The Spectator

28 April 2018

Meghan’s hour

Thank God she’s not a spoilt Chelsea Sloane



Why Britain is lucky to have Meghan Markle

The former actress has more in common with the Queen than the entitled minor royals


Hooray for Meghan Markle, a very modern adventuress

She is an admirable character who simply seeks to make life an awfully big adventure


Interview: Meet Mariana Mazzucato, big-state capitalism’s new champion

The economist’s ideas may be easy to dismiss – but they’re attracting ever wider attention


Windrush is just the start: records are being shredded and history deleted

It’s not only immigrants and civil servants seething at the loss of landing cards: historians are too


The strange death of English cricket

Pity the fans who have to endure this monotonous diet of one-day matches and ‘T20 Blast’


My life in Paris as a Diplomatic Wag

The French President says he wants to rule as a Jupiter — but he doesn’t look like a Jupiter to…


The Scouts can’t offer equal access to the disabled – they won’t survive

People with learning disabilities have rights – but then so do people without them

Community spirit: Chelsea Green high street

Notes on...

In praise of Chelsea Green, a London oasis

Splats of calves’ liver in a puddle of blood; rabbits, headless, stretched and stripped of fur; and plucked poussins, nestling…

The Week

Leading article

Kim Jong-un could play Trump like a $10 fiddle. Here’s how

Last year, Donald Trump called Kim Jong-un a ‘little rocket man’ and tweeted a photo boasting that his own nuclear…


Enoch Powell wasn’t racist – he just craved attention

Dining in splendour beneath Van Dycks as we forked in the delicious venison, it was hard not to agree with…

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week: a new royal baby, more Brexit rows and the Trump-Macron bromance

Home No. 10 insisted: ‘We will not be staying in the customs union or joining a customs union.’ The undertaking…


Worried about owning your own home? You should be

Kill or cure An anti-war protester on a march against the Syrian missile attacks claimed that President Assad couldn’t be…

From The Archives

The staple of our strength

From ‘News of the week’, 27 April 1918: The Navy has come altogether into its own again. The details of…


Letters: When did nationalists lose their sense of humour?

Resetting Brexit Sir: I agree with Fraser Nelson’s article ‘Brexit blunders’ (21 April). I am a Leaver, but immigration did…


The Spectator's Notes

Why is the National Trust trying to downplay its established purpose?

Hilary McGrady, the new director-general of the National Trust, sent me (and no doubt other journalists) a nice email hoping…


Theresa May should fear a Brexiteer who feels betrayed

It is sometimes tempting to imagine that the Brexit negotiations will follow the course of a Sunday night TV drama:…

Rod Liddle

The origins of Labour’s racism

Another word which has gained a new meaning in the present decade, along with ‘vulnerable’ and ‘diverse’: survivor. Once it…

Matthew Parris

They say Enoch Powell had a fine mind. I’m not so sure

Enoch Powell has been in many minds this month. It’s the 50th anniversary of his famous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech…

Lionel Shriver

The Home Office nearly deported my husband

What I remember about preparing to leave for my husband’s appointment with the Home Office in Croydon in 2007 is…

Any other business

Bank AGMs are an opportunity to shout about branch closures

The season of high-street banks’ annual general meetings is with us and I urge you to turn up and make…


Above: The Spangled Cotinga of the Amazon Rainforest is one of the seven species known to fly-tiers as the Blue Chatterer. Left: The Resplendent Quetzal, found from Chipias, Mexico to Western Panama

Lead book review

The most bizarre museum heist ever

In June 2009 Edwin Rist made off with 299 stuffed birds from the Natural History Museum in Tring, worth $1 million


Kitty Marion: too radical even for the suffragettes

Frequently imprisoned, the German-born feminist campaigned not only for the vote but for contraception and against sexual harassment


A disturbing psychological experiment involving secrecy, small boys and sharp knives

What motivated Muzafer Sherif to provoke children to anger and violence in remote summer camps in 1950s Oklahoma?


Britain was utterly wretched in 1975. No wonder Europe seemed a better bet

What ultimately changed between the two referendums on Europe was that by 2016 British pessimism had evaporated

In rebel-held territory, two boys contemplate the rubble of Daraa, September 2017


The tragedy of Syria: how protest spiralled into savagery

Rania Abouzeid relies on a small cast of characters to explain why decent demands for democracy sparked such carnage and chaos

‘A verger’s dream: Saints Cosmas and Damian performing a miraculous cure by transplantation of a leg’. The Spanish altarpiece by the Master of Los Balbases depicts a vision described in Jacobus de Voragine’s late medieval Legenda Aurea. (From Medieval Bodies, by Jack Hartnell)


Will ‘I’m a Tudorbethan, Get Me Out of Here’ be hitting our screens soon?

