The Spectator

22 September 2018

A wake-up call

More of us are addicted to our smartphones. But the fightback is beginning


High life

An audience with the Pope

Perception and reality, truth and falsehood, black and white; nowadays the salivating chattering classes don’t know their arse from a…

Low life

A foretaste of Frexit

Moving day. The contents of a hillside shack to be moved four miles to a cave house perched high on…

Real life

Why my lodger has to be a girl

I want to be able to run around in skimpy knickers without fear of embarrassment



Around this time each September, I get to say, ‘I’m off to Tangier for a few days to play high-stakes…



The only official interregnum in the reigns of the world chess champions was that between the death of Alekhine in…

Chess puzzle

no. 524

Black to play. This position is from Gurgenidze-Tal, Moscow 1957. What is the most direct way to break into the…

Spectator Wine

Wine Club 22 September

Everyone loves the wines of Louis Latour and I’m delighted to offer such a tasty selection of them here, particularly…


This sporting life

In Competition No. 3066 you were invited to submit an ode to a piece of sporting equipment. There is a…


2377: In order

The dozen unclued lights can be arranged in a specific sequence when preceded by or followed by their sequence indicators…

Crossword solution

to 2374: Watch your step

The unclued lights are DANCES. First prize K.J. Williams, Kings Worthy, Winchester. Runners-up Bridget Workman, Purley;C.S.G Elengorn, Enfield.

No sacred cows

It’s as I suspected – my defects can’t be cured

I’ve just finished making a one-hour documentary about character for Radio 4 that’s due to be broadcast on Saturday at…

Spectator sport

Is there a limit to what the human body can do?

Has the world gone mad? There’s Beauden Barrett, the world’s best stand-off, and rugby player of the year seemingly by…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: Our insufferable children are rounding on our eightysomething neighbour

Q. A neighbour, a wonderful old friend in his late eighties, is a marvellous raconteur. As a family we have…


It is essentially a crap Le Gavroche, and that is not an insult: Roux at Parliament Square reviewed

Politicians are having a terrible time of late, along with the rest of us — it’s not much fun watching…

Mind your language

Why ‘whiter than white’ shouldn’t get you suspended

A detective superintendent has been placed on ‘restricted duties’ while the Independent Office for Police Conduct investigates a complaint that…

The Best of Coffee House

Donald Trump is a free trade hero

President Trump has stated on numerous occasions that he wants to increase trade. Under his wise rule, he assures us,…

The Best of Coffee House

What happens when Steve Bannon is given a platform?

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the interesting question of whether or not the former chief strategist to…

The Best of Coffee House

How John McDonnell wooed Mumsnet

As so often these days, if you want real political insight, go to Mumsnet. In a web chat there today,…