Coffee House

The Spectator: the case for subscribing

18 January 2013

5:04 PM

18 January 2013

5:04 PM

For three months now, we have been operating without a paywall throughout the website. It has, as we had hoped, brought thousands more people to The Spectator who have discovered the most entertaining and best-written magazine in the English language.

From now, we’re offering a limited number of free magazine pieces per month and asking those who want more to join us and subscribe – from £1 a week. We’re pretty confident that, if you read five of our pieces, you’ll be hooked. Our blogs will remain free, and I know not all CoffeeHousers are fans of the concept of paid content but it’s working — for us at least. Thanks to a new generation of digital subscribers, we’re now within touching distance of our all-time high. So why would you want to subscribe to a magazine in this day and age? Here’s my case for the Spectator:

In his New York Times column, Ross Douthat suggested that readers drop The Economist and subscribe to The Spectator instead. Here’s his rationale for subscribing, not just picking and choosing the pieces that appeal:

‘I’m using the word “subscription” advisedly: it may sound fusty in the age of blogs and tweets and online hopscotching, but reading the entirety of a magazine, whether in print or on your tablet, is a better way to reckon with the ideas that its contributors espouse than just reading the most-read or most-e-mailed articles on its Web site, or the occasional inflammatory column that all your ideological compatriots happen to be attacking.’

Now, if you only care about politics there’s not much point to buying The Spectator. We do politics, and thanks to James Forsyth we do it better than anyone else. But out of the 50 or so pieces we run, about half a dozen will be about politics. We don’t have a party line: our commitment is to independence of thought and elegance of expression. There is no ‘weak’ section in the magazine. If a piece is dull, we won’t run it. So what do you get for the price of a subscription?

  • Deja lu. This comes free with every subscription: the feeling you get when you open a newspaper, see a headline and know all about the story already because you’ve read it in the Spectator the week before. For example: soon, Fleet Street will finally get hold of the contents of David Cameron’s speech. Our readers will recall reading it in James Forsyth’s cover story two weeks ago.
  • Columnists of the outstanding calibre of Charles Moore, Matthew Parris, Rod Liddle, Hugo Rifkind, Melissa Kite, Alexander Chancellor, Tanya Gold, Bruce Anderson, Toby Young, Taki and James Delingpole, to name but a few. Collectively, they sum up our motto: ‘don’t think alike’.
  • Cartoons. at least a dozen of them, the best in Britain, edited by Fleet Street legend Michael Heath. The cartoons are worth the cover price alone.
  • Ideas. We do not anxiously strive to be modern: our values are timeless. But, we were the first to identify and name the ‘yuppy’, to air Thomas Szasz’s theory that madness is only a social construct as well as expose Peter Singer’s pernicious ideas about animal rights.
  • Books coverage. The best in the land. We regularly have 7-9 pages of books, at a time when everyone else is dumbing down and cutting back. Often the reviewer is more famous than the author. At a time when crony reviewing is on the rise – giving someone a good review because they’re a friend or contributor — our reviewers only ever call it as they see it. Mark Amory, our literary editor, perhaps causes me more trouble than anyone else on the magazine. He is very good at controlled explosions, and you browse his section knowing that anything could happen when you turn the page. People whose books are trashed, however gently, can take it personally – assuming that an editor can soften a harsh review. We don’t do that here.
  • Arts coverage – The best in the land. It’s not uncommon for art galleries to be full of people clutching The Spectator, turning up to whatever Andrew Lambirth recommends. Deborah Ross’s inimitable film reviews have a cult following and you won’t find better opera, dance, radio or TV reviews. Plus assorted gems like Damian Thompson’s piece on Spotify’s classical music.
  • The ‘Life’ section. Taki, Jeremy Clarke, Melissa Kite, Alexander Chancellor – the columns they write each week are without any direct equivalent. More readers probably turn to this section first than any other. I won’t attempt to describe them, but click on their names for a idea.
  • You can double the IQ of your iPad/iPhone with our new App. Which comes free with the £1/week introductory deal, will download the entire edition for you to read when you find yourself with some free time. A subscription brings with it full digital access. Cartoons and all.


