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String theory, p40

Cottage industry, p25


3 Leading article 6 Portrait of the Week 9 Diary Why Dom and Boris fell out

Robert Peston 11 The Spectator’s Notes

The difference between private and public conversation Charles Moore 15 Dilyn the dog My Downing Street diary (as told to Rod Liddle) 19 Douglas Murray Welcome to the Office of the First Girlfriend 21 Ancient and modern

Under the spell 25 Lara Prendergast

A new cottage industry 27 Letters Social mobility, home improvements and green bills 28 Any other business Who’s really to blame for the Post Office scandal? Martin Vander Weyer

French connection, p42


12 The nightmare

The Cummings row is not the only challenge facing Boris’s premiership James Forsyth 13 Goveites on top

But can they restrain the PM? Katy Balls 14 Fair game The vegan case for field sports

Henry Mance 16 Bad faith

Critical race theory and the C of E Michael Nazir-Ali 18 Designer’s notebook

What would Carrie do to Chequers? Nicky Haslam 20 War games

The dangers of conflict in cyberspace Noel Sharkey 22 The unenlightenment The problems with liberalism

We’re exhausted, helpless and broken Akash Goel BOOKS 30 Laura Freeman The Mirror and the Palette, by Jennifer Higgie; Women in the Picture, by Catherine McCormack 31 Candy Neubert ‘exeat’: a poem 32 Nigel Jones Stalin’s War, by Sean McMeekin Francesca Steele Early Morning Riser, by Katherine Heiny 33 Emma Beddington Come Fly the World, by Julia Cooke 34 Simon Ings Hawking Hawking, by Charles Seife 35 Edmund Gordon The Letters of Thom Gunn, edited by Michael Nott, August Kleinzahler and Clive Wilmer 36 Stuart Kelly Cowboy Graves, by Roberto Bolaño Leyla Sanai Lean Fall Stand, by Jon McGregor 37 Peter Carty Steam Trains Today, by Andrew Martin 38 Guy Stagg

Sohrab Ahmari 24 Beaten track

Speedway, Britain’s left-behind sport Roddy McDougall 26 India’s Covid crisis

Pilgrimage, by Peter Stanford

Cover by Morten Morland. Drawings by Michael Heath, Castro, Tim Bales, Bernie, Royston, RGJ, Wilbur, KJ Lamb, Grizelda, Fran, Kipper Williams, Nick Newman. Editorial and advertising The Spectator, 22 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9HP, Tel: 020 7961 0200, Fax: 020 7681 3773, Email: letters@spectator. (for publication); (advertising); Advertising enquiries: 020 7961 0128 Subscription and delivery queries Spectator Subscriptions Dept., 17 Perrymount Rd, Haywards Heath RH16 3DH; Tel: 0330 3330 050; Email:; Rates for a basic annual subscription in the UK: £111; Europe: £185; Australia: A$279; New Zealand: A$349; and £195 in all other countries. To order, go to or call 0330 3330 050 and quote A151A; Newsagent queries Spectator Circulation Dept, 22 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9HP, Tel: 020 7961 0200, Fax: 020 7681 3773, Email:; Distributor Marketforce, 161 Marsh Wall, London, E14 9AP. Tel. 0203 787 9001. Vol 346; no 10,053 © The Spectator (1828) Ltd. ISSN 0038-6952 The Spectator is published weekly by The Spectator (1828) Ltd at 22 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9HP Editor: Fraser Nelson


the spectator | 1 may 2021 |

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