The Spectator

23 February 2019

The change we need?

The new Independent Group causes problems for both Labour and the Tories


High life

I’m all for abolishing flying: first-class on a liner is far more fun

Gstaad   It’s party time here. From the richest billionaires down to those impoverished souls with only a few million…

Low life

The strange people who keep a nightly vigil over my mother

To begin with it was mice. The house was overrun with them. She saw them out of the corner of…

Real life

From Swarfega to cleanse and polish: my long path to perfect skin

‘Is it for your daughter?’ said the sales assistant as I pointed to an expensive skincare product. She had glided…



Is it my imagination, or are we bridge players far more aggressive than we were a decade ago? I don’t…


Rock solid

This year’s Gibraltar Masters saw some surprising results at the top, chiefly the victory by the young Russian, Vladimir Artemiev,…

Chess puzzle

no. 542

White to play. This position is taken from Galinsky–Gunina, Gibraltar 2019. How can White finish off in this complicated position?…


Writer’s block

In Competition No. 3086 you were invited to submit a poem about the difficulty of writing a poem.   In…


2396: Reader…,

Unclued lights are a set of literary 40s. Their creator is hidden in the grid and should be shaded. Elsewhere,…

Crossword solution

to 2393: Monster Mash-up

HORROR FILM (1D) ACTOR (15) BORIS (10) KARLOFF (26), né PRATT (21A) died on 2 February 1969. Most famous for…

Roy Jenkins at an SDP conference in 1986 (Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

No sacred cows

There's space for a new party in Britain, but not for another SDP

I was 17 when the Labour party last split, in January 1981, and for a variety of reasons got quite…

Spectator sport

We football romantics love the fifth round of the FA cup

And so we say farewell to the round of 16 in the FA Cup, traditionally a viscerally thrilling process that…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: how can I hide that I’m no longer drinking?

Q. I have given up drink except on certain occasions when it would be really rude to refuse. What’s the…


A temple to small food in a room for rich people: the Ledbury in Notting Hill reviewed

A serious restaurant for serious times: the Ledbury in Notting Hill. It’s a good time to do it, as the…

Mind your language

There’s a lot of interrogating going on – and not just by policemen

My husband sat in his usual chair, interrogating the contents of his whisky glass with his old, tired nose. In…

The Best of Coffee House

The true cost of fake hate crimes

Some years ago I was introduced to one notion of how to tackle dishonest and insincere accusations of racism. It…

The Best of Coffee House

The shame of those siding with Shamima Begum

At last, having kept pretty shtum about it for the past few years, the virtue-signalling set has mustered up some…

The Best of Coffee House

In praise of the Labour splitters

The first thing to note is that it’s not about policy. The not-so secret seven MPs who left the Labour…