To get all this for our introductory price — a paltry outlay of £1 a week – click here. You’ll be annoyed at some of the pieces, but for 185 years we have been delighting, informing, entertaining and infuriating our subscribers. In short, Coffee House is fun. But life is too short not to read The Spectator. Do join us.

PS And don’t take my word for it. Here’s some Spectator subscribers on Twitter on why they like it:-



Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
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  • Flintshire Ian

    I have just come accross this….it may be too late for my views to be read – but I must admit that I have been wondering lately why I was still paying my direct debit subscription when The Spectator appeared to have become free on line. If you continue to offer the best columnists for free, then there is little point in paying. A free dose of Liddle via Coffee House, plus the occasional freebie from this web site and his Sunday Times columns may turn out to be enough.

    Inertia largely rules ok with direct debits (up to a point), but I don’t think that I would have bought off the news stand recently and I might yet freeload if many of the best articles remain free for all.

  • Tom Hearken

    Oh, go on then. I’ve been feeling a bit lost since I cancelled my Economist subscription for pretending that Gove has hard evidence to justify the academies programme.


    I’m not seeing much commentary from overseas subscribers, but my printed mag is always two weeks late, it’s very expensive in our currency and this sounds like a better deal. I agree with the comment about the sub-editing too. I have been subscribing for about 20 years and you would never have had some of the screamers i have seen recently, in the ‘old days’. Whatever happened to proof readers? And overseas subscribers never get the special supplements either. I love the Speccie. Just saying…

    • Fraser Nelson

      Once we pop it in the post, we have – alas – no control over what various post agencies then do. But all subscribers have free digital access. As for any howlers – please always email me directly if you spot any!

  • Angry of SE 1

    As a Longterm subscriber to the magazine i too have my favourite contributers.
    There are however two things I hate. My copy always arrives crammed with inserts which mostly comprise begging material from Charities but also sales material. These must be shaken out into the bin before the magazine is readable. Secondly, in an attempt to boost advertising, they occaisionally staple shiny supplements into the magazine containing articles written by regular contributers describing and endorsing jollies they have been on and promoting odious products from whisties to Holidays.
    Fraser please stop these two irritations – if I wanted mindless colour supplements i can get them from the Sunday Hellograh – lets stick to the serious stuff!

  • Haldane1

    It is not critical – yet. The magazine seems to be holding to its core values. The Coffee House blog doesn’t reflect the character and personality of the magazine but perhaps it’s not meant to and anyway it is of no consequence. But if Fraser begins to lose many of the magazine columnists appointed under former editors, and puts in their place writers similar to those he favours on Coffee House, then he will find even more of us not renewing.

    This short exchange between him and a lapsed reader reveals the problem – he doesn’t really understand/like the established magazine readership : – I certainly don’t believe the Spectator is independent. There are too many important issues it just refuses to consider, and too many where it just adopts a left of centre stance. And hardly any where it allows a conservative voice.

    Fraser Nelson: I don’t make any apology for being insufficiently right-wing

  • paulus

    coffee house if youve been banned how am i reading your comment ?

    You have to admit a lot of the comments on the threat are calling for the editor to be fired for being a closet pinko and the site to be shut down. Not many commercial ventures would tolerate that type of personal abuse. Bearing in mind no one is paying for the priviledge of saying any of this,

  • paulus

    I enjoy reading the magazine, lying in the bath and having a good read, i havnt tried it with a lap top but it sounds dangerous.

    The best bit about the blogs is the lunacy of the comments, I appreciate you have to make a living, but any pay wall will restrict the unhinged. I dont agree that difficult issues are not covered, they are generally by the commenters, for example, over the last two years ive seen comments calling for the Prime Minister to be : drowned, stabbed, shot and sodomized, and im sure that was just me, and as far as im aware im the most loyal conservative here.

