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 will Putin do next? ‘Putin has become increasingly unpredictable – and dangerous – since the Kremlin’s latest defeats on the battlefield in Ukraine, says Paul Wood. A former KGB officer describes Russia’s ‘collapse’ in Ukraine: ‘Putin put himself in a corner from which he has no escape. He has killed his country.’ The terrifying question, then, is whether Putin thinks destiny has chosen him to save Mother Russia by any means – even nuclear weapons. One long-standing Kremlin observer says Putin is a man ‘driven by a dark sense of mission’, his hands already bathed in blood.
In their own worlds: Russian dissidents. Last week, 70 local councillors in Russia signed a petition for Putin’s resignation. Lisa Haseldine, The Spectator’s Russian-speaking newish recruit, tracked down a few of them. One, Dmitry Baltrukov, tells her that ‘staying silent isn’t an option’. Another councillor, Dmitry Palyuga, says the war is ‘a catastrophe for the Russian Federation’. Both men risked 15 years in jail for speaking out.
Wes Streeting: the private sector is part of the solution to NHS reform. The shadow health secretary tells Isabel Hardman that the private sector is ‘one of the levers’ that could help tackle the NHS backlog. ‘I think what’s challenging for the left is also to understand and accept that there isn’t a credible, long-term answer to the NHS that only involves more money going in… I do think the system needs real reform.’
Julian Jessop: the Energy Price Guarantee will vindicate Trussonomics. Julian Jessop is one of the economists whose work has most influenced Team Truss. He explains why talk of her energy price cap costing £150 billion is misleading and doesn’t take into account the September plunge in gas prices.
James MacMillan: me vs the Scot Nats. It was a ‘great honour’ to compose an anthem for the Queen’s funeral, writes James MacMillan, but some Scottish Nationalists weren’t happy. ‘Some were annoyed at the title of my anthem ‘Who Shall Separate Us?’ implying that this contained some dastardly hidden Unionist code designed to mess with Scottish brains. They seemed unaware that St Paul’s Letter to the Romans was short on advice on Scottish constitutional rearrangements.’