Ruth Goodman loves the garb and acting the part. Now she tells us How to Behave Badly in Renaissance Britain


An intense conversation about life, love and writing with Deborah Levy

The power of words to bestow life after death, and the importance of choosing what is living, are at the heart of her exquisite prose


The daring exploits of Romain Gary

The Prix Goncourt winner poured much of his wartime experience into The Kites, an enjoyable novel of idealism and the need to aspire

Millions of copies of Stalin’s works were printed,but few survive


From Stalin’s poetry to Saddam’s romances: the terrible prose of tyrants

Most dictators fancy themselves as writers, but the stuff they churn out is invariably execrable


A single mother hits rock bottom in Tokyo: Territory of Light reviewed

The guilt felt by an abandoned young woman as she and her toddler struggle to survive is the painful subject of Yuko Tsushima’s novel


How I singlehandedly kept the Will Self industry going

Matthew De Abaitua was employed as an amanuensis, but soon found himself in the role of lonely caretaker


French Phidias: Auguste Rodin in his workshop in Meudon, c.1910

Arts feature

How Rodin made a Parthenon above Paris

The sculptor never made it to Athens but that didn’t stop him obsessing over the art of ancient Greece, as a dazzling new British Museum show demonstrates

The Listener

Kylie’s latest album is truly appalling: Golden reviewed

Pretty much everything the pouting Aussie sockpuppet has done has been utterly excremental so credit to the lass for her consistency


How do you make Shakespeare work on the radio?

'I didn't want the audience to forget the cruelty': Kate Chisholm interviews director Emma Harding on adapting Merchant of Venice for Radio 4


Bravura, assurance and generosity: Mark Simpson's new Cello Concerto reviewed

Plus: even in his late 80s Tippett was still in love with the sound that music makes


An unmitigated triumph: Salome at Opera North reviewed

Plus: a welcome, adventurous concert by the Royal Opera House Orchestra that, however, probably didn’t help Anglo-Russian relations

‘The Orange Chair’, 1944, by Cedric Morris


The artist more fond of flowers and vegetables than people – and who can blame him

Cedric Morris created an outpost of post-impressionist France in Constable country


What’s the point of Philomena Cunk?

Plus: gritty, gripping Euro noir on BBC4 and a stylish new country-house whodunit on BBC One


Flop of the year? Royal Court's Instructions for Correct Assembly reviewed

Plus: a new musical that appeals to elderly Hebrews and glassy-eyed teenage girls


Not like any serial-killer thriller you’ve seen before: Beast reviewed

As the troubled lead, Jessie Buckley is mesmerising in this compelling, layered debut from Michael Pearce


High life

Fascism isn’t rising, but bien-pensant hysteria certainly is

Benito lives! The Blackshirts are here. Fascism is on the march — at least according to Madeleine Albright, secretary of…

Low life

Knife skills for eight-year-olds

To teach Oscar how to throw the blade, I started with the arm and wrist technique

Real life

Save me from middle managers dressed up as Spiderman

The cyclists of the country lanes of Surrey are so pumped up they will pedal straight through a horse

The turf

The Grand National proved the naysayers wrong – again

For the sixth successive year, all the runners and riders completed the course safely



England had a narrow lead going into the second weekend of the Camrose, with the Irish National team and the…

Spectator Wine

Wine Club 28 April

Irecently did a straw poll of a dozen or so friends in the drinks trade. If, for whatever strange reason,…


Viennese Waltz

The Vienna variation of the Queen’s Gambit is notable for a line in which the pieces conduct an elaborate dance…

Chess puzzle

no. 503

Black to play. This position is from Bluebaum-Vitiugov, Grenke 2018. Can you spot Black’s amazing winning move? Answers to me…


Mind your language

In Competition No. 3045 you were invited to provide a poem about euphemisms.   You avoided politics and sex (mostly),…


2356: Beetle

The unclued lights (one individually and five pairs) are of a kind.   Across 1    German leader put stuff back…

Crossword solution

to 2353: Too many

The unclued lights are (too many) TV COOKS, individually at 18, 21 and 28, and paired at 25/13, 27/1A, 30D/10…

No sacred cows

Uganda is saving its gorillas – but there’s a human cost

I’m currently in Africa, about to go gorilla trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a large primeval forest located in…

The Wiki Man

Could an Owl make video conferencing take off?

When I was ten, the two things we all expected to enjoy by 2020 were flying cars and videotelephony. What…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: My new boyfriend is too short. Can I make him wear shoe lifts?

Q. An acquaintance, whom I admire but don’t know well, sent me a ‘begging’ letter to donate to a charity…


Put your trust in Hungarian wine (yes, really)

The wines of Tokaji run like a golden thread through Hungarian history. There are references to their nectar-like quality in…

Mind your language

When is an aubergine not an ‘aubergine’?

In the warm weather, I had an al fresco hit with my mad-apple bruschette. Mad-apple shows the tangle to which…