    What I cant understand is people leaving comments stating they dont read the posts on the site any more, isn’t there a contradiction there??

    As for not covering contraversial issues, wasn’t Rod L the first scribbler to be impeached since John Wilkes, and the leftys organised a lynch mob for him.Lets be honest you dont get that at the guardian. If it wasn’t for Fraser he would have been swinging from a lamp post as the wave of apathy coming from us lot in support of free speech wasn’t much of a help.

    I have never found any comments that i have made being deleted unless they are incoherent, libellous or aggressive. Whereas you look at the comments in the so called liberal sites every second comment is censured. It drives me insane when I read articles that are smear, spin or factually inaccurate.

    • Coffee House

      Quite a lot of very longstanding commenters have been banned from the site. How would you know. They just don’t appear anymore. What are they banned for? It would seem to be for disagreeing with the stance and direction taken by the Spectator.

      I myself have been banned now by Fraser Nelson. I’ve not called for violence. I’ve not been racist. I’ve not found female genital mutilation a matter for humour – as the trolls here are allowed to do. But I have offered criticism of the Spectator, and that seems to be not allowed.

  • Framer

    Always look forward to Charles Moore and Rod Liddle, the book reviews and most of the rest until I get to the radio review. Why do we have to read a repetitive and dreary diet of support for the statist BBC and their turgid programming. It is more Pravda than Speccie. The writer is constantly justifying the licence fee or poll tax which makes it worse. How did she get the job in the first place? Inherited from some early editor?

  • biggestaspidistra

    I may give it a go, I’m thinking about it,

    • Fraser Nelson

      For £1 a week, you’re not risking much!

  • Charles

    Fraser – like the magazine, but get very annoyed that regular subscribers have to pay so much more than newbies. For someone who – I recall – has railed against the banks for penalising the loyal customer in favour of the rate tart, this seems a little steep

    • Fraser Nelson

      Hi Charles, the £1/week is an introductory offer and then it’s the same price for everyone…

      • Charles

        It was advertised in the January 5th edition at £67 for a year. That’s a lot less than the £111 a year it costs me.

        I understand the need to get new subscribers – but a £54 saving a year would be handy for me as well (especially for something that is basically a luxury item)

        • the viceroy’s gin

          That price disparity is the surest sign that this publication is in trouble, the talk of “sales are rising” notwithstanding. They’re desperate for subscribers, and that’s what desperate publications are doing these days.

          Let’s see if it goes the way of Newsweek, sold for a dollar, before finally being subsumed by The Daily Beast, and completely out of print.

          If I wanted to grow a healthy, vibrant publication, capable of standing on its own merits, as opposed to the Speccie which we’d suspect requires outside financial bolstering for lack of subscriptions, then I’d listen to the commenters on this blogsite. They’d be the subscriber base, if they were heard.

          • Charles

            The magazine is profitable, and I suspect will do ok. It may not appeal to you, however.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              How do you know it’s profitable?

              And let’s be clear that profitable is defined as being liquid through legitimate subscription and advertising revenue, not by cash transfusions from the interested.

              I’m still interested in the Speccie teenager supporting the assertion that “sales are rising”. Let’s see the figures.

  • HooksLaw

    People should remember that the Spectator’s history is ‘liberal’ from its inception. Former editors included Ian Gilmore and Ian Macleod. Ian Gilmore!

  • Sarah

    Is it half price for the women seeing as 95% of your content is written by men, for men and the rest is overtly hostile to women?

    • sarah_13

      I’m not sure what magazine you are reading as a women I don’t find it hostile to women or anyone else for that matter.

