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. James Forsyth: Boris in No. 10. Quietly confident of victory, Boris Johnson is planning for power, reveals James Forsyth. Expect ‘one nation policies’, big infrastructure projects and more openness on immigration. Key members of his City Hall team (who Theresa May blocked from joining the Foreign Office) will move to No. 10. Meanwhile, Sajid Javid, who shares Boris’s enthusiasm for a 31 October Brexit, looks set to get the keys to next door. Lynton Crosby, who masterminded Johnson’s wins as London mayor, will run the next general election campaign – which Boris Johnson could be forced into calling as soon as this autumn.
2. Try the Isis ‘Beatles’ in Britain. ‘Speaking from their Syrian prison, the surviving members of the Beatles — the gang of British Isis fighters led by Jihadi John – deny murdering Western hostages,’ writes Paul Wood. But survivors of their brutality say they’re lying. ‘This is why they must be tried in Britain, rather than hanged in Iraq. So the victims’ families know what really happened.’
3. Toby Young: Boris Derangement Syndrome. ‘The chattering classes have been struck by Boris Derangement Syndrome (BDS): a hatred of Boris so strong it impairs their judgment,’ writes Toby Young. ‘Sufferers of BDS accuse the former London mayor of racism, misogyny and homophobia, despite the fact that most of his views are those of the Metropolitan elite.’ Can their madness be cured?
4. Max Hastings: time to leave Britain? ‘I am besieged by media folk asking when I shall make good on a four-year-old threat to flee to Buenos Aires should Boris Johnson become prime minister,’ writes Sir Max in his Spectator Diary. ‘How can I get on to a flight, I ask, when so many other voters are already wait-listed?’
5. Matthew Parris: Boris is a scoundrel. ‘It was when Matt Hancock said he was backing Boris Johnson that something in me died,’ writes Matthew Parris. ‘Tory MPs know he’s no good. They know he’s a cold-eyed scoundrel. So why do they back him? They know which side their bread is buttered.’