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
Their phoney war. It is right and proper that Boris Johnson should have reiterated Britain’s commitment to Ukraine, says Owen Matthews. But the truth is that Britain is not really a player in this game. Putin’s message is directed at Washington. Ultimately, phoney war suits leaders with electoral problems at home. Talking tough allows politicians to fight wars of words and claim victory when actual war doesn’t happen.
George Osborne: When Boris and I voted ‘no confidence’. In his diary this week George Osborne recalls the time he made a pact with David Cameron and Boris Johnson to vote ‘no confidence’ in a Tory leader, why Sue Gray is not your typical civil servant, and what Boris could learn from Thomas Becket.
‘This isn’t normal politics. This is mutiny on the Bounty’. The mood could hardly be worse in the Tory party, writes James Forsyth. One long-serving Tory MP fears party discipline is too broken down to be recovered in this parliament: ‘I don’t think we want to be in government any more… This is like multiple organ failure.’
Life on the front line of a new Cold War. The people of Odessa, Ukraine, are right to feel uneasy, reports Julius Strauss. ‘We live so much better,’ says one Odessan. ‘That is what Putin hates. And he hates the fact that we are free. Here our politicians are also clowns, but at least we can throw them out. In Russia that is just not possible. Even this conversation would not be possible.’
Britain’s post-Omicron recovery is well under way. A Spectator analysis of monthly finances shows tax revenue is so far £18 billion more than the Office for Budget Responsibility worried it would be last October. This £18 billion should now be used to cancel the National Insurance rise that Boris Johnson plans in April.