  • David Webb

    Fraser, your magazine might be worth paying for if it veered around the groupthink, but you are yourself a passionate multiculturalist who has gone into print on the need for mass immigration – why do I pay for such crude propaganda for our dispossession? I can get that ANYWHERE – from the BBC to the tabloids to the broadsheets…

  • Tim DeVille

    Fraser, what do you do with the subscription list? Do you sell it? – as I believe the Middletons do from their party website – I presume that you do and that’s one reason why I buy the paper version – I dont want to be ‘known’ to those hungry companies who want to sell me stuff. I also like rushing around trying to get the last copy on Friday at our local shop before they are all gone. Note the email address attached to this comment is false too!!

    • Magnolia

      I found that I couldn’t use my computer without AdBlock.
      I would rather pay and would like a micropayment system, perhaps with rewards to commenters who post interesting or witty stuff.

  • Daedalus

    I have bought the Spectator on and off, more off, for quite a while. But living in Huddersfield it’s quite simply not relevant to my normal day to day existence, its all London. I love the Coffee House and make comments on a fairly regular basis, subscription for the Coffee House, er NO.

    • Austin Barry

      I buy the hard copy version of the Spectator and have done for the past twenty years or so. Quite where it’s going politically though I have no idea. Still, that’s part of the fun.

    • HooksLaw

      There used to be a paper called ‘The Manchester Guardian’. None northern lefties, like my late brother, could buy it as for its locale alone. Once it moved to London it lost its soul and at least one reader.

  • williamblakesghost


  • Bellevue

    I live in France, and the subscription is way beyond my means. I read the coffeehouse every day….. but if you start charging for it, I am afraid I wont pay. I would pay for the Slog, Guido Fawkes, Raedwald, Captain Ranty and Eureferendum.
    Says it all really. I agree that you are too left wing, and you dont ask difficult questions of various politicians.

    • Fraser Nelson

      The Kindle subscription is £2.99 a month – a steal!

      • MirthaTidville

        That must remain a matter of opinion

      • HooksLaw

        Why not tell these dozos the truth, they are a hysterical minority and if you relied on them you would be bankrupt. They all sound a bit socialist to me – they want it all they want it now and they want it free

      • Magnolia

        We have subscribed to the DT now that the pictures are on Kindle.

  • Elgarsrondo

    I religiously get the Spectator and Economist every week. Anybody got any suggestions for anything on the left worth getting, like to try and balance my reading, if I can, but don’t really like New Statesman.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    “…best-written magazine in the English language.”


    This assertion cracks me up, every time you make it. This publication is often sloppily written, and skewed and factually challenged. If your sales are down, as we’d suspect they are, it’s not for no good reason. Sloppiness has its downside.


    For instance, you interview the Housing Minister, which is a serious political piece (so why say you are a cocktail party) but you fail to raise with him the issue of immigration driving the housing crisis, which we have been talking about here for years.

    On the one hand it is definitely politics, on the other hand you seem to deliberately have excluded any conservative questions, and not pointed out to the Minister where and when he was lying (generally throughout the interview).

    Nothing happens in politics by accident, so the question is always why would a paper like the Spectator give a left leaning Housing Minister such an easy ride? And it is not possible to say that the Spectator doesn’t do politics, it clearly does, and mostly only does on the Coffee House. But it has chosen to do a certain left leaning type of politics. Many of us wonder why, and who funds and prescribes such a leftward direction.

    • Magnolia

      To be fair to Fraser, he has repeatedly reported that all the new jobs are going to immigrants.

      • Coffee House

        But this was an interview with a housing minister in which the pressure caused by immigration was not mentioned. That is rather an odd oversight.

    • Radford_NG

      Why and who? I thought most of us knew that already……because,because,because.

  • ScaryBiscuits

    Why is buying the electronic version so much more expensive and commiting than the paper version?

    If I go into a newsagent and buy a copy of the Spectator they don’t ask for my direct debit details and sign me up to a 12 week £12 trial, automatically converting to £27.75 rolling contract unless I cancel first. They simply sell me a copy.

    The Spectator’s not as bad as the The Times, which is £2.50 in the newsagent but online they want a minimum commitment of £182. I’m not surprised this hasn’t been too successful. In both cases, the option of buying when I like (e.g. if I like the cover) and upgrading to a subscription if I want to save money isn’t allowed online. Why?

