The Spectator

Letters: why the Tories need to lose

Back to blue Sir: What a pity your leading article (‘The valley of death’, 25 May) did not reach Downing Street in time. It might have dissuaded the Prime Minister from ruining a good suit, rushing off to Belfast to associate himself with Titanic and allowing himself to be photographed on an aeroplane under a

2653: Order! Order! – solution

The twelve symmetrically placed unclued entries NATURAL, MAIL, MONASTIC, STANDING, PECK, LOGICAL, BATTING, APPLE-PIE, OPEN, EVICTION, BANKERS and SIDE can precede the word ORDER, and the title alluded to an ‘A to Z’. Thus unclued entries had to be entered in alphabetical order. First prize Seonaid Chapman, Brampton, Cumberland Runners-up Peter Lawrence, Durham; Julie Sanders,

What Labour lacks

Has Keir Starmer promised anything so far, during this general election, that will make anyone’s life significantly better? The clearest pledge is to impose VAT on independent schools and it’s hard to see how this benefits anyone. Many of the smaller schools will have to close and others will be forced to cut bursaries. The

How dangerous is it to fly by helicopter?

Crime without borders How many nations are signed up to the International Criminal Court? – 124 signed the Rome Statute in 1998 and ratified it. – 31 have signed it but never ratified it (includes Iran, Thailand, Ukraine). – 2 (Philippines, Burundi) ratified it but have subsequently withdrawn. – 4 signed the statute, never ratified

2652: A and M – solution

The unclued Across lights are makes of AUSTIN (in yellow) cars and the unclued Down lights are MORRIS (in red) cars, hence A and M in the title. First prize Chris Taylor, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire Runners-up Sara MacIntosh, Darlington; Stephen Smith, Messing, Essex

A summer election is suicide for the Tories

As soon as Rishi Sunak told the House of Commons that ‘there is going to be a general election in the second half of this year’, nervous Tory MPs spotted a problem: that could mean 4 July, which the Prime Minister has now announced will be the election date. Calling an early election is an

At Home with Emily Brontë

Ironing is her favourite task. The rhythm and the steam transport her to an outer state more vivid than a dream – a place of creased and crumpled hills, a wet and heavy land through which a burning body moves, directed by her hand. Each stroke a stride, the rugged earth dissolves into a plain

2651: Visionary – solution

The Turner works were RAIN STEAM AND SPEED (5,44) and THE SLAVE SHIP (35), the Ruskin works MODERN PAINTERS (16,9) and UNTO THIS LAST (18)  First prize Geran Jones, Bromley Runners-up Nigel Finlay, Thames Ditton, Surrey; Michael Debenham, Shrewsbury

When was the last genuine royal tour of Nigeria?

Royal welcomes The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited Nigeria last week. When was the last genuine royal tour of that country? – The late Queen made a 20-day visit in 1956, four years before Nigeria’s independence. She went for three days in 2003 when she opened the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.– The then

Britain should embrace the AI revolution

Rishi Sunak’s big speech this week was easily lampooned. Having accused Keir Starmer of ‘doomsterism’, the Prime Minister warned that Britain’s most dangerous years lay ahead, and talked of the threat from ‘colluding authoritarian states’. Less attention was paid to the part of his speech about artificial intelligence, which was in fact genuinely optimistic. As

Why won’t phone companies stop kids using social media?

When it comes to social media, parents find it difficult enough to keep up with their offspring’s online world. What hope, then, do governments and regulators have of keeping up with digital technology? This week, Ofcom has announced a new code of practice which aims to use powers granted under the Online Safety Act in

How violent are prisons?

Name calling Springwatch presenter Gillian Burke says she finds it ‘jarring’ to call animals by their English names, preferring Swahili. Some popular Swahili translations: – Elephant: tembo/ndovu – Giraffe: twiga – Lion: simba – Hyena: fisi – Hippopotamus: hippopotamus – I’m fed up of paying for a TV licence: Nimechoka kulipa leseni ya TV Full

Letters: the Tory party has gone mad

Right is wrong Sir: Katy Balls’s article ‘Survival Plan’ (4 May) starts from a false premise. The problem is not Rishi Sunak, but the current Conservative party’s underlying ethos. With Brexit, the lunatics took over the asylum. The ‘Get Brexit Done’ single-issue election resulted in a Conservative party, cabinet and parliamentary majority sharing populist right-wing