02/07/2011
2 Jul 2011

02 July 2011

2 Jul 2011

02 July 2011

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Interconnect
An apology to Alastair Crooke

A blog by Melanie Phillips posted on 28 January 2011 reported an allegation that Alastair Crooke, director of Conflicts Forum, had been expelled from Israel and dismissed for misconduct from Government service or the EU after threatening a journalist whose email he had unlawfully intercepted. We accept that this allegation is completely false and we apologise to Mr Crooke. 

An apology to Alastair Crooke
Lloyd Evans
Web exclusive: Review of Spectator debate on secularism, Islam and Christianity

Secularism is a greater threat to Christianity than Islam Royal Geographic Society June 29th 2011 Chair Rod Liddle   Proposing Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP Damian Thompson Prof Tariq Ramadan   Opposing The Very Rev’d Patrick Sookhdeo Nick Cohen Douglas Murray   Fr Timothy Radcliffe, a Dominican friar based in Blackfriars Oxford, proposed the motion arguing that secularism appeared in ‘strong and weak’ varieties.

Web exclusive: Review of Spectator debate on secularism, Islam and Christianity
Fraser Nelson
Strike and counterstrike

For years, David Cameron has known that he would have to fight the trade unions and that the outcome of the battle would define his premiership. But neither side expected to fight so soon. The unions had intended to wait until the cuts would be at their deepest and the government was at its least popular. But the Prime Minister is moving too quickly, and making faster progress than his predecessors.

Strike and counterstrike
Conrad Black
I’ll be back

It has been confusing for anyone relying on the British media to fathom what has happened over the eight years of my persecution in the United States. And the volume of affecting messages I have received from the UK indicates that there remains some curiosity about it there. The short story is that a greenmailing shareholder who was trying to force the sale of the company (Hollinger International), and a quick realisation on the capital appreciation we had made in what had ceased to be a growth industry (newspapers), agitated for what is called in the United States a Special Committee, in 2003.

I’ll be back
Rod Liddle
How did I get it right on the euro? Easy. I was racist

Do you remember the vicious debates back in the middle of the 1990s about whether or not we should join the single European currency? We don’t have that argument much any more; even the Liberal Democrats keep their traps shut about it these days and try to change the subject when any one mentions it.Do you remember the vicious debates back in the middle of the 1990s about whether or not we should join the single European currency? We don’t have that argument much any more; even the Liberal Democrats keep their traps shut about it these days and try to change the subject when any one mentions it.

How did I get it right on the euro? Easy. I was racist
Brendan O’Neill
Confessional culture

If you were sexually abused by a Catholic priest nearly 50 years ago, and that priest was now dying or dead, would it not be wise to keep it to yourself? This awkward question invaded my mind as I watched last week’s BBC1 documentary Abused: Breaking the Silence. It featured mature, respectable and successful men recounting in eye-watering detail what was done to their penises by priests at a Rosminian boarding school in Tanzania in the 1960s.

Confessional culture
Theodore Dalrymple
Young Turks

Comparisons are odious, generalisations dangerous and stereotypes invidious, but without them conversation would be tedious and talk nothing but an endless regression of subordinate clauses, each qualifying what the previous one had asserted. It is cowardly and dishonest to refuse these means of arriving at truth, nor would we approach any nearer to truth were we to do so. Refusing to generalise is often a form of denial.

Young Turks
Simon Hoggart
Kings and jokers

Last year I was having a thoughtful glass of champagne with the Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell at the Spectator party during the Tory conference. We were suddenly interrupted by the Prime Minister, who greeted us warmly — ‘Hello Simon, hello Steve’ — because he’s a first-name kind of guy. Or possibly an aide had reminded him of our names. It very soon became clear that what he wanted to talk about was the way that Steve always draws him with a condom over his head.

Kings and jokers
Douglas Davis
Syria’s family business

In the absence of free speech, a free media and other political mod-cons in Syria, Hafez al-Assad and then his son Bashar cultivated the convenient habit of transacting business in the shadows, advancing and protecting — brutally, when necessary — the interests of the family and their fellow Alawites. But Damascus has always remained alive with intrigue and speculation. To process and disseminate that mix of conjecture and fact, a highly developed rumour mill sprang up.

Syria’s family business
Mary Wakefield
‘Anti-semitism is on the rise’

Exactly halfway through my conversation with the Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, I had an attack of conscience, a small one, but there it was. Sacks had explained the thesis of his book, The Great Partnership — that religion and science don’t have to fight but can co-exist, as separate strands of inquiry. We’d discussed our respective religions (I’m Christian) and agreed that man will always wonder: what am I doing here? And that science has no answer to this.

‘Anti-semitism is on the rise’
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