  • UlyssesReturns

    Get rid of the trolls, like you promised, and I will subscribe once again. I promise.

    • Fraser Nelson

      We’re working on it – but there are no trolls in the magazine!

      • UlyssesReturns

        The magazine and the blog are not mutually exclusive. It was my disgust at the resident trolls, that you tolerate, that caused my cancellation of my subscription, just as Cameron’s support of the libtards makes me reluctant to rejoin the Conservative party.

    • barbie

      Can you define a ‘troll’ or am I missing something here?

      • HooksLaw

        Its anyone who does not agree with him. The fact that he complains about ‘trolls’ and himself brings up ‘Cameron’s support of the libtards’ on a thread about subscribing to the magazine says it all really.

      • UlyssesReturns

        A troll, in the non-Tolkien sense, is a sad and lonely misfit who has no life to speak of beyond the vicarious thrill they get seeing their name, or pseudonym, on a blog such as this. Trolls can usually be identified by their repetitive posts and spiteful attacks on the majority view in a blog. They invariably post multiple times on every blog and invite responses as a proxy for their version of a battle (I have a theory that all trolls were bullied at school). Trolls post more than anyone else and if you examine the community here you will see the following are the most prolific: telemachus, HooksLaw, dalai guevara and David Lindsay. All to the left of the majority of views you will see here, which is odd don’t you think? Some of the more intelligent posters think the trolls are a coordinated and McBridean inspired attack on true believers and keepers of the blessed Margaret’s flame. Others believe they are tolerated by the editor to bring ‘traffic’. I quite like trolls for their humour value, but find they can be tiresome when they take over 50% of all comments and force out those of us on the right who prefer the Speccie to the Staggers, the Telegraph to the Guardian, and self-sufficiency to welfare dependency. In summation, trolls can be quite amusing but generally, and almost invariably here, are disgusting, filthy, leftish creatures who probably harbour quite nasty and unspeakable habits best left unsaid in an organ as venerable as this one.

        • Jebediah

          Telemachus, is a grade A troll. Almost impossible to eradicate.

  • John Moss

    I would pay £1 a week for an app – android please!

    • Sebastian Payne

      Android is coming very shortly. We’re working as fast as we can


    It would be interesting to know how many people have let their subscriptions lapse and.or don’t buy the print copy any more. It may be that the Spectator is happy with net levels of subscriptions, as the Government is happy with net immigration. But if the Spectator is casual about losing committed readers then that would be sad, and dangerous in the long term. New readers do not have the loyalty that long term subscribers had.

    I have also let my subscription lapse. I certainly don’t believe the Spectator is independent. There are too many important issues it just refuses to consider, and too many where it just adopts a left of centre stance. And hardly any where it allows a conservative voice.

    • HenryWood

      I have for one. I also posted to this article explaining why and where I had gone instead. My post has been removed. Say no more …

      • HenryWood

        How strange – my post is now back again though timed later than my reply to coffehousewall. Funny old world …


          Henry, I can’t see your criticism of the Spectator any more. It seems to have been removed again. Not very good when comments are removed without comment. It wasn’t offensive either IIRC.

          • HenryWood

            Not offensive in the least, IMHO. Just the facts as I see them. Oh well, back to reading my Jeff Bernard books and remembering happier times. 🙂

    • EJ – was Tory now UKIP

      I have had postings critical of the Spectator mysteriously deleted. I am never rude or abusive in anything I post, but it seems certain criticisms are not allowed.

      There seems to be a large section of what was once the core readership who seem utterly disillusioned by the Spectator’s stream of left-leaning pro-Cameron puff PR pieces. Perhaps that’s what they want.

      There’s a clear parallel with those true conservatives who have been completely alienated by Cameron’s lurch to the Left!

