The Spectator

12 January 2019

Project Fact

Maybe the shortages and delays in the event of no deal won’t be as bad as we think


High life

Why 1919 wasn’t the year it’s cracked up to be

Gstaad The funny thing is that I was at school with a man called Ted Widmer, and I recently read…

Low life

I ended New Year’s Eve more sober than I started it

Even our host stripping off failed to get us in the party mood

Real life

The Kafkaesque nightmare of cancelling my BT broadband

A conversation of such madness that I can’t recount it

Wild life

Why former prisoners make the best lawyers

Once an inmate on death row, Susan Kigula is now taking on the Ugandan government



For those of us who play rubber bridge at TGR’s, the New Year began with the very sad news that…


Three titans

The Dutch grandmaster Genna Sosonko specialises in biographies of the greats of the Soviet era. His earlier forays covered the…

Chess puzzle

no. 536

Black to play. This position is from Botvinnik-Smyslov, World Championship, Moscow (Game 18) 1958. How could Smyslov have forced instant…


The ex factor

In Competition No. 3080 you were invited to supply an elegy on a piece of obsolete technology. Thanks to Paul…


2390: Tea shop

Unclued lights, all confirmed in Chambers or Collins, are three sets of four words of a kind, each set relating…

Crossword solution

to 2388: Sea rocket

The quotation was ‘IN MY BEGINNING IS MY END’ (12/15) from East Coker (an anagram of the title), second poem…

No sacred cows

The unending war against masculinity and men

For the first time in its history, the American Psychological Association (APA) has issued guidelines for mental health professionals working…

Spectator sport

If ever a man deserved his gong, it’s Sir Alastair Cook

Here’s a date for the diary: if you’re in south London on 11 April, head for the Oval. It’s going…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: How do I get an answer from my elusive publisher?

Q. What is the current etiquette regarding chasing an opinion from a publisher to whom, by agreement and via a…


This is a restaurant for affluent halfwits: Bob Bob Ricard reviewed

In January, you could go to Bob Bob Ricard in Soho. I do not know why it is called Bob…

Mind your language

Illeism: the weird habit of talking about oneself in the third person

Someone has been putting about reports that Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, refers to himself in the third person as…

The Best of Coffee House

What Corbyn’s far left has in common with Trump and the Brexit right

Even though Jeremy Corbyn and the men and women who support him are often shabby and occasionally reactionary figures, the…

The Best of Coffee House

The three scenes from Ch4’s Brexit film that show why Remain lost

As soon as Channel 4 announced Benedict Cumberbatch had been cast as Dominic Cummings in its Brexit film, a hatchet…

The Best of Coffee House

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the left’s Sarah Palin

When the media falls in love, it falls hard. Its latest crush is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat congressgirl from New York.…