Passion and Politics

TOBY MELVILLE/REUTERS

TOUGH LOVE: Blunkett’s affair with Quinn has dented his public image; Tony Blair says he has “every confidence” in the Minister

No sex please, we're british, is a charming idea — and an obsolete one. Britain now has the highest teen birth rate in Western Europe. Its TV and tabloids overflow with unclad women and randy tales. And if recent events are any guide, some of its better political magazines do, too. There certainly seems to be strong stuff in the water cooler at the offices of the Spectator, London's venerable weekly journal of conservative thought and culture.

Over the summer the magazine's assistant editor, Rod Liddle, was savaged for weeks in multiple newspapers by his estranged wife,...

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