The energetic Jim Murphy

Jim Murphy laments the “energy of nationalism”. Where’s the energy of unionism?

“It’s part of the energy of nationalism,” sighed Jim Murphy on Newsnight. “They’re never knocked down.” He’s right, and that… Continue reading

Steven Sotloff murdered by Isis


A second beheading of an American hostage brings a second round of condemnations from leaders of the barbarity of Isis.… Continue reading

How can Jews oppose Muslim anti-Semitism without being ‘Islamophobic’?

(Photo: Justin Tallis/Getty)

On Sunday there was a rally in London demanding ‘zero tolerance’ of anti-Semitism. About 4,500 people gathered in front of… Continue reading

Welcome home… to a world of beheadings and Bake Off

The new normal

Apologies for the lengthy interregnum. I was away in the USA for almost three weeks and my mobile phone provider… Continue reading

Jennifer Lawrence’s leaked photos highlight feminism’s next frontier: cyberspace

Jennifer Lawrence (Photo: Getty)

Nobody wants naked photos of themselves leaked across the internet so a global network of creeps can beat off to… Continue reading

Exclusive: Tory Clacton selection will be an open primary

(Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty)

How do the Conservatives make the Clacton by-election more difficult for Douglas Carswell? I hear from two extremely well-placed sources… Continue reading

Boris: No-one seriously approached me to stand in Clacton

Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

If the Tories did want to really fight Douglas Carswell in the Clacton by-election, then Boris Johnson would have been… Continue reading

The real reason behind the BBC’s kicking of Nick Prettejohn

(Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty)

This is an extract from this week’s Spectator. Subscribe here: Hats off to Rona Fairhead, the former Financial Times executive… Continue reading

Alex Salmond is within sight of his promised land: Scottish independence is more than just a dream.


I don’t want to appear too immodest but, you know, I told you so. Back in February I wrote an article… Continue reading

Parris vs Monty rumbles on

Photo: Ian Waldie/Getty Images

As Mr S predicted yesterday, the row between Times colleagues Matthew Parris and Tim Montgomerie has simmered on. And turning… Continue reading

21 Up is intelligent and sensitive – and makes me crave for sex, vomit and immaturity

Orala Johnson from 21 Up. Photo: BBC/ITV Studios

At 9 o’clock last night, I sat down with my take-away curry, flippedback the lid of my MacBook and went to the… Continue reading

Why boys love Jane Austen

Mansfield Park ( 1999 version

When I first read Jane Austen I had an ulterior motive. I wanted to impress a girl who read her.… Continue reading

My ‘fare-dodging’ hell

Photograph: UK Stock Images Ltd/Alamy

At least every other time a ticket inspector boards a train or bus I’m on, I pretend I can’t find… Continue reading

Nick Clegg: No agreement on TPIM measures is not an argument


Nick Clegg had a stab at being René Magritte on the Today programme this morning, telling us that a disagreement… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Military execution and the act of ‘Germanism’

"Louvain Library WWI" by N.J. Boon - from Project Gutenberg eBook, The New York Times Current History: the European War, February, 1915. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The Giving up of Louvain to ‘Military Execution’, from The Spectator, 5 September 1914: GERMANY has dealt herself the hardest… Continue reading

Scottish referendum: ‘no’ lead falls to 6 points, from 22 points last month

Image: Getty

Tonight brings a reminder that the Union is in real danger. A new YouGov poll has the No camp’s lead… Continue reading

Cameron’s anti-terror statement sets out autumn battles

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 16.33.06

So, after the horsetrading of the past few days, the Conservatives appear to have won their battle to add relocation… Continue reading

Heckler’s verdict: Bercow ‘wounded’

John Bercow. Image: Getty

‘It was an utter humiliation’, says Bercow’s biographer, after the Speaker was openly mocked by MPs as he retreated in the… Continue reading

A thundering row on the right

Image: Getty

It’s open warfare at the Times between two leading lights on the right – the newspaper’s former Comment Editor Tim… Continue reading

Would Scottish independence compromise its museums and galleries?

National Gallery of Scotland (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

This article first appeared on the Apollo Magazine’s website. The Scottish independence referendum takes place on 18 September. What would… Continue reading

The current political climate rewards authoritarians, not civil libertarians

(Photo: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty)

The talks between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives on the anti-terror measures that David Cameron will unveil this afternoon… Continue reading

Listen: Humiliated Bercow heckled as he pauses Clerk appointment

Photo: Getty Images.

Even though he decided to call the delay in the appointment of a new Clerk ‘modest’, John Bercow has just… Continue reading

How Parliament ignored sex abuse allegations

Rotherham. Alexis Jay's report, released last Tuesday, estimates that at least 1,400 children were sexually abused in the town's care homes between 1997 and 2013. Image: Anna Gowthorpe/Getty Images

Sexual exploitation of a single child is a despicable crime, but the whole country is in shock at the industrial… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: push on to Paris?

