The Spectator

17 November 2018

The all-seeing state

The dark side of China’s high-tech society


High life

I love life – and girls – too much to act my age

New York A little Austrian count was born to my daughter last week in Salzburg, early in the morning of…

Low life

France’s second world war shame

Newcomers to the village like me are warned not to enquire too deeply about goings-on during WW2

Real life

Education, spiritual guidance and a good cappuccino: the new face of the NHS

There is not much room in hospitals these days for good old-fashioned curing



It’s no surprise that so many bridge players are computer programmers or systems analysts; it’s an ideal game for those…


Paradise mislaid

World champion Magnus Carlsen missed several chances to win with black in the first game of his title defence, currently…

Chess puzzle

no. 532

Black to play. This is a variation from Carlsen–Caruana (Game 2), London 2018. White has forked the black bishop and…


We’re scamming

In Competition No. 3074 you were invited to submit a scam letter ghostwritten by a well-known author, living or dead.…


2385: R and R

The theme is two historic people who were contemporaries. Unclued lights give their forenames, places of birth and death and…

Crossword solution

to 2382: A pointed remark

The quotation is 10/11/39. Remaining unclued lights are all daggers.  First prize G. Snailham, WindsorRunners-up Lynne Gilchrist, Willoughby, New South…

No sacred cows

Free speech is officially dead in British universities

When I first read about plans for a new academic periodical called The Journal of Controversial Ideas, I got the…

Spectator sport

The All Blacks: world-class time-wasters

Plus: Manchester City’s rise, José Mourinho’s decline, Graeme Swann’s dancing

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: How do I stop rabbits eating Mum’s graveside flowers?

Q. A difficult couple of our acquaintance always object to other guests at dinner and can be very rude to…


It’s a Jewish homage to the Wolseley, and that is no bad thing: Tish reviewed

Tish is a new grand café in Belsize Park, north London, but kosher. There are not really enough Jews to…

Mind your language

Collins dictionary has got ‘gammon’ all wrong

In the annual dictionary wars to nominate words of the year, in the hope of attracting publicity, Collins has made…

The Best of Coffee House

Why MPs should back Theresa May’s Brexit deal

Many things about the politics of Brexit are mystifying. Some are minor puzzles: Why don’t people read the documents they…

The Best of Coffee House

The real reason atheists want to be on Thought for the Day

Oh God. Or maybe not. There’s a letter in the Guardian today from assorted unbelievers asserting their right to a…

The Best of Coffee House

The stop and search race myth

When I was working as a speech writer in the Home Office, under Theresa May, one of her special advisers…