X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House

Lady Butler-Sloss steps down from child abuse enquiry

14 July 2014

1:15 PM

14 July 2014

1:15 PM

It is not a surprise that Lady Butler-Sloss has stepped down as chair of the independent inquiry panel into child abuse: a critical mass of stories had built up against her which meant it was impossible for her to continue leading an inquiry that is partly about conspiracy theories without herself becoming the target of conspiracy theories which would eventually weaken her findings.

A resignation before the inquiry has even kicked off is a serious blow to the government, which had been trying so hard to play conspiracy whack-a-mole, to stay ahead of the critics by acting fast and appointing big names to lead big investigations into historic allegations. But it is not quite right to say that this is a blow to David Cameron’s authority. Of course by extension everything that the government gets wrong is a blow to the Prime Minister. But more specifically this is a blow to the Home Office, who appointed Butler-Sloss in a hurry. They would have announced her appointment to the panel even quicker than they did if she’d responded by the time Theresa May stood up in the Commons to give her statement on the matter on Monday afternoon. There seems to have been a rush to make the appointment – perhaps a naivety, even – that meant the links journalists were able to dig up very quickly indeed were missed.

The next appointee is not expected to be announced today. It would be wise for the Home Office and Number 10 to take a little longer to consider whether someone who seems very impressive on the surface is going to stand up to the full scrutiny of the press and conspiracy theorists who are convinced that an inquiry about the Establishment has already fallen prey to an establishment stitch-up.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close