John Bercow sits in the royal box on centre court before the start of the men's singles third round match between Serbia's Novak Djokovic play France's Gilles Simon on day five of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon. Image: CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images

The ‘Buckingham Bonaparte’ is cornered

With the interventions of former Speaker Betty Boothroyd, ex-ministers — including Jack Straw, Malcolm Rifkind and Margaret Beckett – and the… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: The scrap of paper that was worth a war

German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg (1856 - 1921) and Count Lerchenfeld of Bavaria.  (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

From The Spectator, 22 August 1914: THE Times of Wednesday published a piece of news in regard to the final… Continue reading

Housebuilding is up: is that good news?


Good news on housing: this government is building more homes. New figures from the Communities and Local Government department show… Continue reading

It’s time we contemplated the possibility of a post-conflict Kurdistan

Aid arrives in the Kurdish city of Erbil. Image: Getty

There’s a  curious aspect to the debate – or what passes for it – about Britain getting involved in military… Continue reading

What’s the difference between Isis and Saudi Arabia? It’s a matter of degrees

A Peshmerga fighter waits on the Isis front line. Image: Getty

There are now thought to be more British-born members of Isis than there are Muslims in the British Army, leading lots… Continue reading

The Matter of Scotland: Try, try and try again.


PG Wodehouse, who was only the twentieth century’s greatest English-language novelist, once remarked that there existed just two ways to write: “One… Continue reading

How self-testing can help beat cervical cancer

Image: Getty

Self-testing is now available to any individual wishing to rule out conditions such as diabetes, pregnancy and bowel cancer. Traditionally, however,… Continue reading

Podcast: Britain’s jihad, the Pope vs the Vatican, and the existence of ‘The One’


The murder of James Foley by an Isis fighter ‘with a London accent’ has been treated with understandable revulsion. But… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: The death of Pope Pius X

Pope Pius X on his throne in 1910 (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty)

From The Spectator, 22 August 1914: Pope Pius X. died at twenty minutes past one on Thursday morning. In a… Continue reading

Satanists are planning to desecrate the Host at a Black Mass. Let’s stop them

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Satan-worshippers are planning to hold a Black Mass in Oklahoma next month. My usual reaction to this news would be:… Continue reading

Cry Bradford, for George and George

George Galloway speaking at a solidarity conference in Iraq in September 2002. Image:  Taha AL-Rubayyh/Getty Images

It’s going to be the battle of the Georges in Bradford West at next year’s general election – and Mr… Continue reading

Lord Ashcroft’s poll shows a swing to Labour in Tory-held marginal seats

Labour and Conservative supporters’ placards, held on the occasion of a visit by Gordon Brown to Cardiff during the 2010 election campaign. Image: Getty

One of the most fascinating things about Lord Ashcroft’s latest poll is not its content, but who in the Conservative… Continue reading

Tattoos are sad and stupid – we should discriminate against people with them

David Beckham leaves the field. Photo:  ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images

It’s not often you can blame Samantha Cameron, Sandra Howard and Cheryl Cole for a social trend that blights the… Continue reading

Britain’s beheaders – how we came to export jihad

Illustration: Christian Adams

This feature is a preview from this week’s Spectator, out tomorrow: It is the now familiar nightmare image. A kneeling… Continue reading

English voters send a message to Scotland: we can’t go on living like this

The Championships - Wimbledon 2013: Day Five

Way back in the olden days, Scottish Labour won the 1999 elections to the Scottish parliament, at least in part,… Continue reading

Breaking: David Cameron returns to Downing Street after journalist beheaded

Camerons on holiday

Downing Street has announced that David Cameron is returning to Westminster from his holiday. A Number 10 spokesperson said: ‘If… Continue reading

My enemy’s enemy: Philip Hammond on Isis and Assad

Philip Hammond. Image: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images

Philip Hammond made quite clear on the Today programme that this government is ‘utterly opposed’ to everything that Isis stands… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Commercial possibilities

An armaments factory (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty)

