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
Let the fight against digital addiction begin. Everybody knows that the distracting power of smartphones and screens is absorbing our children’s lives and our own, says Jenny McCartney. Now is the time to resist. Adults ought to remember that, for children, boredom is the mother of invention. Electronic devices are not our bosses. How to save the Tories. Ahead of the Conservative party conference, the academic Paul Collier says that the Tories ought to turn against the right-wing drift towards libertarianism and embrace ethical, one-nation policies that help all of society to thrive. James Cleverly: blame the Tories for Corbyn. In an interview, the Conservative deputy chairman says that Labour did so well because the Tories ‘just fundamentally forgot that people want to vote for something positive’. He’s also not worried that the party’s £5 membership offer will lead to infiltration: former Ukip members, he says, are welcome. ‘You can scratch out the word Ukip and just put former candidates from whatever party. If they see what we’re doing and think, “That’s a good idea”, then yes. Come aboard. That’s what we want.’ The wrong right. Anne Applebaum asks why Brexiteer Tories are so easily hoodwinked by strongmen regimes in eastern Europe. They may talk a good game about European democracy and Christian heritage. But the governments of Hungary and Poland are corrupt and murky, she says. Why should Britain defend them? James Forsyth on ‘Blind Brexit’. Senior Tories are increasingly coming to the view that the best option is a vague political declaration that doesn’t go into too much detail about the future relationship between the UK and the EU. Brexiteers should accept this ‘blind Brexit’ because time is on their side. Once Britain is out of the EU it’ll be much easier to move further apart. Where are the rebel MPs? Quentin Letts says that the modern establishment completely misunderstands what it is to be radical. Political centrists think that rebellion still means standing up for egalitarianism and social liberalism. But the public are bored by liberal platitudes and hunger for something different.