    • Fraser Nelson

      There’s churn in all publications, what matters is the total. Sales are rising and we’re within touching distance of our all-time high. I don’t make any apology for being insufficiently right-wing – as Alexander Chancellor said, The Spectator is more of a cocktail party than a political party. And there really is more to life! If you want total politics, there’s a good magazine by that name.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        So “sales are rising”, you claim?

        What are the figures? Paid subscriptions, if you please.

        And what are the advertising figures? Be specific, if you please. Otherwise, we’ll just have to go on suspecting you’ve got a sugar daddy paying for it all.

        Oh and fyi, it’s not that you’re insufficiently right wing… it’s that you’re too sufficiently left wing.


          Yes, you keep insisting you are not a politics paper but then you insist on populating the Coffee House with 99% political material, and mostly of a leftward bent.

          So what do you mean that you are not a political party? And what do you mean that you are proud not be right-wing? What then is the political basis of the Spectator at present and who determines it? If there is more to life then why are you unable to write about anything that has not occurred within Westminster and preferably in the company of various political contacts? It doesn’t make sense?

          You are manifestly a political publication, but you also manifestly take a left wing and Westminster perspective on things. So why is that, if you only aspire to be an inconsequential gossip paper? That is, after all, what a cocktail party aspires to be.

          • Fraser Nelson

            I was talking about the magazine, most of which is not about politics. Coffee House is a political blog.


              And as a political blog it is left leaning. It is reasonable to ask why?

              I stopped buying the Spectator because the political content it did carry became more and more left ward and the other content did not compensate or offered the same left ward perspective but from a different angle.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              And you claimed reference from Russ Douthat, an avowed (similarly squishy) political writer, so clearly the magazine is focused on politics, by your own admission.

              We’d note that Douthat’s publication, the NY Times, continues on its own death spiral, requiring the services of its own sugar daddy, Carlos Slim, to stave off said death.

              Care to provide those subscription and advertising statistics?

          • HooksLaw

            Coffee House is not ‘The Spectator’. Run through the menus at the top.


        I would have thought that basic business sense says that churn is not good, and the total is not what matters. Loyal and faithful customers are what any successful business is always seeking to find and develop. What you have essentially said is that you have no loyalty yourself to any of your customers and are only interested in the numbers at any moment. As that becomes more and more obvious to your customers you will find that they also become as lacking in loyalty and will easily desert the Spectator for a publication – online and offline – which does provide what they really want, and also wishes to be loyal to its customer base.

        • HooksLaw

          All you want is some publication to tell you what you want to believe.

          • Coffee House

            Not at all. I would like to have some reflection on current political and social events from a properly conservative point of view.

      • barbie

        I must admit I’m loving the Spectator, its lively and good journalism. However, I’d thought about subscribing to the magazine until I realised the full price, a bit to heavy for the likes of me on very limited pension. However, I do beleive Mr Nelson you’re one of our good journalists we have got, and you’re doing a great job at the Spectator. I do hope we will be allowed to continue online, I enjoy the banter and opinions of other commentators. I also saw you today on the Daily Politics Show and you’re sensible approach to the question of the Conservatives and Europe, well done.

      • MirthaTidville

        Well at least Iain Dale(total Politics) is a Tory

        • HooksLaw

          Ha… Iain (If you have a problem with gay marriage, don’t marry a homosexual) Dale? A liberal and gay tory.

          The current leading headline on Total politics (‘Labour needs to see the Lib Dems for who they really are’) is by Emma Burnell, ‘a campaigns and public policy professional.’ ‘ Emma represents Labour’s Socialist Societies on Labour’s National Policy forum’

          Ms Burnell is a regular contributor. I very much doubt that Mr Coffeehousewall and fellows of his ilk (ie you?) would stand all that for long.
          But the phrase ‘broad church’ is an alien one to some.

          • Coffee House

            Well I am sure there is space for some more definitely conservative publications, online, electronically and in print. If the Spectator is not filling that space or aspiring to then I guess publications such as Standpoint and the Salisbury Review are targeting a different audience.

