The Spectator

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The Spectator is a weekly British magazine first published on 6 July 1828.[3] It is currently owned by the Barclay brothers, who also own The Daily Telegraph. Its principal subject areas are politics and culture. It generally takes a right-of-centre, conservative editorial line, although regular contributors such as Frank Field and Martin Bright write from a more left-wing perspective. The magazine also has extensive arts pages on books, music, opera, and film and TV reviews. In late 2008, Spectator Australia was launched. This offers 12 pages of "Unique Australian Content" (including a separate Editorial page) in addition to the full UK contents. The magazine had an ABC circulation figure of 77,146 in 2008.

Editorship of The Spectator has often been part of a route to high office in the Conservative Party; past editors include Iain Macleod, Ian Gilmour and Nigel Lawson, all of whom became cabinet ministers. Editorship can also be a springboard for a greater role in public affairs, as with Boris Johnson (1999 to 2005), Conservative Mayor of London.[4]


Policy positions

From its founding in 1828 The Spectator has taken a pro-British line in foreign affairs.

Like 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 it is usually supportive of Israel. However, it has expressed strong doubts about the Iraq war, and some of its contributors, such as Matthew Parris and Stuart Reid, express a more Americosceptic, old-school conservative line. Other contributors such as Irwin Stelzer argue from an American-style neoconservative position. Like much of the British press it is critical of the unilateral extradition treaty that allowed the Natwest three to be extradited, and in July 2006 the magazine devoted a leading article to lambasting the US Senate.[5] According to former editor Boris Johnson, the Spectator's baseline editorial policy is to "always be roughly speaking in favour of getting rid of Saddam, sticking up for Israel, free-market economics, expanding choice", though it is "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."[6]

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