2 July 2005
The Spectator was established in 1828, and is the oldest continuously published magazine in the
English language. The Spectator’s taste for controversy, however, remains undiminished. There is no
party line to which The Spectator’s writers are bound - originality of thought and elegance of expression are the
sole editorial constraints.
The trial issue contains a “Thought Crime Special” with articles from Melanie Phillips,
“I think, therefore I’m guilty”; Christopher Booker writes about
“Scientists in hiding; the demonisation of academics who question the consensus”; Alan Rusbridger explores
“How to stifle the press” and how England’s libel laws make it easy.
UK politics come under scrutiny from
James Forsyth, Brendan O’Neill ponders if teenagers could ever be
“Drunk and orderly”; while
Tom Hollander writes his diary and
James Delingpole says
eat local organic food if you like, but don’t kid yourself that it’s ‘green’.
The Spectator’s regular arts coverage includes
1. The new special relationship. Boris and Trump have a chemistry that goes beyond their unusual hairstyles, writes The Spectator’s US editor Freddy Gray. Boris once told a cabinet minister that he saw the US President as a ‘lifeboat’ that could rescue Brexit — and has even been receptive to the idea that the UK might join Nafta. Getting the best from America without making Britain a supplicant won’t be easy — but Boris might just be the man to do it.
2. Petronella Wyatt: on Boris. ‘I’ve become a public curiosity — stared at in supermarkets and badgered by journalists - all because I once had a close friendship with Boris Johnson,’ writes Petronella Wyatt in her Spectator diary. She also shares her love for another Boris — Karloff — and sets out her own theory on what drives Boris’s critics: sexual jealousy.
3. Sahil Mahtani: reparations for Anglo-Saxons. From slavery to colonialism, the idea of reparations — financial compensation for past injustices — is all the rage, writes Sahil Mahtani. But why are we forgetting the Norman Conquest of 1066? All evidence shows that the displaced Anglo-Saxon elite are still suffering from the consequences today. It’s time to compensate the victims of this historic injustice.
4. Anthony Browne: who’s afraid of no deal? No deal needn’t be as bad as people fear, writes Anthony Browne, former head of the British Bankers’ Association. Government is much better prepared than a year ago — and so is the City. ‘The banks have the legal structures, people and capital in place’. No wonder Mervyn King has accused panicking MPs of having ‘lost the plot’ over no deal.
5. Lynn Barber interviews Ann Widdecombe. ‘Duty didn’t just call; it positively howled,’ says Ann Widdecombe on her return to politics. Speaking to award-winning interviewer Lynn Barber, the former Strictly star reveals her plans to return to Westminster and why she won’t be putting money on Boris delivering Brexit.
PLUS: Kenneth R. Rosen on anti-Isis foreign fighters; Harry Mount on why politicians love jogging; James Delingpole on Magaluf; Rod Liddle on football hooliganism; Stuart Jeffries interviews Jim Broadbent, Chris Mullin on ministerial careers; Mary Killen on Strip Brexit; Frank Lawton on Jerusalem syndrome; and much more!
Because pulped paper is an excellent road-building material, the M6 toll motorway contains 2.5 million Mills & Boon novels.
I remember Boris telling me that Max Hastings disliked me (incidentally, I suspect Max’s well-publicised hatred of Boris is in part caused by sexual jealousy).
There was no desire in us to believe the news from Auschwitz. ‘Poles,’ observed one man at the Foreign Office, ‘are being very irritating over this.’