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
Brexit’s crunch point. Next week, Theresa May’s deal comes to the House of Commons. But with even government ministers privately expecting to lose the vote, is Britain heading for political chaos? James Forsyth reveals how both Brexiteer and Remainer MPs are plotting to co-opt the situation to their own ends, while No. 10 may even call a second referendum to strengthen its hand. ‘It’s the most uncertain period in recent British political history,’ writes James. ‘Anything could happen.’
What happens next? Katy Balls reveals the seven scenarios being war-gamed for next week’s vote. Could a Commons defeat force the UK into EEA membership – the so-called soft Brexit? Will voters be asked to head to the polls again – either in a second referendum or general election? Will the UK crash out in a no-deal scenario – or could the whole thing be called off?
The Islamophobia problem. Islamic extremists and unsavoury characters are using the accusation of Islamophobia to smear and intimidate their critics, says Andrew Gilligan. With some MPs calling for a legally-binding definition of Islamophobia, he reveals how campaign groups could use the charge to attack their critics – and even London mayor Sadiq Khan isn’t safe.
Joan Collins: my transgender wobble. In her diary this week, the inimitable Joan Collins reveals how a teenage tomboy phase saw her flirt with transgenderism. ‘I adopted my father’s corduroy slacks and loose shirts,’ writes Dame Joan. ‘Luckily this all stopped a few months later when I discovered the joy of boys.’
Harry Mount: stop showing off. Forget self-deprecation. Social media and self-obsession have made us all boring show-offs – and Harry Mount has had enough. ‘If you want to show off how terrific you are, you’ll have to do more than just declare it,’ he writes.