Archiviato dal 2 July 2005 Archivio Moderno Settimanale
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 books, theatre, opera, cinema and exhibitions.
Harry’s lonely crusade. There is something tragicomic about Prince Harry’s crusade against the tabloid press, writes Freddy Gray. ‘He keeps tilting at the tabloids, cheered on by sycophantic aides who puff up his vanity... But everybody else can see that the soldier-duke is deluded.’ His legal team appear to be taking him for a royal ride. He has been enlisted as the latest star character in a show laid on by media lawyers, who have for the past ten years been feasting on a staggering amount of money from hacking fees. The tabloids have tended to pay up rather than go to court – so they end up writing huge cheques to any celebrity who thinks they were hacked. The Sun alone has been paying out an average of £100 million a year for the past ten years. Shake the tabloids’ cage, they’ll pay up. The complaints of the Duke of Sussex and other celebrities against various newspaper groups aren’t about phone-hacking per se. They’re about making very well-paid lawyers even richer and enabling angry famous people to sue media companies to smithereens to placate their rage while convincing themselves that they are making the world a better place.
The ‘embarrassing pettiness’ of the Covid inquiry. A former Labour spin doctor recently offered some advice for governments considering a public inquiry, writes Katy Balls. ‘Rule No. 1: Don’t. But if “you’re stupid enough” to do so: don’t make the inquiry independent, don’t give it powers. Know the conclusion you want, set the remit accordingly and appoint a chair who knows the brief. Unfortunately for Rishi Sunak, the inquiry he has inherited from Boris Johnson’s time in No. 10 ticks none of these boxes.’ The wisdom of the appointment of Lady Hallett – who dismissed arguments by lawyers for MI5 over highly sensitive documents during the 7/7 inquest – has also been questioned privately. ‘She’s behaving like a tabloid journalist,’ suggests a figure involved. ‘It’s almost as though there was a leader in charge who wasn’t across the detail,’ says a former cabinet minister. Some in Westminster worry that the inquiry will turn into another round of point-scoring instead of shedding light on government decision-making. ‘I’m dreading it,’ says a former official. ‘It’s basically going to show everyone calling each other names, that everyone hated each other. The pettiness will be embarrassing.’
Andrew Roberts: my hope for Ukraine. In this week’s Diary, Andrew Roberts writes from Kyiv where he joins General David Petraeus. ‘During our meeting at [Viktor Khorenko’s] HQ, an aide entered to warn of an air-raid. As I put my pen in my pocket and began to collect up my notes prior to getting up and going to the air-raid shelter, I noticed that no one else had moved. “Maybe close the drapes?” was all that Petraeus suggested, but they didn’t even do that. The continual praise for the British government’s initiatives since even before the war started, especially Khorenko’s encomium to the SAS as the only foreign military force that had never left Ukraine since the invasion, made me proud to be British.’
Robert Tombs: why return the Benin Bronzes? Without a word of explanation to the public, Cambridge University has postponed its plans for the rapid restitution of 116 Benin Bronzes to Nigeria. What changed? Professor Robert Tombs questions whether the ‘moral obligation’ of restitution still looks plausible when these treasures fall into private hands – specifically, the hands of the Oba (king) of Benin, whose ancestors were slave owners and traders. Cambridge could be losing confidence in the idea of an unconditional moral obligation, but its silence threatens the public’s trust: ‘It should explain itself to its members and to the public, who might otherwise conclude that it cannot be trusted with the treasures in its care.’
Is the WHO beyond reform? Christopher Snowdon asks why the UK is still part of the World Health Organisation (WHO) ‘while it cosies up to some of the world’s worst regimes’: allowing North Korea to sit on its Executive Board, holding a meeting with Vladimir Putin’s deputy health minister, appointing Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador and applauding China’s outbreak response. The WHO’s disastrous record during the Covid pandemic should be cause for mistrust, says Snowdon: ‘It lacks the competence to tackle infectious diseases and is constantly meddling in issues that go far beyond its original remit.’ Will the UK use its power as a donor to demand transformational change?
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- Primo numero 2 July 2005
- Ultimo Numero: 10 June 2023
- Totale numeri: 907
- Pubblicato: Settimanale
- ISSN: 2059-6499