31 Facts About The Spectator


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

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

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The Spectator Australia offers 12 pages on Australian politics and affairs as well as the full UK magazine and has a website that reprints most articles and has an opinion column.

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

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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.

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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.

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The Spectator's tenure was unremarkable, and subscribers continued to fall.

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

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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.

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

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

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The Spectator has consistently shown itself a friend of Germany, but it is a friend of freedom first.

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

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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.

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

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

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The Spectator appointed his deputy Brian Inglis, who introduced to the magazine a fresh spirit of political satire.

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In 1959—much to the embarrassment of Gilmour—The Spectator advised either voting for the Liberal Party or tactically abstaining.

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

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

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The Spectator was drawn to the paper partly because he harboured political aspirations, but because his father had been a friend of Peter Fleming, its well-known columnist (under the name "Strix").

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

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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".

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

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

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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.

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

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The Spectator 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".

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

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

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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.

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