The Spectator

24 June 2017

What are the Tories for?

It’s time for the Conservatives to rediscover conservatism



What are the Tories for?

Time for the Conservatives to rediscover Conservatism


Why the right is losing its way

Conservatism is in crisis all over Europe


The next few years will be critical for the Tories

They cannot carry on expecting people to be capitalists if they have no capital


Letter to a young Corbynista

Younger voters need to be reminded what socialism in action is like


Harry Potter and the millennial mind

How J.K. Rowling shaped the political thinking of a generation


Grenfell and the bigger, better society
Danny Kruger and Dawn Foster on the response to the tragedy


When temperatures rise, so does the nation’s temper

The summer heat seems to bring out the worst in everyone


Unlikely allies: Israel and the Saudis

The shifting allegiances of today’s Middle East


Hilary Mantel Reith Lecture exclusive: Can These Bones Live?

Treading the line between history and alternative facts


Coffee break: why I’ve finally given up on the devil’s brew

For a long while, everything was wonderful; then things turned nasty

Fine tuned: RCM students practising in the stunning Britten Theatre

Notes on...

The Britten Theatre

When friends from overseas with the slightest interest in music ask for recommendations about what to see in London, I…

The Week

Leading article

Forget ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ — what we need is an open Brexit

Britain’s negotiating position is stronger than many people realise

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

Home The burnt-out skeleton of Grenfell Tower, the 24-storey block of 127 flats at Latimer Road, west London, became a…


Bernie Sanders may have wowed Hay festival – but the crowd shouted ‘Corbyn’

Also in Anthony Horowitz’s Diary: Being boring in public and why I should be paid more at book shows

Ancient and modern

Plato and Aristotle would have understood Corbyn’s appeal to the young

Under 24s are compassionate, passionate and innocent of life – the perfect target for the Labour leader



A mountain to climb Brexit secretary David Davis gave the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, a copy of Regards vers l’Annapurna…


Did the Tory manifesto reflect Theresa May’s convictions?

Also in letters: social care; the global warming pause; a cricketing blunder; tuition fees


The Spectator's Notes

These candlelit vigils symbolise mourning for the dead, and for a civilisation

Also: Brexiteer anxiety and Remainer humbug; the Queen’s Speech; the rise in attacks by cows

Rod Liddle

If you’re not tired of London, you’re tired of life

You pretend your city is a wonderful multicultural melting pot, rather than a slave state run entirely for your benefit

Matthew Parris

What should Tim Farron be allowed to believe?

The former Lib Dem leader seems to feel he has been victimised for his faith. Has he, though?


Lead book review

War damage to mind and body

Emily Mayhew and Lynne Jones examine close up the physical and psychological scars of war

The Koh-i-Noor (Mountain of Light) is set in the front cross of the Queen Consort’s crown


The Koh-i-Noor: the greatest blood diamond in the world

The lurid history of this famous gem is highly recommended for anyone with a taste for blood and bling


American-English has conquered the world

Should we give a hoot that our language has been corrupted – or just back off and call it a day?


Adam Thorpe’s gone girl novel looks like a prizewinner

Full of signs, symbols and misdirection, it’s not only a taut thriller but a wise, compelling mystery

Patience Gray in 1959, photographed by a colleague at the Observer


The bewitching charms of Patience Gray

The bestselling food writer was a tease and a flirt — even in old age in her ramshackle Puglian farmhouse


She-devils on horseback: in search of the fabled Amazons

The ancient Greeks shuddered at the thought of man-eating viragos. But there’s little evidence that they ever existed


My father the bigamous sociopath — by Molly Brodak

Joseph Brodak was a lying thief who spent long terms in prison. Poetry became his daughter’s salvation

Regretful nostalgia: F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925


F. Scott Fitzgerald: haunted by nostalgia

He disliked the restlessness of life with Zelda, and longed to enjoy his Maryland heritage in peace with his family


More grimy tragedy from Joyce Carol Oates

Her latest novel, based on a real-life case, concerns the murder of an abortionist and its far-reaching consequences

The Battle of Diu, India (1509), in which Lopes took part as a member of Francisco de Almeida’s victorious fleet


The greatest survival story of all time

A.R Azzam describes how a grotesquely mutilated Portuguese soldier was marooned for decades on St Helena in the 16th century


How the British left condoned the murder of millions

In the 1930s and 1940s leading left-wingers went mad for Bolshevism, oblivious to Stalin’s notorious purges