From The Spectator, 22 August 1914: IT is gratifying to find that the public is rapidly waking up to the… Continue reading

Lib Dems reinstate Lord Rennard and drop disciplinary process

Lord Rennard Image: PA

The Lib Dems are not taking any disciplinary action against Lord Rennard and have reinstated his membership, the party said… Continue reading

Julian Assange is a narcissist and a nut. But if America comes for him we should take his side

Has turned into a hermit with Noel Edmonds' hair: Julian Assange (right). Images: Getty

This is an extract from Hugo Rifkind’s column in this week’s Spectator, out on Thursday Poor Julian Assange. Call me… Continue reading

Is there anything worse than kids’ parties? Actually yes – the shops that sell kids’ presents

Andersen Ross / Blend Images

It has been a bad fortnight. Not only am I off the sauce for a few weeks to help my… Continue reading

Britain abandons foreign policy. And abandons debates about foreign policy too.


Cynics have long suspected that Britain’s foreign policy is as independent as its nuclear deterrent. Cynics have a point. Perhaps,… Continue reading

Owen Jones: ‘Our generation’s Orwell’?

Owen Jones protesting outside the head offices of the Daily Mail in October 2013. Image: Dan Dennison/Getty Images

Calling in a favour from a comrade to help flog your new book is hardly a new trick, but Mr… Continue reading

Women have cracked the glass ceiling. Now let’s smash through it

England's players celebrate with the trophy on the podium after winning the IRB Women's Rugby World Cup final match between England and Canada. Image: ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images

It seems barely a day goes by without another crack appearing in the glass ceiling. This week, I found it… Continue reading

I’d like to share my favourite violent pop video with you


This week has seen the Prime Minister playing Mary Whitehouse again. On Monday he announced that, as of October, music… Continue reading

Inflation down, Osborne up

Source: ONS Consumer Price Inflation, 19 August 2014 and OBR Economic and Fiscal Outlook March 2014

David Cameron is back on holidays again, this time to Cornwall. He missed a trick. His economic recovery is making… Continue reading

Listen: Austin Mitchell’s curious theory about women in power

Austin Mitchell poised to take a photograph of a powerful woman – the Queen – arriving at Parliament in 2010. Image: Getty

Where are the Labour sisterhood this morning? Presumably they’re not listening to Woman’s Hour, where one of their Westminster colleagues… Continue reading

America’s racial tensions are on show for the world to see in Ferguson

Police attempt to control demonstrators protesting the killing of teenager Michael Brown on August 18, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Image: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Washington, D.C. Week two of the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri and peace is nowhere in sight. The problems began on… Continue reading


National Guard Called In As Unrest Continues In Ferguson

Looking beyond black and white in Ferguson

The Ferguson riots are more than a simple case of racial division

Travels in Isis country: priests, Peshmerga and property developers


Arriving in Erbil, you don’t feel you are in Iraq, but another country altogether, which is what the Kurds would like. The city’s outer ring is shiny and new, a… Read more

The Islamic State is destroying the greatest melting pot in history

Arab Bee Hive Village

The fighters of the Islamic State are bringing a deadly new intolerance to a territory rich in ancient sects

Sorry, Kellie Maloney, but to be a woman you must first be a girl


I applaud Frank – now Kellie – Maloney. But I still think being a woman means growing up as one

Revealed: The Pope's war with the Vatican


Francis really is determined to reform his church: but his targets are not the ones that liberals might expect

The biggest civil liberties outrage you've never heard of


‘Bubble matches’ sound like something quaint. In fact,they’re an outrage against civil liberties

Seville: a city to get lost in

The Plaza de España at dusk

On our second night in Seville we got lost. We’d been to a flamenco concert, my first, a little way out from the centre. Eight musicians sat in a horseshoe… Read more


David Cameron cut short his holiday to return to Westminster, following the beheading of  journalist James Foley Photo: Getty

David Cameron's fog of war

It was clear that things were going wrong for David Cameron when he had to say that his position on… Read more