            The Spectator might want to review and revise their Wikipedia entry since it does state…

            The Spectator is a weekly British conservative magazine… Its principal subject areas are politics and culture…Its editorial content is generally supportive of the Conservative Party.

      • Dogsnob

        The best lack all conviction, while the worst
        Are full of expedience and sazerac.

      • HooksLaw

        Do not worry – the Spectator will be a much more respectable magazine without Coffeehouewall’s subscription.

        Oh and I am unlikely to subscribe as well…

      • John Grundy

        I don’t agree with coffehousewall at all – I think you provide a great balance Fraser – especially for someone like me who reads the Guardian 6 days a week!!! – & surely if you are to continue to do that customer numbers matter

        • Coffee House

          I think its great that the Spectator is recruiting more and more Guardian readers.

          • John Grundy

            Coffee House / telemachus – yes perhaps it would also be good if more Spectator readers read The Guardian – judging by the polarised & intolerant slant to many of the comments posted particularly when it relates to Europe!!

            • Colonel Mustard

              The Guardian is dying, kept afloat only by a monopoly on civil service and local government advertising to ensure that new recruits have proper left-wing credentials. God speed its demise.

              • John Grundy


                • Colonel Mustard


        • telemachus

          I devour Speccie and have subscribed since Boris
          But also the New Statesman Guardian and Times
          Do DT and Mail on line but would never buy
          Coffee House remains the most interactive and friendly political site

  • Daniel Maris

    I’m still buying the paper product – honest!

  • Andrew Douglas

    I can’t help but feel thus rather self congratulatory piece is some way away from the Spectator’s core values. As a reader of more than 30 years, I do not believe the paper is better now than at certain points in its history. The columnists do not stack up with the names we enjoyed under Alexander, Dominic or even Boris. The current Coffee House contributors are significantly weaker than the previous occupant (we miss you, Pete) and the lefty blogs would be better off at the Staggers (except for the awesome Lidl, who can’t seriously regard himself as a lefty any more). Forsyth’s stuff is OK, but one wishes he would get out of SW1 once in a while. Still, two rousing cheers for Melissa, The Wiki Man, Clarky, Vanderweyer and Dellers. Bring back Steyn. And at least it is a proper paper again, rather than the ‘lifestyle’ supplement it was becoming under d’Anchovy.

  • HenryWood

    After buying/subscribing to the print edition of The Spectator for more years than I care to remember, I let my suscription lapse a few months ago as the magazine is no longer The Spectator I once enjoyed. I have found an ideal replacement though in The American Spectator and now pay them my dues. Anyone fed up with the never ending drift to the left of The Spectator should perhaps also consider taking a look over the pond. Highly recommended.

  • Spammo Twatbury

    Is it possible to pay extra and get a subscription WITHOUT Rod Liddle and James Delingpole?

    • EJ – was Tory now UKIP

      Rod Little is the only thing that makes the articles still worth reading. The rest is insider tittle-tattle puff pieces. Oh and some of the people who leave comments here I think are brilliant (NOT the leftist trolls).

      • Fraser Nelson

        Every Spectator subscriber has at least one writer they’d like to see the back of. And one writer whose column they can’t do without. The humourless do moan about Rod now and again, but when I meet readers the most common request is “don’t tone down Rod”.

        • sarah_13

          I am a subscriber and I absolutely LOVE rod’s contributions. Certainly don’t tone them down, I always read his column first before the leading article.

        • Jebediah

          Another vote for Rod. In fact for more Rod.

        • Colonel Mustard

          I’m a regular reader and can’t think of any columnists I’d like to see the back of, although I do prefer some to others. Guest writers are another matter – I raise my eyebrows at how and why some of them have been selected.

          The Arts and Books section is very good and I always enjoy that. Charles Moore’s column is always a delight. Rod Liddle usually tells it like it is and is a rare gem in the post-Leveson world of media cowardice and groupthink. The Editorials are invariably very good too.

          I prefer the print copy for personal reasons – long might it continue.