook explores the magic of artist Richard Long and his Olympian walks

Hans-Joachim Roedelius (Photo: Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns)


Four of the best albums to write books by

Quiet music usually means bland music. To make quiet music of substance requires talent, application and luck

‘Marie-Anne Françoise Liotard with a Doll’, c.1744, by Jean-Etienne Liotard
‘The Wilderness, Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire’ by Balthasar Nebot


Why is the garden absent in English painting?

We have no more than a fitful tradition of garden painting - although there are some glorious exceptions

Ruben Gonzalez (Photo: Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty)


The band that nearly saved the Cuban revolution

At the end of their Adios Tour, Peter Culshaw says goodbye to his old friends, the Buena Vista Social Club, whose meteoric rise to fame set off a boom in world music

Joel Edgerton in The Gift


The plot has enough holes to file the Albert Hall: The Gift reviewed

In the real world Gordo could have spilled everything to a shrink. But the incremental babysteps of therapy aren’t very box-office

Cherrelle Skeete as Katya and Royce Pierreson at Belyaev in ‘Three Days in the Country’


Feels like Chekhov scripted by a Chekhov app: Three Days in the Country at the Lyttleton reviewed

Plus: a squirm-inducing night of sick skits at the Tricycle Theatre, which deserve a slot on TV

A demonstrator is arrested during an anti-nuclear protest at Greenham Common air base in 1983. (Photo: D. Jones/Express/Getty)


All that postwar anxiety about being vaporised by a nuclear bomb was a complete waste of emotion

The balance of terror worked its magic beautifully, as BBC4’s new Mark Cousins documentary, Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise, unintentionally demonstrates

American bomber pilot Paul W. Tibbets Jr. (centre) stands with the ground crew of the bomber 'Enola Gay' which Tibbets flew in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima (Photo: AFP/Getty)


Why are we so silent over Hiroshima?

Plus: Kate Chisholm’s experiences two can’t-get-out-of-the-car moments on BBC Radio this week

The Heckler

The Heckler: architecture would be better off without Zaha Hadid

She’s added much to the formal language of global architecture, but not to its good sense


High life

What Greece needs is less Europe and more entrepreneurship

Nestled under the Acropolis, snug and safe among the ancient ruins of a long-ago grandeur, Plaka is the only remaining…

Low life

When the going gets tough there’s nothing like an hour of rollicking hymn singing

My heart melts every time I sing the soaring chorus of ‘How Great Thou Art’

Real life

Just call me Miss Whiplash

My horse’s condition may be life-threatening but I don’t want another vet’s bill until I’ve paid the last one

Long life

My deafness has become an impediment to domestic harmony

No one has any sympathy for the hard of hearing, so I’ve invested in an absurdly expensive hearing aid

The turf

It was a send-off to remember for the Voice of racing, Peter O’Sullevan

Goodwood was a glorious and fitting celebration of Britain’s greatest racing journalist



Sweden’s flagship event is the brilliantly well organised Chairman’s Cup held in Orebro, attracting great players from all over Europe. …

Spectator Wine, Wine Club Offers

August Wine Club

A really strong team of wines from The Wine Company this week, drawn from France, Italy and New Zealand and…


1 Samuel 18:7

David Howell is on a roll. At the halfway stage of the British Championship he looks set to retain his…

Chess puzzle

No. 373

White to play. This is a variation from Williams-Howell, British Championship, Warwick 2015. Howell won this game but the puzzle…


Taking the Michael

In Competition No. 2909 you were invited to follow in the footsteps of Michael Gove, who has urged civil servants…


2223: Clerihew

29 6 (4 words) is 1 24 (3 words). 24 11 10 (4 words), but 6 11 36 (4 words).…

Crossword solution

To 2220: Poem II

The Poem was ‘Kubla Khan’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 3A, 23, 42, 43, 3D, 4, 10 and 16 are words…

Status anxiety

Even the Chinese can’t teach British teenagers

Chinese education is based on authority, discipline and ruthless competition. Ours is progressive and child-friendly

Spectator sport

The madness of the Beijing Winter Olympics

Big sporting events are becoming a shindig for countries with a political point to prove and for whom money is no object

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: I was at the dinner party when the text came disinviting me

Plus: does a 14-year-old need to tip; and how do I stop having to drive my adult children about?


A fake fishing village, and the nastiest thing I’ve eaten as a restaurant critic

Rooftop ‘pop-up’ Vintage Salt is too much even for Selfridges; but the food holds up, with one glaring exception

Mind your language

Where ‘big ask’ came from, and why it still sounds barbaric

My husband was watching sport, so the cliché came as no surprise