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.
What crisis? Kwasi Kwarteng is not a politician who panics, writes Kate Andrews. Instead of staying in the office and trying to understand why the markets were taking fright at his ‘fiscal event’, he went to celebrate his mini-Budget with Treasury staffers in the local pub. Now this market ‘blip’ is looking serious. Why didn’t Liz Truss and Kwarteng take recent market shifts into account? Last week’s rejection of fiscal discipline suggests that they thought the markets would give them time. Instead, answers are needed now. All eyes will be on Kwarteng’s update in November.
Labour prepares for government. Labour is finally on the cusp of power, writes Katy Balls. ‘We know we are nearly back in because Peter Mandelson came to conference,’ jokes a senior MP. The number of business attendees who flocked to Liverpool is a sign that Labour is being taken seriously. ‘They know which way the wind is blowing,’ says a party figure.
How high a price will Truss pay? After the panicked reaction to last week’s fiscal event, ministers are divided over what to do next, writes James Forsyth. There are those who think that a period of calm is required, and that the government needs to emphasise spending restraint. Then there are those in Truss’s circle who think the right thing to do is to double down, and talk about more tax cuts to come.
The end of Putin? The protests sparked by the mobilisation call-up have meant that regime change is now a real possibility, writes Owen Matthews from Moscow. One source tells him that the explosions rupturing the Nord Stream pipelines had Vladimir Putin’s fingerprints all over it: ‘Putin’s blowing everything up before he goes down,’ he tells Owen.
Why has Oxford killed off St Benet’s Hall? In May, Oxford’s officials announced that St Benet’s Hall would be closing its doors because of ‘ongoing financial uncertainty’. But St Benet’s did not merely die off. It was killed. There was no ‘financial uncertainty’. St Benet’s had signed a letter of intent (a provisional deal) for a £40 million donation, writes Dan Hitchens, who has seen the document, signed by the potential donor, the American businessman John Barry, and the Master of the Hall. Yet the university trod on the deal.
The Spectator: the dangers of critical race theory. Rupa Huq’s comment that Kwasi Kwarteng is ‘superficially’ black exposed a prejudice that remains pervasive in British politics: the assumption that black people can only think in one way and that those who demur are traitors. Such thinking, which ought to have been discarded in the last century, has been revived though so-called critical race theory, which makes politics more about race, not less. The truth is that the victimhood narrative, so much of it imported from America’s culture wars, was never a fit for modern Britain. There is plenty of inequality, but no BME vs white dividing line.