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

Tusk as European Council President is a mixed blessing for Cameron

Image: Getty

Donald Tusk, the Polish Prime Minister, has been appointed the new European Council President. Tonight, Tusk has had warm words… Continue reading

Can Douglas Carswell stop Ukip screwing things up?


I rejoiced at the news of Douglas Carswell’s defection to Ukip. Not because I’m a Ukip supporter (I haven’t made… Continue reading

I’ve been called a paedophile, a terrorist and a Quisling: Jim Murphy on the ‘Yes’ mob

Scottish independence referendum

I have had to suspend my ‘No Thanks’ independence referendum tour of Scotland. It was back in June that I… Continue reading

Spectator competition: compose a poet’s verse selfie (plus: what happens when the lights go out)

Image: Getty

Submissions to the latest competition, which invited you to provide a poetic preview of when the lights go out, were… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: The United States and the war

The Hamburg-America liner Vaterland leaving Southampton on her maiden voyage from Cuxhaven in Germany to New York in May 1914 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

The Spectator, 29 August 1914 IT is most gratifying to Englishmen who value American sympathy to know that public opinion… Continue reading

The false paradise of Metroland

Stills from Sir John Betjeman's BBC film 'Metro-Land'

Gaily into Ruislip Gardens runs the red electric train… Near the end of the Metropolitan Line, where London dwindles into… Continue reading

Campaign against Bercow’s Clerk plan reaches 84 supporters

Speaker John Bercow. Image: Getty

Monday will be a busy day in the Commons. Speaker Bercow is expected to give a statement on the swelling… Continue reading

David Cameron may be about to call time on the coalition’s civil libertarian stance

Image: Getty

It was not so much the announcements that David Cameron made in his press conference about the terror threat to… Continue reading

And the best private hospital for food is… 

Image: Getty

News today that the government is going to try to improve NHS food with that old New Labour favourite, the… Continue reading

A very Scottish dinner for the Prime Minister


Mr S could not help think that last night’s Scottish CBI dinner looked a little dreary and frankly a bit… Continue reading

Will we learn to love our ugly houses?

Will we ever learn to love Leicester's Opal Court, 2007 winner of the Carbuncle Cup?

What are the root causes of Britain’s housing crisis? The Philosophers’ Mail – which has copied the format of MailOnline but… Continue reading

Ukip should beware distracting from its Carswell coup with talk of other defections

Millionaire Stuart Wheeler Loses Lisbon Treaty Challenge

Stuart Wheeler has just been boasting on Sky News that two more Conservative MPs are ‘seriously considering’ defecting to Ukip.… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: Left behind

A woman talking to a group of children playing on the street in London. Image: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

The Spectator, 29 August 1914: THE loafers in London look more pitiable than ever. The best have enlisted, and the… Continue reading

Even without more defections, the pressure is back on Cameron

Picture by Carla Millar

What will be the impact on the Conservative party of Douglas Carswell’s defection? Even though there is some excitement this… Continue reading

Douglas Carswell: the rebel with an unclear cause


Anyone who would rather not live in a Britain run by Ed Miliband and Ed Balls should be dismayed at… Continue reading

If the Tories can’t keep Carswell in the fold, they are in serious trouble

(Photo: BBC)

Douglas Carswell’s defection to Ukip is a serious blow to the Tory party. Unlike so many other defectors, Carswell is… Continue reading

Hacked Off deliver ludicrous blessing of the Rotherham investigation

A blessing from Joan Smith and Hacked Off (Photo: AFP/Andrew Cowie)

Andrew Norfolk, the Times journalist that blew open the Rotherham child abuse scandal, can sleep well in his bed tonight,… Continue reading

Douglas Carswell: Darling of the Tories, Labour and now Ukip

(Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty)

This is no ordinary defection. It would be easy for the Tories to brush off a member of the old… Continue reading

Eurosceptic camp ‘weakened’ by Carswell defection

Prime Minster British Prime Minister David Cameron Attends A Rally Before European And Local Elections

Douglas Carswell’s defection today to Ukip is terrible for David Cameron. But it is also deeply inconvenient for his band… Continue reading

Douglas Carswell has decided Cameron will squander his EU reform opportunity

Prime Minister David Cameron Makes Speech On The UK's Position In Europe

As well as saying his decision is regrettable and counterproductive, the other Tory response to this morning’s shock defection by… Continue reading

Douglas Carswell’s defection is a disaster for David Cameron and great news for Ed Miliband

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 11.12.14

I like Douglas Carswell. He thinks for himself and has always, I think, added some welcome colour to parliament. But… Continue reading

Tory whips tell MPs: We will fight Carswell vigorously

Illustration: Stephen Collins.

The Tory whips have just sent their line-to-take on Douglas Carswell to MPs. Seen by Coffee House, the email repeats… Continue reading

Breaking: Tory MP Douglas Carswell defects to Ukip

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 11.12.14

In the past few minutes, Tory MP Douglas Carswell has announced at a special press conference that he is defecting… Continue reading

Worried about Britain’s poor social mobility? Here’s a way to change things

(Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty)

Today’s report about the penetration of the privately-educated at the top of British society should be familiar: the Sutton Trust… 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