Slight treachery from Boris, who has written a glowing piece on the occasion of the New Statesman’s centenary. While most people will focus on his dissection of the evils of left-wingery and explanations for hatred of Margaret Thatcher, something else caught Steerpike’s eye:
‘My paranoia about the New Statesman and its terrific pieces went on for some months, until we finally met for physical combat, in the form of a cricket match. It was a torrid afternoon and I was full of nerves. Bernard Levin had come to watch, for heaven’s sake, and the New Statesman’s captain, Christian Wolmar, displayed what I am forced to call gamesmanship. At last we prevailed, thanks to a last-wicket stand by Alex van Straubenzee, our circulation manager, and myself.’
Physical combat between the Speccie and the Staggers sounds like something that needs an urgent revival. Be gone Twitter spats and sly digs. Time to slog this one out once more on the cricket pitch. Right-wing big hitters against left-wing spinners. We’ll bring the Pol Roger if you bring the balls.
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.