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The Spectator June 29, 2019

Every week The Spectator is packed with opinion, comment and analysis about politics, arts and books. We lead the way on the great issues of the day, from political scandals to social trends. What you read in The Spectator today becomes news elsewhere in the weeks to come. We have the best columnists on Fleet Street, from Charles Moore, Rod Liddle, Matthew Parris and Alexander Chancellor to James Forsyth, the best-con

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51 期号


ignoring iran

Crises in the Gulf and Conservative leadership elections come around with unnerving regularity. It is not unknown for both to coincide — that happened in 1990, when Margaret Thatcher was overthrown in the lead-up to the first Gulf War. On that occasion, drama on the domestic front did not smother Britain’s response to the international crisis — unlike now. It is bizarre to have a US president threatening to ‘obliterate’ Iran while our Foreign Secretary hardly bothers to respond, preferring to pose with fish and chips and Irn Bru on the campaign trail. Jeremy Hunt did intervene briefly a fortnight ago, when he described Jeremy Corbyn’s refusal to accept that Iran was responsible for attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz as ‘pathetic’. But beyond that brief clash of the…


Niall Ferguson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and the Center for European Studies at Harvard. On p9 he pays tribute to the historian Norman Stone. Colin Freeman is a former chief foreign correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph. He has reported from Yemen, Iraq and Somalia, where he was held hostage for six weeks. He writes about Boko Haram on p18. Andy Miller, who reviews Laura Cumming’s memoir on p30, is the co-host of books podcast Backlisted (backlisted.fm) and author of The Year of Reading Dangerously. Cindy Yu, a Chinese millennial, writes about Chinese millennials on p35. She is The Spectator’s podcast editor. Anne Chisholm, who reviews a life of the Bloomsbury-curious Olivier sisters on p38, is a biographer and critic whose books include a life of Frances Partridge and…

portrait of the week

Home A neighbour of Boris Johnson, 55 (a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative party and hence for the prime ministership), recorded a loud argument Boris was having one night with Carrie Symonds, 31, in the flat in Camberwell they shared. The neighbour called the police (who later said ‘There were no offences or concerns apparent to the officers’) and then gave the recording to theGuardian. Other newspapers immediately ran front-page reports of the incident. Mr Johnson and Miss Symonds had to leave the flat because of protesters in the street. Mr Johnson refused to answer press requests for an explanation. Three days later, a photograph of the couple holding hands in a garden was published by Mail Online. All the while Mr Johnson and his rival Jeremy Hunt, the…


I spent the early part of last week in London, filming what are known in the television trade as PTCs (‘pieces to camera’). These will form the connecting tissue for a three-part documentary series loosely based on my most recent book,The Square and the Tower. Ten years ago, I did a lot of this kind of thing. A series of books, beginning with Empire, started life as television scripts, in an effort on my part to bring history to a wider audience. (The effort was quite successful but earned me the disdain of a certain kind of academic prig.) In those days, PTCs were delivered on location, and the more exotic the better — I have an especially stomach-turning memory of dangling from a helicopter over the Victoria Falls. This…

an american in cardiff

The Spectator’s Economic Disruptor of the Year Awards 2019, sponsored by Julius Baer, celebrates innovative businesses throughout the UK that are disrupting their markets and have the potential for rapid growth, nationally and internationally. In the last of our current series of inspirational personal stories behind last year’s finalists, Martin Vander Weyer talks to Chris Ganje, chief executive and co-founder of Cardiff-based Amplyfi, which claims to transform business research through ‘unbiased machine-driven analysis’ of a vast range of internet sources. ‘I wouldn’t classify myself as a techie,’ says Chris Ganje, in his soft Midwestern accent. That surprises me: when I first met him — company T-shirt, smartphone to hand, talking the abstruse language of the ‘Deep Web’ — I marked him down as an archetypal IT guy. But his personal story…

boris’s biggest challenge

Every campaign has a wobble — and Boris Johnson is getting his in early. A mix of complacency (he felt confident enough to allow his campaign fixer, James Wharton, to catch up on his other commitments) and the drama at his partner’s flat have combined to put him on the back foot. To compound matters, Jeremy Hunt has gone on the offensive. It’s starting to resemble an actual contest. Or it might, if there were really any serious prospect of him losing. As one veteran of Tory leadership contests puts it: ‘The members are still behind Boris. It is Brexit, Brexit, Brexit.’ This Tory argues that when the Brexit-backing members hear the attacks on Boris Johnson, they assume it is as much about stopping Britain leaving the EU as anything else.…