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. Corbyn isn’t working, by Nick Cohen. Labour is being picked apart by the Lib Dems and other Remain parties, writes Nick. Three-quarters of Labour voters are said to have voted Remain, but the hard-left clique that controls the party refuses to show leadership. Until it does, Remainers will continue to vote with their feet.
2. Nigel Farage: my future. With the Brexit party topping the polls, Katy Balls interviews Nigel Farage in the Leave stronghold of Dudley. The former Ukip leader outlines his plans to ‘break the two-party system’ and ‘bring Westminster closer to the people’, and predicts that the Brexit party will exceed Ukip’s four million votes in 2015. And it’s not just the Tories that should be worried: ‘Labour are in so much trouble here you wouldn’t believe it.’
3. Matthew Parris: the case for Boris. Arch Remainer Matthew Parris has a surprising announcement: he’s backing Boris. ‘Boris is the candidate best at breaking bad news,’ he writes. ‘And before the end of autumn, somebody is going to do just that – and tell the British people that we aren’t leaving the EU.’
4. Conrad Black’s diary. Former media mogul Conrad Black is also backing Boris. ‘Sure he’s a scoundrel, but so were some of our greatest prime ministers – from Disraeli to Lloyd George’, he writes in his Spectator diary. But the ablest party leader of them all? Nigel Farage – because he’s the only one to recognise the greatness of Donald Trump.
5. Lionel Shriver: on ‘adversity indices’. ‘American colleges will now assess applicants’ test scores against an “adversity index”, intended to measure hardship,’ she writes. Students from poorer schools and neighbourhoods will rank higher. But is it fair? What about middle-class students facing adversity at home – or immigrant families who have scrimped to buy nicer housing?
6. The insanity of WhatsApp. WhatsApp makes communicating more convenient, but it’s also turning us fearful, writes Leah McLaren. From abduction scares to supposedly deadly sweets, disinformation spread through WhatsApp groups – many of it aimed at parents – is sending us into flurries of hysteria. No wonder more of us are pressing ‘mute’.