Romance isn't a religion. Stop looking for The One and join The Queue


Pity the modern starlet. Be she steaming-hot pop-tart or reality-show show-off, her range of emotional experiences will, thanks mostly to… Read more

The surer we are that machines can think, the less sure we'll be about people


Having written (for a Times diary) a few sentences about consciousness in robots, I settled back to study readers’ responses… Read more

Julian Assange is a narcissist and a nut — and if America comes for him we should take his side

Julian Assange speaks at the Ecuadorian Embassy where he has been holed up for two years Photo: Getty

Poor Julian Assange. Call me a contrarian but I’m genuinely starting to feel sorry for the guy. He’s just made… Read more

It’s not just left-wingers who think the bosses’ pay boom is unhealthy


The FTSE100 index stands precisely where it did in the first week of December 1999. Whichever way you look at… Read more



Alex Salmond has already lost — if the Edinburgh Festival is anything to go by

Lloyd Evans tours the Edinburgh Festival in search of clues about the outcome of the referendum

‘Ashtray’ Annie Fischer was a piano giant. Why didn’t more people realise this?

'Ashtray' Annie, 1956 Photo: Getty

This year marks the centenary of a pianist whom London orchestral players nicknamed ‘Ashtray Annie’. Only at the keyboard did… Read more

Futurism’s escape to the country

‘Futurist Motif’, 1920, by Gerardo Dottori

Futurism, with its populist mix of explosive rhetoric (burn all the museums!) and resolutely urban experience and emphasis on speed,… Read more

In defence of Puccini

Composer Giacomo Puccini; scenes from performances of Tosca in 1956 and 2010 Photo: Getty

During my opera-going lifetime the most sensational change in the repertoire has, of course, been the immense expansion of the… Read more

Lucy: the shoot-outs, car chases and mysteries of the universe

Inhuman being: Scarlett Johansson as Lucy

Here’s an idea for an article: The Tree of Life (2011) is the most influential film of the past decade.… Read more

An innocent graduate of Operation Yewtree, Jim Davidson, dazzles in Edinburgh

Pushing 70, but not very hard: Anne Archer as Jane Fonda

Let’s start with a nightmare. Wendy Wason, an Edinburgh comedienne, travelled to LA last year accompanied by her husband, who… Read more

Eye-gouging within the first half-hour: the edgy new rules of TV drama

Adeel Akhtar plays Wilson Wilson in Utopia

Where is Jessica Hyde? If those words mean nothing to you then I have some excellent news. If not, then… Read more

Ambridge recovers its sense of humour — finally

A technician mends the broken glass of a landing light at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, during the Berlin Airlift, 1949 Photo: Getty

‘Isn’t that charming!’ Carol declares at the height of the great Home Farm cocktail party, after being subjected to Jennifer’s… Read more

Anne Seymour Damer: the female Bernini?


Anne Seymour Damer (1748–1828) was virtually the only female sculptor working in Britain during her lifetime. Contemporary artists may have… Read more



Six decades and two chat-up lines

 Gstaad In this freewheeling Swiss village of the 1950s, the unconventional was the norm and monumental drinking commonplace, but the manners of the players were always impeccable. Yes, there were… Read more

What I learned working in the lunatic asylum

Reverend Billy Graham Photo: Getty

In 1984 I was 27. Since leaving school I had done unskilled manual labour, when I could get any. Then l worked as a nursing assistant and then a trainee… Read more

Press five to report a funny man on your doorstep with strange tales of dog torture


Strangely enough, I was in the middle of writing an article about the tactics used by the RSPCA when another animal charity knocked on my door. A young man holding… Read more

The Italians are disgusted with us


As the holidays draw to a close, Italian newspapers have been reporting with perplexity and distaste on the outlandish behaviour of foreign tourists in Italy, by which they mean young… Read more

Some horses go better for a woman

Ascot Races - An Alternative View

Mrs Oakley returned from her latest book club with an uplifting story. The Mother Superior of an Irish convent was 95 and failing. On her deathbed she asked for a… Read more