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.
1. James Forsyth: the Tories’ national humiliation. ‘The government has lost control and ceded power to Brussels,’ writes James Forsyth. ‘Like Denis Healey’s IMF bailout, the request to extend Article 50 will reshape British politics and could destroy the Tory party and its reputation for competence.’ But can the Tories save themselves? James reveals how senior Conservatives — including Boris Johnson — have pressed the Prime Minister on changing strategy, only to be disappointed with the answers.
2. Paul Wood: the endurance of the Islamic State. ‘Isis may be losing its territory, but its fighters remain’, writes BBC correspondent Paul Wood. ‘The British government believes that 900 Brits alone joined the Caliphate, of which around 1 in 10 is expected to pose a significant threat if they return. Ignore Trump’s triumphalism: Isis, whatever name it goes by, will be with us for a while yet.’
3. J. Meirion Thomas: the NHS doctor scandal. ‘Last year marked the first time that the UK imported more doctors than it trained,’ reveals former NHS consultant surgeon J. Meirion Thomas. ‘Is it right for us to rob developing countries of their much-needed medics? And why are so many British-trained junior doctors leaving the profession? This cannot go on.’
4. Ben Schott: the linguistic antics of John Bercow. ‘What’s with Speaker John Bercow’s idiosyncratic style of address?’ asks Ben Schott (of Schott’s Almanac fame). ‘The Speaker is a bizarre collision of a Dickensian clerk, a P.G. Wodehouse headmaster, and a contestant on Just a Minute desperate not to hesitate, deviate or repeat.’