The Spectator

16 March 2019

It’s not over yet

Extending Brexit could revive May’s deal

Life

High life

The four times I have lied in 42 years writing this column

Gstaad   As Emperor Maximilian told his convulsed-by-tears servants as he was about to be executed by the Mexicans: ‘Who…

Low life

The travesties competing in the Terrier category at Crufts

Does the BBC suppose that it will convert the public to a belief in equality if it does not, in…

Real life

From a solar-powered bin to HS2: the destruction of my childhood home

My mother is a classy lady. I have always known this, but it still affected me in a way I…

The turf

While some bookies behave admirably, the BetBright debacle is a disgrace

Encountering a generous-hearted bookmaker is normally as rare an occurrence as finding a picture of the Duchess of Sussex without…

Bridge

Bridge

James Vogl excelled at poker and backgammon and thought, like many of us, that when he took up bridge about…

Spectator Wine

Wine Club 16 March

My old chum Jason Yapp is never less than chipper. Indeed, his ebullience is boundless. In springtime, this innate effervescence…

Chess

Oxford win

The annual Varsity Match between Oxford and Cambridge ended in a surprisingly narrow victory for the dark blues. Their team…

Chess puzzle

no. 545

White to play. This is from Finn-Abbas, Varsity Match 2019. A strategic puzzle rather than a tactical one. White has…

Competition

Climate change

In Competition No. 3089 you were invited to put your own spin on a weather forecast.   The seed for…

Crossword

2399: Lines of work

Eight unclued entries (two of two words, one hyphened) form a folk rhyme used as the basis for the first…

Crossword solution

to 2396: Reader …,

Unclued lights were husbands (40A) of Jane Austen’s heroines.  First prize Alison Hinder, Sholing, SouthamptonRunners-up Janet Dibley, Polegate, East Sussex;…

No sacred cows

Why is it only privately educated women who get to lecture people about ‘oppression’?

Scarcely a week passes without a privately educated young woman with a successful career in journalism publishing a book about…

The Wiki Man

Are IQ tests really the best way to measure nature vs nurture?

I have a dim memory from 1970 of a primly dressed distant relative visiting in a Baby Austin. This, I…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: what’s the polite way to ascertain someone's gender?

Q. When my mother was widowed ten years ago she decided to take in lodgers to pay the gardener’s bills…

Drink

Red meat and red wine: the ideal way to spend the first Sunday of Lent

Life is far too important to be taken seriously. At least, that was the conclusion which we meandered towards as…

Mind your language

Why the OED says ‘coloured’ is offensive

‘The term coloured, is an outdated, offensive and revealing choice of words,’ tweeted Diane Abbott last week in response to Amber…

The Best of Coffee House

The Brexiteers have blown it

If, as Rod Liddle says, Brexit has been killed there is no shortage of suspects. 75 of them, in fact.…

The Best of Coffee House

The false equivalence between ‘Islamophobia’ and anti-Semitism

I have been travelling in the Middle East for the last few weeks and slightly regret returning to the maelstrom…

The Best of Coffee House

The death of Shamima Begum’s baby is a tragedy – but not Sajid Javid’s fault

It would take a heart of stone – and occasionally I possess just such an organ – not to feel…