Spare a thought for the boys in blue

A policeman’s lot is really not a happy one. John Sutherland’s 20 years in the Met were followed by severe mental breakdown


The bleak business of adoption tourism

There’s much to admire but little to like about Chris Kraus’s tale of a childless couple hoping to adopt in Romania


And then there were three: Lanzmann in 1964 with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, with whom he had a seven-year affair

Arts feature

Claude Lanzmann, legendary director of Shoah, finally turns the camera on himself

The 91-year-old Frenchman and former lover of Simone de Beauvoir talks to Tobias Grey about a lusty-youthful adventure in North Korea

Live Music

Meet the composer who licked Beethoven’s carpet

Plus: is a Tippett reappraisal under way? I hope so


I wish radio was more like I remember it as a child

Radio taught us to sit still and listen and imagine ourselves inside another person’s skin – that’s the key success of the World Service’s Where Are You Going?


Royal Court’s Anatomy of a Suicide deserves a prize – for most obtuse script of the year

Plus: a fabulously entertaining new show from Emma Rice at the Globe – she will be a hard act to follow

Up, up and away: ‘Endless Column’, 1937, by Constantin Brancusi


The most celebrated work of modernism that almost nobody has seen

Like many great sculptures, Brancusi’s Eternal Column is difficult to photograph and even harder to get to – but it’s well worth the effort


Sky Atlantic’s Riviera is fine if all you want is the TV equivalent of a computer screensaver

Channel 4’s Wife Swap: Brexit Special was much more exciting – and the Remoaners came off so badly it felt like a party political broadcast by Ukip


One of the most exalting operatic experience I have had: Longborough’s Tristan reviewed

Plus: the main musical satisfaction of Garsington’s new Pelléas et Mélisande was the intense playing of the Philharmonia Orchestra

The Listener

Peter Perrett’s How The West Was Won is a beautiful work, lush with swirling melodies

The only British lyricist who comes close to Perrett these last 40 years is Luke Haines

Diane Keaton as Emily and Brendon Gleeson as Donald in Hampstead


This ‘love letter’ to Hampstead should have been scrunched up and thrown in the bin

The script is drivel and full of stereotypes but at least it makes you feel better about never being able to live there


High life

Where’s Ayn Rand when you need her?

She knew to celebrate capitalism, having experienced hunger, oppression and loss under communism

Low life

The things you learn in a gentrified waiting room

A Norfolk Trotter in the 1820s would outstrip an Audi R8 on the M25 in the rush hour

Real life

I’m being terrorised by a Surrey family of optometrists

“What is this, Reservoir Specs?’ I asked the builder boyfried, who shrugged

The turf

Do the same rules apply to racing stars as to politicians?

To what extent must our top sportsmen be touchy-feely in order to win public approval?



The past two weeks have seen hundreds of passionate bridge players head for Montecatini in Italy for the 8th European…


Great Tigran’s heir

Tigran Petrosian is the great chess hero of Armenia. World champion from 1963-1969, his best games exhibit a profundity which…

Chess puzzle

no. 462

White to play. This position is a variation from Kramnik-Giri, Stavanger 2017. How can White exploit the terrible position of…


Political clerihew

In Competition No. 3003 you were invited to supply clerihews about contemporary politicians. In an enormous and excellent entry, popular…


2315: Trunk call

Seven unclued entries are all examples of the other. Elsewhere, ignore an accent.   Across 11    Ginger wine and rose…

Crossword solution

to 2312: Bandleader

The thematic BEATLES ALBUM (38 32) is SERGEANT PEPPER (1A 6A). 1A defines 17, and can be divided into words…

Spectator Wine

Wine Club 24 June

Calling all Beaujolais lovers! Yes, that’s you! I mean, we all love Beaujolais, right? Not the scuzzy, naff Bojolly Noovoo…

Status anxiety

The writers of the Guardian’s ‘Brexit Shorts’ have swallowed Project Fear

These plays are full of foreboding about Ireland, Scotland, and the future — except one

Spectator sport

Pakistan’s cricket team and the power of redemption

This was sport at its finest: an intense national rivalry, enacted on the field with ferocious but fair intensity

Dear Mary

How can I get the buyer of a supermarket to notice my products?

Also: neglected by the hostess of a dinner party and excellent audiobook tips


Not my bag: what to say about a Soho diner that specialises in crisps?

Hip Chips is a terrible concept, for starters. As for the execution...

Mind your language

Mind your language: Narrative

The word has been taken up eagerly by propagandist activists and supporters of Jeremy Corbyn