Previous issues


The Spectator

21 September 2019

Who governs?

Over-mighty courts are bad for democracy

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How to stop drones

The Saudi oilfield attack is a portent of things to come


I’m sorry because I failed: An interview with David Cameron

The former PM on the referendum, failure and the physics of politics


I was a Remainer – but I now want no deal

And not everyone is impressed by my Brexit U-turn


How to live life like a drunk

Lessons we can all take from Alcoholics Anonymous


As Greta and Malala show, the children know best

The courage of the kids taking on the world

Notes on...

My puppy-training advice for Boris Johnson

President Harry Truman once observed: ‘If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.’ Boris Johnson, as Prime Minister…

The Week

Leading article

Why would Britain want to be a member of a club like the EU?

The past three years of agonising non-progress on Brexit have damaged Britain in many ways. Our political institutions have looked…

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week: EU negotiations, genderless babies and Brexit in court

Home ‘I will uphold the constitution, I will obey the law, but we will come out on 31 October,’ Boris…


Nick Robinson: is the country ready for Hexit?

The nation is deeply divided. We can, it seems, talk of almost nothing else. Passions could scarcely be higher. No…


How many Britons now vape?

Talking Turkey David Cameron again accused the Leave campaign of ‘lying’ about the prospect of Turkey joining the EU. A…

Ancient and modern

David Cameron would be a winner in Ancient Greece

David Cameron is convinced he was right to call a referendum and to promise to enact it. Justifiably: there was…


Letters: parliament has a responsibility to stop Brexit

Parliament’s responsibility Sir: I always enjoy reading the intelligent and outspoken Lionel Shriver. But her latest article (14 September) puts…



Why there’s still a chance of a deal

One of the reasons why Boris Johnson is Prime Minister is that he is an optimist. After the negativity of…

The Spectator's Notes

Why didn’t Cameron realise the ‘strength of feeling’ about Brexit?

In his memoirs, David Cameron admits that he ‘did not fully appreciate the strength of feeling’ in favour of Brexit,…

Rod Liddle

The Lib Dems have revealed the extreme side of modern liberalism

A friend’s seven-year-old daughter was asked by her school to write something about the NHS. Her only experience of it…

James Delingpole

Letting China join the WTO was the worst decision the West ever made

It’s not often that you come across a book that completely transforms your understanding of the world. Just recently I’ve…

Mary Wakefield

The screaming souls on London’s streets

When I first moved to London N1  four years ago, no one seemed to notice let alone discuss all the…

Any other business

An oil price spike doesn’t mean a recession is on the way

An oil price surge from $60 to $72 per barrel, as happened after the drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq…


Arts feature

The untold story of Judy Garland

Why does the forthcoming biopic ignore the story of the Essex-born civil servant Judy turned to at the end of her life?


Simon Rattle’s Messiaen is improving with age

Plus: a promising debut from the BBC Phil’s new chief conductor who shows he can put art before ego


How refreshing to see a show about prejudice that barely mentions white people

Chiaroscuro is thrillingly frank and tough-minded; The Fishermen is a muddling portrait of a moral hell hole


What’s the point of the Today programme?

Plus: the tone-deaf are having their moment on Radio 3


The rare gifts of Peter Doig

Plus: the magic of Patrick Caulfield and James Rosenquist’s vistas of lustrous but unappealing plenty


Abba, Twitter vs Instagram, and papal selfies: the modern face of the Catholic Church

The fly-on-wall documentary Inside the Vatican shows the Church as it would like us to see it now that Pope Francis is in charge


An eight-year-old’s dream: Muse at the O2 reviewed

Plus: Tyler, the Creator, back for the first time following a three-year ban, is showing his new, sensitive side


Is it time to give up on the Ibsen adaptations?

There is nothing revolutionary about Hedda Tesman and the most interesting about An Enemy of the People is still that it inspired Jaws


Painful, funny — and with a brilliant twist: The Farewell reviewed

Awkwafina gives a standout performance in this wonderful film about loss, belonging and family


High life

Why I prefer cows to humans

Gstaad   The cows are coming down, the cows are coming down, and I’m off to the Bagel. My Swiss…

Low life

Semi-recluse (me) seeks dilapidated cottage on Dartmoor to rent

So now I must find somewhere else to put my books and live sometimes. Dartmoor, I thought: one of the…

Real life

What Brexiteers can teach Remoaners about good manners

If Leavers really were yobs, we’d already have left the EU by now



The bridge world championships are underway in Wuhan in China, and I’m obsessively following the action online. Fortunately it’s taking…

Spectator Wine

Wine Club 21 September

One of the jolliest of our recent Spectator Winemaker Lunches was that hosted by Maria Urrutia, fifth–generation director of the…


Adopt a hero

I am often asked which players I admire most and which grandmasters, writers and champions exerted the most influence on…

Chess puzzle

No. 572

White to play. This is from Nguyen-Alekseenko, Khanty-Mansiysk 2019. White’s queen and rook are both attacked. How does he maintain…



In Competition No. 3116 you were invited to submit an extract from a government memo whose language would meet with…


2426: Her love

The unclued lights (including one of three words, two of two words, and a pair) are names for or are…

Crossword solution

to 2423: Redheads

The unclued lights were all leaders of the USSR.  First prize Wendy Atkin, Sleaford, LincsRunners-up Robert Burgon, North Berwick, East…

No sacred cows

David Cameron is more authentic than Boris Johnson

I don’t recall exactly when I first met David Cameron, but it must have been in Oxford in 1985 shortly…

Spectator sport

Farewell, Garry Richardson. We’ll miss you

A day of sporting shocks this Sunday past. As if the news of Tracey Horrobin’s bewitching performance with the ball…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: Can I ask my vegan friend to buy eggs and bacon when I stay with her?

Q. The other day a dear friend rang from her car with all the time in the world to burn…


It’s so easy to go mad in Oxford: Chiang Mai Kitchen reviewed

Oxford is a pile of medieval buildings filled with maniacs, and is therefore one of the most interesting places on…

Mind your language

The link between politics, moisturiser and your air conditioning unit

I asked my husband if I should spend £59 on 20 millilitres of Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset…