The Spectator

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This article is about the UK political magazine. The Spectator_sentence_0

For other uses, see Spectator (disambiguation). The Spectator_sentence_1

The Spectator_table_infobox_0

The SpectatorThe Spectator_table_caption_0
EditorThe Spectator_header_cell_0_0_0 Fraser NelsonThe Spectator_cell_0_0_1
CategoriesThe Spectator_header_cell_0_1_0 Politics, culture, conservatismThe Spectator_cell_0_1_1
FrequencyThe Spectator_header_cell_0_2_0 WeeklyThe Spectator_cell_0_2_1
Paid circulationThe Spectator_header_cell_0_3_0 77,942The Spectator_cell_0_3_1
Total circulation

(June 2019)The Spectator_header_cell_0_4_0

85,267The Spectator_cell_0_4_1
First issueThe Spectator_header_cell_0_5_0 1828 (191 years ago)The Spectator_cell_0_5_1
CompanyThe Spectator_header_cell_0_6_0 Press HoldingsThe Spectator_cell_0_6_1
CountryThe Spectator_header_cell_0_7_0 United KingdomThe Spectator_cell_0_7_1
Based inThe Spectator_header_cell_0_8_0 LondonThe Spectator_cell_0_8_1
LanguageThe Spectator_header_cell_0_9_0 EnglishThe Spectator_cell_0_9_1
WebsiteThe Spectator_header_cell_0_10_0 The Spectator_cell_0_10_1
ISSNThe Spectator_header_cell_0_11_0 The Spectator_cell_0_11_1
OCLCThe Spectator_header_cell_0_12_0 The Spectator_cell_0_12_1

The Spectator is a weekly British magazine on politics, culture, and current affairs. The Spectator_sentence_2

It was first published in July 1828, thus making it the oldest weekly magazine in the world. The Spectator_sentence_3

It is owned by David and Frederick Barclay, who also own The Daily Telegraph newspaper, via Press Holdings. The Spectator_sentence_4

Its principal subject areas are politics and culture. The Spectator_sentence_5

Its editorial outlook is generally supportive of the Conservative Party, although regular contributors include some outside that fold, such as Frank Field, Rod Liddle and Slavoj Žižek. The Spectator_sentence_6

Alongside columns and features on current and not-so-current affairs, the magazine also contains arts pages on books, music, opera, and film and TV reviews. The Spectator_sentence_7

Editorship of The Spectator has often been a step on the ladder to high office in the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. The Spectator_sentence_8

Past editors include Boris Johnson (1999–2005) and other former cabinet members Ian Gilmour (1954–1959), Iain Macleod (1963–1965), and Nigel Lawson (1966–1970). The Spectator_sentence_9

In late 2008, the weekly Spectator Australia was launched. The Spectator_sentence_10

This offers 12 pages of "Unique Australian Content" (including a separate editorial page) in addition to the full UK contents. The Spectator_sentence_11

In early 2018, Spectator USA was launched as a website. The Spectator_sentence_12

A monthly US print version debuted in October 2019. The Spectator_sentence_13

In 2020, The Spectator became both the longest-lived current affairs magazine in history and the first magazine ever to publish 10,000 issues. The Spectator_sentence_14

History The Spectator_section_0

The Spectator's founder, Scottish reformer Robert Stephen Rintoul, former editor of the Dundee Advertiser and the London-based Atlas, launched the paper on 6 July 1828. The Spectator_sentence_15

Rintoul consciously revived the title from the celebrated, if short-lived, daily publication by Addison & Steele. The Spectator_sentence_16

As he had long been determined "to edit a perfect newspaper", Rintoul initially insisted on "absolute power" over content, commencing a long-lasting tradition of the paper's editor and proprietor being one and the same person. The Spectator_sentence_17

Although he wrote little himself, "every line and word passed through the alembic of his brain." The Spectator_sentence_18

The Spectator's political outlook in its first thirty years reflected Rintoul's liberal-radical agenda. The Spectator_sentence_19

Despite its political stance it was widely regarded and respected for its non-partisanship, in both its political and cultural criticism. The Spectator_sentence_20

Rintoul initially advertised his new title as a "family paper", the euphemistic term for a journal free from strong political rhetoric. The Spectator_sentence_21

However, events soon compelled him to confess that it was no longer possible to be "a mere Spectator". The Spectator_sentence_22

Two years into its existence, The Spectator came out strongly for wide-reaching parliamentary reform: it produced supplements detailing vested interests in the Commons and Lords, coined the well-known phrase "The Bill, the whole Bill and nothing but the Bill", and helped drive through the Great Reform Act of 1832. The Spectator_sentence_23

Virulently anti-Tory in its politics, The Spectator strongly objected to the appointment of the Duke of Wellington as Prime Minister, condemning him as "a Field Marshal whose political career proves him to be utterly destitute of political principle – whose military career affords ample evidence of his stern and remorseless temperament. The Spectator_sentence_24

". The Spectator_sentence_25

Ironically, the paper spent its first century at premises on Wellington Street (now Lancaster Place). The Spectator_sentence_26

However, despite its robust criticism of the Conservative leader Robert Peel for several years, The Spectator rallied behind him when he split the Tory party by successfully repealing the Corn Laws. The Spectator_sentence_27

Rintoul's fundamental principles were freedom of the individual, freedom of the press and freedom of trade, of religious tolerance and freedom from blind political adherence. The Spectator_sentence_28

The magazine was vocal in its opposition to the First Opium War (1839–1842), commenting: "all the alleged aims of the expedition against China are vague, illimitable, and incapable of explanation, save only that of making the Chinese pay the opium-smugglers." The Spectator_sentence_29

and "There does not appear to be much glory gained in a contest so unequal that hundreds are killed on one side and none on the other. The Spectator_sentence_30

What honour is there in going to shoot men, certain that they cannot hurt you? The Spectator_sentence_31

The cause of the war, be it remembered, is as disreputable as the strength of the parties is unequal. The Spectator_sentence_32

The war is undertaken in support of a co-partnery of opium-smugglers, in which the Anglo-Indian Government may be considered as the principal partner." The Spectator_sentence_33

In 1853, The Spectator's lead book reviewer George Brimley published an anonymous and unfavourable notice of Charles Dickens's Bleak House, typical of the paper's enduring contempt for him as a "popular" writer "amusing the idle hours of the greatest number of readers; not, we may hope, without improvement to their hearts, but certainly without profoundly affecting their intellects or deeply stirring their emotions." The Spectator_sentence_34

Rintoul died in April 1858, having sold the magazine two months earlier. The Spectator_sentence_35

The circulation had already been falling, under particular pressure from its new rival, The Saturday Review. The Spectator_sentence_36

Its new owner, the 27-year-old John Addyes Scott, kept the purchase quiet, but Rintoul's death made explicit the change of guard. The Spectator_sentence_37

His tenure was unremarkable, and subscribers continued to fall. The Spectator_sentence_38

By the end of the year Scott sought his escape, selling the title for £4200 in December 1858 to two British-based Americans, James McHenry and Benjamin Moran. The Spectator_sentence_39

While McHenry was a businessman, Moran was an Assistant Secretary to the American ambassador, George M. Dallas; they saw their purchase as a means to influence British opinion on American affairs. The Spectator_sentence_40

The editor was Thornton Hunt, a friend of Moran who had also worked for Rintoul. The Spectator_sentence_41

Hunt was also nominally the purchaser, having been given the necessary monies in an attempt by McHenry and Moran to disguise the American ownership. The Spectator_sentence_42

Circulation declined with this loss of independence and inspirational leadership, as the views of James Buchanan, then president of the US, came to the fore. The Spectator_sentence_43

Within weeks, the editorial line followed Buchanan's pronouncements in being "neither pro-slavery nor pro-abolitionist. The Spectator_sentence_44

To unsympathetic observers Buchanan's policy seemed to apportion blame for the impasse on the slavery question equally on pro-slavery and abolitionist factions – and rather than work out a solution, simply to argue that a solution would take time. The Spectator_sentence_45

The Spectator now would publicly support that 'policy.'". The Spectator_sentence_46

This set it at odds with most of the British press but gained it the sympathy of expatriate Americans in the country. The Spectator_sentence_47

Richard Fulton notes that from then until 1861, "the Spectator's commentary on American affairs read like a Buchanan administration propaganda sheet." The Spectator_sentence_48

and that this represented a volte-face. The Spectator_sentence_49

Under Hunt's tenure, The Spectator may even have been steered by financial support from the court of Napoleon III. The Spectator_sentence_50

Meredith Townsend, Richard Holt Hutton and St Loe Strachey The Spectator_section_1

The need to promote the Buchanan position in Britain had been reduced as British papers such as The Times and The Saturday Review turned in his favour, fearing the potential effects of a split in the Union. The Spectator_sentence_51

As Abraham Lincoln was set to succeed the vacillating Buchanan, the owners decided to stop pumping money into a loss-making publication: as Moran confided to his diary, "it don't pay, never did since Hunt became its owner." The Spectator_sentence_52

On 19 January 1861, The Spectator was sold to a journalist, Meredith Townsend, for the marked-down sum of £2000. The Spectator_sentence_53

Though not yet thirty, Townsend had spent the previous decade as an editor in India, and was prepared to restore to the paper an independent voice in a fast-changing world. The Spectator_sentence_54

From the outset, Townsend took up an anti-Buchanan, anti-slavery position, arguing that his unwillingness to act decisively had been a weakness and a contributor to the problems apparent in the US. The Spectator_sentence_55

He soon went into partnership with Richard Holt Hutton, the editor of The Economist, whose primary interests were literature and theology. The Spectator_sentence_56

Hutton's close friend William Gladstone later called him "the first critic of the nineteenth century". The Spectator_sentence_57

Townsend's writing in The Spectator confirmed him as one of the finest journalists of his day, and he has since been called "the greatest leader writer ever to appear in the English Press." The Spectator_sentence_58

The two men remained co-proprietors and joint editors for 25 years, taking a strong stand on some of the most controversial issues of their day. The Spectator_sentence_59

They supported the Federalists against the South in the American Civil War, an unpopular position which, at the time, did serious damage to the paper's circulation, reduced to some 1,000 readers. The Spectator_sentence_60

In time, the paper regained readers when the victory of the North validated its principled stance. The Spectator_sentence_61

They also launched an all-out assault on Benjamin Disraeli, accusing him in a series of leaders of jettisoning ethics for politics by ignoring the atrocities committed against Bulgarian civilians by Turkey in the 1870s. The Spectator_sentence_62

In 1886, The Spectator parted company with Gladstone when he declared his support for Irish Home Rule. The Spectator_sentence_63

Committed to defending the Union ahead of the Liberal Party line, Townsend and Hutton aligned themselves with the Liberal Unionist wing. The Spectator_sentence_64

As a result, H.H. The Spectator_sentence_65 Asquith (the future Prime Minister), who had served as a leader-writer for ten years, left his post. The Spectator_sentence_66

Townsend was succeeded by a young journalist named John St Loe Strachey, who would remain associated with the paper for the next 40 years. The Spectator_sentence_67

When Hutton died in 1897, Strachey became co-owner with Townsend; by the end of the year Strachey was made sole editor and proprietor. The Spectator_sentence_68

As chief leader-writer, general manager, literary critic and all things beside, Strachey embodied the spirit of The Spectator until the 1920s. The Spectator_sentence_69

Among his various schems were the establishment of a Spectator Experimental Company, to show that new soldiers could be trained up to excellence in six months, the running of a Cheap Cottage Exhibition, which laid the foundations for Letchworth Garden City, and the impassioned defence of Free Trade against Joseph Chamberlain's protectionist 'Tariff Reform' programme. The Spectator_sentence_70

Within two years he had doubled the paper's circulation, which peaked at 23,000. The Spectator_sentence_71

In the early decades of the twentieth century it was heralded as "the most influential of all the London weeklies". The Spectator_sentence_72

The First World War put the paper and its editor under great strain: after the conflict it seemed to be behind the times, and circulation began to fall away. The Spectator_sentence_73

Even the introduction of signed articles, overturning the paper's fixed policy of anonymity for its first century, did little to help. The Spectator_sentence_74

After years of illness, Strachey decided at the end of 1924 to sell his controlling interest in the paper to his recently appointed business manager, Sir Evelyn Wrench. The Spectator_sentence_75

Though he gained a second wind as a novelist, Strachey died two years later in 1928. The Spectator_sentence_76

1925–1975 The Spectator_section_2

Evelyn Wrench and Wilson Harris The Spectator_section_3

For his first year as proprietor, Wrench appointed John (Jack) Atkins his editor, who had worked on the paper for the last two decades, acting as editor during Strachey's recurrent bouts of illness. The Spectator_sentence_77

But the relationship did not work: as Atkins lamented to his long-standing friend, Winston Churchill, Wrench 'continually wants to interfere and he is very ignorant'. The Spectator_sentence_78

Wrench duly took over the editorship in 1926, successfully channeling the enthusiasm of Strachey. The Spectator_sentence_79

His global connections helped secure interviews with Henry Ford, Mahatma Gandhi and Benito Mussolini. The Spectator_sentence_80

Perhaps his most remembered achievement as editor of The Spectator was the campaign to ease unemployment in the mining town of Aberdare, one of the worst hit by the crisis of 1928, when joblessness reached 40% in South Wales. The Spectator_sentence_81

Within three months, the paper's appeal for the town's relief raised over £12,000 (the equivalent of about £500,000 today). The Spectator_sentence_82

A statuette of an Aberdare miner, presented in gratitude to The Spectator, still sits in the editor's office, bearing the inscription: "From the Townsfolk of Aberdare in Grateful Recognition: 'The Greatest of These is Love'". The Spectator_sentence_83

Wrench retired as editor in 1932 (though he remained the magazine's proprietor), appointing the political editor Wilson Harris his successor. The Spectator_sentence_84

Under Harris The Spectator became increasingly outspoken on developing international politics in the 1930s, in particular on the rise of fascism. The Spectator_sentence_85

Beneath a reader's letter referring to the Nazi Party as "peaceful, orderly and kindly", Harris printed the following reply: The Spectator_sentence_86

Harris, however, broadly supported Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement. The Spectator_sentence_87

He praised the Munich agreement, explaining later that he believed "even the most desperate attempt to save the peace was worthwhile". The Spectator_sentence_88

When the conflict broke, the team abandoned their Gower Street office for Harmondsworth, but within a few days decided to return to London: the basement caught fire from shrapnel, and the printers were bombed, but the paper continued to appear each week. The Spectator_sentence_89

Although the Second World War required The Spectator to downgrade its size and paper quality, its readership doubled during the conflict, exceeding 50,000. The Spectator_sentence_90

From 1945 to 1950, Harris served as MP for Cambridge: although he stood as an independent, this was the first formal overlap between The Spectator and the House of Commons. The Spectator_sentence_91

In February 1947, when a fuel shortage suspended the publication of weekly magazines, The Spectator appeared in an abridged form over two successive Thursdays on page 2 of the Daily Mail. The Spectator_sentence_92

Ian Gilmour The Spectator_section_4

In 1954, Wrench and his co-owner Angus Watson sold The Spectator to the barrister Ian Gilmour, who restored the Spectator tradition of simultaneously acting as editor. The Spectator_sentence_93

Having a libertarian and pro-European outlook, he "enlivened the paper and injected a new element of irreverence, fun and controversy". The Spectator_sentence_94

He was critical of both Anthony Eden's and Harold Macmillan's governments, and while supporting the Conservatives was also friendly to the Hugh Gaitskell wing of the Labour Party. The Spectator_sentence_95

Gilmour lent The Spectator's voice to the campaign to end capital punishment in Britain, writing an incensed leader attacking the hanging of Ruth Ellis in 1955, in which he claimed "Hanging has become the national sport", and that the home secretary Gwilym Lloyd George, for not reprieving the sentence, "has now been responsible for the hanging of two women over the past eight months". The Spectator_sentence_96

The Spectator opposed Britain's involvement in the Suez crisis in 1956, strongly criticising the government's handling of the debacle. The Spectator_sentence_97

The paper went on to oppose Macmillan's government's re-election in 1959, complaining: "The continued Conservative pretence that Suez was a good, a noble, a wise venture has been too much to stomach ... the Government is taking its stand on a solid principle: 'Never admit a mistake.'" The Spectator_sentence_98

The paper says that it was influential in campaigning for the decriminalisation of homosexuality. The Spectator_sentence_99

It gave vocal support to the proposals of the Wolfenden Committee in 1957, condemning the "utterly irrational and illogical" old laws on homosexuality: "Not only is the law unjust in conception, it is almost inevitably unjust in practice". The Spectator_sentence_100

In March the same year, Jenny Nicholson, a frequent contributor, wrote a piece on the Italian Socialist Party congress in Venice, which mentioned three Labour Party politicians (Aneurin Bevan, Richard Crossman and Morgan Phillips) "who puzzled the Italians by filling themselves like tanks with whisky and coffee " All three sued for libel, the case went to trial and The Spectator was forced to make a large payment in damages and costs, a sum well over the equivalent of £150,000 today. The Spectator_sentence_101

It has since emerged that "all three plaintiffs, to a greater or lesser degree, perjured themselves in court". The Spectator_sentence_102

Gilmour gave up the editorship in 1959, in part to abet his chance of selection as a Conservative MP. The Spectator_sentence_103

He appointed his deputy Brian Inglis, who introduced to the magazine a fresh spirit of political and satirical satire. The Spectator_sentence_104

In 1959—much to the embarrassment of Gilmour (who remained the owner)—The Spectator advised either voting for the Liberal Party or tactically abstaining. The Spectator_sentence_105

Despite a marked increase in sales, Gilmour felt that The Spectator was losing its political edge, so replaced him in 1962 with Iain Hamilton. The Spectator_sentence_106

Hamilton successfully balanced a keener focus on current affairs with some more raucous contributions: the young team behind Private Eye were commissioned to write a mock eight-page "Child's Guide to Modern Culture". The Spectator_sentence_107

Much to the shock of Hamilton and the Spectator staff, Gilmour replaced Hamilton in 1963 with Iain Macleod, the Conservative MP who had resigned from the cabinet on the controversial appointment of Sir Alec Douglas-Home to succeed Harold Macmillan as Prime Minister. The Spectator_sentence_108

A widely circulated letter, signed by Spectator journalists and board members, berated Gilmour for mistreating an admired editor and appointing an active politician who could jeopardise the independence of the magazine: "We believe strongly that The Spectator, with its long and honourable history of independent opinion, should not be tossed about at the whim of the proprietor or lose its independence by identification with a narrow political faction." The Spectator_sentence_109

"The Tory Leadership" article The Spectator_section_5

Two months into his post, in January 1964, Macleod intensified the shock by revealing the behind-the-scenes machinations of the Conservative party. The Spectator_sentence_110

In a long article entitled "The Tory Leadership", ostensibly a review of a new book (The Fight for the Tory Leadership) by Randolph Churchill, Macleod laid out his version of events in great detail. The Spectator_sentence_111

In disclosing, from the horse's mouth, the mysterious circumstances of Douglas-Home's appointment, the article caused an immediate sensation. The Spectator_sentence_112

Churchill's book was all but obliterated by the review, which said that "four fifths" of it "could have been compiled by anyone with a pair of scissors, a pot of paste and a built-in prejudice against Mr Butler and Sir William Haley". The Spectator_sentence_113

That week's edition, bearing the headline "Iain Macleod, What Happened", sold a record number of copies. The Spectator_sentence_114

Nigel Lawson, George Gale and Harry Creighton The Spectator_section_6

The "Tory Leadership" article prompted a furious response from many Spectator readers and caused Macleod, for a time, to be shunned by political colleagues. The Spectator_sentence_115

He eventually regained his party's favour, however, and rejoined the shadow cabinet in the same year. The Spectator_sentence_116

On his appointment as Shadow Chancellor in 1965, he stepped down as editor on the last day of the year, to be replaced by Nigel Lawson. The Spectator_sentence_117

Sometimes called "The Great Procrastinator" because of his tendency to leave writing leaders until the last minute, Lawson had been City editor for The Sunday Telegraph and Alec Douglas-Home's personal assistant during the 1964 general election. The Spectator_sentence_118

Largely due to Lawson, in 1966 The Spectator opposed America's increasing military commitment in Vietnam. The Spectator_sentence_119

In a signed article he estimated "the risks involved in an American withdrawal from Vietnam are less than the risks in escalating a bloody and brutal war". The Spectator_sentence_120

In 1967, Ian Gilmour, who by then had joined parliament and was already finding the proprietorship a hindrance in political life, sold The Spectator to Harry Creighton for £75,000. The Spectator_sentence_121

In 1970, Creighton replaced Lawson as editor (there had been growing resentment between the two men) with George Gale. The Spectator_sentence_122

Gale shared Creighton's political outlook, in particular his strong opposition to the Common Market, and much of the next five years was spent attacking the pro-EEC prime minister Edward Heath, treating his eventual defeat by Margaret Thatcher with undisguised delight. The Spectator_sentence_123

Gale's almost obsessive opposition to the EEC and antagonistic attitude towards Heath began to lose the magazine readers. The Spectator_sentence_124

In 1973 Creighton took over the editorship himself, but was, if possible, even less successful in stemming the losses. The Spectator_sentence_125

Circulation fell from 36,000 in 1966 to below 13,000. The Spectator_sentence_126

As one journalist who joined The Spectator at that time said: "It gave the impression, an entirely accurate one, of a publication surviving on a shoestring". The Spectator_sentence_127

George Gale later remarked that Creighton had only wanted the job to get into Who’s Who. The Spectator_sentence_128

1975–2005 The Spectator_section_7

Henry Keswick and Alexander Chancellor The Spectator_section_8

In 1975 Creighton sold The Spectator to Henry Keswick, again for £75,000 (Creighton sold the 99 Gower Street premises separately, so the magazine moved to 56 Doughty Street). The Spectator_sentence_129

Keswick was chairman of the Jardine Matheson multinational corporation. The Spectator_sentence_130

He was drawn to the paper partly because he harboured political aspirations (the paper's perk as a useful stepping stone to Westminster was, by now, well established), but also because his father had been a friend of Peter Fleming, its well-known columnist (under the name "Strix"). The Spectator_sentence_131

Keswick gave the job of editor to "the only journalist he knew", Alexander Chancellor, an old family friend and his mother's godson, with whom he had been at Eton and Cambridge. The Spectator_sentence_132

Before then, Chancellor had worked at Reuters news agency and had been a scriptwriter and reporter for ITN. The Spectator_sentence_133

In spite of his relative inexperience, he was to become known as "one of the best editors in the history of The Spectator". The Spectator_sentence_134

Chancellor's editorship of the paper relied principally on a return to earlier values. The Spectator_sentence_135

He adopted a new format and a more traditional weekly style, with the front page displaying five cover lines above the leader. The Spectator_sentence_136

Most significantly, he recognised the need "to bring together a number of talented writers and, with the minimal of editorial interference, let them write". The Spectator_sentence_137

To this end he persuaded Auberon Waugh (who had been sacked by Nigel Lawson) to return from the New Statesman, and enticed Richard West and Jeffrey Bernard from the same magazine. The Spectator_sentence_138

Another columnist recruited by Chancellor was Taki Theodoracopulos whose column ‘High Life’ was then printed beside Bernard's ‘Low Life’. The Spectator_sentence_139

Taki's column, frequently criticised for its content by the press, remains in the paper. The Spectator_sentence_140

In September 1978, a 96-page issue was released to mark The Spectator's 150th anniversary. The Spectator_sentence_141

William Rees-Mogg congratulated the paper in a Times's leading article, praising it in particular for its important part in "the movement away from collectivism". The Spectator_sentence_142

Charles Moore The Spectator_section_9

Chancellor was replaced by the 27-year-old Charles Moore in February 1984, after the magazine's then owner, Algy Cluff, had become concerned that The Spectator was "lacking in political weight" and considered Chancellor to be "commercially irresponsible". The Spectator_sentence_143

Moore had been a leader writer at The Daily Telegraph before Chancellor recruited him to The Spectator as political commentator. The Spectator_sentence_144

Under Moore, the paper became more political than it had been under Chancellor. The Spectator_sentence_145

The new editor adopted an approach that was, in general, pro-Margaret Thatcher, while showing no restraint in opposing her on certain issues. The Spectator_sentence_146

The paper called the Anglo-Irish Agreement "a fraudulent prospectus" in 1985, came out against the Single European Act, and, in 1989, criticised the handover of Hong Kong to China. The Spectator_sentence_147

Moore wrote that, if Britain failed to allow the city's UK passport holders right of abode in Britain, "we shall have to confess that, for the first time in our history, we have forced Britons to be slaves." The Spectator_sentence_148

Moore also introduced several new contributors, including a restaurant column by Nigella Lawson (the former editor's daughter), and a humorous column by Craig Brown. The Spectator_sentence_149

When Taki was briefly imprisoned for cocaine possession Moore refused to accept his resignation, explaining publicly: "We expect our High Life columnist to be high some of the time." The Spectator_sentence_150

The Spectator changed hands again in 1985, by which time it was facing financial meltdown, having an accumulated an overdraft of over £300,000. The Spectator_sentence_151

Cluff had reached the conclusion that the paper "would be best secured in the hands of a publishing group", and sold it to Australian company John Fairfax Ltd, which promptly paid off the overdraft. The Spectator_sentence_152

With the support of its new proprietor, the paper was able to widen its readership through subscription drives and advertising, reaching a circulation of 30,000 in 1986, exceeding the circulation of the New Statesman for the first time. The Spectator_sentence_153

The magazine was again sold in 1988, after an uncertain period during which several candidates, including Rupert Murdoch, attempted to buy the magazine. The Spectator_sentence_154

Moore wrote to Murdoch, saying: "Most of our contributors and many of our readers would be horrified at the idea of your buying The Spectator. The Spectator_sentence_155

They believe you are autocratic and that you have a bad effect on journalism of quality – they cite The Times as the chief example." The Spectator_sentence_156

The Spectator was bought by the Telegraph Group. The Spectator_sentence_157

Dominic Lawson and Frank Johnson The Spectator_section_10

Moore resigned the editorship in 1990 to become deputy editor of The Daily Telegraph. The Spectator_sentence_158

He was replaced by his own deputy editor, Dominic Lawson—the former editor's son. The Spectator_sentence_159

Shortly after becoming editor, Lawson became responsible for the resignation of a cabinet minister when he interviewed the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Nicholas Ridley. The Spectator_sentence_160

During the interview, Ridley described the proposed Economic and Monetary Union as "a German racket designed to take over the whole of Europe", and seemed to draw comparisons between the German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, and Adolf Hitler. The Spectator_sentence_161

The interview appeared in the issue of 14 July 1990, the cover of which showed a cartoon by Nicholas Garland that showed Ridley painting a crude comb-over and a Hitler moustache onto a poster of Kohl. The Spectator_sentence_162

Ridley resigned from Thatcher's government immediately. The Spectator_sentence_163

The Spectator caused controversy in 1994 when it printed an article entitled "Kings of the Deal" on a claimed Jewish influence in Hollywood, written by William Cash, who at the time was based in Los Angeles and working mainly for The Daily Telegraph. The Spectator_sentence_164

The Telegraph had considered the article too risky to publish, but Lawson thought Cash's idea was as old as Hollywood itself and that Lawson's being Jewish would mitigate adverse reactions to publication. The Spectator_sentence_165

There was, however, considerable controversy. The Spectator_sentence_166

Although owner Conrad Black did not personally rebuke Lawson, Max Hastings, then editor of The Daily Telegraph, wrote with regard to Black, who also owned The Jerusalem Post at the time, "It was one of the few moments in my time with Conrad when I saw him look seriously rattled: 'You don't understand, Max. The Spectator_sentence_167

My entire interests in the United States and internationally could be seriously damaged by this'." The Spectator_sentence_168

The article was defended by some conservatives. The Spectator_sentence_169

John Derbyshire, who says he has "complicated and sometimes self-contradictory feelings about Jews", wrote on National Review Online regarding what he saw as the Jewish overreaction to the article that "It was a display of arrogance, cruelty, ignorance, stupidity, and sheer bad manners by rich and powerful people towards a harmless, helpless young writer, and the Jews who whipped up this preposterous storm should all be thoroughly ashamed of themselves". The Spectator_sentence_170

Lawson left in 1995 to become editor of The Sunday Telegraph, and was replaced by a deputy editor of the same newspaper, Frank Johnson. The Spectator_sentence_171

After the 1997 election, Johnson averted a decline in The Spectator's sales by recruiting "New Labour contributors", and shifting the magazine's direction slightly away from politics. The Spectator_sentence_172

In 1996 the magazine's Christmas issue featured an interview with The Spice Girls, in which the band members gave their "Euro-sceptic and generally anti-labour" views on politics. The Spectator_sentence_173

Shortly before her death Diana, Princess of Wales, was depicted on the magazine's cover as the figurehead of Mohamed Al-Fayed's boat, The Jonikal. The Spectator_sentence_174

Boris Johnson The Spectator_section_11

Before joining The Spectator as editor, Boris Johnson had worked for The Times, the Wolverhampton Express & Star, and The Daily Telegraph. The Spectator_sentence_175

He had also briefly been political commentator for The Spectator under Dominic Lawson, but Frank Johnson replaced him with Bruce Anderson in 1995. The Spectator_sentence_176

Succeeding Frank Johnson in 1999, Johnson soon established himself as a competent and "colourful" editor. The Spectator_sentence_177

In the 2001 general election, Johnson was elected MP for Henley, and by 2004 had been made vice-chairman of the Conservative party, with a place in Michael Howard's shadow cabinet. The Spectator_sentence_178

In 2003 he explained his editorial policy for The Spectator would "always be roughly speaking in favour of getting rid of Saddam, sticking up for Israel, free-market economics, expanding choice" and that the magazine was "not necessarily a Thatcherite Conservative or a neo-conservative magazine, even though in our editorial coverage we tend to follow roughly the conclusions of those lines of arguments". The Spectator_sentence_179

In October 2004, a Spectator editorial suggested that the death of the hostage Kenneth Bigley was being over-sentimentalised by the people of Liverpool, accusing them of indulging in a "vicarious victimhood" and of possessing a "deeply unattractive psyche".’ Simon Heffer had written the leader but, as editor, Johnson took full responsibility for it. The Spectator_sentence_180

Michael Howard subsequently ordered him to visit Liverpool on a "penitential pilgrimage". The Spectator_sentence_181

At this time the paper began jokingly to be referred to as the 'Sextator', owing to the number of sex scandals connected with the magazine during his editorship. The Spectator_sentence_182

These included an affair between columnist Rod Liddle and the magazine's receptionist, and Johnson's own affair with another columnist, Petronella Wyatt. The Spectator_sentence_183

Johnson at first denied the relationship, dismissing the allegations as "an inverted pyramid of piffle", but was sacked from the Shadow Cabinet in November 2004 when they turned out to be true. The Spectator_sentence_184

In the same year David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, resigned from the government after it emerged he had been having an affair with the publisher of The Spectator, Kimberly Quinn, and had fast-tracked her nanny's visa application. The Spectator_sentence_185

In 2005, circulation was as high as 60,000 by the time Johnson left to be the Shadow Minister for Higher Education. The Spectator_sentence_186

On the announcement of his departure, Andrew Neil paid tribute to his editorship. The Spectator_sentence_187

During Johnson's editorship, Mary Wakefield began working at the magazine: she is now the magazine's commissioning editor and is married to Johnson's political advisor Dominic Cummings. The Spectator_sentence_188

2006–present The Spectator_section_12

Matthew d'Ancona The Spectator_section_13

D’Ancona had been Deputy Editor at The Sunday Telegraph, and before that an assistant editor at The Times. The Spectator_sentence_189

During his four years as editor of The Spectator, he made several editorial and structural changes to the magazine, "not all of which were universally popular with readers". The Spectator_sentence_190

He ended the traditional summary of the week's events, "Portrait of the Week", and, in 2006, launched a new lifestyle section entitled "You Earned It". The Spectator_sentence_191

He removed Peter Oborne as political editor, and appointed Fraser Nelson in his place. The Spectator_sentence_192

He decided not to appoint a new media columnist to succeed Stephen Glover, explaining, "I do not think The Spectator needs a media columnist. The Spectator_sentence_193

Our pages are precious and I do not think the internal wranglings of our trade are high on the list of Spectator readers’ priorities." The Spectator_sentence_194

Perhaps the magazine's most important innovation under d’Ancona was the Coffee House blog, led by Peter Hoskin and James Forsyth, launched in May 2007. The Spectator_sentence_195

In 2007 The Spectator moved its offices from Doughty Street, which had been its home for 32 years, to 22 Old Queen Street in Westminster. The Spectator_sentence_196

Fraser Nelson The Spectator_section_14

The Spectator's current editor is Fraser Nelson, who replaced d'Ancona in August 2009. The Spectator_sentence_197

In 2010 he unveiled a slight redesign of the paper, shrinking the cover illustration slightly, shifting the cover lines, in general, to the bottom, and spreading the contents section over a double-page. The Spectator_sentence_198

Playing down the changes, Nelson described the new look as "a tidy-up ... rather like restoring an old painting." The Spectator_sentence_199

An article in November 2011 by Rod Liddle on the trial of two men eventually convicted for the murder of Stephen Lawrence led to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) deciding to prosecute the magazine for breaching reporting restrictions. The Spectator_sentence_200

The magazine chose not to contest the case, and the publisher Spectator 1828 Ltd pleaded guilty at the court hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court on 7 June 2012. The Spectator_sentence_201

The magazine was fined £3,000, with £2,000 compensation awarded to Stephen Lawrence's parents and £625 costs. The Spectator_sentence_202

According to Nelson, readers' most common reaction to the columnist was "don't tone down Rod", but "our non-readers don't like" him. The Spectator_sentence_203

In June 2013, The Spectator Archive was launched, containing 1.5 million pages from 180 years of published articles. The Spectator_sentence_204

In August 2015, The Spectator received media attention and criticism after publishing an article by Charles Moore regarding the 2015 Labour Party leadership election titled "Have Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall got the looks for a leadership contest? The Spectator_sentence_205

", in which he wrote "there is an understanding that no leader – especially, despite the age of equality, a woman – can look grotesque on television and win a general election" and discussed the looks of the two female candidates in detail. The Spectator_sentence_206

The article was condemned by Liz Kendall; First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon; Candidate for Labour nomination for Mayor of London and former Minister and MP Tessa Jowell; along with several journalists and MPs from various parties. The Spectator_sentence_207

Political ideology and policy positions The Spectator_section_15

The Spectator is politically conservative and supports the Conservative Party. The Spectator_sentence_208

In the past, it has always had liberal leanings: over the course of its first century it supported the Radical wing of the Whigs, the Liberal Party, and the Liberal Unionists, who eventually merged with the Conservatives. The Spectator_sentence_209

As with its sister publication The Daily Telegraph, The Spectator is generally Atlanticist and Eurosceptic in outlook, favouring close ties with the United States rather than with the European Union, and tends to be supportive of Israel. The Spectator_sentence_210

It also strongly opposes Scottish independence. The Spectator_sentence_211

Cultural positions The Spectator_section_16

The magazine has popularised the phrases "The Establishment" (1955), "nanny state" (1965), "pseud" (1960s), "young fogey" (1984) and "virtue signalling" (2015). The Spectator_sentence_212

Contributors The Spectator_section_17

In addition to the permanent staff of writers, other contributors have included: The Spectator_sentence_213

Editors The Spectator_section_18

The editors of The Spectator have been: The Spectator_sentence_214

See also The Spectator_section_19

The Spectator_unordered_list_0

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Spectator.