Forty years ago today, The Spectator published perhaps the most important and influential article ever to appear in its pages. That is a high standard. R.W. Seton-Watson’s reports before 1914 condemning ethnic oppression may well have led indirectly to the postwar dismemberment of Hungary, for better or worse. And in a leader, headed ‘On the side of liberty’, to mark this magazine’s hemiocentenary in 1978, the Times was flattering enough to say that The Spectator was then in the vanguard of a new libertarian spirit, which would (in the event) help Margaret Thatcher to her victory the following year.
It is time we gave the party some electric-shock treatment. The words are worthy of Stalin or Mao, but were spoken by nice, considerate Tony Blair soon after becoming Labour leader in 1994, when he was plotting with his creepy sidekick Philip Gould to ditch Clause 4. In recent months Mr Blair has used the university funding crisis to put several million more volts through his comrades. Like some sadistic psychiatrist, he has fastened his electrodes once again to the emaciated body of the Labour party, which is horribly contorted and enfeebled after eight and a half years of his treatment, but is still capable of feeling pain.
Ross Clark wonders whether Iraqis would prefer clean water and electricity or Britain’s taxpayer-funded ‘gender advisers’Following the successful liberation of their country from the tyrannical rule of Saddam Hussein, ordinary Iraqis are once more beginning to experience some of those things which we in the West take for granted: electricity, telephones, fresh running water and the likes of Deirdre Spart from the Haringey Women’s Collective.