Paris, 1914. Image: AFP/Getty Images

The Spectator, 5 September 1914: SEDAN Day has passed, but there has been no second Sedan, as the Germans so… Continue reading

Cameron does not have as much time as he’d like on European reform


What should worry David Cameron more, Douglas Carswell’s defection to Ukip or reports that as many as 100 Tory MPs… Continue reading

Coalition minds the gap on anti-terror measures

UK terror threat raised

The Coalition parties are gearing up for a week of minding the gaps. Tomorrow, David Cameron plans to tell MPs… Continue reading

If Carswell was serious about Europe, he would never have defected

(Photo: AFP/Getty)

Where is this burning point of principle that drove Douglas Carswell into the arms of Ukip? I’ve read lots about… Continue reading

Ukip set for crushing Clacton win

(Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty)

David Cameron and the Tories’ electoral hopes are about to take a long walk on Clacton’s short pier. A poll… Continue reading



Revealed: The hidden crisis in Britain's ambulance services

Britain’s ambulance services are in crisis. When will the government notice?

Igor Strelkov: the face of Russia's frightening future


Cuddly liberals aren’t going to displace Putin: his real challengers are ultra-nationalists like Igor Strelkov

The real scandal in Rotherham is that social work doesn't work


The appalling abuse in Rotherham suggests it does not

Switching on to a new generation gap


In the world of YouTube and Netflix, generations no longer share a culture

The SNP’s “cybernats” are a modern political scourge – with the zeal of converts

28 Days Before The Independence Referendum

The push for Scottish independence is driven forward by converts’ zeal

The wars that really are about the oil


You can’t understand any of the world’s crises without understanding petropolitics

The nun who took down an Isis flag – and stands up for east London's Muslims

(Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty)

Sister Christine Frost, who works on an east London estate, sees why young Muslim men are going to fight in Iraq and Syria

Radek Sikorski’s notebook: Goose-steppers in Oxford, and a drone in my garden


As the BA flight from Warsaw landed at Heathrow, I felt a little tremor of anxiety, though it wasn’t anything to do with fear of flying. I was here for… Read more

The quest for the perfect malt

It was unlike any whisky any of them had tasted…

It was poker night. Five yuppies crammed round a table in a room at the back of a south London semi. Tumblers and water were on the table. Conventions had… Read more



David Cameron's next big European mistake

David Cameron loathes European Union summits, and with reason: they seldom go well for him. He has been ambushed by… Read more

Frankie Boyle is a cowardly bully, and I’m ashamed I ever stood up for him

'Outspoken' comedian, Frankie Boyle Photo: Getty

‘Outspoken comic Frankie Boyle has called on the BBC to sack “cultural tumour” Jeremy Clarkson.’ Can anyone tell me what’s… Read more

Europe's leaders worship Mario Draghi. They should listen to him instead

Mario Draghi Photo: Getty

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi secured a place in history by his demonstration, on 26 July 2012, of the… Read more


Herculean feat: hauling a steamship over a mountain for ‘Fitzcarraldo’

The enigma of Werner Herzog

William Cook watches a new box set from the BFI that reveals the full extent of the German director’s genius – and insanity

The small rewards of small-scale opera

The Immortal Hour

Neither OperaUpClose’s La traviata nor Finborough Theatre’s production of Boughton’s The Immortal Hour quite cut it

Kate Bush Hammersmith Apollo review: Still crazy after all these years

Second coming: Kate Bush is now regarded with almost universal awe

It says something about Kate Bush’s standing in the music world that, perhaps uniquely in the history of long-awaited live… Read more

Agitprop, love trucks and leaflet bombs: the art of protest

‘I wish my boyfriend was as dirty as your policies’, 2011,by Coral Stoakes

Titles can be misleading, and in case you have visions of microwave ovens running amok or washing machines crunching up… Read more

Night Moves – the opposite of a Dan Brown film

Angry young man: Jesse Eisenberg as Josh in ‘Night Moves’

Night Moves is a film by Kelly Reichardt, who also made the heart-wrenching Wendy and Lucy (2008), which may be… Read more

Dolts, Doormats and FGM: theatre to make you physically sick

Crazy love, Dogfight

Wow. What an experience. A 1991 movie named Dogfight has spawned a romantic musical. We’re in San Francisco in 1963.… Read more

BBC2’s Hotel India: slums? What slums?

Showing up to your prom in a tank is a bit 2013

Viewers who like their TV journalism hard-hitting should probably avoid Hotel India, a new BBC2 series about the Taj Mahal… Read more

Who needs drugs when you have Radio 3?


I’m willing to bet it’s only on the BBC’s Radio 3 that you’ll find yourself listening to a programme quite… Read more

A wooden UFO lands in Yorkshire Sculpture Park


The New York-based sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard comes from a long line of Polish and Ukrainian peasant farmers. She was… Read more



You can't make friends with Uncle Sam and survive for long

Can somebody tell me when America last got it right? Uncle Sam’s track record in selecting leaders in faraway places reminds me very much of my own where libel is… Read more

Glazed tiles, a barred window: it must be another morning in a police cell


In my late twenties, it was not unusual for me to wake up in a police cell wearing a paper suit. Waking to glazed tiles and a high barred window,… Read more

Why won't my cleaner leave me the Watchtower?


‘Hi I did Put it on It needed more’ is the pleasingly obscure haiku I find on my kitchen table. It is from Denise, one of the most wonderful people… Read more

Wedding receptions make me wonder about the point of marriage


Back from holiday in Italy, I look out of my kitchen window in Northamptonshire to find the country view blocked by an enormous marquee with red pennants flying from the… Read more

It's time for Kenya to put aside dreams of singing wells and dancing bulls


Laikipia   ‘Good morning, sir!’ The warrior strides up to me on the high plains and shakes my hand. ‘May I traverse your farm? I thought it impolite not to… Read more