The Spectator

25 May 2019

Corbyn isn’t working

Labour is being picked apart by its new enemies


High life

My feud with Conrad Black

Goody goody gumdrops! The Donald has pardoned Lord Black and I couldn’t be happier. Conrad got a bum deal and…

Low life

Banana leaf, wood-effect or knitted? Choosing my mother’s coffin

My mother and I have been planning her funeral – with the help of Doreen from the Co-op

Real life

My little lodger has been stolen from me

The builder b calls her my mini-me and I wish she could have stayed for ever

The turf

In praise of older horses – and their trainers

There is no more patient ironer-out of equine wrinkles than Sir Michael Stoute



Simon Gillis coined a term to describe his disappointment when he sits himself out to allow four of his professionals…

Spectator Wine

Wine Club 25 May

We’ve not had an offer from Messrs Corney & Barrow in a while and it’s a treat to welcome them…


Goring the gambit

One of the most irritating defences to meet when playing 1 d4 as White is the Benko Gambit (1 d4…

Chess puzzle

no. 555

White to play. This position is from Dubov-Giri, Moscow 2019. How did White conclude with a fine blow that forced…


Animal magic

In Competition No. 3099 you were invited to dream up an imaginary animal that is a hybrid of two existing…


2409: Crosswords

The unclued lights are of a kind, including one hyphened, all confirmed in Chambers except for 8 across, which is…

Crossword solution

to 2406: Heptad

The group is ‘Les Nabis’ (anagram of ALBINESS (18)). Its members were VALLOTTON, DENIS, ROUSSEL, RANSON, SÉRUSIER, BONNARD and VUILLARD.…

No sacred cows

How paranoia has infected our politics

The politics professor Matthew Goodwin made an interesting observation on Twitter this week. He pointed out that many of the…

The Wiki Man

Could my slogan have swayed the Brexit vote?

People sometimes ask what slogan could have swayed the Brexit vote: the opposite of the touchstone phrase ‘Take back control’.…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: What should I do when my host won’t serve the champagne I brought?

Q. Was I right to feel aggrieved when, having contributed a bottle of fine champagne to a small supper party,…


Debunking the Greek wine myth

A book, a bottle, a bower set in an ancient garden: you think that if you walked round the right…

Mind your language

Why is a book like a sarcophagus?

‘Is it like a packet of fags?’ asked my husband, less annoyingly than usual, but still in some confusion. I…